RE: Volitional Morality and Action Judgement

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun May 30 2004 - 16:02:21 MDT

Eliezer wrote:
> Ben is nowhere remotely near the person closest to me in terms of
> understanding. People to whom I can try speaking about the
> technical side
> of Friendliness include Michael Wilson and James Rogers, both
> of whom have
> received their Bayesian enlightenment (what James Rogers
> calls "becoming
> one who deeply understands algorithmic information theory").
> Ben's a nice
> guy but he isn't on that list. A relaxed outlook on life and
> existential
> risks is not close to me in terms of "drive", either.


I don't want to encourage this sort of thread, which is tiresome to me
and probably to most readers of this list, but if you're going to make
personal comments about me I suppose I will briefly respond. I won't
mind at all if you DON'T respond to this message and thus bring the
thread to an end.

First of all: Interestingly, Eliezer, I also feel that I understand the
issues relative to FAI much better than you do.

Although I do recognize that you have spent a higher percentage of your
recent time thinking about FAI specifically rather than AGI in general,
and I have a lot of respect for your intelligence, I've come to feel
that your thinking on the topic is hampered by your strong emotional
attachment to certain philosophies.

As for my "drive", anyone who knows me in real life would affirm that I
have abundances of energy and drive. Not working hard enough and not
pushing hard enough are not among my flaws. You can reasonably question
my strategy and tactics (I reconsider them all the time!) but not my

As for my "relaxed attitude on life" -- yah, although I work and think
very hard, I generally enjoy myself and try not to take everything too
seriously. That doesn't mean I'd push my kids in front of a bus, nor
that I'd launch an evil AI. I think your understanding of my psychology
is sufficiently limited that you should refrain from publicly
speculating about it ;-)

-- Ben G

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