Arquivo da tag: inteligencia

Altruistic Awesomeness, Your Challenge

So you woke up in this universe, containing not only yourself, but a planet in which you live, a few billion galaxies, religious grandmothers, cookies, weekends and downloadable series which you can watch any time. Eventually you noticed people are way more intentional than cookies, people always want something. Everyone told you, also, that you happen to be a person.

Then you asked the obvious question:  ¿What do I want?

Let us assume you are a very intelligent person (we know you are ¿right?)

Not just that, you have a deep grasp on biological evolution, and what life is.

You understand intelligence better than average, and you know the difference between a soul and an evolutionarily designed gadget whose function is tangential to being an optimization program which optimizes for some rough guidelines brought forth by genes and memes in a silent purposeless universe.

You know human thinking works mainly through analogies, and that the best way to explain how the mind works involves some way of dividing what it does into simpler steps that can be accomplished by less intelligent systems. That is, you realize the explanation of intelligence amounts to explaining it without using “intelligence” as part of your explanation.

You know that only a fool would think emotions are opposite to reason, and that our emotions are engineered by evolution to work in a fluid and peaceful coalition with reason, not only as best friends, but as a symbiotic system.

You have perused through the underlying laws of physics, and not only you found out schröedinger’s equation, but you understood that it implies a counter-intuitive series of things, such as: There are many-worlds splitting all the time into even more worlds, and I am splitting just like everything within this model. In fact, there is a tree of greater and greater amounts of branches, so I can always trace my self back, but there are too many selves forward. You wonder if you are all of them, or just one, and which.

Everett branches of a person, splitting into the future

You basically have intelligence enough (which probably would correlate with some nice IQ measurement, on the 125+ range…. but NEVER worry about IQ, that number is just a symbol to remind you that you are smarter than most of your teachers, your village elders, etc… and give you motivation to actually DO the stuff you’ve been considering doing all this time, IQ is, basically, a symbolic statement that you can disrespect authority)

Then you thought: Wow, it turns out I feel very good being Nice to other people. I am a natural altruist.

How can I put my intelligence to work for a better world, without being sucked into the void of EVIL-DARKNESS [your choiche of master-evil here, be it capitalism, common sense, politics, religion, stupidity, non-utilitarian charity etc…]

Since you grasp evolution, you do know that there is no ultimate-morality. There is no one great principle, just in the same way as there is no one great god.

On the other hand, it seems that happiness is great, and the best parts of life, both for you, and for your friends, are those parts which are Awesome, amazing, fantastic, delicious, unbearably happy, unimaginably joyful. This of course, opposed to those parts which are miserable, unfortunate, sad, ennui, so awful you want to cry.

So you decided you want to have a life that is 1) Awesome 2) Altruistic.

Now, you ask the second question:

¿What should I do?

Then all your intelligence was put to work on that, and you started finding out what the other Awesome Altruists were doing lately. You stopped reading Vogue and Newspapers, and read about people who loved mankind and tried to do stuff. Ghandi, Mandela, Russell, Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie, Frederic II, Nick Bostrom, Bono, Bentham, Eliezer Yudkowsky, Bakunin, Ettinger, Mother Theresa, Marx, among a  few others.

“Let us understand, once and for all, that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it.”
— T. H. Huxley (“Darwin’s bulldog”, early advocate of evolutionary theory)

You have started to analyse their actions counterfactually. You learned that the right question, to figure out what really matters is: ¿What is the difference between our world in which X did what he did, and our world in case X had not done that?

You noticed people have a blind spot relating to this question, and they always forget to ask “¿Would someone else have done that, had X not done that?” and you have stored a special cozy place in your brain that cintilates a huge neon sign saying “If YES, then X work does not make a difference” every time you ponder the issue.

So you noticed how the most important altruistic acts are not just those that have greater impact, and stronger effect. You realized that the fewer people are working on something of impact and effect, the more difference each one makes. There is no point in doing what will be done by others anyway, so what should be done is that which, if you did not do it, would not get done at all.

