Re: Value of Long Lives (Was: What is the best place ...)

Date: Thu Jun 29 2000 - 22:48:57 MDT

Wei writes:
> I don't think it's possible to have an infinite utility. Here's a thought
> experiment to find out what your maximum utility is:
> Suppose a genie told you that he could grant you one wish (which may be
> composed of an infinite number of subwishes), but first you would be
> tortured for a year, and then the wish only has 1% chance of coming true.
> Would you accept? What if the wish has only 0.1% chance of coming true?
> Keep lowering the probability until you refuse to accept. Now divide zero
> minus the of the utility of being tortured by that probability to get the
> maximum utility.

I don't think I'd take a year of torture even for a 100% chance of having
every wish granted. At least not if it was bad torture. Maybe a day
of torture, but not a year.

Is it possible though that I'm not being rational in saying this?
Maybe the rational thing to do is to take the torture, in the sense that
if I did, afterwards I would say it was the right decision. But perhaps
I am too blinded by fear to go through with it?


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