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

From: Phillip Huggan (
Date: Tue Jan 24 2006 - 13:54:22 MST

Sry, my criticisms were meant in the context of post-singularity societies. Shooting birds and eating bacon is fun. We are very fortunate to have our present levels of social and ethical maturity.
  If you don't believe me that physical pain is bad and pleasure good, there are very simple control tests you can perform at home to prove this.
If you eliminate physical suffering (all else equal) you eliminate the negative parts of the universe. Of course a marathon runner needs to suffer and there are contexts where choosing suffering is fine. But in the context of a gazelle, it does not need to be eaten by lions to be happy. The lion to be happy can eat a mechanical gazelle covered by the same tissue growth process that will feed us all in a decade or two.

  Michael Roy Ames <> wrote:
  Phillip Huggan wrote:
> Michael, you are arguing that an animal's physical
> suffering is justified because it gives us pleasure
> to watch, and is beautiful.
Err... no. To clarify, I do not justify the physical suffering of wild
animals because it doesn't require justification. It would require
justification if humans were responsible for causing it, or perhaps if we
had a very large amount of control over the situation and had a viable
alternative. Post singularity our control may be very high, but I currently
cannot imagine a viable alternative to physical suffering that when
implemented across an ecosystem leaves it intact.

> Physical pain is bad. Physical pleasure is good.
Saying it doesn't make it so.

> Everything in the universe is derivative of these two
> axioms.
Not in the universe I am inhabiting. But, for the sake of argument, let me
take your axioms as true for a moment... if you eliminate physical
suffering, wouldn't you eliminate half of everything in the universe?

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