Re: Rational base for morals

den Otter (
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 18:26:01 +0100

> From: KPJ <>

> KPJ wrote:
> |Simply put: "Do not to others what you do not wish them do to you."
> It appears as if den Otter <> wrote:
> |
> |Unless, of course, you happen to be vastly more powerful. Then
> |there is no _rational_ reason to restrict your actions.
> One might wish to avoid killing random less powerful entities if one
> finds them worth avoid killing for some reason. As a matter of fact,
> one would only kill them if one had a rational reason to do so.

That there's no rational reason to restrict your actions simply means that you can do anything you want. Killing is just one of many options.

> This
> assumes of course that one only makes rational decisions.

Well, one would expect that a SI would pay more attention to reason than humans do, but you never know, of course...

> Personally, I find no reason to kill off less powerful entities unless
> they try to hurt me.

Fairy nuff. Personally I'd add "entities that are (very) likely to become threats in the near future".

> My wiring makes me wish to increase my knowledge of the world. A greater
> number of species and individuals in the world allows for more complexity
> and thus makes the world more interesting to me. This would indicate to
> me that I should avoid killing off less powerful entities, since I find
> pleasure in increasing my knowledge of the world, and their evolution to
> a higher power would make them and/or their species more interesting later.
> If you lack this incentive your mileage may vary, naturally.

It all comes down to what one values more: "fun" or safety. Usually the result is some form of compromise.