Re: Volitional Morality and Action Judgement

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Fri May 21 2004 - 22:06:04 MDT


You wrote:

> 6.13 in Society of Mind.
> "If we could deliberately seize control of
> our pleasure systems, we could reproduce the
> pleasure of success without the need for any
> actual accomplishment. And that would be
> the end of everything."

Thanks for the references. Of course such primitive changes are not what I
have in mind. Indeed, I am not even tempted by the contemplation of such a
wirehead-like existence. I do not value my momentary personal pleasure
above all other things.

> > > And after you have removed your basic drives just
> > > what are you going to do with that "freedom"?
> > >
> >This is a straw man, Keith. You bought up 'removal of basic drives'.
> No, you did, or at least you did if you consider eating a basic drive.

I agree that eating (hunger, need for nourishment) is a basic drive, but my
reference to a straw man was that you wrote about *removal* of the drive,
whereas I wrote about *dialing down* the drive. I agree that removal of a
basic drive would almost certainly lead to unfortunate consequences (unless
one desired to have one's entire brain virtually rewritten). For the more
moderate changes to be able to proceed with a reasonable amount of safety,
there would still need to be a high level of understanding about how such
changes might affect the being they are made upon. Of course there is risk
in every action, but with proper safeguards and backups at various stages,
there is no reason to believe that changing ourselves would lead to our
doom. I rather suspect that leaving ourselves *un*changed would lead to our

Michael Roy Ames

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