Re: [sl4] 'Ethical' uploading

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Wed Feb 11 2009 - 17:39:45 MST

--- On Wed, 2/11/09, Charles Hixson <> wrote:

> > 5. What test must a program be able to pass to grant
> > it human rights?
> >
> The primary test would be that it should desire human
> rights. I'm tempted to say "And express that
> desire", but that would imply that if it were stopped
> from communicating, then it wouldn't deserve the rights,
> and that's invalid.

My point is that ethics is a matter of opinion. Some people say that waterboarding is torture and some say it isn't. Some say it is OK to eat meat and some say it's not. Some say it is ethical to draw blood from a mouse by sticking a needle in its eye. There is no objective test to resolve who is right.

How do you measure sentience? How do you test whether a program desires human rights? Is it ethical to simulate pain in a program that tries to avoid it, for example,
Prove your answer, because I might disagree.

-- Matt Mahoney,

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