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Everything posted by nanite1018

  1. Well, in my opinion, transumanism is not a full philosophy, and rather denotes certain agreements with a few philosophical positions, and certain values (long healthy lives, technological advance, that sort of thing). I've never heard of a religious transhumanist, except maybe for a Buddhist or something. Almost all are atheists/agnostics. They explicitly state that reason and science are the means by which we can understand the world, and the means to achieve human happiness. The book Hotu refers to in his OP actually explicitly states that philosophy has neglected its duty and become mire
  2. I would like to make another point, which is that I find it interesting that the thread on "should we seek immortality" had a resounding "YES!" as the answer (provided we're talking indefinite lifespan, not literal impossible-to-die immortality), and yet here we have people railing against it. Am I missing something? Or is it only this whole calling it "transhumanism" thing that people are hung up on? Here's a link to that thread if you want to review it: Should we seek immortality? thread
  3. See Maken, transhumanism doesn't have an ethics, per se. Sophia deems this a problem, which is a conversation we could have. But transhumanists are merely people who support the development and deployment of the technologies discussed so far, advocate the use of reason in all human affairs, and are supporters of the advance of science, seeing it as key to the happiness of mankind. That is all stuff Objectivists agree with (well, except maybe for the technologies, but I think most are unobjectionable). Some have offered visions of transhumanism as a totalized philosophy, but I don't think that
  4. I am trying to be healthier because I think it will benefit me in three ways: 1) I will be able to do more in the present and 2) I will be able to do more and for a longer period in the future and 3) I will physically feel better doing it. This is, presumably, why everyone wants to be healthy. I am not now, nor have I ever, advocated survival as the only point of life. That wouldn't make sense. I have to survive as a human being, i.e. I have to pursue rational values and produce, etc. You seem to believe that having as one of many goals (granted an important one) living a good long time (and h
  5. How so? Because I don't see that at all. I don't want to die if I can help it. So I intend to live healthily as long as I am able to be happy and pursue values that are important to me. I don't see how that is in some manner altruistic. How do you come to that conclusion? Well, I can see there are risks (Bioshock has people get superpowers basically, which would be cool if it could actually happen, but at the cost apparently of their minds- which is definitely not cool). Perhaps it isn't the risk of side-effect that you are talking about, but instead you are meaning that if we keep tryin
  6. Ferris, I would not have sex with anyone unless I was in a relationship. And I would not be in a relationship with a devoutly religious (a Christmas and Easter Christian is as far as I could ever imagine going in that direction, though really I'm not particularly interested in anyone who is any more religious than a diest). So I would not have sex with a devoutly religious person, no matter how attractive I might find their body. The "sacrifice for ill people" is a little ill-defined, so I can't really say about that, depends on context. Oh, and I am a heterosexual male, btw.
  7. Let's stop talking about philosophical movements, because it isn't really important. Let's examine the actual positions in "transhumanism" and see whether they are objectionable. Somatic genetic engineering to improve one's own bodies functioning but not change the DNA in the germ line (and so not affect other generations) IS objected to by many religious people. I can't imagine an Objectivist could do so however. Germ line engineering to improve one's offsprings DNA, for example to eliminate disease, to select certain traits like eye color or height, and limited manipulation of statistical pr
  8. Well, it certainly is desirable to decrease the number of ways one can expect to die involuntarily. Perhaps that definition was a little off. No transhumanist believes one can live literally forever, as at least one day it appears that there will be no useable energy left in the entire universe, and so no life of any kind at all would be possible. The actual goal is "indefinite life span" which means that you will not die due to biological causes. In essence, disease and aging are concurred, and death will only be the result of accidents and suicide (and murder of course). But even our ability
  9. Alright, well I don't know exactly what Hotu is advocating, whether or not he thinks survival at any cost is appropriate (I got a little of that sort of thing from his last post, but I'm certainly not willing to conclude that that is what he actually advocates). Transhumanism has radical life extension (radical as in the aim is to live healthily for however long one wants to continue to live, be it 10 years, 100, 1000, or longer) as an essential part. Other technological developments advocated by many transhumanists include: -New senses, or the ability to overlay additional informatio
  10. Maken: What, in your mind, is the prime value in Objectivist ethics? "To hold one’s own life as one’s ultimate value, and one’s own happiness as one’s highest purpose are two aspects of the same achievement. Existentially, the activity of pursuing rational goals is the activity of maintaining one’s life; psychologically, its result, reward and concomitant is an emotional state of happiness."- Ayn Rand, "The Objectivist Ethics". So either you think Objectivism would say that you should steal the guy's cure for cancer because "living" is the prime value, or you have to agree that having one'
  11. Well, obviously I would never advocate forcing anything on anyone. So your last concern about forcing things on people who don't want it really isn't part of it, at least for me (and really, I think for an overwhelming majority of transhumanists). As for my fear: I like living, so I don't want to die (plus I think dying, the process of it, would be most unpleasant). Similarly I hate the idea of the deterioration of my mind and body. Sounds horrible. I view both as a great threat to my life (obviously, haha), and so the emotion I get when I think about situations where there is a great risk
  12. Let us look at an actual description of transhumanism, and see if people really find it objectionable: "Transhumanism is an international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities. The movement regards aspects of the human condition, such as disability, suffering, disease, aging, and involuntary death as unnecessary and undesirable. Transhumanists look to biotechnologies and other emerging technologies for these purposes."--Wikipedia article on Transhumanism. What Objectivist doesn't v
