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GoC
2009-05-07, 01:54 PM
What if, for some reason, every time you dreamed an inhabited planet would appear somewhere in the universe and would disappear when you woke up?
Would you put yourself in a coma, dreaming for eternity? Or would you try and stop dreaming? How far would you go to do this?

Would this change your answer:
What if instead of the planet disappearing when you woke up a random inhabited planet (not anywhere near Earth though) disappeared instead of the one you created?

chiasaur11
2009-05-07, 02:07 PM
Wake up anyway.

My brain has killed me like twenty times while dreaming, fed me to zombies and werewolves, and similar unpleasantness, yet there have been no consequences.

I see no reason to trust it now.

ZeroNumerous
2009-05-07, 02:09 PM
Pfft. I've killed worse.

GoC
2009-05-07, 02:23 PM
Wake up anyway.

My brain has killed me like twenty times while dreaming, fed me to zombies and werewolves, and similar unpleasantness, yet there have been no consequences.

I see no reason to trust it now.

You have irrefutable evidence that these planets really are being created and destroyed.


Pfft. I've killed worse.
You've killed worse than entire planets of people?:smallconfused:
I find that hard to believe...

Linkavitch
2009-05-07, 02:30 PM
So, when you're asleep, a world quite similar to earth is created, and when you wake up, it disappears? Is it a different one every time, or is the same? And, if it is the same, when you go back to sleep, do they appear exactly as they were when you woke up, or would the have to start over?

thubby
2009-05-07, 02:45 PM
if it was the same planet that kept popping up and disappearing, i would just go about business as usual. they would be like Brigadoon, not exactly a bad existence.
if i was randomly poofing planets off the face of the universe i would find a way to stop dreaming.

Mando Knight
2009-05-07, 02:45 PM
The proof is irrefutable that I create and destroy worlds through the act of dreaming and waking? And these worlds are fully formed, and inhabited with sentients?

The worlds are thus obviously a product of my imagination, and my imagination is more powerful than I thought. I would imagine myself into a position of awesome.

GoC
2009-05-07, 02:59 PM
So, when you're asleep, a world quite similar to earth is created, and when you wake up, it disappears? Is it a different one every time, or is the same? And, if it is the same, when you go back to sleep, do they appear exactly as they were when you woke up, or would the have to start over?

Different one each time.

thubby: How far would you go to try and stop dreaming?
Some say that lack of dreaming will make you slowly go insane. This will obviously distress friends and family. Is that an acceptable price?

Berserk Monk
2009-05-07, 03:06 PM
Damn! This question is surprising dark and depressing. I mean, what else could you do? Sacrifice an entire planet just so you, one small, unimportant person can sleep. Yeah, in this instance, you pretty much have to be a martyr or the biggest ass#$%^& in the universe.

GoC
2009-05-07, 03:14 PM
Damn! This question is surprising dark and depressing. I mean, what else could you do? Sacrifice an entire planet just so you, one small, unimportant person can sleep. Yeah, in this instance, you pretty much have to be a martyr or the biggest ass#$%^& in the universe.

Remember: You are creating that planet in the first place. Without you dreaming it would never exist in the first place.

golentan
2009-05-07, 03:16 PM
I'd submit my irrefutable proof that these worlds are being created, and try to get permission and funds to keep me in a chemically induced coma. EITHER one where I can do REM cycles and so the world will persist, or a dreamless one (so that when I die, the world doesn't go poof because it hasn't existed for a significant time). When I'm awake, the damage has already been done, and I'm not physically capable of staying awake or asleep indefinitely by an effort of will, so I would try not to worry about that. I would, of course, but that would just make me hurry to get things in order.

Evrine
2009-05-07, 03:58 PM
I wouldn't do anything.

Life has to die for me to survive as it is, from the food I eat to the ecosystem that is destroyed to make way for the society I live in. This is little different.

Even if these worlds did objectively exist and I create and destroy them through dreaming, it wouldn't make much difference anyway. Taking an average of 8 hours of sleep, you'll only be in REM sleep for 90-120 minutes on average, and this not all at once. You generally enter REM sleep 4 or 5 times during that 8 hour period. Thus, on average, these worlds will exist for only 20-30 minutes at a time.

Mr.Silver
2009-05-07, 04:00 PM
The fact that I would be the person creating the world is pretty much irrelevent to the question of morality. If it did you would have to apply the same rules to parents towards their children.
It is apparrent that I would have to stop dreaming. The price of continuing to do so would be too great for anyone but an ethical egoist or an extremely dedicated Kantian deontologist to argue with, and I am far from being either. The most moral course of action that can be taken in this situation is suicide. Any other course of action (barring any instantenuos developments in the biological/medical science) will inevitably result in a minimum of one such planet being destroyed. Hence, I would be compelled to at least seriously consider ending my own life.

Even if this is not the morally demanded course of action (many, including myself if it was someone else in who was the subject of this hypothetical, would consider it supererogatory) then dreaming *must* be stopped. Unless there exists the technology right now that would enable me to sruvive without ever needing to dream (to my knowledge no human can live much more than a couple of weeks without sleep) I would then have to be placed in an artificially induced coma until such a solution can be applied. This would inevitably result in one planet being destroyed - even if the cure was never developed the planet and all the lifeforms on it would still die when I did - but this would still be vastly less destructive than a policy of not doing so at all.

While this position would be morally acceptible though, I would still be more likely to at least attempt the route of self-termination. Within the hypothetical scenario as set-out that would be the most moral choice of action.

Mauve Shirt
2009-05-07, 05:06 PM
I would use some kind of drug to not dream, or I would just accept it and continue with business as usual.

Haruki-kun
2009-05-07, 05:24 PM
How you said it:


What if, for some reason, every time you dreamed an inhabited planet would appear somewhere in the universe and would disappear when you woke up?
Would you put yourself in a coma, dreaming for eternity? Or would you try and stop dreaming? How for would you go to do this?

Would this change your answer:
What if instead of the planet disappearing when you woke up a random inhabited planet (not anywhere near Earth though) disappeared instead of the one you created?

How I heard it:


What if you were Haruhi Suzumiya?

Otaku mind.....<.<

Kaelaroth
2009-05-07, 05:29 PM
... Hm...
One might say that there was no issue to it. The planet would not have existed were I not to have dreamed it, and so my removing of it by waking merely returns the cosmos to the natural order.
Though I might feel a tad bad about creating then eradicating sentient life.
. . . But I'm too flawed to sacrifice myself for such life, methinks.

GoC
2009-05-07, 05:33 PM
This is fascinating...
I certainly didn't expect this.
I thought the general opinion would be that "some reasonably pleasant existance that doesn't harm or even really affect anyone else">"no existance".
Hmm... *thinks*

Kaelaroth
2009-05-07, 05:34 PM
This is fascinating...
I certainly didn't expect this.
I thought the general opinion would be that "some reasonably pleasant existance that doesn't harm or even really affect anyone existance">"no existance".
Hmm... *thinks*
To you, it's reasonably pleasant. To one such as me, the existence you deem as reasonably pleasant would be utterly hellish.

Mr.Silver
2009-05-07, 05:39 PM
... Hm...
One might say that there was no issue to it. The planet would not have existed were I not to have dreamed it, and so my removing of it by waking merely returns the cosmos to the natural order.

The unplanned child would never have existed if its parents hadn't reproduced, so their allowing it to starve to death merely returns the cosmos to the natural order.

Mando Knight
2009-05-07, 05:42 PM
How I heard it:
...I thought of that, too. Except that he didn't say anything about having formed a club with a moe (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Moe) time traveler, a bookish alien robot, an esper exchange student, and some random normal guy...

...but if I realized I had that power, that's what I'd do. :smalltongue:

Kaelaroth
2009-05-07, 05:44 PM
The unplanned child would never have existed if its parents hadn't reproduced, so their allowing it to starve to death merely returns the cosmos to the natural order.

Your point's somewhat valid. I'm not saying what I said was right. I just think it's a thought. However, your analogy's a mite wrong, methinks - My creation of a conscious universe was the result of no conscious action. Reproduction is a process that can't really take place without one knowing of it . . .
. . . Though of course I'd have to know about my dreaming, eventually, as you guys told me . . .

chiasaur11
2009-05-07, 05:46 PM
You know, I just realized:

I really shouldn't let them survive. Knowing my subconcious, and my recent X-Com binges, they'd be a nasty bunch of SOBs who the rest of the universe would be better off without.

Kaelaroth
2009-05-07, 05:48 PM
You know, I just realized:

I really shouldn't let them survive. Knowing my subconcious, and my recent X-Com binges, they'd be a nasty bunch of SOBs who the rest of the universe would be better off without.

Another intriguing idea.
To be fair, most people who've posted are comic-book/manga/DnD/fantasy fans. Clearly, our collective dream-planets could well be, as you suggest, be a nergative influence of existence.
. . . Though who are we to judge that?

