[ExI] Culture war and universal values in the age of spiritual machines

efc at swisscows.email efc at swisscows.email
Mon Nov 27 10:13:44 UTC 2023

Hello Ben,

On Mon, 27 Nov 2023, Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat wrote:

> I've never been a fan of the golden rule. It basically assumes that
> everyone is the same, that what's good/desirable for me is always
> good/desirable for everyone else, and vice-versa. This is clearly not
> true. People who are anti-choice regarding abortion, for example, are
> following the golden rule in imposing their values on other people.

I always read the golden rule as being based on empathy and what I would
do in that persons position. But, yes, it is not well formulated and it
is prone to exactly that interpretation which you (in my opinion,
rightfully) critique. Hence I think the platinum rule emerged to clarify

> 'Universal values' has a nice ring to it, and it's tempting to think
> that such things must exist, but I have my doubts. Using religious
> quotes to express them is even more dubious, especially as there is a
> strong tendency for religions to recast all these values into a single
> command to Do As You're Told Without Question. You certainly won't see
> one very important fundamental value in any religion that I know of:
> "Question Everything". Without that one, none of the others is worth a
> damn, imo, because they cease to be values and become commandments
> instead.

But isn't that the holy grail and where all the fun is? ;) To find the
algorithm, that's provably "the best" so we don't have to uniquely
question everything all the time, but can just apply our rule? =)

Best regards, Daniel

> Ben

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