RE: Volitional Morality and Action Judgement

From: Mikko Särelä (
Date: Fri May 14 2004 - 01:20:31 MDT

On Fri, 14 May 2004, Pablo Stafforini wrote:
> Nothing inherently wrong with that, except that it requires
> argumentation. If we care about the person, why do we only consider a
> temporal phase of his? Why do we listen to his present desire to ruin
> his future temporal phases, and not to the future desires he will have
> NOT to have acted in a way that will have cost him his health, his
> wealth, and his happiness?

How do you know that his current actions are not in line with his future
temporal preferences? Answer, you don't, except in most unusual
circumstances. These problems arise from the fact that while our computing
capacity is quite high, the bandwidth we have of communicating with other
people is rather low. This means that a great portion of our world view
(and thus motivations) will be hidden from all other people, no matter
what we want.

For example gambling has several positive aspects. It allows a rational
agent to change the probability distribution of his money, especially to
make the variance greater or smaller while keeping the average the same
(not counting the service fee that casino takes).

Because from the outside we cannot know if the reasons a person is doing
something are good and right, on any such individual action, making laws
that prohibit them is a very bad idea.

Of course, people can and do have very bad ideas of what is good and
right. Those with bad ideas tend to make bad decisions and would benefit
the most from better ideas.

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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