[ExI] rationality

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Apr 5 11:08:33 UTC 2009

2009/4/5 Aleksei Riikonen <aleksei at iki.fi>:

> Strange that you speak of rationality as if it required one to always
> speak the truth.
> If speaking the truth leads to getting burned at the stake, the smart
> person shuts up, and I for one don't consider that choice to be
> irrational.
> According to Wikipedia, "a rational agent is specifically defined as
> an agent which always chooses the action which maximises its expected
> performance, given all of the knowledge it currently possesses." For
> most goal systems, getting burned at the stake doesn't maximize one's
> performance.

By that definition, a rational agent could be amoral or outright evil.
I think that was the point BillK was making.

You could keep the definition and make moral behaviour a part of the
goal system, in which case being burned at the stake might be the way
to go if you really believe that honesty is the best policy. But then
someone will turn around and say that such a belief is "irrational",
which is just another way of saying that he doesn't agree with it.

Stathis Papaioannou

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list