Re: Friendliness and blank-slate goal bootstrap

From: Metaqualia (
Date: Sat Jan 10 2004 - 01:23:32 MST

> I do not rule out that killing everyone off could
> > be a good idea. Death is morally neutral.
> ### This sounds very un-sl4-worthy, you know.

If you can make a more precise critique of my statement I'll be happy to
reply; the way I decompose your objection at this point is

"death is bad because my genes tell me so"
"this guy is saying death is not bad"
"so this guy must be wrong because my genes are always right"
"I have an emotional response to dangerous memes, which in this case are
coupled with tribal acceptance/exclusion mechanisms".

I could have posted the same two lines on a christian mailing list and got a
more negative response, so I can't agree that "death is not bad" memes are
more un-sl4-worthy than they are un-christianmailinglist-worthy. Probably
the opposite.

Seen from a negative-qualia point of view, death is positive. Because once
you are dead you won't feel any more pain. Of course you can use the
positive-qualia point of view and say well death also precludes any chance
of experiencing positive qualia.

So the _real_ moral value of death depends on how much positivity and
negativity the person is going to get from the rest of their life.
Undoubtedly, living just before a technological singularity, we have an
unbounded potential (unsure but still a potential) for future gratification.
So you could argue that death in 2004 is very immoral. But what about death
in the 1700s? What about death 2 million years ago? What about the life of
someone who is bound to have a pain to pleasure ration of 1 million to 1
because of their situation or a mental malformation? According to the theory
I am proposing, this person is much better off dead if nothing else can be
done. Of course the system of ideas I am proposing would only make sense in
the context of a sysop/transhuman AI in which case death would surely not be
the best that can be done.


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