My own view is that (ignoring simulations for the time being) MWI ideas have no conflict with our usual ethical intuitions and reasonings. Yes, it is the case that when I choose between evil action A and good action B, there will be two branches of the universe - one in which I choose A and one in which I choose B. This will be the case regardless of which choice I make. But this does not make my choice morally insignificant, because I split too, along with the rest of the universe. The version of me that chose evil act A will have to live thereafter w... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post


Yes, MWI ideas have no conflict with usual ethical intuitions. And they also help you make better sense of those intuitions. Counterfactuals really do exist, for example; they're not just some hypothetical that is in point of fact physically impossible.

1ata9y That's not how MWI works, unless human brains have a quantum randomness source that they use to make decisions (which does not appear to be the case).
1Perplexed9y Is it wrong to create a simulation and then torture the inhabitants? Well, that is an ethical question, whereas this is a meta-ethical analysis. But the meta-ethical answer to that ethical question is that if you torture simulated beings, then you must live with the consequences of that. I should add that it is impossible to erase your sin by deciding to terminate the simulation, so as to "euthanize" the victims of your torture. Because there is always a branch where you don't so decide, and the victims of your torture live on.

Open Thread, August 2010

by NancyLebovitz 9y1st Aug 2010706 comments


This thread is for the discussion of Less Wrong topics that have not appeared in recent posts. If a discussion gets unwieldy, celebrate by turning it into a top-level post.