Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 20:28:35 MST

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> Lee Corbin wrote:
> >
> > Ethically, there is nothing wrong with making a simulation
> > containing emulations of conscious beings, and then running
> > it at whatever speed you want. Or shutting it down. The
> > only moral prohibition is, simply put, "Don't ever be cruel".
> I disagree. Every conscious being is a citizen. Every conscious being
> has the right to exist for vis own purpose, and to serve the purposes of
> others only with vis agreement. In the instant any element of your
> simulation attains consciousness and citizenship, ve cannot be coerced.
> Ve cannot be forced to remain in your simulation or even to ever speak to
> you again. Your situation, and vis, are in that instant made precisely
> symmetrical; you can no more command ver than ve might command you.

A couple of problems here. Lee was not talking about coercing these
created beings. He was simply saying that their creator should not be
coerced to run them at a speed that was not practical to the creator's
purposes and needs. Non-coercion should be both ways. If these beings
are running on my hardware do you believe I am responsible for giving
them such resources for all eternity (and most likely growing resources)
by the fact of having created them? If so, am I being coerced? Or is
this similar to the duties of parents for offspring and so on? Perhaps
our local SI (the one already present that keeps a low profile) is
goading us along to the point where we can provide our own resources and
thus give Ver a break. :-)

> 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.
> That is the morality of it, those are the rights, in tomorrow's world as
> in this one; all that remains is the task of making it real.

Obviously that is not the full extent of it.

- samantha

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