Re: The SA and the DA

From: George Dvorsky (
Date: Fri Mar 10 2006 - 08:57:01 MST

Philip Goetz wrote:

>Poll: Do you or do you not have a problem with living in a simulation?
> I mean, would it upset you greatly to learn you are living in a
>simulation? If so, why?
>Intellectually, I think it shouldn't matter much to me. It wouldn't
>rob me of my "dignity" or make me feel like a soulless robot. But it
>would probably be disturbing to me to know.
It depends on what kind of simulation I might find myself in. Call it
simulation ethics.

If my conscious experience is for the thrill of a posthuman entity (not
that my life is even remotely thrilling--at least not yet anyway), and
if that 'thrill' is for the subjective experience of less than
acceptable levels of suffering, then quite obviously I'm opposed to it
-- even if my conscious experience is a subset of a posthuman's
conscious experience (my angst against the posthuman can be construed as
a kind of a neo-gnosticism). That 'subset' (i.e. me) as far as I'm
concerned fulfils personhood criterea. [at this point I pathetically
shake my fist at the sky and proclaim, "I didn't ask to be simulated,
dammit, and I have rights, you know!]

If, on the otherhand, my consciousness is merely an expression of a
computer simulation, as long as I have the illusion of free will I'm
cool with it. Like Philip wrote, it would be existentially disturbing to
know this, but I'm not sure how it would really impact long-term on the
human condition.


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