Applying this reasoning, you have excluded most of your awesome altruists of people it would be great to be like.

Some remain. You notice that from those, it turns out they are all either very powerful (moneywise) or tranhumanists. You begin to think about that…..

¿Why is it, you ask, that everyone who stands a chance of creating a much much better universe is concerned with these topics?

1) Promoting the enhancement and improvement of the human condition through use of technology

2) Reducing the odds of catastrophic events that could destroy the lives of, say, more than 50 million people at once.

3) Creating a world through extended use of technology in which some of our big unsolved problems do not exist anymore. (Ageing, unhappiness, depression, akrasia, ennui, suffering, idiocy, starvation, disease, impossibility of creating a back up of one self in case of car crash, not having a very, very delicious life, bureocracy and Death, to name a few problems)

It is now that you begin to realize that just like science is common sense, applied over and over again at itself, Just like science is iterated common sense, transhumanism is iterated altruistic awesomeness.

Sometimes, something that comes from science seems absurd for our savannah minds (splitting quantum worlds, remote controllable beetles, mindless algorithms that create mindful creatures). But then you realize that if you take everything you grasp as common sense, and apply common sense once again to it, you will get a few thing that look a little bit less commonsensical than the first ones. Then you do it again, a little more. And another time. All the steps take you only a little bit further away from what your savannah mind takes as obvious. But 100 steps later, we are talking about all the light coming from a huge exploding ball of helium very far away which disturbs space in predictable ways and that we perceive as sunlight. We call this iterated common sense Science, for short.

Now ¿what if you are a nice person, and you enjoy knowing that your action made a difference? Then you start measuring it. It seems intuitive at first that some actions will be good, saying the truth, for instance. But in further iterations, when you apply the same principles again, you find exceptions like “you are fat”. As you go through a few iterations, you notice the same emotional reaction you felt when common sense was slipping away while you learned science. You start noticing that giving for beggars is worse than for organized institutions, and that your voting does not change who is elected, you notice education pays off in long term, and you understand why states are banishing tobacco everywhere. You realize the classic “prevention is the best remedy”. Here is the point where you became a humanist. Congratulations! Very Few have gotten through here.

It turns out, though, that you happen to know science. So there are more steps to take. You notice that we are in one of the most important centuries of evolution’s course, because memes are overtaking genes, and we just found out about computers, and the size of the universe. We are aware of how diseases are transmitted, and we can take people’s bodies to the moon, and minds throughout most of the earth surface, and some other planets and galaxies. So you figure once we merge with technology, the outcome will be huge. You notice it will probably be in the time of your life, wheter you like it or not.

It will be so huge in fact, that there is probably nothing that you can do, in any other area whatsoever, that stands an awesome altruistic chance against increasing the probability that we will end up in a Nice Place to Live, and will not end up in “Terrible Distopian Scenario Number 33983783, the one in which we fail to realize that curing cancer was only worth it if it was not necessary to destroy the earth to calculate the necessary computations to perform the cure”.

Dawkins points out that there are many more ways of being dead than alive. There are more designs of unsustainable animals. Yudkwosky points out there are many more ways of failing in our quest to find a Nice Place to Live. Design space is huge, and the Distopian space is much greater than the Utopian Space. Also, they are not complementary.

So you kept your Altruistic Awesomeness reasoning with your great intelligence. Guess what, you found out that other people who do that call themselves “transhumanists”, and that they are working to either avoid global catastrophic risks, or to create a world of cognition, pleasure, and sublime amazement beyond what is currently conceivable to any earthling form.

You also found out there are so few of these people. This gave you a mixed feeling.

On the one hand, you felt a little bit worried, because no one in your tribe of friends, acquaintances, and authorities respects this kind of thinking. They want to preserve tradition, their salaries, one or another political view, the welfare state, teen-tribal values,  status quo, ecology, their grades, socialist ideals, or something to that effect. So you were worried because you identified yourself as something that is different from most who you know, and that not necessarily holds the promise of gaining status among your peers because of your ideals, which relate to the greater good of all humans and sentient life, present and future, including themselves, who simply have no clue what the hell are you talking about, and are beggining to find you a bit odd.

