Re: Collapsarity

From: jasonjoachim (
Date: Wed Apr 02 2003 - 11:19:53 MST

--- Samantha Atkins <> wrote:
> > Do you reject the idea that one personís interests
> can
> > ever be more important than anotherís? Why? Do you
> > think you know the best reason to do so?
> I am not quite seeing the relevance of your line of
> questioning.
> Generally speaking, persons are not of the same
> capabilities
> or potentials and I doubt that they will be. Thinks
> may develop
> such that there is little/no perceived conflict of
> interest
> between persons. That would be great. But if there
> is then it
> is quite possible that one person's interest, say in
> improving
> drastically the lot of the world might be more
> important than
> another's interest, say in finding the next fix for
> a drug
> addiction.

Knowably? I thought that you would agree with
"rejecting the idea that one personís interests can
ever be more important than anotherís", and my point,
somewhat circuitously, is that it follows that
benevolence must be active. That's what benevolence
is. You appear to agree with me here and then change
your mind at the end of the post however.
> What does "to do so" refer to in the above
> paragraph, choosing
> between different person's interests?

No. It refers to "rejecting the idea that one personís
interests can ever be more important than anotherís."

> But why
> should it be up
> to any external entity to choose?

"That" is certainly something that one chooses.

>In any condition
> of real
> conflict, assuming both sets of interest are
> actually ethical, I
> see no reason why some form of competition for
> resources to
> satisfy the interests or some means of
> bargaining/voting could
> not be used.

What is at issue is what the best "means" would be.

> > Does it matter if someone does so for a reason
> other
> > than the best reason? Do you understand the
> > ďdisconnectĒ that can happen in such a case?
> >
> Does so what? I am a bit lost here.

I apologize. "Does so" refers to "rejecting the idea
that one personís interests can ever be more important
than anotherís."

Does it matter if one "rejects the idea that one
person's interests can ever be more important than
another's" for the wrong reason? (Even "a" wrong

> > By what possible mechanism would you determine
> another
> > individualís interests? How would you like this to
> be
> > determined in your case? And might the ideal
> method of
> > conclusion vary between individuals then?
> >
> Again, I don't know what you are about with this.

What I mean is that "one's" best interests are
exclusively what that "one" decides they are, no?

> > So the question is, "Why would active benevolence
> > allow for involuntary suffering?" That's sure not
> an
> > interest of mine.
> >
> What isn't, allowing for involuntary suffering?

That too, but I was referring to my own "involuntary"
suffering. "Involuntary" means "not your interest".

> Perhaps it
> cannot be removed without also removing a set of
> very much
> wanted goods utterly in keeping with Friendliness.
> I simply do
> not have sufficient arrogance to claim or in depth
> understanding
> to claim boldly that it can and will be removed in
> all
> circumstances.

Yeah, it's a tough problem. How can we maximize
determination and minimize regret?

> > Benevolence isn't supposed to have unintended
> > consequences. And the whole ideal of ďrejecting
> the
> > idea that one personís interests can ever be more
> > important than anotherísĒ is that each personís
> > "interests" are theirs alone. Thatís what human
> > benevolence is. I canít wish any other definition
> of
> > benevolence on anyone. Do you want a world where
> any
> > mind can? Why would you?
> >
> Our world is full of benevolence in intentions
> having unintended
> consequences. Mainly this occurs when we attempt
> to muck with
> each other "for our own good" with or without
> permission. I am
> not at all convinced that an SAI can always, should
> always or
> will always choose to do such involuntary mucking
> about.
> I don't want a world where any mind can impose its
> notion of
> benevolence on me against my will.
> - samantha

Right. And a "Friendly" mind can't. That wouldn't be
Friendly. Can such a mind exist? Why not? Can we build
one? Why not? Should we try? Hell yeah.

Jason Joachim

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