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Multiheaded comments on Three Worlds Collide (0/8) - Less Wrong

48 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 January 2009 12:07PM

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Comment author: Multiheaded 02 July 2011 11:07:05AM *  16 points [-]

I've read this about half a year ago, enjoyed it, completely more or less agreed with Eliezer's point and filed it away.

Then, this morning, I literally woke up screaming. This is not an exaggeration, I must've dreamt of something that reminded me of 3WC, and my first waking thought was: "It's WRONG to be right!". I do believe that the human condition and human individuality are easily worth practically any number of lives (although holding ourselves hostage and threatening to voluntarily increase the amount of suffering customary for human culture unless the Superhappies give all people a choice in the matter might have worked as a third option - but wriggling out of the author's intent is pointless). I don't have a single problem with this logic.

What I have a problem with is myself. I was born with some brain damage (diagnosed only at 19, unfortunately for my teenage years) that, among other socially inconvenient things, strongly inhibits my instinctive empathy; I might value and respect individual people, but can feel very little compassion for them on a personal level, and I wouldn't hesitate in murdering someone if I believed it was right and necessary. In short, I exhibit traits of an actual sociopath. So I could see myself jumping at the decision, carrying it out and suffering from zero irrational guilt.

That caused a rebellion of sorts inside me. Suddenly I contemplated writing something really, really stupid, sending Eliezer a death threat, hated the thought of becoming transhuman or ever having to deal with a real Hard Choice, devoting the rest of my life to opposing, attacking, slandering and scaremongering against everything that Less Wrong and SIAI stand for. After about two hours it burned out, and now I feel more or less in control. I'm quite puzzled as to what the bloody hell that was. "Fear of having to grow up again" probably comes close.

I can't name a good reason for posting all this, except for suggesting that strong moral biases could shift into self-defense mode during a Hard Choice scenario, the very moment one would make an honest effort to examine and prioritize his values. Your beliefs could just shut everything down along with themselves to avoid being changed.

(as an aside, with all the shout-outs, it'd be cool if it chapter 8 was called "One More Final", as it has quite a few parallels with The End of Evangelion and its final scene),