Re: physical pain is bad (was Re: Dynamic ethics)

From: Phillip Huggan (
Date: Tue Jan 24 2006 - 13:38:47 MST

The amendment you describe (high pain levels trigger unconsciousness) is a marginal improvement upon the artificial heroin that gets released into our brains when a pain threshold is released. It would be suitable for people that are about to be raped or tortured by other people. It would be suitable for all species succombing to cancers and other diseases.
  If you are draw the line anywhere, you are condoning evil. Ignorance of brain structures is the only valid defense I can see and it doesn't apply for gazelles. Your proposal is marginally less evil than is the natural order of things. I'm sure with post-singularity engineering resources there are even better solutions. For a given duration of physical pain, gazelles and human suffering are roughly equivalent negative values. Whatever solution is presented for gazelles should scale to humans.

Richard Loosemore <> wrote:
  Overall, I am in favor of having a Prime Directive, but with the small
amendment described above. Does anyone think that makes sense?

I tend to agree with Phil that if we throw away the Prime Directive, we
get sucked into responsibility for all "suffering" in a way that seems
to have no limits. If you draw the line somewhere, why not very close
to where things are right now?

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