RE: All sentient have to be observer-centered! My theory of FAI morality

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Sat Feb 28 2004 - 22:14:44 MST

 --- Rafal Smigrodzki <> wrote: >
Marc wrote:
> > I don't regard the evolutionary arguments as very
> > convincing. They're based on observation, not
> > experiment. Besides, it's only very recently in
> > evolutionary history that the first sentients
> (humans)
> > appeared. It's the class of sentients that is
> > revelent to FAI work. Evolutionary observations
> about
> > non-sentients is not likely to say much of
> relevence.
> ### You might wish to read some evolutionary
> psychology texts.

Um..well O.K sure I don't doubt that evolutionary
psychology is very relevent to HUMAN psychology, but
it is of much revelevence to the general class of
SENTIENT psychology? I'm not sure evolutionary
psychology says much one or the other.

> -----------------------------
> >
> > In any event, I don't regard non observer based
> > sentients as even desireable (See my other
> replies).
> > If you strip out all observer centered goals,
> you're
> > left with normative altruism. All sentients would
> > converge on this, and all individual uniqueness
> would
> > be stripped away. You'd be left with bland
> > uniformity. An empty husk. Universal morality is
> > probably just a very general set of contrainsts,
> and
> > FAI's following this alone would be qute unable to
> > distinguish between the myraid of interesting
> personal
> > goals that are consistent with it. Everything
> that
> > didn't hurt others (assuming that Universal
> Morality
> > is volition based) whould be equally 'Good' to
> such an
> > FAI. There would be no possibility of anything
> > unquinely human or personal. For instance the two
> > outcomes 'Rafal kills himself', 'Rafal doesn't
> kill
> > humself' would be designated as morally equivalent
> > under Volitional Morality.
> ### I don't understand the first part of your
> paragraph. As to your claim
> about what would and would not be equivalent under
> volitional morality, I
> have to disagree. Since I am opposed to killing
> myself, all other being
> equal, one of the outcomes is regarded as inferior
> in any moral system
> striving to fulfill the wishes of sentients,
> including mine.
> Rafal

Well, let me try to explain the first part of the
paragraph. As I understand it, Eliezer believes that
there exists a morality which is normative (all
ethical sentients would converge on it if they thought
about it for long enough). That's why I called it a
'Universal Morality' (It's morally symmetric). And
he's trying to come up an FAI which converges on this
morality. But, if all sentient morality was this
Universal Morality alone, then all sentient moralities
would be identical (Because the universal morality is
normative and morally symmetric). So I'm asking why
it's desirable to build an FAI which just follows this
morality alone. Why shouldn't FAI's have some
personal goals on top of the Universal Morality? (So
long as these personal goals didn't contradict the
Universal Morality). Do you see what I'm saying?

As regards the second part of what I was saying, in
the example given of course IF you think that killing
yourself would not be desireable, then Eliezer's FAI
agrees to designate your choice as 'good'. But the
FAI can't morally distinguigh between any of the
choices you do in fact make. For instance IF you did
decide that you wanted to kill yourself one day, then
the FAI would see this as 'just another choice', no
better or worse than your previous choices that you
wanted to live (It would in general see all requests
consistent with 'volition' as equal). In order to
have an FAI which valued transhumanist goals you'd
probably have to directly program some 'Personal
Values' into the FAI, in addition to having an FAI
which could reason about Universal Morality (the class
of morally symmetric interactions). You see what I'm


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