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

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Tue Jan 24 2006 - 16:10:26 MST

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

It does makes sense from a certain restricted point of view. I also
imagined this 'amendment' a number of years ago. However, I was unable to
find good arguments as to why this particular action should be taken rather
than none. I found poor arguments but no good ones. It does need thinking

The whole process of evolution, with its progress requiring the giga-deaths
of living things, can appear horrific beyond description to those who look
upon death as an unacceptable state. And yet, that is how we have come into
existence. When it comes to be within humanity's power to end evolution on
Earth, should we in fact do so? Should we put an end to the process that
produced us?

My current best judgment is to answer: no. Or perhaps, hell no! Some of my
arguments are laid out earlier in this thread, but additionally, there is
something I find bothersome about the possibility of humanity imposing its
will universally on every other living thing. It appears a short-sighted
action, something a child might do, or an obsessive. I think we are smart
enough to leave our options more open. In fact, that is a significant part
of what SIAI is about - opening options and keeping them open.

Michael Roy Ames

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