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Tom_McCabe2 comments on Explaining vs. Explaining Away - Less Wrong

46 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 March 2008 01:59AM

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Comment author: Tom_McCabe2 17 March 2008 02:36:58AM -1 points [-]

"My usual reply ends with the phrase: "If we cannot learn to take joy in the merely real, our lives will be empty indeed." I shall expand on that tomorrow."

How many times do we take joy in things that are, not only imaginary, but physically impossible? If our utility function values XYZ, and XYZ is currently imaginary, it seems rather silly to adjust the utility function to no longer value XYZ, rather than adjusting the universe so that XYZ exists. My utility function doesn't value drugs (or drug-equivalents) that zero the human utility function for everything that doesn't currently exist. Think of what would have happened to human civilization if such drugs were readily available, and people wanted to take them- we'd have remained in the Stone Age until the next asteroid or ice age killed us off.