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

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Tue Jan 24 2006 - 14:35:01 MST

Phillip Huggan wrote:
> Sry, my criticisms were meant in the context of
> post-singularity societies.

Yes, I thought so.

> Shooting birds and eating bacon is fun. We are very
> fortunate to have our present levels of social and
> ethical maturity.

For some I'm sure those things are fun. Do you intend sarcasm? People
differ on what is fun, and in social and ethical maturity. To bring them
around to your point of view requires more than sarcasm they may (or may
not) get.

> 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.

Okay, seriously, what are the tests?

> If you eliminate physical suffering (all else equal) you
> eliminate the negative parts of the universe.

Your system of categorzation seems impoverished. Good and bad, physical
suffering and not, negative and postitive. Most people do not view the
universe in these limited terms. Do you think your dichotomous views are
better? If so, why?

> Of course a marathon runner needs to suffer and there are
> contexts where choosing suffering is fine.

You seem to be saying that some categories of beings (marathon runners) need
to suffer. That seems a big concession considering you want to eliminate
physical suffering from the universe. Why are you making this exception?
In what contexts is suffering "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.

I agree that gazelles can be happy without being eaten, and lions could very
well be perfectly content eating mechanical gazelles. However that
situation is not an ecosystem. And that's the point. Your proposal would
destroy the ecosystems of Earth in the name of eliminating the negative,
therefore I am against it.

Michael Roy Ames

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