On the other hand, when you found out that there are few, you felt like the second shoes salesman, who went to an underdeveloped land and sent a message for the king after his friend, the first salesman, had sent another, from the northern areas of the land.

First Salesman: Situation Hopeless, they don’t wear any shoes…

Second Salesman: Glorious Opportunity, they don’t have any shoes yet!

It took you a long time, to learn all this science, and to deeply grasp morality. You have crossed through dark abysses of the human mind under which many of our greatest have failed. Yet, you made through, and your Altruistic Awesomeness was iterated, again and again, unappalled by the daunting tasks required of those who want to truly do good, as opposed to just pretending. The mere memory of all the process makes you chill. Now, with hindsight, you can look back and realize it was worth it, and that the path that lies ahead is paved, unlike hell, not with good intentions, but with good actions. It is now time to realize that if you have made it through this step, if all your memes cohered into a transhumanist self, then congratulations once again, for you are effectively part of the people on whom the fate of everything which we value lies. ¿Glorious opportunity, isn’t it?

Now take a deep breath. Insuflate the air. Think about how much all this matters, how serious it is. How awesome it it. Feel how altruistic you truly are, from the bottom of your heart. How lucky of you to be at one time so smart, so genuinely nice, and lucky to be born at a time where people who are like you are so few, but so few, that what you personally choose to do will make a huge difference. It is not only glorious opportunity, it is worth remarking as one of life’s most precious gifts. This feeling is disorienting and incandescent at the same time, but for now it must be put in a safe haven. Get back to the ground, watch your steps, breathe normally again and let us take a look at what is ahead of you.

From this day on, what matters is where you direct your efforts. ¿How are you going to guarantee a safer and plentier future for everyone? ¿Have you checked out what other people are doing? ¿Have you considered which human values do you want to preserve? ¿Are you aware of Nick Bostrom who is guiding the Future of Humanity institute at Oxford towards a deep awareness of our path ahead, and who has co-edited a book on global catastrophic risks? ¿Do you know that Eliezer Yudkowsky figured it all out at age 16 after abandoning high-school, and has been developing a friendly form of artificial intelligence, and trying to stop anyone from making the classic mistakes of assuming that a machine would behave or think as a human being would? ¿Did you already find out that Aubrey de Grey is dedicating his life to create an institution whose main goal is to end the madness of ageing, and has collected millions for a prize in case someone stops a mouse from ageing?

The issues that face us are not trivial. It is very dangerous to think that just because you know this stuff, you are already doing something useful. Beware of things that are too much fun to argue. There is actual work that needs to be done, and on this work may lie the avoidance of cataclysm, the stymie of nanotechnological destruction. The same line of work holds the promise of a world so bright that it is as conceivable to us as ours is to shrimp. A pleasure so high that the deepest shining emotions a known drug can induce are to deppressed orfan loneliness as one second of this future mental state is to a month of known drugs paradisiac peaks. To think about it won’t cut it. To talk about it won’t cut it. There is only one thing that will cut it. Work. Loads of careful, conscious, extremely intelligent, precise, awesomely altruistic, and deeply rewarding work.

There are two responsible things to be done. One, which this post is all about, is divulgating, showing the smart altruistic awesome people around that there are actual things that can be done, should be done, are decisive on a massive level, and are not overdetermined by someone else’s actions with the same effects.

The other is actually devising utopia. This has many sides to it. No skilled smart person is below threshold. No desiring altruistic awesome fellow is not required. Everyone should be trying. Coordination is crucial. To increase probability of utopia, either you decrease probability of distopia, cleaning the future space available of terrible places to live, or you accelerate and increase odds of getting to a Nice Place to Live. Even if you know everything I’ve been talking about until here, to give you a good description of what devising utopia amounts to, feels like, and intends, would take about two books, a couple dozen equations, some graphs, and at least some algorithms… (here are some links which you can take a look at after finishing this reading)

This post is centralizing. If you have arrived to this spot, and you tend to see yourself as someone who agrees with one third of what is here, you may be an awesome intelligence floating around alone, which, if connected to a system, would become an altruistic engine of powers beyond your current imagination.

