Re: ethics

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Fri Dec 16 2005 - 15:25:17 MST

On 12/16/05, Phillip Huggan <> wrote:
> In the absence of conscious entities in the universe, morality is relative.
> But as soon as one little fishy exists, actions within the future light-cone
> of fishy Nemo acquire a moral framework (in as far as the actions affect
> Nemo). We can deduce this by our own conscious 1st hand appreciation of the
> faculties of pleasure and pain (in all forms we experience them as). With
> these faculties our actions become moral, as far as our engineering prowess
> extends across sentient entities in existence. The asymetric way we should
> value entities in existence much more highly than seemingly identical (and
> often superior) entities we could create, is because: In the absence of
> conscious entities in the universe, morality is relative.
> Ethical behaviour does not apply to the sum total of all present and
> future conscious entities in our future light-cone. It only applies to the
> sum total of all present consc! ious entities in our future light-cone. If
> an AGI kills us to make room for one trillion humans, and then creates the
> humans, the correct future ethical judgement of AGI's actions would be based
> upon how well the AGI served those trillion human's needs. But the initial
> act of killing us off could never be correctly justified because at the time
> just before the AGI's murder rampage, us 6 billion humans formed the only
> objective metric by which AGI's actions could be judged (also animals too).
> 5 billion years ago, tiling earth with orgasmium would have been fine.
> But as soon as Nemo appeared, it became necessary for an AGI to consider the
> well-being of Nemo if the AGI was to really be classified as "friendly".
> Now in the 21st century a friendly AGI could only be justified in
> sacrificing us humans under very extraordinary circumstances.

I propose that this post, sincere in its intent, dense in its
references to philosophical concepts, and intractable in its
semantics, be used to test the capabilities of our future platform for
untangling, disambiguating and elucidating such discussion.

- Jef

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:54 MDT