Re: Fw: What exactly is "panpsychism"?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Jan 19 2004 - 23:41:22 MST

On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 20:29:56 -0500
"Mark Waser" <> wrote:

> > How so? That everything is going to exist anyway doesn't say that it
> > pointless for your or I to have a morality that guides what *we* choose to
> > do.
> I'm trying to rule out the infinite multiple worlds view. My arguments DO
> rely on the premise that there is scarcity and that in many cases, the fact
> that something exists means that it exists instead of something else. Or,
> in simpler words, I am aware that the infinite multiple worlds view implies
> infinite diversity and therefore renders any discussion of morality
> evaluation by diversity somewhat nonsensical. Note, however, that I also
> see this failure in other morality models (for example, those which have
> been handled incorrectly in previous SL4 discussions by altering the
> probabilities of infinite hells when arguments about post hoc probability
> alteration are also provably moot when everything exists).

OK. But the above paragraph does not address the question. Whether MWI holds or not seems quite irrelevant to morality, a guide to action among beings, being of value to us.

> > Is such a guide pointless unless universally adhered to unfailingly?
> For the purposes of Friendly AI, I am leery of any guide that has edge
> cases. For normal purposes though, good general guidelines are never
> pointless even if they are occasionally (non-catastrophically) incorrect.

The gist of my question is whether morality has value regardless of whether it is imperfectly and/or inconsistently applied. I believe that if morality has value at all the answer must be yes.

> > Since your primary basis for morality was diversity without specifying
> > anything else about what kinds of "diversity" are acceptable, the question
> > had to be asked. If there are criteria for what kinds of "diversity" is
> > acceptable then it seems to me that "diversity" cannot be your primary
> > moral criteria.
> I agree with both your points and am trying to answer your question. I am
> not setting any criteria for what kinds of diversity are acceptable. I am
> making the statement, however, that I believe that certain kinds of
> diversity lead to less future diversity. Therefore, by the top level goal
> of increasing diversity, these diversity-reducing diversities are less good
> than diversity-increasing diversities.

So a stable universe of a relatively few very high and complex intelligences is less desirable than a relatively hellatious universe of lots of contenting species of very modest intelligence? The first is likely to lead to less future diversity than the second. It might be argued that the complexity of the intelligences is a great diversity but such internal complexity of a few entities seems like less diversity rather than more.

> > You are begging the question as you are positing that the greatest
> > diversity always comes from what you would consider happy or morally
> correct
> > > conditions.
> Therefore, my arguments are falsifiable by showing where a happy or morally
> correct condition by common sense/the real world) leads to lesser diversity
> in the long run. I invite you to provide such a counter-example.

If your constructed morality itself is circular or illogical I would be foolish to engage in its falsification by construction.

> > But since your measure of these happy conditions was "diversity" we go
> > round in circles. The greatest diversity comes from that which leads to
> the
> > > greatest diversity.
> I would argue that any good complete morality system has to be a tautology
> within itself. The trick is finding one which aligns with common sense/the
> real world and provides evaluative/predictive value.
> Mark
> P.S. Am I getting any more convincing? :-)

hmmm. Not really. Your last argument may or may not be true (or neither) but if true it would not imply that your morality is more likely to be a "good complete morality" due to it being circular! :-)


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