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michael_vassar3 comments on Applause Lights - Less Wrong

89 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 11 September 2007 06:31PM

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Comment author: michael_vassar3 11 September 2007 10:20:43PM 20 points [-]

I'm pretty sure that many people and organizations routinely DO argue that "we shouldn't balance the risks and opportunities of X". In ethics, deontological systems claim this. In policy, environmentalists are the first example that spring to mind, though they have been getting substantially better in the last few years. Radical pacifists like Gandhi have often been praised for asserting that people should not balance the risks and opportunities of war. More broadly, display of this attitude seems to me to be necessary for anyone who is attempting to portray that they are extraordinarily "virtuous" as virtue is normally understood, at least in our broadly Christian derived civilization. I actually think that it would be a good idea to try presenting all applause lights, but I think that it has been done. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense" claims in the appendix that such a speech has been written and presented to applause on a variety of topics. It seems to me though that the speech you were proposing above was actually an endorsement of a reasonable set of meta-policies which are in fact generally not engaged in, and was thus substantive, not empty, so I'm not sure it counts.