420. The Gift We Give Tomorrow

420. The Gift We Give Tomorrow

…”Then you have problems taking joy in the merely real.  Love has to begin somehow, it has to enter the universe somewhere.  It is like asking how life itself begins—and though you were born of your father and mother, and they arose from their living parents in turn, if you go far and far and far away back, you will finally come to a replicator that arose by pure accident—the border between life and unlife.  So too with love.

“A complex pattern must be explained by a cause which is not already that complex pattern.  Not just the event must be explained, but the very shape and form.  For love to first enter Time, it must come of something that is not love; if this were not possible, then love could not be.

“Even as life itself required that first replicator to come about by accident, parentless but still caused: far, far back in the causal chain that led to you: 3.85 billion years ago, in some little tidal pool.

“Perhaps your children’s children will ask how it is that they are capable of love.

“And their parents will say:  Because we, who also love, created you to love.

“And your children’s children will ask:  But how is it that you love?

“And their parents will reply:  Because our own parents, who also loved, created us to love in turn.

“Then your children’s children will ask:  But where did it all begin?  Where does the recursion end?

“And their parents will say:  Once upon a time, long ago and far away, ever so long ago, there were intelligent beings who were not themselves intelligently designed.  Once upon a time, there were lovers created by something that did not love.

“Once upon a time, when all of civilization was a single galaxy and a single star: and a single planet, a place called Earth.

“Long ago, and far away, ever so long ago.”

This post is beautiful and compelling. A complex pattern like love just has to be explained by something simpler, I understand that – but, well, somehow life in general and love in particular seemed more fascinating, more magical when I was young and didn’t know shit about evolutionary psychology.

Maybe I can’t take joy in the merely real. So much the worse for reality.


Haha, two relevant comments by Multiheaded:

Multiheaded on 08 July, 2011:

“I take joy in the merely real, because I learned to; I take joy in seeing a vastly improbable coincidence where there is none, because of a hiccup of evolutionary psychology. The first is motivating, the second is blinding, but before I deconstruct the second (and perhaps build the first from its parts), I can take it in, short-term. There’s no reason not to stop for a moment and feel the joy/marvel/amazement that you suspect you’re feeling for a stupid reason; just don’t let your guard down.”

Multiheaded on 28 Ferbruary, 2012:

“On second thought, scratch that. Now that I know the community better, I can just honestly say that I simply want to wirehead myself into getting positive emotions and woo from the world.”

And I would wirehead myself into a magical universe. Maybe even with a god. Wait, with several gods. And tons of mythological creatures, spells, elves, dragons, heroes, etc.

This entry was posted in ethics, Lesswrong Zusammenfassungen, meta-ethics. Bookmark the permalink.

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