Re: Why just simulation?

From: Hugo Alves (
Date: Fri Mar 16 2001 - 17:08:43 MST

"So what follows is that whether we are material or simulated beings or not,
it is almost certain that we have been created by posthuman beings, unless
posthumans one and all join hands and sing the praises of the categorical
imperative not to create humans."

It seems that that "categorical imperative" is a predominant way of thought
these days, judging by the people's reactions to genetic engineering.

I have come up with this scenario: Suppose that the contra-genetics,
contra-simulation parties win, and everyone "joins hands and sings the
praises" of not making any such experiences. Suppose also that, as it would
inevitably occur, some rogue AI programmer decides to break the law and
create a simulation at his home. Being the effort of a sole programmer in
hiding, and let's suppose this particular programmer wasn't very bright, his
simulated humans would have a "unperfect" AI, in a sense that they would be
less smart than his world's ordinary humans, in such a way that any person
who saw the simulated beings would be appaled at their incredible lack of
intelligence, to such an extent that they would have serious trouble
agreeing that those entities were in fact human beings with some sort of
"free will" and not merely "zombies". Suppose that those beings just spent
their entire lives squabbling over food and other resources that were, in
fact, extremely abundant in their environment, but they considered scarce
because they weren't able to find food in other places besides the immediate
vicinity of their feet.

Then one day, the authorities would find out these simulated "things". These
unfortunate creatures lived in constant suffering, put in a world that their
weak minds weren't able to cope with by a sadistic programmer, getting
killed by simple things without knowing why, starving to death because of
their incapacity, struggling with each other due to glitches in their AI's,
etcetera. Well, supposing you were asked your opinion about what should be
done to the simulation and those in it (note that you could nevertheless be
in the side opposing the "joining of hands and singing of praises" and still
be asked your opinion), what would that opinion be?
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