"What can a twelfth-century peasant do to save themselves from annihilation? Nothing."
She did something. She passed on a religious meme whose descendents have inspired me, in turn, to pass on the idea that we should engineer a world that can somehow reach backward to save her from annihilation. That may not prove possible, but some possibilities depend on us for their realization.
A Jewish prophet once wrote something like this: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he sha... (read more)
Eliezer, your characterization of religion is not generally accurate, as evidenced by the fact that not all religious persons posit an irreducibly complex God. As one example, Mormons posit a material God that became God through organizing existing matter according to existing laws.
On the other hand, I wonder, do you attribute irreducible complexity to quarks?
Here's my metamorality. Using these terms broadly, law is to a community as will is to an individual, and law is to an environment as desire is to an anatomy. Good is communal law congruent with individual will, anatomical desire and environmental law. Joy is individual will congruent with communal law, environmental law and anatomical desire. Pleasure is anatomical desire congruent with environmental law, communal law and individual will. Order is environmental law congruent with anatomical desire, individual will and communal law. Evil, misery, pain and chaos are incongruencies among communal laws, individual wills, anatomical desires and environmental laws.
"So at the end of the day, I embrace the principle: 'Question your brain, question your intuitions, question your principles of rationality, using the full current force of your mind, and doing the best you can do at every point.'"
. . . to the extent that doing so increases your power, as illustrated by the principle you embrace to a greater extent:
"The point is to win."
That's the faith position.
"Everything, without exception, needs justification."
. . . except that toward which justification is aimed: power.
"The important... (read more)
Eliezer, do you intend your use of "artificial intelligence" to be understood as always referencing something with human origins? What does it mean to you to place some artificial intelligences outside the scope of posthuman mindspace? Do you trust that human origins are capable of producing all possible artificial intelligences?