There's an idea I've seen around here on occasion to the effect that creating and then killing people is bad, so that for example you should be careful that when modeling human behavior your models don't become people in their own right.

I think this is bunk. Consider the following:

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Suppose you have an uploaded human, and fork the process. If I understand the meme correctly, this creates an additional person, such that killing the second process counts as murder.

Does this still hold if the two processes are not made to diverge; that is, if they are determi... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

You make good points. I do think that multiple independent identical copies have the same moral status as one. Anything else is going to lead to absurdities like those you mentioned, like the idea of cutting a mechanical computer in half and doubling its moral worth.

I have for a while had a feeling that the moral value of a being's existence has something to do with the amount of unique information generated by its mind, resulting from its inner emotional and intellectual experience. (Where "has something to do with" = it's somewhere in the formu... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

Open Thread, August 2010

by NancyLebovitz 9y1st Aug 2010706 comments

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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.