ESSAY: Forward Moral Nihilism

From: m.l.vere@durham.ac.uk
Date: Fri May 12 2006 - 16:16:19 MDT


Crockners Rules

Iíve been lurking for a while, and the one thing that has really struck me is
that whilst a (largely commendable) near worship of rationality exists on the
SL4 list, this has a huge blindspot. Everyone cleaves nearly unquestioningly
to wider societies superstitious moralism.
 
Why does anyone have morals, or believe that other people/sentients have
intrisnic worth?

IMO peoples reasons for following (any) moral system boil down to an (often
complex) combination of the following 3:

1. Compassion, gene driven animal emotion - evolved to further cooperation
between people - thus increasing chances of survival.
2. Social conformity - again a gene driven animal instinct.
3. Societal brainwashing.

Morality is completely artificial. Right and Wrong either do not exist, or
donít matter other than in the qualia that they cause the person who believes
he is acting wrongly/rightly - depending on your exact definition of terms.

It could be argued that in some cases, acting morally benefits he/she who does
so due to reciprocity - but this is only in some cases and this course of
action could be entirely derived from self-interest by moral nihilists.

Obviously, the first 2 points are a part of us - so suspending ones disbelief
concerning morality in everyday life may well lead to a happier more
fulfilling human life. However, once radical transhuman technologies arrive,
this will no-longer be nescissarilly true.

As such, when considering/planning posthumanity we should reject traditional
morality and embrace moral nihilism. This is as the potential gain of
posthumanity (and acting entirely rationally when planning/considering it - to
ensure the best outcome) far outweighs the positive qualia felt by being
compassionate when considering posthumanity.



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:56 MDT