Trizap
2009-05-07, 05:49 PM
hmmmmmmm...........my answer: I AM GOD OF MANY WORLDS!! TREMBLE BEFORE MY POWER TO CREATE AND DESTROY ENTIRE WORLDS BY GOING TO SLEEP AND WAKING UP!!!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!

GoC
2009-05-07, 05:55 PM
Trizap: This is serious topic.

Mr.Silver
2009-05-07, 05:56 PM
Your point's somewhat valid. I'm not saying what I said was right. I just think it's a thought. However, your analogy's a mite wrong, methinks - My creation of a conscious universe was the result of no conscious action. Reproduction is a process that can't really take place without one knowing of it . . .
. . . Though of course I'd have to know about my dreaming, eventually, as you guys told me . . .

Not quite the point I was trying to make. What I'm trying to get at is that the concept of the 'natural order' is rather suspect at best and simply meaningless at worst. You can use 'returning things to the natural order' as an excuse for an awful lot of actions. Unless you can somehow demonstrate that this previously existing 'natural order' is a better situation then all you're doing is arguing that something should be removed just because it's a change.

GoC
2009-05-07, 06:11 PM
Mr. Silver: Good point. Let's have a look at both universes:



With dreaming:
They experience existence +1
===================================
Normal actions Normal actions
=================== =====================
===================================
You dream +1


Without dreaming:
They do not experience existence -1
===================================
Normal actions Normal actions
=================== =====================
===================================
You don't dream -1
Not seeing it.:smallconfused:

DarthArminius
2009-05-07, 06:31 PM
I go to sleep every day, thinking maybe I could develop the power to save inhabitants.

Sneak
2009-05-07, 06:51 PM
I would continue with my life as usual. Perhaps sleeping a bit less.

In my opinion, living for a night is still better than never living at all. Thus, I would not prevent myself from dreaming.

This is assuming, of course, that they simply "disappear" when I wake up, instead of dying horrible deaths.

As for putting myself in a coma...that is just out of the question.

Firstly, I'm willing to admit that perhaps I am a selfish person.

I want to live my life.

Perhaps if I were an old man or even an adult I would feel differently, but I'm only 15, and I feel that I deserve a shot at life. Continuing with this train of thought...maybe I'm a bit naïve, yes, but I legitimately believe that I can make a difference in this world. As an artist, as a doctor, as a writer, as an activist...whatever I choose to become, I believe that I am talented, intelligent, and motivated enough to be beneficial to the world through my life and/or career. Maybe this viewpoint is a bit conceited, but that is honestly how I feel.

Secondly, I don't think I could knowingly put all of my family and friends through the experience of me being in a coma. These are people that I know and love and care about, and although they are definitely the minority compared to these hypothetical worlds being created and destroyed, such a personal connection is a powerful thing when dealing with an important decision.

Thirdly...I would be afraid. I can be very nervous and indecisive at times, especially with major decisions. So it is likely that I would take the "easy way out," which is not doing anything.

And one more thing. Even if I wanted to, how would I actually manage to put myself in a coma? Granted, I don't know much about the subject, but I imagine that it might be rather difficult to ensure that I would go into a coma. There are probably some sort of drugs that would put me in a comatose state, but that just brings up more questions. Where would I get my hands on such drugs? I couldn't get them myself, and I'm fairly certain that a doctor wouldn't willingly assist me in putting myself in a coma.

Head trauma is certainly a risky way of attempting it. For one thing, there's always the possibility that the head trauma would either simply not cause a coma or just kill me outright. And I don't know how I would inflict such trauma on myself. Getting someone else to do it wouldn't work either, as that would most likely end up with my helper getting in legal trouble.

And say I did manage to get myself into a coma. Wouldn't whoever eventually found me take me to the hospital, where the doctors would try their hardest to bring me back?

Turns out they don't like people in comas, whether or not said comas were intentional.

Just some food for thought. :smallwink:

Trizap
2009-05-07, 07:20 PM
Trizap: This is serious topic.

I know, so?

golentan
2009-05-07, 10:20 PM
With dreaming:
They experience existence +1
===================================
Normal actions Normal actions
=================== =====================
===================================
You dream +1


Without dreaming:
They do not experience existence -1
===================================
Normal actions Normal actions
=================== =====================
===================================
You don't dream -1

The problem with this chart is that not existing is radically different from ceasing to exist. If you don't exist, you cannot by definition have conceived of existing, you cannot imagine another state, and you cannot fear the state of nonexistence. You do not have goals, desires, or urges. If you exist, you can conceive of another state, and almost everything that would result in a world being "inhabited" would fear the state of nonexistence. They would have goals, desires, and urges.

Ceasing to exist strips all these things from whatever is being destroyed. It removes potential, and is something to be feared. The above posts saying they would not change their behavior out of fear are a perfect example of this. What's the most common fear? Ceasing to exist, dying or going into a coma and no longer being a being. In this case, however, that very prospect is what faces however many beings exist on that world. Hundreds? Millions? Trillions? That knowledge would haunt me if I let things go, if I let more slide into nonexistence. I carry the faces of my dead. There are far more than I care to count. I do NOT want to add to that burden. And preventing such a massive destruction outweighs the minor one.

I am not judging those who say differently. That which exists has a right to preserve itself by any necessary means (note necessary). The wolf has a right to kill the sheep to survive, and the sheep have a right to evade or kill the wolf.

CasESenSITItiVE
2009-05-07, 11:16 PM
i find it interesting how popular the "i must stop dreaming" answer is.

the idea seems to be: "if i wake up, i killed them". in my mind, the not dreaming action is similar to: "i'm sad he died, so to reverse it, i'll make it so he was never born"

the right thing? i dunno, but i don't think that possible line of thinking is even being explored

Quincunx
2009-05-08, 03:29 AM
Dreaming is not, in itself, accomplishment or life. Nobody talks about the greatest story in the world that was never written.

averagejoe
2009-05-08, 03:41 AM
i find it interesting how popular the "i must stop dreaming" answer is.

the idea seems to be: "if i wake up, i killed them". in my mind, the not dreaming action is similar to: "i'm sad he died, so to reverse it, i'll make it so he was never born"

the right thing? i dunno, but i don't think that possible line of thinking is even being explored

I tend to agree. I don't see the choice as, "Kill these people or don't," I see it as, "Give these people a chance at life or not." From a personal point of view, I would rather exist for a few hours than never have existed. Unless their short lives are somehow automatically very painful or something, I see the creation of such life as a good and beautiful thing, even if it must inevitably end.

FoE
2009-05-08, 04:10 AM
What would happen if I died in my sleep?

Dallas-Dakota
2009-05-08, 04:27 AM
You know darn well, FoE.

You would rematerialise on one of the higher planes of hell.:smalltongue:

GoC
2009-05-08, 04:28 AM
golentan: But from that perspective having children is never good because one day they'll die. This seems absurd.

Jølly
2009-05-08, 04:32 AM
Hey you! The one reading this post and you know who you are. Don't ever wake up! I don't want to cease to exist. Just continue dreaming... :smallfrown:

Tempest Fennac
2009-05-08, 04:38 AM
If I knew it was real for a fact, I'd keep dreaming unless the planet was, for instance, filled with evil creatures who were going to take over other planets. Knowing my dreams, it would probably be a high magic, high fantasy world where I'd be a non-evil Gnoll or a similar creature (I tend to feel more comfortable as half animals in dreams then I do as a human if I'm honst).

golentan
2009-05-08, 04:49 AM
golentan: But from that perspective having children is never good because one day they'll die. This seems absurd.

The children have time to set goals, work towards them, try to extend their life, struggle, grow, improve. How much of that could someone do in ~8 hours?

Which is why in my earlier post I said I'd try to find a way to dream indefinitely. They'll die, but I can extend their call in date. I can try to protect them. Maybe find a way to save them, or give someone else the opportunity. I have to try, because if I fail I will once again add to the count on my head. It doesn't matter if I fail through inability or lack of effort, but I have to provide the effort to try to save them. To try to keep from losing myself under the crush of the dead.

That being said, I intend not to have children of my own. If I gain sufficient money to give a child an opportunity, I'll adopt, but I won't reproduce. Most life is neither good nor bad, it simply is. Weighing the bad against the good is something each person must do. Bringing a child into the world, giving them the opportunity to grow, love, find joy? Good. Condemning someone to a slow slide into death, without their prior consent and knowing they will probably be taken before they're ready? Bad. My scales are skewed by the fact I will have to watch my children die before I do almost invariably.

It's a massive pavlovian response to my past, but I think my points are valid. And as I said, I do not judge other opinions. I choose my own actions (and only mine), and hope others will do as they feel best. If I can improve someone's decision making process YAY ME! But I don't want to say my way is objectively true.

averagejoe
2009-05-08, 05:04 AM
The children have time to set goals, work towards them, try to extend their life, struggle, grow, improve. How much of that could someone do in ~8 hours?

