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komponisto2 comments on Prolegomena to a Theory of Fun - Less Wrong

27 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 December 2008 11:33PM

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Comment author: komponisto2 18 December 2008 04:14:32AM 0 points [-]

Slightly tangential, but I think this needs addressing:

What is the moral argument for not colonizing America?

Literally interpreted, that's a meaningless question. We can't change history by moral argument. What we can do is point to past deeds and say, "let's not do things like that anymore".

If European civilization circa 1500 had been morally advanced enough to say, "let's not trample upon the rights of other peoples", chances are they would already have been significantly more advanced in other ways too. Moral progress takes work, just like technological and intellectual progress. Indeed we should expect some correlation among these modes of progress, should we not? And isn't that largely what we find?

By critiquing the errors of the past, we may hope to speed up our own progress on all fronts. This is (or should be) the point of labeling the colonization of America (in the way it happened) as "wrong".