From: Mike & Donna Deering (email@example.com)
Date: Sat May 04 2002 - 09:34:23 MDT
>What is it that differentiates "justice" from "revenge" if not the
>justification of maintaining order in a community?
Justice may have a role in the proper functioning of a society, but that's
not what I am referring to here. I see justice as of value itself. I want
to live in a universe that is not "evil". That leaves "good" or "morally
balanced". I quote these terms because I realize they are going to require
some explanation to separate them from their religious historical context.
I am not advocating any religious philosophy (I don't personally to any). I
think these terms are more basic than any religion. I think they are the
reason many people seek out religion. I person directly feels these
concepts (not in a metaphysical sense) and looks for an explanation or a
framework to understand them. Consequently many people are vulnerable to
deception by those who would use these concepts for their own purposes.
When you observe some action or activity that is good it makes you feel
good, and vice versa. When you observe someone doing irreversible serious
harm to another not deserving it, you feel bad and want to make it right and
that will make you feel better. But here is the important part: The reason
you feel bad is you observe that the universe is out of balance. There is a
stain of evil on it which must be removed for the universe to return to
balance. Because you know that if it is not corrected and if more stains
accumulate that the universe will become an evil place. And the more evil
it becomes the easier it is for evil actions to take place. And of course,
the more evil actions the worse you feel. It sounds kind of circular but
it's not an explanation, it's reality, and reality is often circular. We
have all felt this. Case in point: we hear that someone has tortured and
murdered a young child, we feel that the universe is out of balance and
needs to be made right. The word for this is justice. It's not for
society, not for the victims, not for us, it's for the universe.
Why do I care if you don't share my ideas about justice? Because you are
writing the code of the friendliness system of the first AI. You are going
to be training it in friendliness, and testing it against your moral system.
Your moral character is of prime importance to all of us. It is an issue.
>Does asking you not to hate really make me hateful? Saying that I'm
>harmfully wrong is one thing. But that it makes me a bad person? Do you
>really believe that?
I find myself in the uncomfortable position of needing to apologize. I
don't hate you. I'm sorry if I gave that impression. I admire you. I
respect you. I wish I were you (in the sense that I wish I had the freedom
from commitments to be able to dedicate my life to this noble cause.)
>Mike-and-Donna (whichever of them they are)
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