[extropy-chat] transhumanism=doomsday cult b.s?
sparkle_robot at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 31 16:34:49 UTC 2007
Well, as far as I can tell, the vast majority of us are doing a lot more speculating about the future than making positive claims about the future. There's a big difference between saying, "Hey, this technology is scientifically plausible judging from the information we have now...let's discuss it and its implications", and saying, "This technology is coming and we're all going to be converted into immortal cyborgs come 2012!"
One of the primary characteristics of a cult is the making of claims that are expected to be believed on faith rather than evidence. I've never had anyone in transhumanist circles try to insist to me that I needed to believe in some particular thing, or trust in some particular charismatic figure, or accept without question that Technology X will arrive on Date X to Save Us All(TM).
However, I do think that H+ is a sort of "refuge" for people who might be somewhere on the fringes of the mainstream, in the sense that we tend to be prone to speculating beyond the immediate status quo. But the same could be said for anyone who decides to, say, become an artist or freelancer rather than take over the comfortable, secure family business.
In addition, I don't think that speculating about possible future developments is the same thing as living in, or perpetuating a fantasy -- I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but I know that I don't stake my entire emotional well-being on convincing myself of a particular future utopian outcome. If things happen, they happen. If they don't, they don't, and the universe keeps going.
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