  13. Grames, I think you are a little off here. I do make myself better. I am currently trying to change my diet in order to lose weight, become more fit, and physically attractive. I am looking forward to looking in the mirror and seeing the results of my efforts: a body that is fit and healthy rather than very overweight. In a similar manner, if I change my digestive tract to be more efficient, or alternatively make my heart healthier, or repair damage as a consequence of aging, I am doing something in a similar vein. The point is that wanting to make your body work better so that you can live
  14. I classify myself as a transhumanist, for similar reasons (though not his definition of freedom) that Hotu Matua does. I like living. I want to continue to do so. As of right now, it is biologically impossible without new medical interventions for me to live beyond 130 or so, and more realistically I can expect to live 80 years without new advances in medicine. I don't like that. I want scientists to figure out how to fix the damage being done by my metabolism all the time. By damage, I mean the buildup of waste products and assorted changes in my body at the macro, cellular, and molecular lev
  15. After some thought, my way of reconciling all this is to say that, at any level that nature might be said to be deterministic, people and any sort of object anyone ever interacts with does not exist. That is, if subatomic particles were to behave deterministically (which we don't know anyway), this gives us no information or insight into anything that effects us, because even something like a proton simply does not exist at that level (it is made of quarks and gluons). Any approximation of any kind would destroy the determinism. And even determinism does not entail predictability (no matter wh
  16. Grames: I am very interested in the topic of the philosophy of mind (and obviously as a part of that the relation between free will and the law of causality, and how free will might actually work). Grames, I have found your posts in the past quite insightful, and I remember the one you reposted above. My question is this: What exactly do you mean by "there will always be a physical explanation of how [the event in question] happened in terms of physical necessity"? By this do you mean that the explanation will say "this is what must have happened because that is what happened" in some se
  17. I don't disagree at all with you. It is with that background in my mind that I had trouble understanding why Mr. Scott phrased things the way he did.
  18. Unsinkable Captain of Spoofs As the topic title suggests, I found this article disturbing. Not because its about Leslie Nielsen, who I found could be quite funny (and who I loved in his serious role in "Forbidden Planet", agreat classic science fiction movie). But rather what the author says. It sounds, particularly in the latter half, strikingly Toohey-ish. Examples: "No, the uniqueness of Leslie Nielsen is inseparable from the nonspecialness of much of his career, his brilliant lack of distinction. " "Looking back, it is easy to see that the times required someone like Leslie Niels
  19. I decided that I needed to write a short but coherent expression of my personal philosophy/Objectivism, in order to help clarify it in my own mind, and so I can better express it to others. I ran into a snag at (haven't gone farther, this is the first snag) at the idea of "truth". When I say "I am certain that X is true" it means that within the context of all knowledge available to me (all my concepts, all sense-data I've ever acquired, etc.) that "X is true" is the only conclusion available to me that doesn't involve either a) rejecting the information from my sense-perception or b ) making
  20. My evaluation of Peikoff's statement: 1. This point is understandable, though it would still, in my understanding of his letter, mean that McCaskey is a bad person/not an Objectivist/severely damaging to the Institute and the Objectivist movement. So it is a denunciation, in any case. 2. I don't believe McCaskey demanded that exact letter, nor do I understand, even if he did, why Peikoff wouldn't have written a real response immediately and either given it to McCaskey or published it shortly after McCaskey resigned in order to head off obvious criticisms that he should have known were goin
  21. It is purposeful obstruction of your capacity to think. Unless you can guarantee there won't be any emergencies or anything like that while you are drinking, then intentionally getting drunk is dangerous and irrational. Since that standard is impossible to reach, one should not get drunk. I'm not saying it is wrong to have a drink, but it is wrong to get drunk (i.e. drink to observable impairment, which one standard drink per hour can't produce unless you weigh like 80 pounds). Getting drunk is immoral, because when you are drunk your judgment is impaired. I have never said that having a
  22. nanite1018


    I agree with you there, but his theory didn't fail. If we had allowed the collapse to happen without intervention, the horrific pain of collapse, mass bankruptcies, unemployment, investment losses, would have caused a dramatic shift in priorities for companies on Wall Street. The bonuses so big that they don't care what happens to their companies, and the extreme short-term viewpoint, woud both have died a well deserved death. By intervening, we set ourselves up for another bigger fall.
  23. "When man unfocuses his mind, he may be said to be conscious in a subhuman sense of the word, since he experiences sensations and perceptions. But in the sense of the word applicable to man—in the sense of a consciousness which is aware of reality and able to deal with it, a consciousness able to direct the actions and provide for the survival of a human being—an unfocused mind is not conscious."-VOS. "“Focus” designates a quality of one’s mental state, a quality of active alertness. “Focus” means the state of a goal-directed mind committed to attaining full awareness of reality. It’s the s
  24. If you have a clinical problem with stress, that you need medication in order to be able to resolve, then sure go ahead (in extreme moderation). But if you are simply stressed out occasionally, then one shouldn't turn to a drug, but instead work on improving their own psychology in order to resolve the problem. Using a drug to relieve stress (that is normal, not a medical or clinically psychological problem) is NOT rational. That is what I am saying.
  25. I wouldn't even be asking this question, I'd have broken up with her within 24 hours, but probably immediately. Taking drugs for depression (which appears to be a problem with the brain's functioning) and taking drugs to deal with stress are two different things. Stress has a purpose; if stress is such that you can't function on a regular basis because of it, one should seek clinical help because they have a serious problem. Otherwise, one should be able to reorganize their life and/or think better so as to eliminate or at least negate much of the stress. Using a mind-dulling drug as a crutch
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