Re: SIAI's flawed friendliness analysis

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Mon Jun 02 2003 - 07:11:25 MDT

On Friday, May 30, 2003, at 09:34 AM, Ben Goertzel wrote:

> Compared to most parents I see, I tend very much toward "children's
> rights"
> ... for instance, I have given my children the choice of whether to
> attend
> school or not, and for a while they were home-schooled. However, even
> I, as
> a lenient and child's-rights-respecting parent, can envision many
> situations
> where I would unreservedly try to "tamper" with my children's
> motivational
> structure (like the examples described above, of suicidal or extremely
> self-destructive behavior).

Ben, you've given some interesting answers. You have no problem giving
only advice (although I don't know what you consider `advice') when
your children make nonsurvival choices: religion, school, etc.. But,
when your children die, your position changes. Young children do
require training to learn how to handle their environment, but older
children aren't still in training when they want to commit suicide.
You may think that they're confused and later in life they will thank
you for saving them, but you don't actually know that. You do know is
that your offspring, who is one of the propagators of your genes, wants
to kill all of its genes, which would be very bad for you

Do you think it's possible that you're letting your attachment for your
children cloud your moral judgment? If you were in a room with a total
stranger and he said that he would shoot himself in the head in 5
minutes, would you in the proceeding 5 minutes try to prevent his
suicide, and if so to what extent?

Gordon Worley                      "The only way of finding the limits             of the possible is by going beyond                     them into the impossible."
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                    --Arthur C. Clarke

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