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Kaj_Sotala comments on War and/or Peace (2/8) - Less Wrong

33 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 January 2009 08:42AM

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Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 31 January 2009 03:35:15PM 2 points [-]

James Andrix: babyeaters evolved to not view their babies as something deserving of sympathy, and eating them is the most primal way they show social trustworthyness.

Oh, they did. That was pretty clearly stated in the first installment - they love their babies, and have great sympathy for them. That's what makes the inevitable winnowing so tragic, and that's why overcoming it - despite everything - is so heroic. If the winnowing wasn't any big deal, then obviously it wouldn't be in the center of their ethical system.

(Though I would imagine that they might care somewhat less for their children than humans - considering how eagerly they have developed to punish cheaters, one'd think there to be a considerable selection pressure operating in favor of those who didn't have problems with slaughtering their offspring. Of course, being entirely sosiopathic towards the kids would reduce the chances that even one of them would live on to reproduce.)