More than none. Enough time to have a few cold ones with the lads, or to shoot some hoops. Enough time to watch a sun rise or set. Enough time to discover that, "The world will be ending soon," is, in fact, a great pickup line if you can get into a situation where it's relevant. Enough time, in other words, to find some amount of love and happiness, and perhaps even a bit of peace.

To look at the question from another point of view, would you choose to never exist if your existence were to be so short? Would you forgo life if your life was guaranteed to be eight hours long?

Tempest Fennac
2009-05-08, 05:48 AM
Unless I was able to do something really major during that time (eg: eliminate a painful disease, cure world hunger, give animals the ability to talk), I don't think I'd bother, Joe. (Being around for just 8 hours doesn't seem worth it under normal circumstances to me.)

golentan
2009-05-08, 05:54 AM
To look at the question from another point of view, would you choose to never exist if your existence were to be so short? Would you forgo life if your life was guaranteed to be eight hours long?

Yes. I would. Assuming I could choose existence without already existing, yes. Or at the beginning of the existence, before others could be hurt by my passing.

Would you try to conceive a child if you knew all your children would only live for 8 hours after birth? Would you even choose actions that might result in you having to watch your child die with that sort of knowledge?

But that's not the issue. Ascribing that decision to something not capable of making it dodges the question. They don't care, prior to existing about existing. They don't care after ceasing to exist (I assume). The question is: does the dreamer choose to make people exist AND THEN make those same people cease to exist anymore. Probably millions of deaths a day. All in order so THEY (the dreamer) can continue to go about their lives without being too inconvenienced by the whole issue. I don't mind someone not killing themselves, note I didn't say that that would be my response. But is your daily office life, and then going and spending a few hours with your friends and family worth the fact that you are denying a lifetime of these things to millions of others every single morning? The answer may be yes to you, but don't try to sugar coat it by suggesting that they should just be happy they had 8 hours. That's just long enough to grasp your plight and desire more.

If you see a parachute packed poorly at a skydiving school, and don't try to do anything, are you responsible for the falling death that afternoon? You didn't pack it, not your fault, right? All you did was fail to take action.

It's the same sort of issue. Something has created this quandary, and I assume you do not have the conscious power to have done so. So something else is responsible for the life (and thus death) of these beings. But because you have the power to take action to affect this; because the phenomenon is linked to your behavior, you can change the outcome. That's the question: Do you try to change the game, and if so how.

GoC
2009-05-08, 06:03 AM
Hehe.
I eagerly await averagejoe's response.

Note: The inhabitants of the planet you create are totally unaware that they didn't exist a moment before. They are also unaware that they will cease to exist in a short time.

averagejoe
2009-05-08, 06:48 AM
Unless I was able to do something really major during that time (eg: eliminate a painful disease, cure world hunger, give animals the ability to talk), I don't think I'd bother, Joe. (Being around for just 8 hours doesn't seem worth it under normal circumstances to me.)


Yes. I would. Assuming I could choose existence without already existing, yes. Or at the beginning of the existence, before others could be hurt by my passing.

Forgive me if I sound condescending or judgmental, but I find it very strange, and more than a little sad, that you feel life has so little value.


Would you try to conceive a child if you knew all your children would only live for 8 hours after birth? Would you even choose actions that might result in you having to watch your child die with that sort of knowledge?


If you see a parachute packed poorly at a skydiving school, and don't try to do anything, are you responsible for the falling death that afternoon? You didn't pack it, not your fault, right? All you did was fail to take action.

Your examples don't mesh very well with the actual topic of discussion. They're both very different situations.


But that's not the issue. Ascribing that decision to something not capable of making it dodges the question. They don't care, prior to existing about existing. They don't care after ceasing to exist (I assume). The question is: does the dreamer choose to make people exist AND THEN make those same people cease to exist anymore. Probably millions of deaths a day. All in order so THEY (the dreamer) can continue to go about their lives without being too inconvenienced by the whole issue. I don't mind someone not killing themselves, note I didn't say that that would be my response. But is your daily office life, and then going and spending a few hours with your friends and family worth the fact that you are denying a lifetime of these things to millions of others every single morning? The answer may be yes to you, but don't try to sugar coat it by suggesting that they should just be happy they had 8 hours. That's just long enough to grasp your plight and desire more.

You're creating something of a strawman here. It isn't a matter of not wanting to inconvenience myself, and I'm trying to sugarcoat nothing. I do not, in fact, see how I'm denying a lifetime to these people. By bringing them into existence at all I'm giving them a lifetime (which is, fundamentally, what we all get.) No one gets to determine the circumstances of their birth, and very few get to do so for their death. Death always comes to us in the present and, for the most part, comes to us too soon.

I would ask you how much time it takes for a human life to be worth living. A month? A year? A decade?

Anyways, what would the alternative be? Put myself in a coma for the rest of my life, insisting that I be a burden on those close to me and being effectively dead just so I can hope to have one prolonged dream? A dream, by the way, which will end in my death and the deaths of just as many unwitting people. Or do I find some way to prevent REM sleep, probably going crazy and experiencing torturous pain as exhaustion takes over and I become nearly useless? Either choice I make I condemn thousands of worlds and trillions of people to nonexistence, to not be even given a chance at anything.


Hehe.
I eagerly await averagejoe's response.

:smalleek: Oh my. I do hate being under pressure. :smallredface:

Evrine
2009-05-08, 07:10 AM
What's this talk about eight hours all of a sudden? Check my first post, you're only in REM sleep for 20-30 minutes at a time. That's all the longer these worlds are in existence if they exist as long as you're in REM sleep. If it's only as long as you're dreaming, it's probably even less time than that.

Also, I would draw a distinction between ceasing to exist and death. Just because these worlds wink out of existence doesn't necessarily mean that every person on that planet dies.



The question is: does the dreamer choose to make people exist AND THEN make those same people cease to exist anymore. Probably millions of deaths a day. All in order so THEY (the dreamer) can continue to go about their lives without being too inconvenienced by the whole issue. I don't mind someone not killing themselves, note I didn't say that that would be my response. But is your daily office life, and then going and spending a few hours with your friends and family worth the fact that you are denying a lifetime of these things to millions of others every single morning?

It's worth it to me, but then, I'm biased in that respect. I am a creative being with lived experiences. I am dasein (the being who is there). Even if these worlds objectively existed and I am responsible for their creation, the breadth of that responsibility is not that I should prevent them from existing in the first place, nor should I prevent them from ceasing to exist. I would think that my responsibility would be in ensuring the creation and cessation of these worlds.


The answer may be yes to you, but don't try to sugar coat it by suggesting that they should just be happy they had 8 hours. That's just long enough to grasp your plight and desire more.

Even putting aside the issue of 8 hours, chances are, even if they had that much time, it wouldn't be enough for them to be aware they didn't exist a short while ago or for them to be aware that they won't exist a short time from now. Life would play out as naturally as possible during that time.



If you see a parachute packed poorly at a skydiving school, and don't try to do anything, are you responsible for the falling death that afternoon? You didn't pack it, not your fault, right? All you did was fail to take action.

It's the same sort of issue.

I don't see it as a similar issue at all. A poorly packed parachute is a physical object that can be fixed, either by you or by pointing it out to someone who can.


So something else is responsible for the life (and thus death) of these beings. But because you have the power to take action to affect this; because the phenomenon is linked to your behavior, you can change the outcome. That's the question: Do you try to change the game, and if so how.

This is where I see the difference being. Any action I take to affect the outcome of these worlds, be it stop dreaming, continuous dreaming, or coma, or anything else that has been so far proposed in this thread, is akin to committing suicide of being, if not in physicality.

OverdrivePrime
2009-05-08, 08:42 AM
I don't recall dreams with any kind of regular frequency, which is something I've always been a little sad about. When I do remember a dream, it's usually something blissful and amusing, or me having the time of my life fighting in some glorious battle. In my dreams, the combat is just fun without any of the sad side effects of death and dismemberment.

But anyway, if I realized that my dreams were actually bringing a world into existence and then bamfing it out of reality when I wake, I think I'd start to get pretty depressed. As others have said, 30-300 minutes is not a heck of a lot of time to live out a life. One of my primary drives in life is to bring happiness in others. With far less than 8 hours of dream time, these poor folks would have very little chance to realize much happiness.

Putting myself into a dreaming coma is right out. I love my own life too much, and it would seem almost cruel to let one little dreamed-up world exist just long enough to start to get a real sense of things, and then suddenly wink out of existence when my physical body dies. (Unless I somehow get my wish from the immortality thread. I wouldn't mind being a tiny god, drifting through the cosmos, following the lives of my dreamed-up world for all eternity.)

