[extropy-chat] A future fit to live in?
velvethum at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 13 22:50:12 UTC 2007
Robert Bradbury wrote:
> Would I want to wake up in an environment where I am clearly obsolete
> and where the material in my body (or the computer hosting my mind)
> might clearly be dedicated to purposes more useful than that which I am
> likely to manifest?
Jef Albright wrote:
This is a good example of why I keeping pointing out that it's not "survival"
(whatever that could possibly mean in a rapidly changing environment) that matters,
but rather the promotion of one's values into the future.
This seems noble but isn't "promotion of one's values into the future" merely a
subgoal of the survival supergoal? Isn't it the case that people care about their
values simply because they think they would feel better *living* in a society that
nurtures those values?
It always helps if we examine the first causes of our beliefs. And if we do we
might discover that there exists even higher goal than survival that drives our
behavior. It is simply pleasure. That is our true supergoal while "promotion of
values" is just a natural consequence of that goal.
I imagine when people first hear about pleasure, they immediately think of things
like chocolate and sex and jump to an easy conclusion that to seek pleasure for
pleasure's sake would somehow be immoral. But pleasure comes in many flavors.
Seeing your children grow up into decent people generates pleasure. Accomplishing
some difficult and noble goal induces pleasure. Helping other people and wanting
nothing in return causes pleasure. Love is pleasure. Everything we do has the same
common denominator that drives our behavior.
If survival was not a necessary condition for experiencing pleasure, people would
not care about survival, but since it is, that's the topic that usually steals the
headlines. But let's not forget that survival is only a subgoal of the higher goal
that gives meaning to our lives.
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