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Luke Parrish
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NASA Is Funding A Concept To Turn Asteroids Into Spaceships
So we can mine them

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Luke Parrish commented on a post on Blogger.
+Lincoln Cannon
"There are the sacraments of nutrition supplements, the rituals of cryonics, the prophecies of indefinite healthy life extension, the spirits of substrate independent minds, the apocalyptic and messianic postures toward artificial intelligence, the millennial paradisiacal hope of life and abundance beyond present notions of suffering and poverty, and ultimately the pantheon of posthumanity."

I think this perspective is utterly ridiculous and undermines the true meaning (and stupidity) of religion.

Why not come out and say that science is the religious belief in physical evidence, law is the religious moral conviction that rules made by man should be followed, democracy is the religious rite of majority rule, technology is the miraculous hand of God expressed through human ingenuity...  Oh yeah, you probably do say these things.

It's too much for me.  For your way of thinking, secularism is always an illusion, and words pertaining to religion are so vaguely defined they don't really mean anything.  Sorry, but I prefer my slightly more black-and-white lexical universe where religion does mean something well defined (which is stupid and wrong), even if that implies that some of my dearly beloved friends and relatives are engaging in something that is basically idiotic.

Most smart people (including you) know perfectly well that God (by which I mean the kind of God described in the Bible, and other myths) just simply isn't real.  That fact should have no bearing whatsoever on their views about technology, the future, life extension, and so forth.  We should go with our best estimates based on the data and reasoned argument.

The real universe is awesome enough without dressing it up in the fake splendor of religious myth and metaphor.  We need to grow out of religion.

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Maybe cryonics will create demand for cryptocurrency? It's kind of nice to be able to carry your wallet in your brain.

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Are creationist parents scared to teach their kids about evolution? Mine sure were. I didn't hear much about it until I read the creationist literature, which completely misrepresents it. How could they not be scared, with my eternal soul hanging in the balance? Any sincere christian who isn't scared of their kid learning about evolution is a moron. The simple fact is that christianity is wrong about the universe, and gets away with this by teaching people to be scared of not being a christian. It doesn't make us 'special' -- that's propaganda to make up for the fact that it teaches kids to be guilty for imaginary crimes and afraid of the worst possible punishment.

Chance random processes? Nonsense. Evolution involves selection of different designs to pick the most favorable. You can't engineer without iteratively selecting the most favorable designs, i.e. applying evolutionary principles. Random inputs, non-random outputs. Wave your hand magic principles don't work. Speaking things into existence doesn't work. There's no "creationary principles" to apply to engineering.

Furthermore, humanism and science aren't exclusive (most scientists are humanist -- they complement each other), so Ken trying to relabel Bill Nye to "the humanist guy" instead of "the science guy" comes across as pretty desperate. How is "humanist" a bad thing? Humanism teaches respect for human life and human rights. What is he trying to promote, inhumanism? If anything, we should be thinking about transhumanism and how we can (safely) progress (evolve!) beyond the current baseline of humanity. We don't need more focus on bronze-age myths, we need more science, reason, empathy, and education.

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"Jerry Lemler was a speaker, and shortly before, in fact very shortly before, his talk he asked whether it would be okay for him to publicize that I was in the process of signing up as a member of Alcor. I did decide that it was fine for him to publicize this, which he did. A couple of hours later I was involved in a meeting of the Board of Directors of the British Society for Research on Aging, which is the learned society, the equivalent would be the American Aging Association, for example. I was on the Board of Directors at that time. And, I only had about five minutes, because I was running a conference, but I came in and they immediately said, “Well, we’ve got a problem here. We don’t think much of the idea of being publicly associated with someone who is going to have their head frozen.” The upshot was that eventually we came to a sort of negotiated compromise whereby I actually removed from my website the information that I was on the Board of Directors of the BSRA. It was a curious, curious conversation, but it definitely left me with no doubt of the implications of the decision I had taken."
My personal work-life balance struggles aside, I strongly agree with the following sentiment:

“Ethically, what is the correct thing to do when medicine encounters a difficult problem? Stablize the patient until a solution can be found? Or throw people away like garbage? Centuries from now, historians may marvel at the shortsightedness and rationalizations used to sanction the unnecessary death of millions.”
-- Brian Wowk, Ph.D.

Which statement Max More recently rephrased and made even more explicit:

“We’ll look back on this 50 to 100 years from now — we’ll shake our heads and say, “What were people thinking? They took these people who were very nearly viable, just barely dysfunctional, and they put them in an oven or buried them under the ground, when there were people who could have put them into cryopreservation. I think we’ll look at this just as we look today at slavery, beating women, and human sacrifice, and we’ll say, “this was insane — a huge tragedy.”
-- Alcor CEO Max More, Ph.D.

Though I am tired of being expected to explain and defend myself endlessly when other intelligent people can't be bothered to educate themselves whatsoever prior to initiating a debate. I rarely engage that anymore, unless pressed to do so. It is inevitably a waste of time.

Aubrey de Grey has much more eloquent things to say on this topic (see link).

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What a clown.
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