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Furcas 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: Furcas 31 January 2009 09:34:08PM 2 points [-]

Brilliant, Eliezer. I love the concept of the Order of Silent Confessors. It makes the distinction between terminal values and the conduct that one should adopt to uphold those values crystal clear. That said, the thought of an organization of people who are willing to, um, purge themselves of all their terminal values except one (to help humans fulfill their fundamental desires, whatever they may be) is a bit hard to believe.

""Out of curiosity," said the Lord Pilot, "have they ever tried to produce even more babies - say, thousands instead of hundreds - so they could speed up their evolution even more?"

"It ought to be easily within their current capabilities of bioengineering," said the Xenopsychologist, "and yet they haven't done it.""

Isn't this evidence that baby eating is not, in fact, one of the Babyeaters' terminal values? If it really was they would do everything to increase the amount of babies they eat. It looks like their terminal value, instead of being "eating babies", is a actually something like, "eating babies in the way that our ancestors have always eaten babies". In other words, they put more value on upholding the _tradition_ of baby eating than on baby eating as such.

Comment author: Fetterkey 23 July 2009 08:06:46AM 1 point [-]

This is extremely belated, but I know several people who would be willing to eliminate the vast majority of their values in this fashion, at least if they believed that they were truly helping humanity.