Re: evolved viruses

Arjen Kamphuis (
Tue, 16 Sep 1997 23:18:13 +0200

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <> wrote:
>I've been convinced that drugs are evil.

This is highly irrational, even for you. If you call drugs evil you should
also call the sun evil (causes skincancer right?). The effects of illegal
drugs may be undesirable, the effect of a .308 bullet can also be. Doesn't
make the bullet 'evil'. The way drugs are treated by the state causes
'emerging' effects that are bad for people. don't blame the thing, blame
the people making the policy.

>It's not my way in any case - if I go after drugs it will
>be with bioengineered viruses,

I hope you will also take responsenbility incase of a mutation causing,
say, 11 million deaths? How will you control them from killing of humans,
livestock or crucial agricultural spiecies?

Of course the whole plan is highly theoretical but I'll go along.

>Have you ever read O'Rourke's
>description of a crack neighborhood? It reads like a description of
>Hell. In fact, as an SF reader, I have to say that there are quite a
>few Hells - and not lighthearted ones either - where I would rather be,
>as myself, than in a crack neighborhood as a denizen. Niven and
>Pournelle's "Inferno" comes to mind, or the concentration camps of the

???????? Wow... *this* from *you*

>I am a human first and a Libertarian second. Would you, as a
>Libertarian, have kept the U.S. out of World War II, knowing that if you
>did so the Holocaust would continue and Hitler would rule the world?
>Why should your principles as a Libertarian stop at the U.S. border?
>Don't the people ruled by dictators have rights too? Shouldn't they,
>too, be protected against their government? Don't the Libertarian
>principles - or any principles, taken to their logical extreme - demand
>that one attempt to conquer the world?

In a very differnt way you seem to come to the same conclusion as I did
that any and all human-rights violations should be ended (by force if
neccecary) by a sort of world governement. Altough I would never use the
term conquer the world. Just remove the dictator and then organize
elections A.S.A.P and get out.
And I'd like their to be *lots* of controls on the UN.

>So my ethical system (and, I admit, my morality) says that drugs are

I'm still confused how you came to conclude this in any rational manner.

>it says that the crack neighborhoods are evil

No not evil, Satan is evil, crack neighborhoods are highly undesirable
living envoronments for humans. Don't drag in all the mystical words, it
only clouds the discussion.

>The problem lies not within any humans but within the
>chemicals making up crack and the plants producing cocaine.

If some humans want to smoke, snif or shoot-up with anything at all. You
have no right whatsoever to deny them this. If they commits crimes while
under influence, you can punish them for this. If they neglect their
children, they will lose their rights as parents. If you say crack should
remain illegal on the basis of its harmfull effect on heath you should also

Smoking, drinking, eating to much red-meat/fat/minerals/vitamine-C, riding
motorcycles-without-a-helmet, parachute jumping, mountain climbing, working
too hard....

(Gosh, I'm beginning to sound like an honest-to-god-libertarian)

>Consider crack to be a hostile government equipped with mind control.

Consider crack just another addictive drug whose negative effect and high
price are cause primarily by the fact that it is illegal, every time a
shipment of crack is intercepted by the governement the price goes up,
making the trade more interesting for people who have *nothing* to lose

I once saw an interview with a Colombian coke-farmer. He was asked whether
he was bothered by the fact that American teenagers die from drugs he
helped to produce. His answer: "My children are nearly starving, they could
never afford such an expensive way to die..."
The people producing and distributing drugs have no reason to feel anything
for the western vicitms of 'their' drugs since they themselves are living
in their own hell. They will not stop producing something that has such a
profit-margin, why would they? They are taking care of themselves, just
like us.
As long as drugs remain illegal prices will remain high, trade will be

Ask why people use drugs in the first place. The demand is the problem. Not
the supply. Addres that and you will be going some were.

I think I'l have me a Scotch and a sigar.

Arjen Kamphuis | Learn as if you will live forever. | Live as though you will die tomorrow.