So, I probably can't be a dreaming immortal, and won't put myself in a coma, and I don't want to stop dreaming, because that'll slowly drive me crazy and then my dreamed up worlds don't get any chance to live. Instead, I'll go see a sleep therapist and anyone else I can to help me hone my ability to dream lucidly. Each time I dream, I would do everything in my power to make my dreamt-of world's brief existence one of a joyful utopia. No suffering, no shame, no sorrow, just one great big happy from start to finish. When the world winks out, it will at least have contributed positive energy to the universe. And I won't feel so bad for my departed dream worlds.

reorith
2009-05-08, 10:35 AM
i would continue to sleep and dream normally. my indifference to the existence or nonexistence of foreign worlds lets me justify this simply on the grounds that i don't care.

golentan
2009-05-08, 03:37 PM
@AverageJoe: But they do mesh with the topic. Example 1 is having a child (creating a sentient being) knowing beforehand it has only 8 hours to live. If you say "That's different because it's a conscious choice," I know some accidental parents who can set you straight on the difference between making a choice to do something and choosing a behavior pattern which results in something. Example 2 is an act of omission, with the physical object being unnecessary save as a rhetoric device. The case here is that by choosing a specific act, you can save a life, but by failing to choose or choosing something different you are letting someone die, whether or not you are directly responsible or will be implicated.

You feel 8 hours are so worth it? You have 16 before you'll begin to feel tired. Twice what you're giving to those people. So winking out of existence should be okay, right? And all those decades in your life, which could be given to someone else. Why is YOUR SINGLE LIFE better than giving that time to all those other people? Especially if you'd have twice as much time as these people after you found out about this; and goodness me how long before then. Oh yes, and while you're dreaming you may not be conscious but you are forming memories, and you exist, and your personality exists. So you're not even going to the same fate you seem so blithe about letting them face. And in the time you would be dreaming, other people could look for a way to save those lives. It's personal sacrifice, but it's by no means suicide as some have put it.

I find it said you find life to be of so little value. I don't find it sad when life is not created, but I weep every time it's destroyed. You, on the other hand, seem to have no problem with destroying it in great swathes so long as it existed in the first place.

@Evrine: Well, the OP said the world Poofs in when you dream, and Poofs out when you wake up (note: wake up, not stop dreaming). So I'm assuming you don't have to be dreaming continuously during that time to keep it there.

@GoC: That's... Sick. And Great. And....

Okay, good they have history and memories (I guess? Otherwise what keeps them from saying "How did we get here."), bad because now you're destroying even more (more history, more friendships and lives and hives and anything they have english lacks a word for that they would care as much about) and they don't get a warning. Because even if I tried to warn them, if they have a history they will dismiss me as a nut.

Randel
2009-05-08, 04:38 PM
If every time I dreamed I called into existence a planet that vanished as soon as I woke up, and I had actual verifiable evidence that this took place and was a result of me dreaming... then I would see about getting some hypnotherapy or something to help me dream better dreams.

Of course, this kind of depends on if I personally am the only one or one of the few who has this planet-creating phenomenon. If this happens to everyone then I'd have to start looking at how everyone else was handling it, although in that case I would be living in some kind of alternate universe thats different from this one.


I might keep a dream diary or something similar so that after I woke up I could record what I remember from the last dream and then before I go to sleep I would read my notes. Perhaps letting the new dream world know a little about what happened in the previous world. Maybe even see about writing a book or series of short stories about it so that the worlds can be a bit more well-made than if they were just random bunches of subconscious junk.

I would also try working in some subconscious images into my dreams... like maybe in each new dreamworld there is a clock-face on the moon that slowly counts down as I'm getting closer to waking up. This way the dreamfolk know about how much longer they have.

I might start thinking about how they might escape their fate. Dream about spaceships or matter transporters... maybe they could escape from their world via ships and colonize nearby 'real' planets. Or use transporters that let them go to 'real' planets and replace their dream atoms with real ones so they don't fade away when I wake up.


And then: See if there is some way to get these dream people to help me out in real life. Dream up a spacefaring empire of people who can pick me up and worship me as their creator... and let me sleep so I can dream up worlds for them to explore and plunder/save.


And of course, try learning as much as I can and work out my massive psychological problems so that the dreamworlds I create are imaginative and non-psychotic if possible.

GoC
2009-05-08, 05:46 PM
golentan: Since averagejoe seems unwilling to explain why your metaphores are flawed I will:

Would you try to conceive a child if you knew all your children would only live for 8 hours after birth? Would you even choose actions that might result in you having to watch your child die with that sort of knowledge?
Part A is flawed because of the implications. A child at 8 hours cannot enjoy life. Also, if he's living only that long he's likely to be suffering considerably. It would also massively distress everyone around the child.
Part B is flawed because you don't have to watch your child die. In this case there is no connection whatsoever with the planet inhabitants other than the knowledge they exist (and maybe some residual memories after your dream).

If you see a parachute packed poorly at a skydiving school, and don't try to do anything, are you responsible for the falling death that afternoon? You didn't pack it, not your fault, right? All you did was fail to take action.
This metaphore is flawed because in the OP situation the non-action you take (trying to stay awake) does not end a life but creates and then ends one.
A more appropriate metaphore would be if you didn't take several hours to safely alter the reality warping parachute would result in a living creature being created in mid air and then enjoying an exciting ride down (it knows no fear) and disappearing just before it hit the ground.

Also, the case could be made that the creatures aren't just experiencing 8 hours. They have memories of an entire history that is just as real to them as yours is to you. You could say they've "experienced" 10,000-1,000,000 years of joys and pains, of love and war, of discovery and excitement!

btw: I thought you were arguing for suicide or trying to prevent dreaming (something difficult without a coma)?:smallconfused:

Note: I meant that the worlds would disappear when you stopped dreaming.

Evrine
2009-05-08, 05:56 PM
You feel 8 hours are so worth it? You have 16 before you'll begin to feel tired. Twice what you're giving to those people. So winking out of existence should be okay, right? And all those decades in your life, which could be given to someone else. Why is YOUR SINGLE LIFE better than giving that time to all those other people? Especially if you'd have twice as much time as these people after you found out about this; and goodness me how long before then. Oh yes, and while you're dreaming you may not be conscious but you are forming memories, and you exist, and your personality exists. So you're not even going to the same fate you seem so blithe about letting them face. And in the time you would be dreaming, other people could look for a way to save those lives. It's personal sacrifice, but it's by no means suicide as some have put it.

While I realize you're directly replying to Joe, you're also essentially replying to me. The value judgements that you're placing on not giving up everything and sacrificing yourself for these worlds is starting to grate. Not so much because I disagree with your position but because you're letting the moral high ground do your arguing for you.

That being said, what makes my single life better is because its mine. I already exist. The people on those worlds can't have an opinion one way or the other until I create them, and they aren't aware of their limited existence until they vanish. Even if they were, it wouldn't change anything. No where is it written that I have to make a personal sacrifice for the greater good. I don't subscribe to that kind of morality, no matter how much of a guilt trip its made out to be. Furthermore, personal sacrifice is akin to suicide, at least in my view. Note that in my previous post I used the phrase 'suicide of being' and that I did not mean a literal suicide necessarily.

This brings me to my main point. I think you keep dodging around this, but maybe I'm just misinterpreting. You're stance appears to be asking me to commit suicide, either literally or metaphorically, in favor of these worlds that ordinarily would exist only for a limited time. How do you justify asking that of me?



I find it said you find life to be of so little value. I don't find it sad when life is not created, but I weep every time it's destroyed. You, on the other hand, seem to have no problem with destroying it in great swathes so long as it existed in the first place.

I'm not sure I see the relevance of this overall. You seem to be equating cessation of existence with death and destruction. As the question has been laid out, I don't see any evidence for that assumption. It's not as if the planet is blown up Death Star style every time you wake up, it just vanishes as if it had never been there. That doesn't sound like a horrible way to go the way you're implying it is.



@Evrine: Well, the OP said the world Poofs in when you dream, and Poofs out when you wake up (note: wake up, not stop dreaming). So I'm assuming you don't have to be dreaming continuously during that time to keep it there.

I didn't notice. Either way, the amount of time makes little difference to my stance.


Okay, good they have history and memories (I guess? Otherwise what keeps them from saying "How did we get here."), bad because now you're destroying even more (more history, more friendships and lives and hives and anything they have english lacks a word for that they would care as much about) and they don't get a warning. Because even if I tried to warn them, if they have a history they will dismiss me as a nut.

Again with the destroying? Again, these worlds are winking in and out of existence at an alarming rate if nothing is done about it. How do you know this isn't the way it's supposed to happen? What if your solution to this question influenced how gravity works in the universe? After all, entire planets are popping in and out of existence with something akin to regularity here.

Also, mostly out of curiosity, what exactly would you be trying to warn them about? "Hey you! You're going to cease to exist in less than eight hours!" Really? What exactly is it you expect them to be able to do even if they have that information?

