Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 00:09:16 MST

On Mon, 19 Mar 2001, Samantha Atkins wrote:

> 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?

Excellent rejoinder Samantha! While I appreciate the appeal of
Eli's moral position (conscious beings have equal rights), it can be
turned around so that the children enslave the parents if they
are granted too many rights. Eli seems to be migrating towards
an environment in which the creation of conscious beings without
full rights is impossible. [I guess I would equate this with
birth control at the level of the dark matter...]

[Its useful to note that we have parallels of the future "positions"
within current "positions" today.]

Your bringing in the "creator" vs. "createe" positions must ultimately
be reconciled with perspectives our society has. While I may be
responsible for my children and even liable for their acts, the law
recognizes that at some point they mature becoming "free agents".
Now, as far as I can tell in the SysOp moral framework you are simply
disallowed those nights when the drugstore was all out of condoms
and risky behavior paths were followed. You never get to create
"free agents", what you create is always dependent on you. This
seems to be a contradiction of the concept that if they are a copy
of you (running on a somewhat slower implementation) they should
by the "consciousness" == "consciousness" argument be free agents
as well. I.e. if they can't figure out how to prevent me from
recycling their computronium -- *on their own* -- then I am free to
do so.

Interestingly enought this creates an interesting new legal
principle -- the justifiability of a createe killing the
creator (god) if it was about to erase it. Self-defense
between equally conscious beings is justifiable. Now one
can of course argue that the sim is less conscious because
it cannot run as fast as the non-sim.

This is going to get dicey my friends very very dicey.


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