Re: [sl4] Re: Property rights

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Thu Jul 10 2008 - 00:40:12 MDT

Stathis writes

>> Those new politicians *must* learn the system, *must*
>> learn to compromise their principles, and *must* learn
>> to exchange morally dubious favors.
> But everyone can see that it's morally dubious, even those who profit
> from it. If this weren't so then no-one would make efforts to conceal
> it and, by definition, it wouldn't be corruption. So there is a core
> of ethical principles common to almost everyone, even those who
> routinely flout them.

I agree with that. (Well, except for a few truly amoral or sociopathic

> I speculate that given this, the free
> availability of mind modification (changing one's own desires,
> including second and higher order desires) would bring about a
> fundamental change in society even if all else remained equal, and
> that this would be a change for the better.

I agree. Thanks for clearing that up, and sorry if I didn't see
your point earlier.

At least people will pick for their *children* upright (even if
no-nonsense and practical and real-world) behavior. And,
oh sure, given the opportunity you discuss some will be
afraid, some will see in it a weakening of their position or
their power. But as you say, so many would choose change,
would choose improvement, that nothing would be the same

> We can't be certain what would happen: that would be like trying
> to foresee modern financial markets before the concept of money
> had ever been tried. In any case,
> it is a very interesting and important idea which as far as I am aware
> has received no more than passing consideration in either fiction or
> non-fiction.

Yeah, well, unfortunately fiction usually seems to require conflict,
and it doesn't sound like there's much potential for conflict here.
Uploaded, people may live happily ever after, and that's all there
is to it.


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