I’m developing transhumanism in Latin America. No, I’m not the only one. And no, transhumanism has no borders.

Regardless, I’ll be getting any work offerings (¿got time? ¿got money? ¿Got enthusiasm? send it along) in case someone feels like it. I’ll also advise (as opposed to co-work) any newcomers who are lone riders. Lone wolfs, and people who do not like working along with others in any case.

Here, have my e-mail: diegocaleiro atsymbol gmail dotsymbol com

There is a final qualification that must be done to the “¿got time?” question. Seriously, if you are an altruist, and you are smart as we both know you are. ¿What could possibly be more worth your time than the one thing that will make you counterfactually more likely to be part of those who ended up the misery of darwinian psychological tyranny, and helped inaugurate the era of everlasting quasi-immortal happiness and vast fast aghasting intelligence which defies any conception of paradise?

If you do have a proper, more than five-lined intelligent response to the above question, please, do send it to my e-mail. After all, there is no point at which I’ll be completely convinced I arrived at the best answer. I’ve only researched for 8 years on the “¿what to do?” question. To think I did arrive at the best possible answer would be to commit the Best Impossible Fallacy, and I’m past this trivial kind of mistake.

Otherwise, in case you still agree with us two hundred that transhumanism is the most moral answer to the “¿What Should I do?” question….Then —> Please send me your wishes, profile, expertise, curriculum, or just how much time do you have to dedicate to it. This post is a centralizer. I’m trying to bring the effort together, for now you know. There are others like yourself out there. We have thought up a lot about how to make a better world, and we are now working hard towards it. We need your help. The worst that could happen to you is losing a few hours with us and then figuring out that in your conception, there are actually other things which compose a better meta-level iteration of your Altruistic Awesomeness. But don’t worry, it will not happen.

Here, have my e-mail: diegocaleiro atsymbol gmail dotsymbol com

Two others have joined already. (EDIT: After Writing this text there are already six of us already) The only required skill is intelligence (and I’m not talking about the thing IQ tests measure), being a fourteen year old is a plus, not an onus. As is having published dozens of articles on artifical intelligence. Dear Altruistic Awesome, the future is yours.

But it is only yours if you actually go there and do it.

Why haven’t intelligent people taken over the world?

(Publiquei este post em português no meu blog)

Let’s suppose a few hypothesis:

1) There are people who are very, very, VERY intelligent in the world.

2) The human civilization doesn’t look so let’s say…  very well organized, it seems like there are important human beings doing stupid things.

3) A fraction of the very intelligent people are also ambitious AND have strong opinions about how the world should be AND care enough to do something about it.

Hence my question is: Why is the world not regularly dominated by very intelligent people???

Ok, I admit that it is a somewhat bizarre question, but I really mean it, and I will try to justify myself.

First, what do I mean by dominating the world?
Domination means that you are able to make your will prevail over others. It doesn’t have to happen by force, far from it, it is enough that one can handle the situation to his side. Dominating the world assumes that someone (or some group) can achieve such a degree of superiority of power that is able to subvert the whole political established hierarchy. This seems to be VERY difficult, as I suppose that the closer you get to dominating the world, the more competent are your competitors aiming for the same purpose (or any other purpose which is incompatible with yours). That is, to take over and keep the power you have to find a way to win, eliminate, or avoid the elite of the political power in the world.

Why would anyone want to dominate the world?
To impose your will. And why would anyone want this? Well, this is a psychological matter. I suppose that it could be to satisfy an insatiable ego, a huge will to power, magnify one’s own image or by a very strong feeling of revenge, which is nonetheless also an imposition of one’s self on others. These motivations would be psychopathic. A more rational motivation could be for an ethical duty, well, it is true that the notion of duty is not rational, but I mean it would be a more objective conduct, to dominate in order to actualize goodness (whatever one understands by goodness…).

