Re: Dynamic ethics

From: Phillip Huggan (
Date: Sun Jan 22 2006 - 21:06:36 MST

What resources will be scarce post-singularity? Energy? Printable polymer solar cells should solve this long before any AGI. What is so hard about substituting a mechanical gazelle for the hunting pleasure of a real lion. I do the same thing with my cats using string instead of mice. Real gazelles don't need to be bled to death by lions to enjoy their lives.
  There are ways to artificially push an ecology's energy requirements to a system's max resources (make a trillion gazelles). I don't think we should do this until we can safely discover exactly how much energy we have to work with in the universe.
  You want to maintain the "law" of ecology but outlaw common-sense "humane rights"? The moralists you speak so highly of, are all wrong.

Philip Goetz <> wrote:
  You greatly underestimate the difficulty of the problem.
Considering that all the moralists who have ever lived have failed
to solve the much simpler problem of human ethics in several thousand
years, you shouldn't expect to solve cross-species ethics in an evening.

> The level of actual
> interaction a living organism should be permitted with other living
> organisms is proportional to how negatively the behaviour of the organism
> affects the contacted community. A lion that can only kill gazelles should
> be restruicted to inert simulations of the killing.

This is a complete non-starter. You are outlawing ecology.
The task is to examine the space of ethical systems in which the
lion kills gazelles. We are not talking about a community of equals,
or a community of people who regard different entities, even if of the
same level of intelligence, as moral equals.

> This system works as long as resources don't become scarce. That shouldn't
> become an issue for a long time.

Resources are always scarce. That is the nature of ecologies.

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