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Emile comments on The Danger of Stories - LessWrong

9 Post author: Matt_Simpson 08 November 2009 02:53AM

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Comment author: Emile 10 November 2009 03:54:52PM 2 points [-]

This isn't as much about one's personal attitude to pain, but the morality of inflicting pain to someone else.

Adelene seems to be saying, roughly, that inflicting pain on someone else is morally neutral as long as there is no long-term harm like losing an eye or developing PTSD. That seems very much at odds with most conceptions of human morality I know of.

Comment author: AdeleneDawner 10 November 2009 08:54:05PM *  1 point [-]

I agree with almost everything rhollerith said (Most obvious exception: The pain from being kicked is probably more a warning that you're in a situation that caries the danger of major damage than an indication of reduced capacity to take damage in the future.) and would like to point out that the examples I gave are not the only possible ones. In your example, the risk of miscalculating and actually doing long-term damage is relevant, as is the psychological implication of being attacked by a stranger in public. Plus, as I discussed here, enough people have a goal of avoiding pain that you can safely assume that any random stranger has that goal, so inflicting pain on them is harmful in light of that.

Edit: It'd also be harmful to me to go around kicking people in the shins - I'd quickly get a reputation as dangerous, and people would become unwilling to associate with me or help me, and there's a significant chance that I'd wind up jailed, which is definitely harmful.