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PhilGoetz comments on Soulless morality - Less Wrong

19 Post author: PhilGoetz 14 March 2009 09:48PM

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Comment author: PhilGoetz 15 March 2009 12:19:05AM *  9 points [-]

In real life, rational agents routinely fail to coordinate on PD problems. Perhaps they would coordinate, if they were more rational. In that case, there is a valley of bad rationality between religion and PD-satisficing rationality.

What if the criminals you execute might otherwise stand a decent chance of living forever?

I was inferring the values of the majority of the population from their actions. The majority of the population doesn't think people have a decent chance of living forever in this world.

Comment author: MichaelVassar 15 March 2009 10:16:49AM 6 points [-]

Probably though we should assume that evolution built people to cooperate about the right amount for their ancestral environment, neither too much nor too little, and that cultures then promoted excess cooperation from a gene's eye view because your tendency towards cooperation has larger benefits to me than costs to you so I will pay more to create it than you will to avoid it.

Comment author: MBlume 15 March 2009 04:59:04AM 6 points [-]

there is a valley of bad rationality between religion and PD-satisficing rationality

I hadn't seen this insight expressed so clearly before, thank you.

The majority of the population doesn't think people have a decent chance of living forever in this world.

If we're reasoning from the values of the majority, the majority are religious, and are hoping that there is a non-zero chance that during those years in jail, you might be saved, and wind up spending eternity in heaven rather than hell. Of course, most prisons are...shall we say less than optimally designed for this purpose.

Comment author: MBlume 15 March 2009 05:08:59AM 5 points [-]

In that case, there is a valley of bad rationality between religion and PD-satisficing rationality.

Perhaps this should be a major goal for our community -- hopefully to shepherd people safely from one end of the valley to the other, but even failing that, simply to stand on the other side, waving and yelling, so that people know the opposite ledge exists, and have motivation in their journey.