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Does Your Morality Care What You Think?

Just a typo alert:

"But if my taste in pizza changes, that changes the consequneces of eating, which changes the moral justification, and so the moral judgment changes as well."


Lonely Dissent

OK. I'll follow up. They might want to, but what events would that trigger? The benefits might be clear, but for what costs?

Firstly, you would add another person to the population pool. That addition, in and of itself, is probably a negligible effect. Humans do this with some regularity. It is unlikely that the addition of one specific historical figure would push us over some theoretical tipping point.

What would be a greater cost would be one of rights: does the resurrected "owe" anything for being plucked from history, financially or metaphorically? What psychological toll might be exacted on an 200's era Roman slave when he shows up in Chicago in 2023? Assuming he could even grasp what had happened and learn a modern language, how is he to provide for himself? If he cannot, who? The historian, perhaps. What a decidedly high-risk research proposal: what if your resurrection is a boring fool?

Sure, I think it'd be neat to interview Hannibal or Twain or any number of folks from the past, I just think it might be a bad idea.

Probably reading into the idea a bit much at this point...

Rationality Quotes: March 2011

Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.

Inigo Montoya: What's that?

Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

Evaluability (And Cheap Holiday Shopping)

Depending on the mass of the former, it might have been a better deal in material costs.

The Hidden Complexity of Wishes

Material sciences can give us an estimate on the shattering of a given material given certain criteria.

Just because you do not know specific things about it doesn't make it a black box. Of course, that doesn't make the problems with complex systems disappear, it just exposes our ignorance. Which is not a new point here.

Say Not "Complexity"

It could be built in. I agree. But the child is curious about it's texture and taste than how the pieces fit together. I had to show my child a puzzle and solve it in front of her to get her to understand it.

Then she took off with it. YMMV.

Good point, though.

Fake Morality

If your neighbor uses the bathroom more often, they use more water (not only by flushing, which may be considered inevitable), but by washing their hands perhaps more than necessary (going to the bathroom twice instead of once) and using anti-bacterial soap, which could lead to stronger, resistant bacteria. Of course, the use of said soap might result a long-term difficulty and the results would not be immediately apparent. So not only must an act have consequences, but those consequences must be reasonably immediate and apparent (and, as stated in Eliezer's main post, necessarily negative). A current human morality system could not track the actions and the consequences.

An omniscient god (or being) would be able to measure the harm. Further it would be able to track the consequences of ones actions. My use of anti-bacterial soap could cause a MRSA infection in someone else and kill them.

I do not think anyone (except aforementioned omniscient being) would be able to say I caused that infection on purpose. And yet, that person is still dead. A key here is intention. But unfortunately, we can harm and even kill others without intending to and yet we are held responsible. I would rarely think, say, a drunk driver would intend to get into an accident, but we punish them anyway because they intentionally increased the risk we all experience on the road.

But that risk (one that includes drunk drivers) is something we all assume, anyway. So wouldn't an accident victim also be culpable. That seems distasteful.

So, an immoral action must have a negative consequence that is reasonably immediate and apparent and must have been done intentionally, or at least without an undue amount of risk outside normally applicable ranges.

But that's probably not right. Does it exclude god? No, because that belief isn't necessary. It doesn't exclude unicorns, either.

I guess the gist of what I'm saying is that you need to be careful with your soap.

Configurations and Amplitude

This is very cool. I know that's just in my head, but now I just want a half-silvered mirror to test this with my kids.

Feeling Rational

"It is not thought wise to have anyone 'emotional' in any position of importance."

By whom? People who would like to "be able to have a beer" with a President?

I think Vassar is a little more accurate here, but that people only apply the lack of emotion within a narrow field that relates to their specialty at work. It would not be beyond the pale to see someone cheering enthusiastically for a sports team, for example.

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