Re: ethics, joyous growth, etc.

From: Metaqualia (
Date: Tue Feb 03 2004 - 07:38:35 MST

> Well, I guess that you have a different meta-principle, that's all... I
> articulated two
> -- Joyous Growth
> -- Human Stability
> and you're insisting on another
> -- Pure Joy

Can I rename my meta-principle to the nexus principle (a la startrek)?

The nexus in startrek was an area in which every being's dreams became true.
Captain kirk was found here, enjoying eternal life with his wife before
Picard came to bother him. In ST the nexus travelled randomly in space. The
nexus I propose is something that expands voluntarily in every possible
direction taking negative qualia producing processes and bettering them for
the beings instantiated in those processes (=modifying existing processes so
that the resulting qualia streams do not contain negativity). <flash>
instant bonification, instant fulfillment, everything starts going right,
heaven delivered to your door.

> guiding principles. If you choose a different guiding principle than me,
> have no way to argue against you...

You talk about joyous growth. I am not sure that growth and joy are
interdependent. In humans, growth leads to joy both because we are wired to
enjoy discovery and because discovery gives us power to overcome negative
factors. Although I can imagine a qualia-free universe in which ever more
complex patterns arise but in which nobody is conscious (though this may in
practice be impossible). I can also imagine a qualia-filled universe in
which there is not much growth at all. So is it possible for you to separate
joyous growth into joy and growth as independent principles?

> Your examples seem to be of "qualia complexity" as much as of intensity --
> for instance, are you sure crying listening to classical music is *more
> intense* than laughing listening to children's music?

Regarding qualia complexity vs. intensity: yes of course, who knows! That is
why I am not making such a strong point out of positive qualia as much as I
am with negative ones. If I were to decide right here right now about
complexity, I'd say complexity and intensity are equally important. But we
do want something to do after we're enhanced and all laws of physics are
discovered right? Trying every positive quale that physics allows seems like
a good hobby, no need to decide now whether complexity is more important
than intensity.

> Also, what if the MAXIMUM INTENSITY of positive qualia is achievable only
> a universe where the AVERAGE VALENCE of qualia is near zero? I.e., what
> universes in which lots of positive AND negative qualia exist, are the
> in which the most intensely wonderful positive qualia exist?

not likely, but if so, then we're screwed :)
we are in a universe in which 'good' cannot be realized, therefore existence
is evil.

In that case, the moral thing would be to opt for a dull universe I guess.

> There are a lot of things about qualia we don't understand... particularly
> when talking about the universe-wide system of interlocking qualia...

I agree, that is why comparison between positive and negative qualia,
especially quantitative ones, are impossible with our current level of

But there are very clear areas in which we _can_ use qualia morality. For
example, abortion is not a problem if there isn't a developed neural net in
the fetus. For example, going to war for any reason is wrong, since no
economic advantage given to 100 million people will make up for 1 guy losing
an arm.


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