Lamech
2009-05-08, 06:03 PM
What Randel said. Try to learn dream control and break this tragic cycle. Have them make perfect copies of themselves, that wink "on" as soon as the dream people wink "off". (Or have perfect copies built up as the dream material is faded away.) Also while I was dreaming I would do my utmost to give them stuff that would help the rest of the universe. Like say a magic wand of nuclear weapon breaking.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2009-05-08, 06:56 PM
To me, the answer is obvious.

The people don't know they've just been slid into being. They don't know they've been slid out of being. I know. But, I have heard people in near death situations describe it as the most peaceful moment of their life. This was coming from the guy who got almost cut up by an industrial meat grinder.

So, if they have all this history and stuff, they might have been just existing in an alternate dimension until I dreamt them here. If so, then they quite possibly slide back.

If they do actually slide into and out of being, even if they DIE, as such, rather than just stop being, I don't think I would stop my normal schedule.

Think of all the wondrous things that can happen in half an hour. Someones first kiss. Someone had a baby. Even just for that someone, even if it was only one person, I would dream them up, allow them to experience, because experience is what makes us human, and, as far as they are considered, they have experience from before they came into being, and then, let them slide peacefully into oblivious oblivion. I would not awake them to their fate. That would be cruel. They have only half an hour here, why would I want to make the half hour hell for them? Let them live their life as normal, until it ends.

golentan
2009-05-08, 08:33 PM
@GoC: Children at 8 hours can enjoy life, and the death of these worlds would massively distress me. And waking to know that the universe has that many fewer sentients? Receiving "absolute proof" as you put it? That is far worse for me than actually being there to at least try to comfort as they go. The parachute was (again) trying to highlight that you are given a piece of knowledge about a future death and asked what you do. Being not directly responsible, but having a say in the outcome means you DO have some responsibility. And If the world were to end tomorrow after 8,000 years of human history, wouldn't that be just as tragic as if it had ended mere hours or minutes into it?

I was arguing in favor of finding a way to dream indefinitely while someone looked for a way to save these people. Failing that, I would try to stop dreaming completely one way or another.

@Evrine: I'm not talking about "Death Star blowing up the world." Destruction is "The act of unmaking." I'm talking about the lives of these people winking out and vanishing into the ether. As modes of death go, that may be pretty good, but I can't stand the idea of more dead because of my actions. Not to mention that the fact something isn't the worst way to do something doesn't mean it can't be horrible.

You do have a right to your life. You have a right to your choice. I am not asking you to give that up: my initial post is laying out what I would do (at which point everyone leapt down my throat). I am asking you (general you, but mostly averagejoe) for some intellectual honesty. In choosing to live your life, you are choosing to let others die. I'm not asking you to be a vegetarian, I'm asking you to recognize that when you have a hamburger you are responsible for the cow's death, even if you weren't the butcher. I'm asking you to recognize you had the choice, and not argue that a fraction of a day of life is SO GENEROUS! and they should erect a freaking monument to your beneficence while you go off and live your normal full length life with no concern for the fact that they're winking out. Which seems to have been what certain other people seemed to be saying. That's why I started using my rhetorical devices and arguments, to show that fallacy.

You seem to be honest, and you have your decision, and I respect that and I don't want to change that. You do have the right to kill to survive, and you aren't murdering by any stretch of the imagination, simply passively living. Your choice is valid. For you.

But as for me?

"The way it's supposed to be" doesn't move me. I don't believe things are written in stone, I don't think that the way it has been done is the way things should be done. And when given a choice like this? I'm going to try to minimize death. I'm going to give the people as many options as I can, extending their time as much as I can and warning them so they can look for ways to extend that beyond my own power to. I'm going to get others here to help search for solutions. And perhaps I'm just terrifying them, maybe there is no solution, but I'll keep hoping for one until there's no hope. And I can be there to comfort I do not think my way is objectively right, but I cannot conceive of personally following any other way. And I'm not going to be swayed by people implying I'm killing by not causing something to exist in the first place. I am in fact, going to get angry and begin arguing as I did. I can't even imagine how that works. Am I responsible for murdering all the children I never conceived?

GoC
2009-05-08, 09:13 PM
@GoC: Children at 8 hours can enjoy life, and the death of these worlds would massively distress me.
I disagree. Children at 8 hours are still trying to get accustomed to having to breath and are overwhelmed by an entirely new experience and probably very frightened.
The fact that the death of those worlds distresses you has no bearing on the morality of the action in question because it would not distress many other people.

[/quote]And If the world were to end tomorrow after 8,000 years of human history, wouldn't that be just as tragic as if it had ended mere hours or minutes into it?[/quote]
I'm trying to avoid directly discussing the topic because I want to find out what other's opinions are without my interference.


I was arguing in favor of finding a way to dream indefinitely while someone looked for a way to save these people. Failing that, I would try to stop dreaming completely one way or another.
That will take time. Possibly years. Are you willing to risk the destruction of a thousand planets?

Also, it would help if a lot you tell us your moral framework.

chiasaur11
2009-05-08, 09:34 PM
To me, the answer is obvious.

The people don't know they've just been slid into being. They don't know they've been slid out of being. I know. But, I have heard people in near death situations describe it as the most peaceful moment of their life. This was coming from the guy who got almost cut up by an industrial meat grinder.

So, if they have all this history and stuff, they might have been just existing in an alternate dimension until I dreamt them here. If so, then they quite possibly slide back.

If they do actually slide into and out of being, even if they DIE, as such, rather than just stop being, I don't think I would stop my normal schedule.

Think of all the wondrous things that can happen in half an hour. Someones first kiss. Someone had a baby. Even just for that someone, even if it was only one person, I would dream them up, allow them to experience, because experience is what makes us human, and, as far as they are considered, they have experience from before they came into being, and then, let them slide peacefully into oblivious oblivion. I would not awake them to their fate. That would be cruel. They have only half an hour here, why would I want to make the half hour hell for them? Let them live their life as normal, until it ends.

This one.

I mean, assuming they were decent guys and not H R Geiger style montrosities with a taste for human flesh.

Lupy
2009-05-08, 09:42 PM
I would dream a world that would never end. :smallamused:

golentan
2009-05-08, 09:55 PM
I disagree. Children at 8 hours are still trying to get accustomed to having to breath and are overwhelmed by an entirely new experience and probably very frightened.
The fact that the death of those worlds distresses you has no bearing on the morality of the action in question because it would not distress many other people.

I cannot accept that morality is defined by the masses. And if you feel that way about younglings we shall have to agree to disagree.



That will take time. Possibly years. Are you willing to risk the destruction of a thousand planets?

Also, it would help if a lot you tell us your moral framework.
If it is inevitable, I will accept it. But such time could be passed harmlessly in a deep enough chemically induced coma, which medicine is capable of inducing at this time. I would prefer if I could somehow pass that time awake, but sleep deprivation can be lethal, and I don't want to give up hope.

If you've ever watched trigun, my moral framework can be described as a guilty version of Vash's. I believe life to be good, killing to be bad, and I want to save everybody. Absolutely everybody. After spending a long, long time failing at that, I am trying to make sure I save as many people as I can. I don't think there's any sort of absolute authority, nothing imposing morality on the world, and that's why it's even more important to try yourself. In a relative world, you have to try to be the absolute you wish the world to recognize. I'm not going to run off and form a cult, or recruit people, I'm just going to try to be a good example and make people think. I don't care what you believe, what your background is, if you're nice, or if you're a jerk (I myself am more than a bit of one), whether you're a genius or an idiot or how much you have in your bank account, if you can think the concept "I" you are my equal, and the equal of everyone else; and I can do my best to help you, be a good example, and help decency get a toehold. I've done horrible things, and I feel guilty about them, and I'm trying to pay back the universe what I stole from it now that I understand that my actions were wrong. I'm not trying for redemption though. I remind myself every morning redemption is impossible, and that if I sought it it would be selfish and set me back. I fail to live up to my own standards at least 5 times each day, but I'm getting better.

Clear?

GoC
2009-05-08, 10:11 PM
I cannot accept that morality is defined by the masses.
You misunderstood, I meant that "it would distress me if I made that choice" cannot be given as a factor in determining the absolute moral value of the choice because if it happened to other people it would not necessarily distress them.


I believe life to be good, killing to be bad, and I want to save everybody.
1. Do you consider just the universe's present state or it's past (irrelevant from a naturalistic perspective) states?
2. Do you believe in the supernatural? Specifically souls.
3. What value do you place on life compared to killing?
4. Do all lives have equal value?
5. What define's a life's value?
6. What is the value of a non-human life?

If I've understood the below correctly then change 4 and 5 for:
4. Is it better to save 500 evil men who will die in a month or 499 virtuous children, full of potential?
5. What defines a life?


I don't care what you believe, what your background is, if you're nice, or if you're a jerk (I myself am more than a bit of one), whether you're a genius or an idiot or how much you have in your bank account, if you can think the concept "I" you are my equal, and the equal of everyone else; and I can do my best to help you, be a good example, and help decency get a toehold.
What do you mean by "think the concept of "I""? Certain monkeys can recognize themselves in a mirror...


