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lessdazed comments on Nonperson Predicates - Less Wrong

29 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 December 2008 01:47AM

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Comment author: lessdazed 17 November 2011 04:14:53PM 0 points [-]

But if you create a creature that way, you can't ignore that you caused the desire to die in that creature.

Pig that wants to be eaten != genetically modified corn that begs for death

Creating the corn would be immoral. Creating the pig would be moral - and delicious!

I think it a fair summary of the morality we currently follow as attempting to live to the highest and best of potential

That seems like a fair summary of all moral systems according to their own standards. If so, that wouldn't tell us about the moral system since it would be true of all of them.

Comment author: TimS 17 November 2011 04:23:44PM *  0 points [-]

Creating the pig would be moral - and delicious!

I disagree. Otherwise, prevention of suicide of the depressed is difficult to justify.

That seems like a fair summary of all moral systems according to their own standards.

On the one hand, I agree that it doesn't narrow down the universe of acceptable moralities very much. But consider an absolute monarchist morality: Alexander's potential is declared to be monarch of the nation, while Ivan's is declared to be serf. All decided at birth, before knowing anything about either person. That's not a morality that values everyone reaching their potential.

Comment author: lessdazed 17 November 2011 04:43:27PM *  1 point [-]

Otherwise, prevention of suicide of the depressed is difficult to justify.

Assuming one has the intuitions that creating the pig would be moral and not preventing suicide of the depressed is immoral, one may be wrong in considering them are analogous. But if they are, you gave no reason to prefer giving up the one intuition instead of the other.

I don't think they are analogous. Depression involves unaligned preferences, perhaps always, but at least very often. If the pig's system 1 mode of thinking wants him eaten, and system 2 mode of thinking wants him eaten, and the knife feels good to him, and his family would be happy to have him eaten, etc. all is alligned and we don't have to solve the nature of preferences and how to rank them to say the pig's creation and death are fine.

Comment author: TimS 17 November 2011 05:58:17PM 0 points [-]

It seems to me that creating the pig is analogous to creating suicidal depression in a human who is not depressed.

you gave no reason to prefer giving up the one intuition instead of the other.

As a starting point, a moral theory should add up to normal. I'm not saying it's an iron law (people once thought chattel slavery was morally normal). But the burden is on justifying the move away from normal.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 17 November 2011 06:29:13PM 3 points [-]

It seems to me that creating the pig is analogous to creating suicidal depression in a human who is not depressed.

Why don't you try to think some of the many ways in which it's NOT analogous?