[extropy-chat] transhumanism=doomsday cult b.s?

Ben Goertzel ben at goertzel.org
Wed Jan 31 13:31:33 UTC 2007

On Jan 31, 2007, at 2:45 AM, kevin.osborne wrote:

> tell me if I'm wrong but:
> - is transhumanism just another refuge for norm-rejecting
> fringe-dwellers seeking yet another hippie/indie/alternative refuge
> from their non-conformity?
> - is it just another 'salvation' cult for ex-fundamental religious
> nutjobs who've found that atheism, too, might provide them with
> eternal life in the kingdom of (upload-)heaven?
> - is all the 'existential risk' and 'friendly a.i' gibbering just yet
> another doomsday cult squealing 'the end is nigh!' in their wearable
> billboards?
> - is the brain-mod and bod-mod culture just yet another terminus for
> the neurotic masses who buy 'self-help' and 'lose body fat!'
> be-someone-better books?
> - are we all being seduced by the new 'second coming' a.k.a 'the
> singularity' where all the true believers will be saved and transcend
> to eden?
> - in a sub-culture that on the surface espouses rationalism, are we in
> fact in danger of blindly drinking the fanboy kool-aid of a fantasy
> future that may in fact be far beyond our means as a collective?

Really, all these issues have been discussed MANY times in the past...
it's not as though those on this list have never considered them.

The immediately above one is the only one that I still find somewhat
interesting.  However, even it is somewhat overstated.

Personally, I don't think I
am **blindly** overoptimistic regarding the future and what impact
I can have on it (if for instance my Novamente AGI system succeeds).

However, I might be overoptimistic to some extent.  I have inspected  
my mind carefully
to try to remove overoptimism, but it's hard to know if one has  
in this sort of thing.  But even so, if I am optimistic, I would not  
it as "blindly" ...

> - are we simply feeding the coffers of 'faction' SF-writers and
> providing unwarranted attention to run-of-the-mill nutjobs who just
> happen to sell future shock as their 'chicken little' axe-to-grind?
> feel free to go off like a firecracker, I'm clearly trolling. as a
> wannabe-sceptic with a history of gulliblity I'm trying to sound out
> some querulous(possibly pernicious) points that inquire as to the
> nudity of our little extropian emperor...
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