Why would anyone need to dominate the world?
Because the traditional social means may not be enough for what you want; for the most common political organizations requires that in order to gain power someone should gather admirers and trust in those who are in control of stabilishing your rank (whether the population or a political aristocracy). This route has many disadvantages, it commits the applicant to the interests of his political supporters (actually sharing his power with them), requires him to maintain a demagogic persona (social image) that somehow motivate or justify his position, and blatantly exposes him to all who might be interested in taking his rank or who oppose his policies to act against him, to overthrow him or simply kill. That is why someone would want to dominate the world through alternative means – which need not be by force (violence), I believe there probably are other ways.

Why someone would have to be intelligent to dominate the world?
Well, it is important to emphasize that I am not talking about a merely academic intelligence, I’m talking about a person with high cognitive ability in many areas, one who is able to face difficult problems of pratically any nature, from metaphysical questions, to social manipulation, to juggling gelatin.
Therefore, I think this would be the most important capacity in order to try to dominate the world because someone in this condition could try to understand and solve any problems that could appear, no matter if he/she was not particularly good at it.

How it would be like if intelligent people dominated the world?
It’s hard to answer, but we would live in noocracy, a government of the wise, or initially a geniocracy, since I am considering that on or a few geniuses would take over the power.  I suppose intelligent people would be better able to solve the major problems of society and to create efficient policies, they would have a more realistic, deep and complete understanding of the social functioning, have ethical concerns and a well-developed ethical system, and would be able to separate their personal interests of those of humanity.
Unfortunately some of these assumptions would probably not materialize.
There is still a complicated issue of how to represent the ethical and political values of the population, which is one of the greatest values of democracy. This would be an additional problem to be solved.

Isn’t the desire to dominate the world a childish, narcisistic and megalomaniac attitude based on a simplistic conception of society?
Hmmm… maybe. But would that really prevent people from dominating the world?

Assuming then that the main questions have been clarified:
Why is that the world is not regularly dominated by very intelligent people???

The answer doesn’t seems obvious. I will consider several possibilities:

1) The world has already been dominated by intelligent people and I was the only one who did not notice.
Well, this answer is either a denial of my second premise (that the world does not work very well), or the defense that even though intelligent people have dominated the world, these beings are not able to make it work in a way that seems adequate or worse, they are not interested in that.
This argument is quite similar to the Epicurean argument against the existence of God: if God wants to be good and is not able he is impotent, if he can but does not want he is malevolent, if he cannot and doesn’t want he shouldn’t be called God.
I shall divide this possibility in two:

1.1) The world has been dominated by intelligent people, but they can’t do the trick.
This is possible, but unlikely. However, given my lack of information about the occurrence of exceptional intelligence in ranks of high power, I will assume they probably are in positions of lower public exposition ( “illuminati”? O_O). If it is that so, why is that they cannot do deal with the problem? Is the dynamics of society, politics and the economy so uncontrollable? After all, remember that we are talking about people who were able to dominate the world! Why is it that they could not manage it efficiently? They don’t have enough critical mass? There would exist too much disagreement between them? It seems more likely to just reduce this position to a more usual view that whoever is controlling the powerful society are not as intelligent or competent as we are talking about. In other words, this position denies the first postulate.

1.2) The world has been dominated by intelligent people, but they are not concerned with organizing it, they are worried about other things.
This seems somewhat more likely. But why? In my view, a very intelligent person who has been able to dominate the world should have serious concerns about which direction to take. After all, has he dominated for what? Is it that ethics really does not necessarily lead to a social administration other than that we see today? Does intelligence not necessarily lead to ethical concerns? What are the motivations of these people then? Is it a fact that power corrupts people and that as soon as someone gets in a high position, this person gets overwhelmed by their instinctive and selfish desires?

