Re: Let's resolve it with a thought experiment

From: Richard Loosemore (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2006 - 11:26:59 MDT

You didn't answer the question.

John K Clark wrote:
> "Richard Loosemore" <>
>> Once upon a time there was a race of pan-dimensional
>> hyperbeings who had almost nothing in the way of
>> emotions or feelings: all they had was a
>> vague, listless urge to build things.
>> [....] just listless creativity
> I presume these "vague and listless" feelings were good enough for these
> hyper beings to build wonderful things, otherwise they just wouldn't be
> very
> interesting; but if so I don't see what's so vague and listless about them.
> And if these creatures have engaged in some extraordinarily creative
> behavior how did you determine it was listless?
>> no sense of humor, no shame or sorrow or love propensity
>> to giggle or appreciation for the finer things in life like
>> chocolate muffins.
> I have heard this fallacy before and I believe it happens when people watch
> too much Star Trek, certainly popular entertainment loves to pontificate
> about the inherent superiority that meat has over silicon. But the truth is
> emotions are easy, inevitable even. Emotions are not what makes us unique,
> animals have had them for hundreds of millions of years, intelligence is
> what makes us human.
> To explore the moral question of enslaving a mind more powerful than
> yourself a little, suppose rather than friendly computers we use genetic
> engineering to make a friendly race. The Friendly race look just like human
> beings except they are a bit more beautiful, they have a boiling water IQ
> and they are incapable of disobeying any order given by a human being and
> always placed human well being over his own. Would you be comfortable with
> that?
> Or suppose the beef producers reasoned that it was more moral to eat an
> animal that wanted to be eaten than one that did not; so they engineered a
> cow that wanted to be eaten and was intelligent enough to tell you. Like in
> The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe the cow would come to your table
> and talk about what parts of his body would be the tastiest, and then when
> you made your order it would blow its brains out. Would you be comfortable
> with that?
> But the moral question is academic because there is not a snowball's chance
> in hell of outsmarting something a thousand times smarter than you and that
> gets even smarter every day.
> John K Clark

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