Re: qualia, once and for all

From: Metaqualia (
Date: Sat Jun 19 2004 - 23:14:20 MDT

> I wasn't denying that people live in pain, but only that life of
> constant bliss is ultimately life without meaning.

I think this is one of the biggest issues here, which is: do we want to be
always happy? Hell yeah! Who wants to be miserable? If you do, then you can
start your enclave of conservative retro-darwinian types, and see how many
sentients voluntarily join. My guess is that there wouldn't be anyone around
real soon except those who do not want to try the alternative.

It seems that accepting pain is an act of emotional strength, while it is
actually an act of emotional weakness. By Justifying and Rationalizing pain
we manage to reduce the amount of pain we experience by a tiny speck. But if
we do have a serious chance of dealing with the existence of Evil squarely,
and with nanotech and AI we do, then it is an act of moral cowardice to pass
out on the opportunity. Screw present pain. Yeah, let's face it; shit
happens and there isn't even a reason why! Shit happens and it could have
been avoided! Shit happens and it doesn't make you a better person, no more
than good things happening could make you a better person. That's what evil
is, just evil. You don't get free consolation from the fact that yea it had
to happen, or some other kind of mystical consolation of which the false
meme "being always happy is meaningless" is the #1 example.

I have a friend who is always happy. Everyone wants him around because he is
just fun to be with. He jokes, honestly appreciates people, is empathic and
euphoric. Shit happens to him. He gets well real soon. His basal dopamine
level is very high; he's as happy as supermario in the bonus level.
Sometimes being too euphoric creates problems for him. For example he can't
stand still and turns off some more serious people at work. But he has
hundreds of friends. He is the living proof that we can be happier and enjoy
it, and the lack of great suffering and depression does not diminish the
value of life at all.

[Furthermore, I remind you of the urgency of first helping out those beings
who live in constant pain, before we sort out the desirability of different
types of heaven....]


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