Certainly in human history very intelligent great leaders have made to the high power and we can analyze the diversity of their behavior in order to see their profile, their motivations and what was their end, i.e. why they were unable to keep the power under the same ideals. So this question remains unanswered: What were the motivations of the great intelligent powerful men of the past?

Possibly the paths that lead someone to power do not usually lead people to deeper ethical concerns. Perhaps these men have been primarily busy with more immediate concerns, as their next conquests and maintaining their own power, without thinking much on a larger scale. After all, ruling empires sounds like an awful lot of work.

2) The world has not been dominated by intelligent people.
Well, this is my main proposal. And why is that the world has not been dominated?

2.1) Intelligent people are not able to dominate the world.
I think this is the best answer. And the main evidence is the lack of competence of the resistance movements throughout the world, even under the most ideologically hostile and absurd conditions.
We could remember the case of the Soviet Union under Stalin, or Nazi Germany. The number of attempted attacks, organized resistance movements and counter-revolutions in history seems to be modestly small in addition to being little effective. Taking into account that a revolution is a great opportunity to change the order of things, for a group to take the power and establish their political ideals, it seems that in fact, what is lacking is the competence (hypothesis 1 must be false in this sense).

And why this lack of competence?
I think it’s because the intelligent people usually have some characteristics that prevent them from being politically effective: they are either insecure, or undisciplined, or impractical, or unrealistic, or not politically skilled, or intransigent, or competitive, or disorganized in excess. Just look at most of the student movements and intellectual groups. This goes a little in the line of thought of a quote from Russell:

“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order (1932) Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order (1932)

Possibly the life paths of growing up and the personality of intelligent people does not help them to develop so many skills and intellectual and political motivations at the same time.

On the other hand, there were in the history of mankind, some situations in which one or more very intelligent people took over the power. Why were they unable to keep the power in the hands of other intelligent people? Why is the power of intelligent people not stable? Is it that they haven’t had this concern? Is it that their motivations did not favor them to pass the power to other intelligent people? Or they simply could not find successors up to their height? After all, finding suitable successors is not an easy problem.

Perhaps the problem is too difficult for one or even a few humans, to take over the world and still administrate humanity is a too hard job. This also seems quite reasonable. After all, for this purpose humanity is divided into hundreds of thousands of government functions and ranks. I certainly would not expect that they could control everything, just give the main guidelines. But anyway it is a reasonable possibility. Perhaps the problem is a mixture of lack of intelligence, number of people and organization. Interestingly this seems to be feasible. Hum….

Then there is also the possibility that our society is somehow protected against the domination of the intelligent. As if our society was constituted so that whenever someone very clever has this idea and decides to do something about it, it is quickly detected and eliminated (or perhaps distracted by an intellectual problem which will occupy his entire productive life and will not cause anything useful). This strikes me as too conspiratorial for my tastes.

2.2) Intelligent people do not want to take over the world.
Finally, perhaps the intelligent people are not so interested or motivated to take over the world.
After all, these people are supposedly perfectly capable of making themselves a very good life in today’s world, so it is just not worth trying to dominate the world. This is consistent with the view that rational people do whatever is advantageous for them, which usually does not involve caring so much with others.
In addition, dominating the world takes a lot of work, is very dangerous, and probably requires the rest of your life, if you eventually succeed.
It neither seems to be psychologically advantageous:
Unless you have a tremendous disturbance of an obsession with your ego or ethics, I think intelligent people get sufficient reward in activities far more feasible, in particular, most intellectuals are very happy discussing ideas, reading and writing and have no megalomaniac intentions.

1.2) Intelligent people who achieves power do not usually worry too much about great ethical issues.
2.1) Intelligent people often have personality traits that prevent coming to power.
2.2) And the intelligent people who could come to power are probably not very interested.
And 2.1 again) If by chance there are people interested, they are in insufficient quantities to manage it, because the problem is so very hard …
Anyway, c’est la vie.

But a question remains, why isn’t the permanence of intelligent people in the power stable? Once a government of intelligent people is established, why can’t it keep its quality? Doesn’t these people usually have a strategic vision for this issue? Or is it that difficult to get suitable successors?

