Re: Ethical basics

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Jan 24 2002 - 18:05:48 MST

Jerry Mitchell wrote:
> "The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And
> intends to be the master." (Ayn Rand)

An Ayn Rand quote! Who would have thought? I would NEVER have guessed
that you were a reader of Ayn Rand.

I own my life. I have the right to do whatever I want with my life. I've
decided to spend my life being altruistic. I respect your right to be
selfish. Is there a reason why you can't respect my right to be
altruistic? If you have the right to decide for yourself whether or not
to be selfish, then I have the right to exercise that same free decision
in order to choose altruism. I haven't asked for political rulership on
the basis of my supposed altruism, I haven't told anyone else to be
altruistic or go to jail, I haven't proposed that non-altruists be placed
in gulag, and I haven't called for the censorship of overly selfish
publications. Isn't it enough that you have the right to be selfish? Why
do you demand that everyone else be selfish too?

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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