I've done horrible things, and I feel guilty about them, and I'm trying to pay back the universe what I stole from it now that I understand that my actions were wrong. I'm not trying for redemption though. I remind myself every morning redemption is impossible, and that if I sought it it would be selfish and set me back. I fail to live up to my own standards at least 5 times each day, but I'm getting better.
This is very interesting. I take it you will not go into any further detail?
Am I being insensitive by even asking?

I really liked that last post of yours, it was poetic.:smallsmile:

SDF
2009-05-08, 10:42 PM
I'd hook myself up to electrodes, CT scans, MRI machines, and any other electromagnetic, spectroscopic, and radioscopy imaging methods available to find out WTF the trigger for this thing is. For gorram science!

golentan
2009-05-08, 11:12 PM
1. Do you consider just the universe's present state or it's past (irrelevant from a naturalistic perspective) states?
I try not to worry about the past, but if I find a way to factor it, or to retroactively save someone (??? Not sure how) I will take it. And I learn from the past.


2. Do you believe in the supernatural? Specifically souls.
...

Sort of. I think a mind is more than the sum of it's parts, more than it's physical vessel. But I believe that to be irrelevant, and don't believe in any sort of afterlife.


3. What value do you place on life compared to killing?
Killing is worse. I would not kill to save lives unless the weight was high. That's skewed by my relationships and opinions, but still. I would kill a mugger to save my loved ones, for example, but wouldn't kill another's loved ones to do so. I realize how arbitrary that is (someone probably loves the mugger) but... (sigh. Life would be easier with Socrates' demon)


4. Is it better to save 500 evil men who will die in a month or 499 virtuous children, full of potential?
Almost certainly the children. The total life is greater, and sometimes evil does have to be destroyed from a practical standpoint. Though that itself is evil, and should only be a last resort, I would probably save the children even if the expected lifespan was the same as the marginal difference is so small.


5. What defines a life?
Thought: The combination of Awareness and Processing in sufficient degree.
An Asimovian robot is alive, a platyhelminthes (flat worm) is almost certainly not.


6. What is the value of a non-human life?
Equal to that of a human.


What do you mean by "think the concept of "I""? Certain monkeys can recognize themselves in a mirror...
Most of the higher apes qualify, as do many dolphins, killer whales, and many octopi do as well.

First one needs thought. Then one needs to be able to differentiate themselves from their surroundings, and to be able to make differentiations about your internal state. Eating when you're hungry doesn't count, but thinking "I am hungry, so I should seek food" would.


This is very interesting. I take it you will not go into any further detail?
Am I being insensitive by even asking?
Don't worry, you're not being insensitive. I don't think I wish to go into detail just now, though.


I really liked that last post of yours, it was poetic.:smallsmile:

Thank you.

chiasaur11
2009-05-08, 11:17 PM
I'd hook myself up to electrodes, CT scans, MRI machines, and any other electromagnetic, spectroscopic, and radioscopy imaging methods available to find out WTF the trigger for this thing is. For gorram science!

Also good.

Science would let us loot the frack out of the planets.

averagejoe
2009-05-09, 01:36 AM
You, on the other hand, seem to have no problem with destroying it in great swathes so long as it existed in the first place.


I'm asking you to recognize you had the choice, and not argue that a fraction of a day of life is SO GENEROUS! and they should erect a freaking monument to your beneficence while you go off and live your normal full length life with no concern for the fact that they're winking out. Which seems to have been what certain other people seemed to be saying. That's why I started using my rhetorical devices and arguments, to show that fallacy.

Talk about intellectual honesty. It's almost as if you're in my head, you've reproduced my point of view so accurately. Really, I have little patience for this sort of thing.


You seem to be honest, and you have your decision, and I respect that and I don't want to change that. You do have the right to kill to survive, and you aren't murdering by any stretch of the imagination, simply passively living. Your choice is valid. For you.

Baloney. By phrasing your own choice as a moral judgment you are implicitly saying that it is the right choice. Plus you clearly are hostile to my point of view, and seem to be very close to characterizing it as murder. But perhaps I misunderstood, since you decided to be rhetorical instead of contribute something.


You feel 8 hours are so worth it? You have 16 before you'll begin to feel tired. Twice what you're giving to those people. So winking out of existence should be okay, right? And all those decades in your life, which could be given to someone else. Why is YOUR SINGLE LIFE better than giving that time to all those other people? Especially if you'd have twice as much time as these people after you found out about this; and goodness me how long before then. Oh yes, and while you're dreaming you may not be conscious but you are forming memories, and you exist, and your personality exists. So you're not even going to the same fate you seem so blithe about letting them face. And in the time you would be dreaming, other people could look for a way to save those lives. It's personal sacrifice, but it's by no means suicide as some have put it.

I've reread this a few times, and I honestly don't know what you're trying to say here. You seem to have lost some coherence.

Also, you never answered my question. How long does a life have to be before it's worth living?

golentan
2009-05-09, 06:46 AM
Talk about intellectual honesty. It's almost as if you're in my head, you've reproduced my point of view so accurately. Really, I have little patience for this sort of thing.

Right, because I started off by saying that I (Note the "I") would try to extend their time, and you said they had enough time. They may have "enough" time, but does that mean more time is worse? Does that mean I should feel better knowing they're gone but they had a good few hours? What about the ones who had a horrible day? What percentage would say "It was enough" or even "It was good?"


Baloney. By phrasing your own choice as a moral judgment you are implicitly saying that it is the right choice. Plus you clearly are hostile to my point of view, and seem to be very close to characterizing it as murder. But perhaps I misunderstood, since you decided to be rhetorical instead of contribute something.

Because rhetoric devices, and questioning underlying assumptions have never contributed to the public discourse? I'm not calling it murder. It's not malicious. But it is killing. RECOGNIZE THIS for crying out loud. Don't have the gall to claim that it's preferable to not killing, but feel free to claim you're willing to do so to keep your own life. Because that's what you're doing. You are, by inaction, killing the population of the world every time you wake up to continue your own life.

Morality is subjective. I have always given MY answer, and stated that your answer may vary. I've said as much in every single post save the one on the first page, where I gave my answer simply and concisely. You seemed to be claiming "life is good," but you're not willing to act to stop death. So as long as you keep arguing, I'll keep reframing until you at least admit that your answer is killing by inaction. Where your beliefs take you from there is your own bag, do as you think is best.


I've reread this a few times, and I honestly don't know what you're trying to say here. You seem to have lost some coherence.

Also, you never answered my question. How long does a life have to be before it's worth living?

The last question I can't answer. I know more is better, and I know that small amounts are not enough. And I'm fairly sure it's a sliding scale.

I'm saying that you've already lived many times what you've said is plenty, you will continue to exist while dreaming, and you have at least 16 hours on top of that before you start feeling tired. If 8 is enough for them, why is 16 not acceptable for you? Why is it that it is preferable for you to live a full life while millions die then it is for millions of them to live that lifespan while you continue to dream (without even dying)?

Evrine
2009-05-09, 07:15 AM
@GoC: Children at 8 hours can enjoy life,


I disagree. Children at 8 hours are still trying to get accustomed to having to breath and are overwhelmed by an entirely new experience and probably very frightened.

I actually have to go with Golentan on this one. The experience of a newborn is directly related to how he is treated. I'm sure it is a pretty frightening and overwhelming experience when you're ripped out of the womb, exposed to bright, harsh lights, cut off from your oxygen supply, held by your feet upside down and smacked until you start breathing on your own, and taken away from your mother for who knows how long. Compare that to What Frederick Leboyer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Leboyer) wrote in Birth Without Violence and realize the marked difference between newborns that are treated as experiencing beings rather than non-experiencing beings.


The parachute was (again) trying to highlight that you are given a piece of knowledge about a future death and asked what you do. Being not directly responsible, but having a say in the outcome means you DO have some responsibility. And If the world were to end tomorrow after 8,000 years of human history, wouldn't that be just as tragic as if it had ended mere hours or minutes into it?

I didn't notice anyone who said they wouldn't intervene trying to avoid or absolve themselves of responsibility.



@Evrine: I'm not talking about "Death Star blowing up the world." Destruction is "The act of unmaking." I'm talking about the lives of these people winking out and vanishing into the ether. As modes of death go, that may be pretty good, but I can't stand the idea of more dead because of my actions. Not to mention that the fact something isn't the worst way to do something doesn't mean it can't be horrible.

Perhaps I just misunderstood, but the way you were talking about destruction and death implied that vanishing out of existence was a violent way to go. As in, this quote of yours here:


Because rhetoric devices, and questioning underlying assumptions have never contributed to the public discourse? I'm not calling it murder. It's not malicious. But it is killing. RECOGNIZE THIS for crying out loud. Don't have the gall to claim that it's preferable to not killing, but feel free to claim you're willing to do so to keep your own life. Because that's what you're doing. You are, by inaction, killing the population of the world every time you wake up to continue your own life.

