X-Message-Number: 28601
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 07:15:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: 2Arcturus <>
Subject: Zealotry and sales


>How can we compete in this arena?
>>I think it might be as important to consider if we even want to.  The 
>>problem is that turning *on* the brain mechanisms behind cults to a 
>>considerable extent turns *off* the ability to reason (as opposed to 
>>"rationalize").  There might be ways to employ the high energy drives 
>>without doing so much damage to rational thought, but I have not figured 
>>out how so far.  (Suggestions based on understanding evolutionary 
>>psychology would be very welcome.)

  First, I think there are many more brain rewards provided by religion than 

  Second, as to how a religion might avoid 'turning off reason', this could be 
  done, I believe, by turning the reward mechanisms themselves toward this end, 
  by making rationality rewarding and irrationality unrewarding.

  Making 'rationality' rewarding is the stuff of things like science education, 
  popular science, rational discussions, cultivating wonder and curiosity, and 
  so on. This sort of thing has been done since the Enlightenment but rational 
  idealist philosophies like transhumanism take this to a higher, more emotional
  level than ever before.

  Making irrationality unrewarding is one thing that rational religions have not
  tried. Religions usually police the boundaries by taboos and purity laws. A 
  rational religion could maintain itself in this aspect of the reward mechanism
  by branding irrationalty as taboo and impure, as 'sin' in Christian 
  >>My informal survey of transhumanists found that generally the ones not 
>>signed up for cryonic suspension felt guilty about it.  If anyone wanted a 
>>group to sell cryonics into, that's who we should be working.  I was amazed 
>>that the cryonics organizations don't have a presence at their meetings.

  The meetings are open to everyone. There are soon to be online meetings in 
  virtual space. I'll post announcements if anyone will come, since I'm a member
  of both orgs.



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