Re: qualia, once and for all

From: David Picon Alvarez (
Date: Fri Jun 18 2004 - 22:21:37 MDT

From: "Metaqualia" <>
> All of the items above, in my view, can be traced back to achieving a good
> balance between positive and negative qualia.
> Survival is essential to continue to have qualia.

Either positive or negative. Do you advocate death in the preponderance of
negative qualia? What if in some years the balance would change? You can't
know. Survival isn't just a matter of getting positive qualia.

> Freedom has always been associated with the ability of carrying out one's
> wishes which are supposed to increase positive qualia and decrease
> ones.

Actually one's wishes may do that, then again they may not. There are people
who knowingly and wilfully take actions against their own interest. We may
argue for ages whether this has a selfish or altruistic reason at its base
but the behaviour does exist. Do you advocate destroying this type of

> Happiness is positive qualia, no more no less.

I wouldn't like to be happy for the sake of being happy. OK, you can say
that I would like it at the time, but my volition (sorry Eliezer) is against
being happy as an end in itself. I'd rather Eliezer's machine extrapolate
from my volition (and everyone else's) and (hopefully) find out that
happiness is not a supergoal, and give us what we really want, not a varying
eternal orgasmic machine.

> Religious convictions and the kind of social order they impose are seen as
> positive by those who hold them only because they stimulate positive
> in these people, and they are wired in such a way that removing these
> convictions would create emotional distress (negative qualia).

This is very arguable. I will just say that people can and do hold values
that go against their feelings etc.


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