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Timo comments on Facing the Intelligence Explosion discussion page - Less Wrong

20 Post author: lukeprog 26 November 2011 08:05AM

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Comment author: Timo 26 September 2015 06:52:04PM *  0 points [-]

Re: Engineering Utopia

When you say "Imagine a life without pain", many people will imagine life without Ólafur Arnalds (sad music) and other meaningful experiences. Advocating the elimination of suffering is a good way to make people fear your project. David Pearce suggests instead that we advocate the elimination of involuntary suffering.

Same thing with death, really. We don't want to force people to stay alive, so when I say that we should support research to end aging, I emphasise that death should be voluntary. We don't want to force people to live against their will and we don't want the status quo, where people are forced to die.

Of course, if people are afraid that you will eliminate sad music when you say that you wish to eliminate suffering, you could accuse them of failing to understand the definition of suffering: "if sad music is enjoyable, surely it's not suffering, so I wouldn't eliminate it". But you're not trying to make a terminologically "correct" summary of your project, you're trying to use words to paint as accurate a picture as possible of your project into the heads of the people you're talking to, and using the word "voluntary" helps with painting that picture.