Re: Questions about the Singularity

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Sep 11 2001 - 09:52:22 MDT

On Sat, Sep 08, 2001 at 04:09:43AM -0700, Samantha Atkins wrote:
> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> >
> > I agree with Charles that the idea of philosopher kings being justified
> > in using force to bring about their ideas is largely discredited. At
> > least I do not wish to support such behavior, neither of philosophers or
> > posthumans.
> What will you recommend when those who will oppose the very
> existence of any trans/post-humans take up force to stop such
> coming about?

I believe in non-initation of force and that coercion is an
unethical (and inefficient) manner of spreading one's memes, but
that doesn't mean I will not prepare for dangerous eventualities,
act when attacked or find better ways of spreading my memes.

"A stone is not an argument" - if you start accepting stones as
arguments the discourse will end up with burning skyscrapers. On the
other hand, it is a good idea to learn how to dodge stones, where
shields can be found, how to throw back the stones and how to behave
so that many of the supporters of the stone-throwers will see that
groups of people progressing through rational arguments will achieve
far more and better results than the stone-throwers.

> Assuming adroit side-stepping of such blockage,
> what will be your post-attitude toward various factions of
> current level humans attempting endlessly to wipe each other out
> largely from little more than some errors in their thinking
> based in limited understanding, training, biology and so on?
> Will you sit and let them kill each other utterly? Or might
> you, given the power, back all of them up continuously with DNA
> samples so that they can have another go until they grow up a
> bit? Or perhaps slap them in a Matrix like arrangement designed
> for their eventual (at their own pace - no force) evolution into
> more enlightened beings?
> Honestly, what would you consider the most moral and ethical
> course and why?

I think people have a right to their own views, how stupid and
malicious they may be. They also have the right to their own lives,
and that means they do not have the right to use force to kill
others. Hence it would, from my point of view, be right to
intercede in conflicts and try to put an end to them. Actually
killing people is a last resort action, and only ethically allowable
in self-defense.

Backing up people from DNA samples isn't enough - what use is a lot
of clones? If I could, I think archiving mindstates continously
would be a good thing, but it is not obvious at all when to
"resurrect" individuals and from what point in their mindstate. It
also has the same problem as the Matrix idea: what about their own
personal integrity? I don't believe that I have the right to anybody
else's mental state, and definitely no right to play around with
them (other than through the standard channels of communications).

If I was a posthuman superintelligence, I would do what I could to
encourage constructive behavior among other people. That might
include offering rewards for rational behavior and disincentives for
irrational behavior. But I don't think I would be morally entitled
to use force or directly hack them even if I was Omega itself.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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