Re: Friendliness and blank-slate goal bootstrap

From: Mark Waser (
Date: Sat Jan 10 2004 - 08:57:30 MST

>> Death is morally neutral. Only suffering is evil.

I will argue this to my last breath. Death is NOT morally neutral. Death
is the END of something and that something is either good or bad. I would
argue that A death is as good or as bad as the opposite of the thing that it
ends - - tempered by the good or the bad of the thing that replaces it. I
would also posit that death is innately minorly bad when it reduces
diversity. Given this premise, I would strongly argue that there is no way
that killing off everyone could possibly be a good idea. Like abortion in
many instances, it might be the best idea in a series of bad trade-offs but
it will never be a good idea.

> I take the moral law I have chosen to its logical extreme, and won't take
> back when it starts feeling uncomfortable.

You sound like a hardcore fanatic. Maybe your feelings of discomfort are
telling you something valuable. Looks to me like a case of righteousness
over integrity.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Metaqualia" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2004 2:06 AM
Subject: Re: Friendliness and blank-slate goal bootstrap

> > Be very careful here! The easiest way to reduce undesirable qualia is to
> > kill off everyone who has the potential for experiencing them.
> I want someone who is superintelligent, and that takes my basic premises
> temporary truths, and who recursively improves himself, and who
> qualia in and out, to decide whether everyone should be killed. If you
> consider this eventuality (global extermination) and rule it out based on
> your current beliefs and intelligence, you are not being modest in front
> massive superintelligence. I do not rule out that killing everyone off
> be a good idea. Death is morally neutral. Only suffering is evil. Of
> a transhuman ai could do better than that by keeping everyone alive and
> happy, which will reduce negative qualia and also create huge positive
> so I do have good hopes that we won't be killed. What if the universe was
> really an evil machine and there was no way of reversing this truth? What
> if, in every process you care to imagine, all interpretations of the
> in which conscious observers were contained, were real to these observers
> just like the physical world is real to us? What if there existed infinite
> hells where ultrasentient ultrasensitive beings were kept enslaved without
> the possibility to die? Is this not one universe that can be simulated and
> by virtue of this interpreted out of any sufficiently complex process (or
> simpler processes: read moravec's simulation/consciousness/existence)?
> I take the moral law I have chosen to its logical extreme, and won't take
> back when it starts feeling uncomfortable. If the universe is evil overall
> and unfixable, it must be destroyed together with everything it contains.
> I'd need very good proof of this obviously but i do not discount the
> possibility.
> > It seems to me that a person's method for determining the desireable
> > morality is based partially on instincts, partially on training, and
> we are talking about different things, i have answered this previously.
> > ... are you sure about that? Just how heavily do you want the AI to
> > weigh it's self interest? Do you want it to be able to justify
> its self interest? at zero obviously, other than the fact that the
> is likely to contain a lot more positive qualia than negative ones if the
> moral transhuman AI stays alive, so in the end its own survival would be
> more important than the survival of humans, if you consider the million
> worlds with biologically evolved beings that may be out there and in need
> salvation. So at a certain point the best it could do morally to work
> the goals we have agreed could be exactly exterminating humans.
> > >Remember, friendliness isn't Friendliness. The former would involve
> something
> > >like making an AI friend, the latter is nothing like it. Where he says
> > >"Friendliness should be the supergoal" it means something more like
> "Whatever
> > >is really right should be the supergoal". Friendliness is an external
> Is Friendliness creating a machine that wouldn't do something we wouldn't
> like? Or is Friendliness creating a machine that wouldn't do something we
> wouldn't like if we were as intelligent and altruistic as it is?
> > This is assuming that "right" has some absolute meaning, but this is
> > only true in the context of a certain set of axioms (call them
> I am proposing qualia as universal parameters to which every sentient (at
> least evolved ones) can relate. That was the whole purpose, so we don't
> into this "relativity" argument which seems to justify things that I am
> ready to accept because they just feel very wrong at a level of
> introspection that is as close as it could be to reality and cannot be
> further decomposed (negative qualia).
> mq

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