Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 12:15:23 MST

On Mon, 19 Mar 2001, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> The act of creation gives no moral right whatsoever to command or coerce.
> It is simply a historical fact about the causal origins of a new
> intelligent entity. Creators are not entirely powerless; they have some
> control over *what* is created; but once created, the creation is a
> citizen, and independent.

Eliezer, by this statement I would conclude that you feel the
Morovecian scenario of having the robots run simulations of
themselves gives those robots no rights to "take back" the
"mutations" implemented in the 'sims if the 'sims do not grant
permission for this (assuming the robots are self-conscious).

Or does "creation" grant you complete "mind tapping" rights
but no "directorship" rights?

Another way of putting this is you develop the mutations,
run the mutations forward to see if they are successful
but then have to "ask permission" to access the results
of the sim to transfer it back to the basement level.

If that's the way it works, you will not find me programming
"conscious" beings. We will all be developing entities
that look like consciousness, walk like consciousness and
talk like consciousness but are not consciousness under the
legal definitions (or SysOp interpretations) of consciousness.

[There are interesting parallels here with current animal rights
movements that if carried to their logical end put a serious
crimp in scientific exploration (or extropic creation in the

It also suggests that from Eliezer's perspective consciousness
is a binary state -- there are no shades of gray that have greater
or lesser self-determination rights (which certainly isn't the case
if you look at the legal system in the world today where you
have all kinds of conditions where 'guardians' may control
what happens to other conscious beings.

Certainly makes for an interesting game.

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