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Kip_Werking comments on Nonperson Predicates - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Kip_Werking 27 December 2008 03:00:17AM 2 points [-]

The "problem" seems based on several assumptions:

1. that there is objectively best state of the world, to which a Friendly should steer the universe 2. pulling the plug on a Virtual Universe containing persons is wrong 3. there is something special about "persons," and we should try to keep them in the universe and/or make more of them

I'm not sure any of these are true. Regarding 3, even if there is an X that is special, and that we should keep in the universe, I'm not sure "persons" is it. Maybe it is simpler: "pleasure-feeling-stuff" or "happiness-feeling-stuff." Even if there is a best state of the universe, I'm not sure that are any persons in it, at all. Or perhaps only one.

In other words, our ethical views, (to the extent that godlike minds can sustain any) might find that "persons" are coincidental containers for ethically-relevant-stuff, and not the ethically-relevant-stuff itself.

The notion that we should try to maximize the number of people in the world, perhaps in order to maximize the amount of happiness in the world, has always struck me as taken the Darwinian carrot-on-the-stick one step too far.