The language you're using implies that this cessation of existence is of a violent, heinous nature. Even using the word 'killing' is a value judgement. You're also equating this cessation of existence with death. To me, that hasn't been ascertained as the question was laid out. You're imposing your view of what death means on everyone else. That may be how you view it, and that's ok, but the language you're using is prejudging anyone who doesn't feel this situation is the great tragedy that you feel it is.


You seemed to be claiming "life is good," but you're not willing to act to stop death. So as long as you keep arguing, I'll keep reframing until you at least admit that your answer is killing by inaction.

Death is as sacred as life. Get over yourself. You're making a further value judgement and pressupposition that we should try to stop death. Why should we try to stop death? Life and Death are so intimately intertwined that the business of separating them has made us feel a terror of death so deeply we refuse to even accept it exists. Where's the logical connection between 'life is good' and actively trying to stop death? How does that leap even make sense?


You do have a right to your life. You have a right to your choice. I am not asking you to give that up: my initial post is laying out what I would do (at which point everyone leapt down my throat). I am asking you (general you, but mostly averagejoe) for some intellectual honesty. In choosing to live your life, you are choosing to let others die. I'm not asking you to be a vegetarian, I'm asking you to recognize that when you have a hamburger you are responsible for the cow's death, even if you weren't the butcher. I'm asking you to recognize you had the choice,

Again, I don't see anyone avoiding or trying to absolve their responsibility here. And again, you have, in essence, asked everyone to commit suicide in order to let someone else live. This sentence here particularly: "In choosing to live your life, you are choosing to let others die." I recognize and accept this as a necessary part of being alive. I don't have a problem with this. You, on the other hand, seem to.


and not argue that a fraction of a day of life is SO GENEROUS! and they should erect a freaking monument to your beneficence while you go off and live your normal full length life with no concern for the fact that they're winking out. Which seems to have been what certain other people seemed to be saying. That's why I started using my rhetorical devices and arguments, to show that fallacy.

This is the part where you start getting heavy handed. Read this again. Do you not see how much of a value judgement is loaded in your arguement? And no, you're not talking about just yourself, you've included all of us who have to make this hypothetical decision in with you.



You seem to be honest, and you have your decision, and I respect that and I don't want to change that. You do have the right to kill to survive, and you aren't murdering by any stretch of the imagination, simply passively living. Your choice is valid. For you.

You say this now, but the arguement you've been making has thus far been excluding this viewpoint.


But as for me?

"The way it's supposed to be" doesn't move me. I don't believe things are written in stone, I don't think that the way it has been done is the way things should be done.

This makes more sense in light of the whole death being necessary for life thing.


And when given a choice like this? I'm going to try to minimize death. I'm going to give the people as many options as I can, extending their time as much as I can and warning them so they can look for ways to extend that beyond my own power to. I'm going to get others here to help search for solutions. And perhaps I'm just terrifying them, maybe there is no solution, but I'll keep hoping for one until there's no hope. And I can be there to comfort I do not think my way is objectively right, but I cannot conceive of personally following any other way. And I'm not going to be swayed by people implying I'm killing by not causing something to exist in the first place. I am in fact, going to get angry and begin arguing as I did. I can't even imagine how that works. Am I responsible for murdering all the children I never conceived?

Ok, this is good. This is the closest you've come to expressing your view on the question without loading it with value judgements that the rest of us have to live up to.

Coidzor
2009-05-09, 07:47 AM
Well... considering how long REM usually lasts, I'd say something that exists for only about 15-20 minutes at a time isn't really worth losing all that much sleep over. Because, hey, the net creation-destruction is still 0, when all is said and done.

Now if somehow my dreaming about something caused it to be destroyed, then I would have some serious morality issues. I'd probably try to look into how it was happening and failing any solution get dispensation for sucide before I ended up destroying earth and everything on it, myself included, anyway.

Quincunx
2009-05-09, 07:51 AM
More than that, this premise is trying to join the creation of a dream with the death of something real, without ever having put in the energy to create something real out of the substance of dream. Doesn't add up. Coidzor is weighting the equation properly: the creation of a dream, the death of a dream.

Felixaar
2009-05-09, 07:52 AM
First of all, I'm assuming that said planets disappearance results in the permanent and untimely death of all it's citizens.

Now: This is a difficult question, because it is impossible to tell the outcome of a planet. For instance, what is the planet's people eventually became evil and destroyed the universe? On the other hand, what if they discovered great truth about the core of existence and enlightened all beings?

But then, who am I now? What if I have a family? Could they survive without me being in a coma? Must I put my wife through this heartwrench, and force my own children into poverty? I mean, okay, this isn't the case, but it might be someday - and if I did it now, then my Wife would always be lonely and never experience true love, and my children would never even exist.

And, what if I will one day destroy/save/enlighten/doom the universe?

Also, have we experimented? Can I, say, go shark, and have a brain that allows me to sleep at all times? Can my mind and these abilities be transfered into someone who is in an eternal, unwakeable coma?

Anyway, the basic of this seems to be, do you value the lives of others above your own, especially when they outnumber you by a large amount and have only recently come into existence (and thus are not elderly nor have lived rich full lives).

The answer is yes, I do. But unfortunately this is a choice between not just myself and another civilization, but myself and the effect I will have on not only earth but perhaps the rest of the universe and another civilization and it's effects.

I can't trust another civilization of people to do the best they can for earth and the universe.

Thus, I awake.

edit: interesting tidbit, I've often considered sleeping for eternity. I've decided I wouldn't want to do it, but I think I'd like to say, sleep for a thousand years or something. Not yet though. I've got a lot of things I want to do in the next forty or so years (most of which involving grandchildren), but maybe when I'm an old, old man, I'll just sleep for a very, very long time...

And then it's time for another round :smallamused:

Tequila Sunrise
2009-05-09, 09:58 AM
Haven't read the whole thread, so I might be wrong in assuming that the planet only disappears when I wake up, rather than collapsing in a heap of rubble and flame. If it does just disappear, it's a pretty easy desicion: I continue sleeping and waking as normal. I can only hope that I'll simply disappear someday.

GoC
2009-05-09, 11:27 AM
I try not to worry about the past, but if I find a way to factor it, or to retroactively save someone (??? Not sure how) I will take it. And I learn from the past.
So we've established that you are not coming from the naturalistic perspective. But you then go on to say that souls are irrelevant...? How do you reconcile these two perspectives?
As you've now stated that not all life has equal value, what makes life valuable?
If at after each unit of Planck time the universe is destroyed then recreated advanced one more unit of Planck time would you say a great wrong is being done?

Also, play nice please. That goes for averagejoe too.


More than that, this premise is trying to join the creation of a dream with the death of something real, without ever having put in the energy to create something real out of the substance of dream.
The world is as real and as substantial as any other planet. Even if your dream was incoherent the planet will be real and coherent.

averagejoe
2009-05-09, 01:09 PM
Right, because I started off by saying that I (Note the "I") would try to extend their time, and you said they had enough time. They may have "enough" time, but does that mean more time is worse? Does that mean I should feel better knowing they're gone but they had a good few hours? What about the ones who had a horrible day? What percentage would say "It was enough" or even "It was good?"

See, this is what I'm talking about with the whole, "Representing my point of view dishonestly," thing. I did say they had "enough" time. However, it was, "Enough time to do X," not "enough" in some absolute sense, which is how you're representing it. My statement was factual information based on the time scale we have been operating off of; your representation of my statement, well, isn't.

It would be more honest to say that I said these people have, "More time than none." Which is, again, not a disputable fact. The overall argument I was trying to make is that even a short life is a worthwhile thing, which I maintain. The idea that one should not try to help these dream worlds does not follow from this idea, but that's not the point I was originally trying to make.


Because rhetoric devices, and questioning underlying assumptions have never contributed to the public discourse?

Again, you don't seem to be listening. This isn't what I said. I'm not making a statement about rhetoric in general. I was merely stating that your statement had little substance to it, and that it was mostly just rhetoric. Dispute that if you want, I'll concede that point, and it was probably unfair of me to make it, but, really, having to dispute this sort of thing is quickly becoming tedious.


I'm not calling it murder. It's not malicious. But it is killing. RECOGNIZE THIS for crying out loud. Don't have the gall to claim that it's preferable to not killing, but feel free to claim you're willing to do so to keep your own life. Because that's what you're doing. You are, by inaction, killing the population of the world every time you wake up to continue your own life.

I am also creating life every time I go to sleep. Recognize this, for crying out loud. Don't have the gall to claim that this is preferable to not creating, but feel free to claim you're not willing to do so. Because that's what you're doing. You are, by inaction, keeping the populations of countless populations of many worlds from coming into being every time you put yourself in a years-long coma to continue their own lives. (You see what I did there, ha ha. I am clever!)

