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Utilitarian comments on Are wireheads happy? - Less Wrong

109 Post author: Yvain 01 January 2010 04:41PM

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Comment author: Utilitarian 04 January 2010 12:01:31AM *  4 points [-]

Great post! I completely agree with the criticism of revealed preferences in economics.

As a hedonistic utilitarian, I can't quite understand why we would favor anything other than the "liking" response. Converting the universe to utilitronium producing real pleasure is my preferred outcome. (And fortunately, there's enough of a connection between my "wanting" and "liking" systems that I want this to happen!)

Comment author: Pablo_Stafforini 04 January 2010 12:39:52AM 1 point [-]

I agree that this is a great post. (I'm sorry I didn't make that clear in my previous comment.)

I can't quite understand your parenthetical remark. I though your position was that you wanted, rather than liked, experiences of liking to be maximized. Since you can want this regardless of whether you like it, I don't see why the connection you note between your 'wanting' and 'liking' systems is actually relevant.

Comment author: Utilitarian 04 January 2010 01:02:30AM *  2 points [-]

Actually, you're right -- thanks for the correction! Indeed, in general, I want altruistic equal consideration of the pleasure and pain of all sentient organisms, but this need have little connection with what I like.

As it so happens, I do often feel pleasure in taking utilitarian actions, but from a utilitarian perspective, whether that's the case is basically trivial. A miserable hard-core utilitarian would be much better for the suffering masses than a more happy only-sometimes-utilitarian (like myself).

Comment author: Pablo_Stafforini 04 January 2010 01:17:20AM 0 points [-]

Thanks for the clarification. :-)