Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 00:26:30 MST

Lee Corbin wrote:
> Ethically, there is nothing wrong with making a simulation
> containing emulations of conscious beings, and then running
> it at whatever speed you want. Or shutting it down. The
> only moral prohibition is, simply put, "Don't ever be cruel".

I disagree. Every conscious being is a citizen. Every conscious being
has the right to exist for vis own purpose, and to serve the purposes of
others only with vis agreement. In the instant any element of your
simulation attains consciousness and citizenship, ve cannot be coerced.
Ve cannot be forced to remain in your simulation or even to ever speak to
you again. Your situation, and vis, are in that instant made precisely
symmetrical; you can no more command ver than ve might command you.

The act of creation gives no moral right whatsoever to command or coerce.
It is simply a historical fact about the causal origins of a new
intelligent entity. Creators are not entirely powerless; they have some
control over *what* is created; but once created, the creation is a
citizen, and independent.

That is the morality of it, those are the rights, in tomorrow's world as
in this one; all that remains is the task of making it real.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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