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

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Mon Jan 31 2005 - 08:07:01 MST

Patrick Crenshaw wrote:

>>You think there is a class of objective moral value
>Sure, why not?
>>Can you give an example?
>I could value the complexity of something, or I could value it's
>temperature. Some physical variables will give intrinsic value
>functions that might be somewhat like our own (complexity), but others
>would be quite strange (temperature).
>I don't claim to know what the correct function is, but I think it is
>not unknowable.
No one is claiming that individual human values are unknowable. We've
said that human values are subjective, meaning particular to a given
person, personal; rather than objective, meaning free from bias or
personal prejudice, accepted as fact by all who see.

Further, my key point, which I sometimes refer to as the "arrow of
morality", is that there is a natural, physical trend toward greater
objectivity as local systems interact to form larger systems. Implicit
in this statement is that human values are indeed communicated and
understood, accuracy increasing with breadth of interactions.

This understanding has important near-term implications with regard to
morality, ethics, politics, government.. It has interesting
philosophical and long-term implications too, but I don't wish to dilute
the message here.

- Jef

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