Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Sunday, February 06, 2005

A New Political Divide?

According to some theories (seen via Rand Simberg), the next political divide is likely to be between transhumanists and social conservatives. Social conservatives will, of course, fight against mandatory genetic engineering, but they'll be joined by libertarian transhumanists. (I object to the term “transhuman.” An improved human is still human. On the other hand, that's mere quibbling.)

This might be an attempt on the part of the small number of leftists who approve of biotechnology to try to split the right wing. It's a typical example of the “let's scare conservatives” tactic:

  • Pick a phenomenon which looks likely to increase in the future. (Examples include: immigration from places other than Europe, acceptance of evolution, occasional use of artificial cloning, etc.)

  • Pretend it somehow makes traditional values obsolete somehow.

  • Wait for a conservative to believe that propaganda.

  • Accuse them of being anti-progress.

It isn't working that well. As far as I can tell, the only current political issue where social conservatives apparently part company with biotechnology is the issue of embryonic stem-cell research. Judging by the enthusiasm for adult stem-cell research (in which extracting stem cells does not involve dismembering the entire organism) among social conservatives, the attempt will fail.

In any case, since large parts of the left not only oppose biotechnology in general but also defend abortion, involuntary euthanasia, and terrorism, any opposition to the Cultures of Death can only be found on the right. The motto of the pro-life coalition should be a paraphrase of Dr. Hfuhruhurr's motto:

Doctors should accept that death is the sign of their own incompetence.
… and that goes for fetal deaths as well.


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