Re: Dyson (Was: Paths to Uploading)

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 11 Jan 1999 10:24:50 -0600

Don't worry, Terry Donaghe. Even for those who aren't philosophers, defending objective morality is easy. Any argument against objective morality also applies to objective reality. Watch.

KPJ wrote:
> Consider all the wars between groups considering that X is either right
> or X is wrong (unfortunately they could not agree on whether it was right
> or wrong so they fought a war over it).

People have wars over opinions. Does this obviate the existence of objective reality? To be specific, there have been wars over whether Jesus was the Son of God. Do you think that there is no correct answer to this question?

> So you might wish to inform us on the question of which end you should
> eat the egg (the war in Gulliver's travel to Lilliput was about this
> question). Since either one was right and the other wrong, please feel
> free to declare one of objective right.

You might wish to inform us whether the Sun goes around the Earth or vice versa, which Galileo and the Church had so much trouble about. Since there's a conflict of opinion obviously there's no objective right.

(Actual answer to above: The objective right, in this case, is almost certainly that the question is false. Even if eating one side of the egg results in a hurricane in Australia due to the Butterfly Effect, then the answer is not the same on all occasions and will almost never be to bite into the egg exactly along the axis.)

--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.