Pain and pleasure are signals that we are on the wrong or right path. There's a point in making it a better signal. But the following propositions are wholly absurd:
And while I'm at it -- confusing pleasure and happiness is particularly dumb. Entities that would do that would be wiped from existence in a handful of generations, and not super-powerful. Habituation is how we keep functioning at the margin, where the effort is needed. The whole idea of a moral duty to minimize other people's pain is ridiculous, yet taken for granted in this whole story. Eliezer, you obviously are still under the influence of the judeo-christian superstitions you learned as a child.
If you're looking for an abstract value to maximize, well, it's time to shut up and eat your food. http://sifter.org/~simon/journal/20090103.h.html
Of course, meeting two new species on the same day is the crew of the Impossible having its leg pulled by some superior entity, namely Eliezer. But Eliezer is not above and outside our world, and we don't have to let ourselves intimidated by his scripture.
Why and how would communication possibly happen through only one channel? Since when is the unit of decision-making a race, species, nation, etc., rather than an individual? Is this Market-driven spaceship under totalitarian control where no one is allowed to communicate, and the whole crew too brain-dama... (read more)
Meanwhile, the Arabs and the Jews, communicating through the exclusive channel of the Great Khalif O. bin Laden negotiating through Internet Sex with Tzipi Livni, arrived at this compromise whereby the Jews would all worship Mohammed on Fridays, at which times they will explode a few of their children in buses, whereas the Arabs would ratiocinate psychotically around their scriptures on Saturdays, and spawn at least one Nobel prize winner in Medecine and Physics every five years.