RE: 'Collective Volition' ripped to pieces

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Thu Aug 11 2005 - 23:13:01 MDT

--- H C <> wrote:

> All currently existing sentients have the capability
> to alter there
> fundamental "sentientness" so as to not fall under
> "currently existing
> sentient" and thus that must be taken into account
> for Collective Volition
> anyway, without changing the name.

There's a clear difference between looking at the
volitions of only existing sentients in a limited
context (Collective Volition) and looking at the
volitions of *all logically possible sentients*. This
shows that there are things missing from the CV model.

> So ... the cognitive processes that give rise to
> sentience are fundamentally
> good.
> Well, good isn't a good word to use here, because
> there is no such thing as
> "fundamentally good", there is only good with
> reference to "some goal".
> You need to be more specific, perhaps try to
> redefine "fundamentally good".
> What are you trying to tell us about these cognitive
> processes that give
> rise to sentience?

I told you over and over. Re-read. The cognitive
proccesses behind Induction and Deduction are good
because they help us to reason about morality in the
first place. No sentient can call them bad without
self-contradiction (because those very cognitive
proccesses are required to speak the words 'That's
bad' at all).

> And, as a whole separate question, what does this
> have to do with the
> Collective Volition document written by Eliezer?

See above. My definition of UV (Universal Volition)
shows that there's things missing from the CV model.
My pointing out that the cognitive proccesses behind
Induction and Deduction are open to objective
experimental testing, and these proccesses are neeeded
for moral reasoning in the first place shows that
there's a way to objectively determine values, in
contradiction to the assumptions behind the CV model.

Here's an axiomatic proof of universal morality, with
axioms clearly defined, every last step a clear-cut
logical deduction and backed by references to accepted
scientific backs and clear-cut examples.

Theorem 1: If individual or collective volition is
proposed as the foundation of values, we can still ask
'Why Volition?' The justification cannot itself be a
part of the volitional level.

Theorem 2: There's a cognitive level beyond the level
of either individual or collective volition. The
cognitive proccess required for reasoning about
volition are not themselves a part of the volitional

Theorem 3: The underlaying cognitive processes are
open to objective, experimental testing, since
'cognitive processes' require brains and brains are
physical objects.

Theorem 4: The level beyond the volitional level is
open to objective experimental testing.

Theorem 5: The basic cognitive processes that enable
us to reason about volition in the first place are:
Induction and Deduction. The basic cognitive process
that enables a sentient to have 'Volition' in the
first place is 'Self-Awareness'.

Theorem 6: The mechanisms behind these (Induction,
Deduction and Self-Awareness) are the real foundation
for values.

Theorem 7: A sentient cannot consistently make the
value judgement that 'the cognitive mechanisms behind
value judgements are bad', since the sentient would be
contradicting itself - he needs to believe in the
validity of those very cognitive mechanisms to make
any value judgements in the first place.

Theorem 8: Since (a) 'the cognitive mechanisms
behind value judgements' are good for making value
judgements, (b) These mechanisms cannot consistently
be judged to be 'bad' without contradiction and (c)
These mechamisms are open to experimental testing, it
follows that there are at least some value judgements
that are objective, universl and open to experimental
testing. (The value judgements about the merits of
the cognitive mechanisms behind Induction, Deduction
and Self-Awareness).

Theorem 9: Everything is computation. (There is good
evidence that this is true from current scientific
knowledge and the theory of universal computation).

Theorem 10: Since everything is computation, any
finite physical proccess in reality could *in
principle* be represented as a computation with 100%

Theorem 11: Brains are computational (Supported by
all known biological evidence along with above

Theorem 12: Since all cognitive processes require
brains (supported by all known scientific evidence) ,
all cognitive processes are computational.

Theorem 13: Since (a) All physical processes are
computational (b) All cognitive processes are
computational, (c) All general computers are logicaly
equivalent (follows from the theory of universal
computation), it follows that all physical processes
could *in principle* by represented by a cognitive
process with 100% accuracy.

Theorem 14: From the above, it follows that *some*
super-intelligence with the right mental make-up could
*in principle* represent any finite physical process
as a 'conscious thought' in its mind which would be a
100% accurate representation of said physical

Theorem 15: From previous arguments, since any
physical process could *in principle* be represented
with 100% accuracy as a 'conscious thought' in the
mind of *some* super-intelligence, it follows that
*any physical process* is EQUIVALENT to *a thought*.

(The fact that the said super-intelligence could not
know with certainty that he does in fact have a
perfect mental representation of some physical process
is not relevant to this argument).

Theorem 16: From previous arguments, any physical
process in reality is equivalent to a thought. From
the theory of materialism (backed by all known
scientific evidence) everything can be understand as a
physical process. Therefore everything in reality
could also be understood as a 'thought'.

Theorem 17: All 'thoughts' require the underlaying
cognitive processes behind them - Induction and

Theorem 18: From previous arguments anything in
reality could be represented as a thought and
therefore *anything in reality* (desks, rocks, chairs)
could be represented as equivalent to the mental
proccesses needed for the representation (Induction,
Deduction ).

Theorem 19: From Theorems 1-8 it was established that
objective value judgments about the cognitive
proccesses behind Induction and Deduction are
possible. It was shown that objective value
judgements can be made about the merits of the
cognitive processes behind Induction and Deduction.

Theorem 20: Theorems 9-18 established that ANY THING
IN REALITY (rocks, chairs, tables etc) can be
represented as a 'thought', and therefore anything in
reality can be represented as the Cognitive proccesses
of Induction and Deduction.

Theorem 21: From theorem 19-20, since (a) objective
value judgements about the merits of the cognitive
processes behind Induction and Deduction are possible
and (b) ANY THING IN REALITY can be represented as
part of said mental processes (Induction, Deduction)
it follows that objective value judgements can be made

The case for objective morality is proved.

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