Re: "Morality?" - Composite Reply

Nicholas Bostrom (
Wed, 15 Oct 1997 15:06:09 +0000

Max More wrote:

> Purported imperatives like "con your neighbor subtly" seems to be much
> further down the list of derivations. That is, they are many many
> circumstances that could make that a bad bit of advice.

But in the cases where they are good advice, would you say it would
be moral?

Let's take the idea to its extreme. Suppose there is some perverse
type whose deepest values are of a sadistic nature. Suppose this guy
is king in some small country in the third world. According to your
ethics, would it be moral for him to coerce his subjects into serving
him and helping him torture as many children as possible? From what
you have said so far, it looks as if it would be a consequence of
your view that it would be *morally wrong* for this king *not* to
commit these atrocities, given that they indeed reflect his deepest

Nicholas Bostrom