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dubious comments on 31 Laws of Fun - Less Wrong

34 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 26 January 2009 10:13AM

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Comment author: dubious 26 January 2009 04:58:30PM 2 points [-]

"Ben Franklin, yanked into our own era, would be surprised and delighted by some aspects of his Future. Other aspects would horrify, disgust, and frighten him; and this is not because our world has gone wrong, but because it has improved relative to his time."

How do we know that it's improved? Isn't it equally plausible that Franklin would be horrified because some things in our world are horrifying, and his own moral thinking was more rational than our own? Does moral thought gets more rational all on its own? It seems as though it might be difficult for moderns to know if moral thought were less rational than it used to be.

Comment author: Vulture 25 April 2012 04:42:38AM 2 points [-]

Hmm... I don't think humanity's terminal values have changed very much since Benjamin Franklin (matter of fact, he was an Enlightenment figure, and the enlightenment is probably the most recent shift of terminal values in the Western world: political liberty, scientific truth, etc.) The things that I imagine would horrify him are mostly either actually bad (Global warming! Nuclear bombs!) or a result of cultural taboos or moral injucntions that have been lifted since his time (Gay marriage! Barack Obama!). This, it seems, is what we mostly mean by moral progress: The lifting of {cultural taboos/moral injunctions} which inhibit our terminal moral values.

Comment author: Pavitra 18 June 2012 03:33:44AM 6 points [-]

The holders of those taboos/injunctions likely considered them part of their terminal moral values.