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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 09:40:45PM 1 point [-]

TGGP, I'm not going to argue the point that there has been moral progress. It isn't the topic of this post.

Phil Goetz:

Everybody says that not taking the land from the Native Americans would have been the right thing to do; but nobody wants to give it back.

The whole point of my original comment was to refute this very inference. Arguing that taking land from the Native Americans was wrong is not the same as arguing that it should be "given back" now (whatever that would mean). Nor is it the same as wishing we lived in a world where it never happened.

What it means is wishing we lived in a world where the Europeans had our moral values -- and thus also in all probability our science and technology -- centuries ago. Before committing misdeeds against Native Americans.

Also, an argument that the actual colonization of America was "wrong" is not the same as an argument that America should never have been turned into a civilization. Surely there are ways to accomplish this without imposing so much disutility on the existing inhabitants*. Likewise for creating nice worlds with ems and AIs.

*There lies the implicit moral principle, in case you didn't notice.