Re: continuity of self

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Sat Sep 21 2002 - 20:03:35 MDT

Ben wrote in response to Eliezer:

> But I am perplexed that, in your "different morality", you consider human
> lives very valuable (so that you say a single human death is a terrible
> thing which pains you and is morally unacceptable), yet you trivialize
> suffering as perceived by actual human beings. To me, this mix of
> feels odd.

Not to me. These are two different POVs.

POV One: when judging the value of human life, it is very valuable.

POV Two: when judging how the Singularity will effect humans overall, the
specific effect of "ending suffering caused by material poverty" appears

Today, human suffering is common and extremely unpleasant to look upon. I
don't even want to imagine being there, having seen it up close. All by
itself "ending suffering caused by material poverty" is a good reason to
work towards a quick Singularity. But it is not the only reason, not by
far. When viewed from the top of the mountain-of-change that a Singularity
will produce, this one change may seem small indeed... even if, from the
point of view of the beggar-child who is fed, clothed and made whole again,
it might seem like the biggest part. If that beggar-child-rescue happened
in the first year (month?) after the creation of
greater-than-human-intelligence, what would be the same child's opinion an
additional year onward? I think it would be safe to say that the suffering
of the past would seem a distant memory to that transhuman child turning one
year old.

Michael Roy Ames

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