Re: virus: Strange attractors and meta-religions (was God and Level-3)

Tony Hindle (
Thu, 3 Apr 1997 10:18:51 +0100

In message <>, "Wright, James 7929"
<> writes
>Tony Hindle wrote:
>>David in fact ANYONE. if you could swallow a tablet right now that would
>have the effect of making you believe the world got better and better
>(imagine anything you like) would you? (you forget you've taken it
>instantly etc)
> What you would get in return for this one act of self deceit
>(which you would not remember) would be a world free of
>[starvation/wars/ choose].<
>I am interpreting this to mean that the pill would not create a world
>free of [pick, ignorance] but only the illusion of one for me personally
Yes, thats as I meant.
>No, I would not take it.
I cant make my mind up wether this makes you an idiot, a man of
moral virtue beyond my present comprehension or a liar.
>On the other hand, if taking such a [admittedly magic] pill would create
>such a world for everyone EXCEPT me, I'd probably take it in a minute as
>a rational choice to reduce suffering for the world.
Ok you posses a meme that I really want. I would be proud of
myself if I really and truley believed I would do the same in such
circumstances. (even if I wouldnt)
>> I see nothing morally wrong with as much self deceit as one can
>manage (my own sense of morality would prevent me from attempting any
>self programing that would lead me towards behaviour I considered
> Seriously if I am missing something here please tell.<
>I see something recursively difficult; if you can change your own
>programming through self-deceit, what would prevent you from telling
>yourself (deceitfully) that a given act was moral?
Nothing. But I would have to convince (not just tell) myself
that a given act was moral. Even is I possesed a button that when I
pushed it it would convince me, I wouldnt be able to push it because I
would blieve the act of pushing to be imoral. You are right, there is
something recursively difficult.
> Rationalization is
>just such a process; because I have a greater good in mind, a minor evil
>is tolerable which progresses me toward that greater good.
Provided that a rational analysis is made I can't see what is
wrong with this (example; I would kill a person to stop them from
killing two others.)
>The difficulty is that minor evils are also difficult to contain from
>becoming greater evils, and self-deceit seems to increase exponentially
>once its' accepted as a valid tool. This shows up in drama, literature
>and real life fairly frequently.
Yes I am interested by this spiralling self deceit warning. In
fact my feelings are at present, that I must understand the risks in
order that I can feel safe enough to allow me to deceive myself even a
little. Does that make sense James?

Tony Hindle.