Switch-flipping (Re: On the dangers of AI)

From: Phil Goetz (philgoetz@yahoo.com)
Date: Thu Aug 18 2005 - 09:54:43 MDT

> That is not so. I happen to have some anti-desires
> (repugnances) that
> are quite strong. I do not want to become a woman, do
> not want to be
> gay (no disrespect to transgender/gay folks here: just
> expressing my
> personal feelings about *my* lifestyle choices), and I am
> deeply
> repelled by drugs.
> Now, I know I *could* in some future world, flip a switch
> in such a way
> that I would enjoy being gay, or being a woman. I know
> that after I
> flipped the switch, I would enjoy it deeply, even though
> the thought
> makes my skin crawl right now.
> Would I flip the switch? I would be happy to do it.

I don't think I can make you see my point of view as
long as you believe this. No, either you wouldn't
flip the switch, or you have some other desires that
you haven't told us about.

BTW, people have directed many objections against what
you've said, and most of them, I don't agree with, so
don't lump everyone debating you together. I am
trying to get across a notion about motivation. You
seem to believe that having a system in which motives
arise in an unplanned way from multiple interactions
somehow makes those motives subservient to "reason".
Your discussion of flipping the switch is meant to show
that reason can lead one to override these motivations.
I don't believe that, and I don't believe your example.
You have no reason to flip the switch, and you have
reasons not to. Hence, you would either not flip the
switch, or you would be acting irrationally, not being
led to flip it by thought, as you claim.

You would not flip the switch, except in the service
of some stronger motive. Randomness itself could be
a motive, but you can't seek protection from
paper-clip maximizers by injecting randomness.

I think that further analysis would show you have to
believe in an objective morality like Geddes in order
for your position to make sense. I may try to take it
up later.

- Phil Goetz

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