397. No Universally Compelling Arguments – 400. What Would You Do Without Morality?

397. No Universally Compelling Arguments

(BTW, I think I’m going to write the rest of the Sequences in English cuz’, you know, fuck German(s).)

There are no universally compelling arguments. There are always minds that find your line of reasoning not very convincing or don’t understand you at all.

It follows that there are no universally accepted moral norms that are somehow baked into the structure of the universe. I know, that’s a bummer and hopefully Eliezer is wrong on this one, but I doubt it.

398. 2-Place and 1-Place Words

A technical explanation of the Mind-Projection-Fallacy. E.g. sexual attractiveness is a function with two arguments (empty slots), i.e. it depends on the properties of the perceived object and the perceiver.

Funny discussion in the commen-section. One women attendended a meetup and wanted to seduce Yudkowsky, but he didn’t even notice.

399. The Opposite Sex

Uh oh, a post about sex differences. If politics is the mind-killer then this is the mind-instant-annihilator.

But there is one thing that really sucks: Why do so few women read LW?

Stop shopping and start being intelligent, gals!

400. What Would You Do Without Morality?

Yudkowsky asks:

To those who say “Nothing is real,” I once replied, “That’s great, but how does the nothing work?”

Suppose you learned, suddenly and definitively, that nothing is moral and nothing is right; that everything is permissible and nothing is forbidden.

Devastating news, to be sure—and no, I am not telling you this in real life.  But suppose I did tell it to you.  Suppose that, whatever you think is the basis of your moral philosophy, I convincingly tore it apart, and moreover showed you that nothing could fill its place.  Suppose I proved that all utilities equaled zero.

I know that Your-Moral-Philosophy is as true and undisprovable as 2 + 2 = 4. But still, I ask that you do your best to perform the thought experiment, and concretely envision the possibilities even if they seem painful, or pointless, or logically incapable of any good reply.

Would you still tip cabdrivers?  Would you cheat on your Significant Other?  If a child lay fainted on the train tracks, would you still drag them off?

…Would you go on reading Overcoming Bias, and if not, what would you read instead?  Would you still try to be rational, and if not, what would you think instead?

Close your eyes, take as long as necessary to answer:

What would you do, if nothing were right?

It depends on the specific interpretation, but let’s assume I knew that all actions which I currently perceive as “moral”, “for the sake of others/humanity” (like donating my income to SIAI/FHI, trying to get a high-paying job to earn more money to donate, try to convince other people of x-risks and the FAI-problem, writing shitty blog-posts to further my understanding of Yudkowsky’s world-view, caring about the vasts amounts of suffering in the world, etc.) were a complete waste of time.

Well, actually I know exactly what I would do: At first I would order 5 gram of the highest quality, fucking premium dope available. In addition to that I would order some LSD, a little bit cocaine and some speed. (Heroin is a little bit dangerous, I think I would start to use it when my best days were over.)

Ok, then I would shower and walk in the next nightclub and try to develop my PUA-skills. Working is of course out of the question. I would continue to study because my parents would throw me out if I didn’t.

Haha, I would probably really do that, but I guess after some months I would grow tired of it and start to play video games non-stop or something like that, and then I would grow tired of that. Watching a lot of movies is also a valuable option, of course. Traveling to China, Thailand, etc. would be great.

Wait, maybe I would start reading Nietzsche and those crazy Existentialists again. And what about studying art, literature, cinema or some shit like that, not just to meet those artsy girls (who are actually kinda hot)? Hm, you see, even without morality life isn’t easy, eh?!

Ok, to be honest, I just thought about it some more, and the above doesn’t really look that appealing. If I can trust my introspection (which I obviously can’t) my strongest desire would be to find an adorable, highly intelligent women, with whom I could fuck talk all day about literature, movies, philosophy and stuff and explore the world, and be together forever, which in turn requires a positive singularity, which means I would do the same stuff as I do now? What?

OTHO my brain is probably primed with the archetype of the divine, strong, female, amazing soulmate because I watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which changed my perspective on polyamory and had a huge emotional impact on me. I don’t know if that will last.

Anyway, ridiculously off-topic, I know.

Leave a Reply