[extropy-chat] Just curious, it's not natural!

Ben Goertzel ben at goertzel.org
Tue Oct 31 13:31:54 UTC 2006

> You must be willing to give up everything you are for what you might become
> [1].
> Robert
> 1. Unfortunately very very few individuals in the world today grasp this --
> they are more concerned with being who or what they "are" than simply
> "being".

Robert, it's a digression upon a digression, but I feel this may be an
oversimplistic philosophy.

Valuing "simply being" is important, yet does not give one any
explicit guidance for choosing actions -- as no matter what one does,
one will still be "simply being" ;-) ... However, an interesting point
is that beings that greatly value "simply being" may statistically
choose to make different decisions than those that do not -- so there
may be *implicit* guidance involved....  Among these statistical
biases may be the one you note: highly valuing "simply being" may bias
one toward goal systems that involve the replacement of one's current
patterns-of-being with entirely different ones that are judged to
maximize some goal function...

However, I wonder if it's possible to look at the issue (long-term
future goals, in a transhumanist context) in a different sort of way.
Rather than

a) striving to preserve the current self, or

b) striving to create something new according to a goal-function that
basically ignores the current self and just talks about what is
"optimal" according to some abstract criteria

perhaps it is possible to

c) strive for something new that embodies the right sort of
**generalization** of the judged-most-important parts of the current

I know this is not very well-specified and I'm running out to a
meeting so I don't have time to even try to specify it at this moment,
but I just wanted to point out that a) and b) are not the only
possible categories of philosophical attitude regarding future-looking

-- Ben

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