[ExI] The pope vs transhumanism
rtomek at ceti.pl
Thu Dec 27 23:33:24 UTC 2012
On Tue, 25 Dec 2012, Anders Sandberg wrote:
> Isn't it nice to have a high status, well-read and consistent enemy to
> fight against? The pope spoke out against gay marriage because it
> threatens human essence:
> > People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by
> > their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human
> > being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something
> > previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. The
> > manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment
> > is concerned, now becomes man's fundamental choice where he himself is
> > concerned.
> I ended up writing an essay analyzing the argument, showing how it links
> up with criticisms of transhumanism. Spending Christmas Eve arguing that
> the pope is wrong about metaphysics and ethics is quite fun, if tiring:
I think it is rather risky endeavour to "marry" transhumanism to
homosexualism. And transhumanism is, I think, too small to be on Pope's
radar. If you go further this way, you may finally conclude the majority
of humans is against transhumanism, while in fact the majority never heard
of it. Of those who heard, I guess majority just rises their eyebrows and
The "same sex marriage" thing is different, it is an "issue". Myself, I
don't feel engaged so much, but I think it is a bit too overblown. There
is no real cause to label gay relationship as marriage - while the
proposers point to economic reasons, this and other such issues could be
easily resolved by accordingly modifying existing laws, perhaps? I think
the whole stuff is either kind of experiment, which will be cut short in
twenty-thirty years by children of todays supporters or attention
distractor, to channel energy into some neutral drainage. In both cases, I
cannot see a reason for me to care. I mean I stopped caring when I learned
the law no more dictated that gays should be imprisoned and/or reeducated.
As of gender being cultural construct rather than biological fact, I think
I have read an article once (in Sci Am?) about how medicine nowadays parts
with idea that "woman is just a smaller man", and starts recognizing women
as having their own very different organisms, requiring new studies about
drug effects and other such things. Sometimes, the whole "cultural
studies" thing seem like a huge flunk to me (and great moneysucker). I
side with medicine. And I am a self-proclaimed anthropologist, so one
would expect me to side otherwise, I guess.
"Choosing the right morality" vs "morality is fixed" - I'd like to say
that IMHO the only morality ever displayed by any significant group of
people is the "whatever pleases me" morality (WPMM). Of all other
moralities claimed by us, we simply (maybe unconsciously) choose a subset
closest to WPMM, at the same time insisting that we implement all of it.
Importance of families - I think families are important because they give
memetic resistance to various kinds of fscked up ideologies. Those
ideologies range from "hang da nigga hi" to "work more, buy more" . Of
course, this alone makes a family an enemy of a state (no, it is never
said in straight way) . So I think a family is in a process of being
undermined, because various groups would rather deal with bunch of lonely,
out-of-context mental slaves . Whether the said family needs to be
traditional or not, I cannot say for sure . We will see in fifty years.
Treat all specialists on the subject with suspicion - just like freudian
psychoanalysis is poor therapy choice for Innuit fishermen , likewise
implanting other culture's choices into our own without implanting
associated choices as well is going to end in predictable manner, if
anybody asks me. Like joining fly genes with human's in one movie, it
didn't ended in producing an angel (it may be speculated chances of
producing an angel are closer to zero than chances of producing a
monstrosity, so random meddling should be avoided).
 Likewise, families serve as memetic opponents to any kind of good
memes, which perhaps should be widely adopted.
 At least a families which are unwilling to aknowledge the state
superiority over their own jurisdiction.
 Long term, it is either family will go or marketing will go. But there
are many kinds of families, good or bad (like disfunctional ones) yet I
know of only one kind of marketing (the one I don't like), so go figure
whose side I am supporting.
 But I can say that from what I have heard, people raised in atypical
families (one parent, mother and grandma etc) are more likely to display
diffences in characters. All of this anecdotical evidence. I don't say
they are worse, but if we disregard view of parents as role guides, I may
want to read more about why "we" want to disregard it and what "we" expect
to accomplish by this. Before I get convincing arguments that role models
are bad for a child's psychology, I will hint in favour of traditional
 Of course every Innuit fisherman with enough money eventually will be
talked into visiting a psychoanalyst every week. Because it will make the
psychoanalyst feel better. If anybody here prays to psychoanalysts but
dislikes religion, replace psychoanalyst with a priest. Or a stripper.
BTW, of two articles about two different Pope's speeches, I find the
diffence in number of comments interesting. The first, six days ago, about
speech given to officials in Vatican, which dealt with the subject of
family as a God-given concept (as opposed to new concept which is being
promoted by some circles rather disjoined from the Church). The second,
two days ago, about "Urbi and Orbi" delivered to the public, which dealt
with the truth, the justice, ending violence and building societies
respecting the individual.
If you don't want to see for yourself, I say it here. The "gay message"
has got ten times as many comments. I find the disparity interesting, but
don't have any conclusion yet. Perhaps I will wait a week or two and see
how it ends. Of course from what I could see, a good number of comments
are emotional, including those whose authors ascribe to Pope some imagined
actions, AFAIK not necessarily committed by him.
BTW, one of the commenters hints to some circles supporting paedophilia
under the guise of changing/abolishing age of consent:
Perhaps there is some kind of link between those dots.
** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature. **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened... **
** Tomasz Rola mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com **
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