Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

JoeSchmoe comments on Torture vs. Dust Specks - Less Wrong

41 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 October 2007 02:50AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (599)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: JoeSchmoe 12 September 2009 07:44:13AM 8 points [-]

"If you could take all the pain and discomfort you will ever feel in your life, and compress it into a 12-hour interval, so you really feel ALL of it right then, and then after the 12 hours are up you have no ill effects - would you do it? I certainly would.""

Hubris. You don't know, can't know, how that pain would/could be instrumental in processing external stimuli in ways that enable you to make better decisions.

"The sort of pain that builds character, as they say".

The concept of processing 'pain' in all its forms is rooted very deep in humanity -- get rid of it entirely (as opposed to modulating it as we currently do), and you run a strong risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, especially if you then have an assurance that your life will have no pain going forward. There's a strong argument to be made for deference to traditional human experience in the face of the unknown.