Re: The Quest for the Purpose of Life

From: Simon McClenahan (
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 07:59:30 MST

From: "Chen Yixiong, Eric" <>
> 1) we still remain alive (or why don't we all just die?)

We are dying, duh. There's no such thing as immortality yet. If you're
asking why don't we want to commit suicide, homocide, genocide, etc., it's
because we're too busy trying to live, generally speaking of course.

> 1.1) since we have so many problems, why don't we just wipe everyone out
to solve all these problems?

Because then we'd be dead. Unless you intend to stay alive yourself of
course, but I bet you'd find you would have more problems afterwards,
generally speaking.

> 2) why we seek progress

So we can live longer.

> 3) why we insist on certain things such as freedom

So we can enjoy life.

> Can someone explain how:
> 1) we develop ethics
> 2) we derive our goals (such as freedom for all)
> 3) we can assume that sentient AI would seek self-preservation?
> 4) we can consider such decisions with great implications such as nanotech
and the singularity if we don't consider the purpose of
> life question

Are you asking for reasons to explain your listed observations, or are you
setting each one of these as a goal and asking how to achieve them?

> Perhaps someone else here can contribute more questions instead of only
answers. I hope this will result in a serious and fruitful
> debate and consideration of our meta-goals or lack of them.

It's very hard to not sound glib answering these questions. Why ask why? How
do we ask ourselves? Why do we answer? Who is we? The list of waffling
questions can go on and on, and I'm sorry to say that I feel that your
questions instigate and contribute to this waffling, strange loops in
reasoning, quotes and misquotes, and chaos.

Obviously the intent of you asking these questions is very serious, which is
appreciated in a community such as this. But my opinion is if you want
serious answers, then ask the question(s) seriously, being specific, and
preferably one question per conversation thread to start with.


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