[ExI] Striving for Objectivity Across Different Cultures

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Fri Aug 22 06:02:05 UTC 2008

On Aug 21, 2008, at 11:21 AM, Damien Broderick wrote:

> At 11:31 AM 8/21/2008 +0200, Stefano wrote:
>> Say that I have a bioluddite agreeing to an apparently banal and
>> common-sense stipulation that the ability to live is absolutely  
>> better
>> than death... that life is an uncondtional goal.
> But I think most of those opposed to radical life extension are  
> likely to be of the opinion that life is a testing ground with some  
> blessed postmortem condition as its true goal.

Of course this leads straight into theodicy entanglements.

> Life is a "Vale of Tears" we must suffer through in order to improve  
> ourselves, or cast ourselves on god's mercy, or learn to abandon  
> attachment, so we can attain some sort of salvation unavailable in  
> the contingent, material realm.

How did such fallible, suffering, "sinful" creatures as ourselves  
possibly manage to riddle that this is the true nature of things?    
Revealed truth?  Which one?   If it is "The Truth" then why not make  
it blindingly, inescapably obvious rather than a matter of guess work  
and blind faith?

On the other hand we have those that claim we already are perfect  
"spiritual beings" just having an ugly dream or playing a particularly  
nasty immersive cosmic video game.     Which leaves the question of  
what would persuade us to do any such thing to this extent.

> Trying to live longer than "Nature/god means us to" is impious, even  
> blasphemous, and thwarts the plan, or is precisely the kind of  
> desperate grasping attachment that maintains our misery.

I am perfectly fine that some people believe such a circular mess  
justifying pain, suffering and death.   I only have a problem when  
they effectively impose their beliefs on others.

> In other words, most opponents will *not* regard healthy life as an  
> unconditional good. And they have their reasons for this that can't  
> be budged just by saying, "Yes, but look, life is better than  
> death!" Not if death is the pathway to heaven, or another chance to  
> start fresh, or blessed surcease.

So to me the most obvious question is how we manage to proceed to end  
mandatory death by aging among our other worthy goals regardless of  
such opinions and how numerous they may be.   I don't expect to hold  
the majority opinion or have the majority agree with our goals ever or  
at least until long after many of them are already realized.

So shouldn't we focus at least as much on attaining and preserving the  
freedom and ability to act to bring our goals to fruition although the  
majority disagrees with us?

- samantha

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