Re: Cultishness as a high-entropy state

From: Amy Hale (
Date: Wed Nov 30 2005 - 11:44:45 MST

Eliezer wrote:
*Why* isn't
transhumanism a cult? Why *aren't* prospective transhumanists
surrounded by wall-to-wall proselytizers? This is an anomaly, which
needs to be explained. Usually when a room full of people agree with
each other on something, they are a lot more obnoxious.
  I'm delurking for a bit here...
  I think that a lot of people confuse "movement" with "cult". In any social movement there will be strong leaders with lots of charisma, but that does not in anyway make a movement a cult. As Eliezer notes, transhumanism does not have any of the trademarks of a cult, which general include a single leader and a single platform as well as excessive control over the members.
  I have, however, met some transhumanists who do seem to approach the subject in quite a religious fashion. They make their cases more from faith and less from reason. Of course, this still does not make it a cult :) I think that as the movement becomes more widespread and people from a variety of backgrounds are exposed to the ideas, that there will be a wider array of responses. Some responses will be more emotionally led than intellectually led. Not everyone who is interested in transhumanism will be able to grasp the ideas with the same rigor of research and level of sophication. That isn't a bad thing, it's to be expected. It's just how social movements work.
  Amy Hale

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