Re: Metarationality (was: JOIN: Alden Streeter)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Aug 24 2002 - 15:30:41 MDT

Mitch Howe wrote:
> Samantha Atkins wrote:
>>So you believe that nothing at all is meaningful in the least
>>and you might as well be a cow turd in the street as a human
>>being heh? You might as well be dying form starvation as
>>uploaded and on your way to Alpha Centauri.
> No... my problem has not been that I believe nothing is meaningful, but
> rather that I have not felt that I could competently explain why anything
> should be reasonable.

Ah. Yes, I have struggled with that too or with its variant of
not being able to in an absolute airtight manner explain why
what I believe is most meaningful in fact is. I doubt those
tools I have that I consider "airtight" are up to the task.

> In other words, my stubbornly clinging to support of
> things like Friendly AI -- or anything at all -- has seemed, to me, a bit
> irrational. But I suppose I have to anchor myself to something, somewhere,
> for the reasons you so directly describe: it IS a rot on the mind to do
> otherwise. So if only for pragmatic reasons, I will continue to value those
> things that I see as the highest voluntary manifestations of *human* virtue,
> and extend my lines of rational reasoning from these. I am currently
> incapable of thought processes outside of my human brain's design
> limitations anyway.

Yes. As far as I see it, it becomes a question of what the best
set of choices is that we recognize and bringing those choices
fully into being. This is our creative option. It is what
power and choice we possess. We can use it for all its worth or

> But it does beg the interesting, if frightening question of what happens
> when a Friendly SI from human space runs into the Friendly SI for Kzin
> space. Friendliness as referenced to human moral perspective may look very
> different from Friendliness referenced to Kzin morality.

I am not sure I agree that Friendliness "is referenced from
human morality". Please say more.

- samantha

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