[extropy-chat] Tyranny in place

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Oct 6 06:03:01 UTC 2006

Russell wrote (Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2006 11:26 PM)

[Lee wrote]
> > what [would be] your reactions would be if a terrorist nuke was to go
> > off in a large American city? Do you think that your feelings and intuitions
> > would change at all? 
> My feelings and intuitions, like yours, say anything that hints of enemy action
> should be assigned the highest priority. I know exactly why they say that.
> They evolved in conditions where intraspecies violence was the main cause
> of death that we could do something about.

That is correct.

> That circumstance no longer obtains,

With the faint-hearted, sickening, and virulent memes you're peddling, that
circumstance [we revert to barbarism] is made more likely.

> and our feelings and intuitions therefore give completely the wrong answer
> when we evaluate today's problems. Since we _know_ they give the wrong
> answer,

Begging the question.

> and we know why, we should use reason instead.

Hmm.  Well, lessee..... on the one hand we can use our rational faculties...,
or abandon reason and be like the beasts we were before.   I wonder which
choice should be made...?

Rationality is extremely complicated---or rather, attempts to be fully 
rational are *not* simple.  It's absurd to believe that you can instantly
apply a numbers calculus in the easy way you propose. Please take
a look at "The Robot's Rebellion" if you've not already read it.  Even
though written by a non-libertarian (choke, a socialist!), it splendidly
assays the difficulties.

> Look at the cold numbers: how many people worldwide have been
> killed by terrorists from 2001 to today? Some thousands, maybe into
> five digits. How many lives have been lost from all causes in that same
> time? Nearly _three hundred million_.

You are, of course, referring (in a most praiseworthy way) to the Deathoid
Holocaust.  Yes indeed: some 50-100 million die each year unfrozen, and
with no hope whatsoever.

> Even a nuclear explosion in a major city would be a drop in the ocean on
> that scale.

Yass..., of course it would.  I am sure that *you* at least and your sympathizers
on this list would react most calmly say, if that nuclear bomb devastated central
London.  Even were 100,000 people killed, that's on the order of one-tenth
of one percent of the Deathoid Holocaust's yearly ravage. (And besides,
like 9-11, it's not likely to recur every year.)

Well... okay, so you wouldn't?  You'd panic, most likely, and unlike me your
emotions would be a cauldron that'd probably entirely interfere with rational
thought.  I know exactly how I'd feel; I daresay you don't.  And I know what
I'd think and what I'd advise.

> Note also that you only answered the lesser half of my argument.

Sorry I don't have time for everything I'd like to opine on.

Returning to the above argument, failure to recognize enemies for what they
are, and failure to make personal sacrifices (call them irrational for your
vehicle if you like) will be the death of civilization. Would you really be willing
to in any way to hazard your honor, your fortune, and your sacred life to come
to the aid of your country?  (The order there, sad to say, is different today.)

No, I'm sure you would not.  That, after all, would be patriotic. Okay, then
what about coming to the aid of your civilization instead?  Same answer?

Some people thought it wasn't rational in 1938 to "fight for King and country"
and look what happened next.  There is causality, and you *are* making the
West weak, both in appearance and reality.


P.S.  My apologies if you aren't British;  please pretend that you are for
the sake of the questions.

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