Re: Is vs. Ought (was: A Physicist Experiments With

Robin Hanson (
Fri, 19 Nov 1999 11:41:53 -0500

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > That is, when it makes sense to say "I don't want to want that."
> > Such things make sense when we realize that we are not atomic,
> > but made of parts, spread across space and time. ...
>Actually, you don't even need atomicity. ...
>Or in much simpler terms, and leaving out the objective morality: If
>you *want* something, then you want a part of the Universe to change.
>Well, what you want is also a part of the Universe, and you can want to
>change what you want.

Well spoken. My only quibble is that I don't see the value in the terminology "objective" morality. If no one wants it, it isn't interesting. If someone does want it at some level, I'd rather identify it as what those creatures (or creature parts) want (or want to want, or want to want to want, etc.).

Robin Hanson Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323