Re: "friendly" humans?

From: Wei Dai (
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 16:31:14 MST

On Fri, 2 Jan 2004, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> > (I strongly argue that there is no such thing as "the good" outside of
> > the context of a subjective set of desires on the part of one desirer,
> > but that's another story.)

I would be skeptical about going even that far. Existing desirers are
actually machines built by competing genes and memes (as we've been
discussing earlier in this thread), and so an individual's desires are
often in conflict with each other. For example, I have a desire to be the
king of the world, but also to see each individual free to do whatever
they want. If I was left to myself and forced to choose between the two, I
would eventually decide which one I "really" want, but it would just be
the result of an internal power struggle amongst the various genes and
memes that have managed to embed themselves in my brain.

Now if you say we can just integrate these various desires into a single
"good", then why can't we do the same thing to society as a whole?

On Fri, Jan 02, 2004 at 02:37:44PM -0800, Lawrence Foard wrote:
> Of course that tells you that heroin is good and work is bad. [...]

How did you reach that conclusion? As far as I can tell, a lot more people
work than use heroin. Even if we let people choose between heroin for free
and work for no pay, many people will choose work (depending on how
interesting it is to them), but even the ones that choose heroin will feel
conflicted about it.

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