Ethics (was RE: FAI (aka 'Reality Hacking'))

From: Phil Goetz (
Date: Sun Jan 30 2005 - 07:16:31 MST

--- Ben Goertzel <> wrote:

> Rather, I see the sociocultural role of morals as
> largely one of *biasing*
> peoples' choices regarding which of their many
> contradictory natural
> inclinations to follow. The bias encouraged by
> morals is toward following
> those inclinations that are supposed to be good for
> the collective, not just
> for the individual.

Yes, morality operates in the zone between what
we know we want to do, and what we know we don't
want to do.

The ethical component here is to consider the
collective and not just the individual, to an
extent beyond that which is natural via kin-selection
mechanisms for altruism. Ethics runs counter to
evolution via individual selection, but
is encouraged by evolution via group selection.
You could say that thus it is in conformance
with physics. But physics seems the wrong level
of analysis, by at least 3 levels of analysis
(physics, chemistry, biology, ecology/sociology).

Probably someone will post denouncing group
selection, but I'm not really interested in taking
up that gauntlet, since group selection so obviously
occurs in the real world.

- Phil G.

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