[extropy-chat] Sustainability philosopy as a justification for existence

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Sep 4 19:33:21 UTC 2006

On 9/4/06, Robert Bradbury wrote:
> I've been wrestling lately with the question about how one justifies ones
> existence [1].  From an extropic perspective it would appear to me that one
> has to be acting on the stage in such a way as to contribute to
> sustainability, survival, evolution and presumably increasing complexity of
> humanity.  I could argue that many people who are currently "retired" do not
> meet this criteria.[2]  Many people living in the third world do not meet
> this criteria.  Many people with strong religious beliefs do not meet this
> criteria.  There are some "green" folks who would.  There are some research
> scientists, technology developers, investment managers who do.

At first sight this sounds a lot like your good ol' Puritan work
ethic. Work becomes the meaning of life. Or are you restricting it
even further to only a small percentage of work, for ends that you
approve of? What about all the service industries supporting the
lifestyle of the Lords of Creation that you think are doing useful
work? How would they manage without hairdressers, lawyers, child
minders, chefs, cleaners, etc. etc.

If you state a justification for existence, then immediately list a
series of huge exceptions that don't make the grade, then that is a
good clue that your original justification is just plain wrong. What
about taking time to smell the roses?

Your point about consuming resources has to take account of all
lifestyles. Some lifestyles leave a very small footprint. A first
world SUV driver versus a desert island guru meditating on the meaning
of existence.

Many 'retirees' consume very few resources. Many have little choice to
do otherwise.


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