[ExI] managing omnicidal maniacs

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Sep 10 13:35:14 UTC 2015

On 2015-09-10 01:29, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
> Viewed objectively, the decision to take others' lives without their 
> permission is the most unbelievable act of arrogance I can imagine. I 
> do wonder who would act if they could push a button and end the world, 
> or just humanity.

If you are a certain sort of negative utilitarian ending the world is an 
act of charity.

If you sincerely think that reducing pain has the highest priority, and 
think there is no way of stopping the carnage that is nature, then 
extinguishing life is the best solution. And yes, I have met people who 
responded 'yes' to the thought experiment of having an end-of-the-world 

Arrogant? Maybe. Sensible people realize that we have moral uncertainty 
and might be able to make things better eventually. But some people have 
thought fairly deeply about it, and arrive at extinction as an act of 

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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