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

From: Phil Goetz (
Date: Sun Jan 30 2005 - 23:34:59 MST

--- Thomas Buckner <> wrote:

> --- Phil Goetz <> wrote:
> > But I still think it may be impossible to
> > define
> > "ethics" in a meaningful way if ethics
> > "come naturally". If ethical behavior is
> > natural
> > behavior, then we don't need the term
> > "ethical".
> I never said ethics 'come naturally' nor that
> they are automatically 'rational behavior'. To
> behave ethically does indeed mean something more
> than pure selfishness. If you refer to the
> Discover Magazine article previously posted,
> altruism is sometimes an adaptive strategy, so a
> self-sacrificing slime mold organism is not being
> 'ethical' or 'rational' in the sense we apply to
> sentients.
> My post did not claim to settle the question of
> what is or is not ethical for a sentient, nor
> even if the term is needed at all for discussions
> of Friendliness. Those are all open questions as
> far as I can tell. I simply wished to expose some
> of the more pernicious memes trying to sneak in
> and continue to suck life from a word that has
> become too weak to do its job.
> Tom Buckner

Um, I was using sloppy grammar, using "you" to
refer to two different people. The paragraphs
Tom is responding to were directed at a previous
poster in the thread, not at Tom.

- Phil

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