Dear David Why is it so difficult to conceive that the simulators should be unwittingly? Or in some way non ethical and thoughtless of the pain, fears, loves etc of an interesting by product (or even possibly irritating by product) of their simulation. Do you eat meat? Trap mice? kill flies? Wash bacteria from your hands? How much time and concern do you (we) give to these life forms? For all we know the cockroach may be the purposeful study of the simulation we are in - or even whichever species is "the surviving species" of interest at t=time to stop. I know it feels like we should be important but, in the scale of things - it's probably just wishfull thinking. A hugely more intelligent species may not even be moral.
Who says morality to all other species is useful anyway (for survival) and even a defining feature of intelligent species? In war people kill people just like themselves, as long as they wear a different uniform! We drop atom bombs and say it was to save life!!(Hiroshima). This may be true. Truth and morality can get in conflict. Morality can therefore easily get lost in the fog. How expensive it may be to run simulations that generate so many forms too. Perhaps some form of superintelligence decides who will live or die in the simulation. If you've ever been on a hospital waiting list for a really life threatening illness it is clear how priorities can change the moral landscape. If I made a simulation I would want it to be moral but I don't don't know what dilemmas the pandora's box generated by the simulation and the financial or unknown constraints far above my knowing would turn up. That's the interesting thing about simulations - they are run to "see what might be when we can't guess the answers". Yet, I hope your right and I'm wrong. Nick Prince -----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of David Nyman Sent: 07 August 2006 00:16 To: Everything List Subject: Re: The moral dimension of simulation But your observation goes to the heart of my question. If we were indeed 'merely incidental' (from whose perspective?) then what would this say about the ethical position of the simulaters? Further, if we are merely playing the role of 'simple automata' then what is the purpose (from the simulaters' viewpoint) of our *conscious* fears, pains, loves, life struggle, and so forth? Are these just an unavoidable and unimportant (except to us) 'epiphenomenon' of the simulation method? Or are they what you mean by an 'interesting pattern'? Are we to take our creators' position as being 'superior' to ours and if so what does this imply for our own (periodic) moral delicacy about the rights and feelings of others - should we perhaps view this as mere naivety or lack of intelligence in the light of our masters' indifference to ours? These are the issues I'm attempting to raise in the context of the 'simulation hypothesis'. Of course, there's an aspect of this that recapitulates the struggle throughout history to establish humane moral criteria in the face of various arbitrary and omnipotent god-figures, or for that matter 'blind necessity'. Even in the teeth of your creator, you are not forced to accept the justice of his position, even as you bow to his overwhelming force, as Job shows us. David -- No virus found in this incoming message. Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.1.394 / Virus Database: 268.10.5/405 - Release Date: 01/08/2006 --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---