`Why make it an ethical problem? What if you estimate is A you have 60%`

`chance of surviving and B your have 40% chance of surviving.`

Brent

On 12/22/2018 9:48 PM, Mason Green wrote:

So I thought of an interesting problem in decision theory and/or ethics. Maybe someone’s thought along these lines before, but if so I haven’t encountered it. Suppose you have to make a decision between two options, A and B. Your credence that option A is the more ethical one is 60%, and your credence that option B is the more ethical one is 40%. Is it more ethical to.... 1. Automatically pick A because it has the higher credence. 2. Pick randomly between A and B with the probability of each one matching your credence. For example, generate a random number between 0 and 1 and pick B iff your number is over 0.6. If one subscribed to the MWI, the second option could even be phrased as “make sure 60% of your future selves pick A and 40% pick B”. The second option could be called the diverse-futures ethic, since it would lead to a more varied future if everyone consistently followed it, while option A could be called the winner-take-all ethic. One interesting fact is that it’s less costly (in terms of entropy and energy) for an agent to follow the diverse-futures ethic. This is because noise can be recycled from the environment to use to make the decision. However the difference in cost is very small (less than 1 bit of entropy in the above case, or less than kT ln 2 of energy). Maybe that should factor into the relative ethical merit of the two strategies, if only a tiny bit. The human brain seems to follow the diverse-futures ethic since it calculates probabilistically, using ambient noise to its advantage. -Mason

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