RE: The ethics of argument (was: AGI funding)

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Nov 10 2002 - 10:30:58 MST

Eliezer wrote:
> > Is it immoral to tell Y X2 rather than X1, in order to convince them?
> At the very least it's damn risky, and I'd take the coward's way out
> myself.

In my example, let's take X = "AGI research should be funded liberally,

X1 = "AGI research should be funded liberally because of strong
Singularitarian arguments"

X2 = "AGI research should be funded liberally because of watered-down
Singularitarian arguments."

Let Y = "Institutions and people with a lot of money"

I understand that there are risks attached to convincing Y of X via X2
rather than X1

The problem is that there are also large risks attached to not convincing Y
of X at all.

The human race may well destroy itself prior to launching the Singularity,
if Singularity-ward R&D does not progress fast enough.

The balancing of these risks is not very easy.

Taking the coward's way out regarding the risks of PR, could have
dramatically terrible consequences regarding the risks of some nutcase (or
group thereof) finally getting bioterrorism to work effectively....

- Ben G

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