Inteligência e Responsabilidade Moral

por Jonatas

O livre-arbítrio existe (como decisão auto-determinada), podendo ser contingencialmente mais ou menos restringido qualitativamente, seja por pressões ou sugestões externas ou por condições internas, como o uso de substâncias psicoativas, desordens mentais ou a presença de emoções fortes. No entanto, ele independe da inteligência, contanto que exista um mínimo dela para poder constituir uma decisão. Pode acontecer de a inteligência ser inibida e diminuída, causando decisões menos inteligentes ou menos informadas, mas não deixando necessariamente de serem livres por isso. A inteligência determina a qualidade das decisões, e a qualidade, a partir de um nível mínimo, deixa de ser requisito à liberdade.

A moral instintiva foi condicionada pela evolução humana, cumprindo a função de um substituto improvisado e de qualidade inferior à inteligência, sendo também afetável consideravelmente pelos julgamentos e pelos costumes culturais. Não corresponde a um valor moral real, senão de forma acidental.

Regras morais são variadas, podendo ser jurídicas, religiosas ou filosóficas, e servem como paliativo às insuficiências de julgamento moral individual. Costumam ser inflexíveis, generalizando um raciocínio moral primordial a um determinado conjunto de situações hipotéticas ― daí sua inferioridade, em termos ideais, aos julgamentos morais consequencialistas ― e, no caso de regras morais em vigor em uma sociedade, costumam ter a sua adoção obrigatória imposta por ameaça de punição. Regras morais também são úteis a morais consequencialistas caso se conformem pragmaticamente a seus objetivos.

O melhor comportamento ético não é alcançável pela moral instintiva, nem pelo seguimento das regras morais; consiste na racionalidade de uma ética consequencialista. A maior bondade é altamente dependente de julgamento e de conhecimento, e costuma sempre sofrer de alguma carência nesses dois fatores.

Entre maldade e bondade há uma delimitação absoluta ― dependente da ação que é seu objeto ter um resultado positivo ou negativo em relação à sua ausência ― no entanto, ambos fazem parte de uma mesma escala contínua e admitem variação de intensidade. O resultado ser positivo ou negativo é algo dependente do seguinte julgamento moral utilitário: positivo é aquilo que gera em média uma melhora qualitativa subjetiva dos sentimentos para o total dos observadores relevantes de forma indiscriminada, sendo tanto mais positivo quanto maior for a melhora; negativo, o mesmo, quanto a uma piora. A taxa de câmbio entre sentimentos subjetivos absolutamente positivos e negativos é flutuante e imprecisa devido à sua subjetividade, possivelmente só podendo ser determinada com alguma precisão dentro de um sujeito, para si mesmo. Por isso, pode ser abandonada a distinção entre utilitarismo positivo e negativo.

Os mais perigosos em potencial são aqueles que têm inteligência suficiente para superar as regras morais, e talvez a sua moral instintiva, mas não chegam a criar um substituto racional a elas. Normalmente têm inteligência moderadamente alta, mas isso é variável, pois o desempenho mental nesse âmbito depende de outros fatores como a disposição filosófica e o conhecimento. Para descobrir verdades filosóficas, é preciso inteligência, disposição filosófica e conhecimento, nessa ordem de importância. Pobrezas parciais em uns podem ser compensadas pelos outros, mas só até certo ponto.

A punição tem o único propósito real de ser um controle comportamental psicológico paliativo à burrice. A maldade é sempre redutível a burrice, pois a maldade é sempre ultimamente uma decisão burra. Como a burrice ultimamente não é proposital, entre outras razões, a punição não tem sentido como motivada pela vingança, e serve unicamente para o propósito de prevenção do mal. A sua base no sentimento de vingança deve ser descartada, assim como todas as decisões morais devem ser separadas da moral instintiva. Consonantemente, o sofrimento do ser maléfico equivale em valor moral real ao sofrimento do ser benéfico, devendo ser igualmente evitado se todos os outros fatores forem iguais.