RE: Encouraging a Positive Transcension

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Feb 15 2004 - 11:20:11 MST

OK -- well -- you may be right that such an ethical system exists ... and I
agree that a quest for such a system is a noble and valuable quest ... but
in the meantime we require some other ethical system to guide our lives, no?

Or do you posit that the quest for this rational ethical system should be
the primary quest of our lives, until we find it? I don't think I'm willing
to accept that ;-)

-- Ben G

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf Of Mikko
> Särelä
> Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2004 12:54 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: Encouraging a Positive Transcension
> On Sun, 15 Feb 2004, Ben Goertzel wrote:
> > > The reason why I'm saying those two things comes from the fact that I
> > > believe that there is at least one great moral system that
> does fulfill
> > > those requirements. Thus if we have a moral system which
> doesn't fulfill
> > > those, then we know, we can do better.
> >
> > OK Mikko, I'll bite -- what is the "great moral system" to
> which you refer?
> > ;-)
> I did not claim to know this great moral system, I claimed that such
> exists and that we can strive to find it. The way to do that is to make
> conjenctures and then allow as strong criticism to break them as possible.
> If they break, they weren't really good enough and we need to keep
> searching. If they don't, we can tentatively adopt them as our theories
> (about morality in this case).
> I don't find morality to be any different in this regard as any other
> sphere of knowledge.
> And what comes to my own view of morality, it's not something I can
> explain in a short post fully. I also happen to think there's a lot that
> needs refining, and alterations, since it is not my dayjob to think of
> these things and try to break the conjenctures on the area of morality. If
> you want name tags, I might call myself evolutionary anarchocapitalist,
> popperian fallibilist, and a rationalist with some altruistic tendencies
> among other things. I also have this cautious streak in my brains which I
> can't fully explain to myself, but which I still tentatively accept.
> In short one might say that I'm currently using a sort of constraint
> programming approach (having those primitives what a good solution to a
> problem cannot be like helps in most cases). I also believe that solving
> problems is the more important part and that the happiness we experience
> when we do that is just a nice side effect.
> I hope this explains it a bit - I hope you didn't disappoint too much, but
> I don't think we can find any one liner which accurately describes a great
> moral system.
> --
> Mikko Särelä
> Emperor Bonaparte: "Where does God fit into your system?"
> Pièrre Simon Laplace: "Sire, I have no need for that hypothesis."

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