Seriously, though, I do not see the creation of life as a bad thing, whatever the nature of that life is, and I do not see waking up as necessarily killing them. In fact, unless I'm forgetting something, you really haven't made any arguments to this effect, you've just assumed that it's true and called those of us who disagree intellectually dishonest. I'd be happy to dispute the point, or maybe even agree, but you've given me little substance on this point, and I really am having trouble seeing where you're coming from.


You seemed to be claiming "life is good," but you're not willing to act to stop death.

This is blatantly untrue. I am willing to act to stop death. For one, my own. For another, those close to me. For another, um, people. And probably a lot of animals. In fact, not only am I willing to, but I do, in what small ways I can. I haven't devoted my life to it, but I see it as a generally worthy thing.

However, this has nothing to do with life being good. "Life being good," is not why it's a worthy thing to preserve life, and it is not hypocritical when said by a person who revels in death. Life is good. Death is also good. These things are.


I'm saying that you've already lived many times what you've said is plenty, you will continue to exist while dreaming, and you have at least 16 hours on top of that before you start feeling tired. If 8 is enough for them, why is 16 not acceptable for you? Why is it that it is preferable for you to live a full life while millions die then it is for millions of them to live that lifespan while you continue to dream (without even dying)?

I never said it was, "plenty," I said it was better than nothing.

Why is it preferable for you to die (call it what you like, a never ending coma is just a somewhat lively death) to prevent trillions from being born just so millions can live a slightly longer amount of time.

Katrascythe
2009-05-09, 02:46 PM
Even though I'm not exactly a huge fan of mass genocide... I doubt that I would care all that much. I have a problem with not really caring about things and being I don't know. Of course if I did then I'd probably off myself to stop repeated destruction of billions of people, or I would deprive myself of sleep to the point of illness. But I'm not so moral as all that therefore I don't think I would care enough to lose sleep over a place that I've never been and people that I have never really met.

CasESenSITItiVE
2009-05-09, 11:03 PM
i have a question, what happens with respect to reoccuring dreams, or dreams that seem to be continuation of earlier dreams (i have experienced both). do they just create some kind of duplicate? or something?

also, i'm not sure the metaphor used earlier with respect to newborn babies and their capacity for happiness is nessecarilly valid, considering i assumed the people created in our dream worlds were created as we dreamed them, as full people (and not people with the knowledge and emotional depth of newborns)

GoC
2009-05-10, 05:29 AM
i have a question, what happens with respect to reoccuring dreams, or dreams that seem to be continuation of earlier dreams (i have experienced both). do they just create some kind of duplicate? or something?
Reoccuring dreams=duplicate
Continuation dreams=continuation


also, i'm not sure the metaphor used earlier with respect to newborn babies and their capacity for happiness is nessecarilly valid, considering i assumed the people created in our dream worlds were created as we dreamed them, as full people (and not people with the knowledge and emotional depth of newborns)

They are full people.

Innis Cabal
2009-05-10, 05:43 AM
What if, for some reason, every time you dreamed an inhabited planet would appear somewhere in the universe and would disappear when you woke up?
Would you put yourself in a coma, dreaming for eternity? Or would you try and stop dreaming? How for would you go to do this?

Would this change your answer:
What if instead of the planet disappearing when you woke up a random inhabited planet (not anywhere near Earth though) disappeared instead of the one you created?

How is this a question of morality? Its not....its not even a thought exercise...its senseless....are you aware of this at all? Its never even given that you are so the answer has to be no untill such a time. Who the hell cares? You created them, and frankly, they won't have long to live if they only exist when your -dreaming- as thats hardly any time at all. You end them before you wake up. You don't even have a choice in this.

Maroon
2009-05-10, 07:14 AM
"Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not."

"I was not; I have been; I am not; I do not mind."

Or, more succinctly:

"You know, you come from nothing, you're going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing!"

Hello, new world! Piss off causality, dream me into existence sometime. Have a good one!

V'icternus
2009-05-10, 10:17 AM
Personally? I wouldn't care in the slightest. I don't dream long, and I don't dream much, and when I dream, I control the dream conciously. Yes, I know, I'm a freak of nature, but it's true. If I want something to happen, I can just say it happens, and it does. My dreams are like events that I dictate.

So, knowing that worlds are created when I dream and dissapear when I stop? Not a big deal.

And, if some argument convinces me that it's a bad thing to do, I would probably try to find a way to remove my need to sleep. (It's been annoying me during the last few years anyway, so removing my need to sleep would help)

I suppose if it gets too bad, I might just jump off a cliff or stab myself, see if that helps. I mean, by the numbers, one life vs. a lot of lives is a no-brainer, and seeign as death is not as big a deal to the person dying as it is for those alive... well, it's a viable option. (Although, now that I think of it, I'd probably rather eat some poisoned food that tastes delicious. I don't like heights or sharp objects)

Thanatos 51-50
2009-05-10, 11:05 AM
Such is the way of the multiverse.

I have no right to stop it.

GoC
2009-05-10, 11:42 AM
How is this a question of morality? Its not....its not even a thought exercise...its senseless....are you aware of this at all? Its never even given that you are so the answer has to be no untill such a time. Who the hell cares? You created them, and frankly, they won't have long to live if they only exist when your -dreaming- as thats hardly any time at all. You end them before you wake up. You don't even have a choice in this.

You have irrefutable evidence that these planets really are being created and destroyed.

Would you put yourself in a coma, dreaming for eternity? Or would you try and stop dreaming? How far would you go to do this?
:smallsigh:

Dirk Kris
2009-05-10, 12:28 PM
I would continue with my life as usual. Perhaps sleeping a bit less.

In my opinion, living for a night is still better than never living at all. Thus, I would not prevent myself from dreaming.

Well said, m'boy!

averagejoe
2009-05-10, 04:01 PM
Yes, I know, I'm a freak of nature, but it's true.

:smallconfused: Lucid dreaming is well documented. I'm not sure what makes you a freak.

Innis Cabal
2009-05-10, 07:21 PM
:smallsigh:

Wonderful rebuttle, but still. This is not a question of morality. You can't stop dreaming. Ever. Put yourself in a coma? Ya thats a great idea, one dream is going to end another starts, so your going to kill people off anyway. This isn't even close to a question about morals, this is a question of senseless sacrifice for something that dosn't even matter.

GoC
2009-05-10, 07:33 PM
Wonderful rebuttle, but still. This is not a question of morality. You can't stop dreaming. Ever. Put yourself in a coma? Ya thats a great idea, one dream is going to end another starts, so your going to kill people off anyway. This isn't even close to a question about morals, this is a question of senseless sacrifice for something that dosn't even matter.

I'm not sure I follow.:smallconfused:
Coma's don't have REM IIRC.
And as you can see some of the other posters think it does matter.

Innis Cabal
2009-05-11, 12:39 AM
I'm not sure I follow.:smallconfused:
Coma's don't have REM IIRC.
And as you can see some of the other posters think it does matter.


Would you put yourself in a coma, dreaming for eternity? Or would you try and stop dreaming? How far would you go to do this?

Then we have a problem. Because you don't dream out of REM sleep very often. So putting yourself in a coma will do nothing for you. This isn't a question about morality. You dream 90% of the time during REM sleep...which is around 10-20 minute episodes...so you destroy the world wether you want to or not. So its not really a question of morailty. The people answering are ignoring basic human sleep patterns for the sake of a mostly baseless debate....

My point is, you don't have the power to make this choice. Your either dead or blowing up worlds that only last for a finite period of time, to finite to really matter in the grand scheme of things. Not to mention that with over 6 billion people on our planet alone, its probably good that the very majority of these planets are blowing up.

There is no "Moral" question here. For it to be a problem of morals, the lives of the people created would have to matter longer then 10-20 minutes

V'icternus
2009-05-11, 01:24 AM
:smallconfused: Lucid dreaming is well documented. I'm not sure what makes you a freak.

Huh, didn't know that. Cool.

averagejoe
2009-05-11, 02:58 AM
Huh, didn't know that. Cool.

Oh yes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_dreaming) It is actually something I've experienced, though I do not dream often, and I've dreamed lucidly only a few times.

V'icternus
2009-05-11, 06:54 AM
Well, regardless, my answer still stands.

Quincunx
2009-05-11, 07:35 AM
Innis Cabal: You are surrounding a sufficient biological rebuttal (that we leave REM sleep, ending any dream, before we consciously wake) with a heap of useless, contradictory vitriol. Why?

To pre-empt the thought some people may have to interrupt their sleep in the phase just before REM (deep sleep. . .delta, was it?), the REM and the hallucinations shift to while you're awake, but not only do you not gain the ability to control when it begins and ends, you lose the physiological forewarnings that allowed you to arrest the state in sleep. Also, you're stark raving mad after a few days.

Sleep science: Fun, yet dangerous to the participants' stability.

GoC: Thank you for clarifying the prompt, but I still just don't agree with it. At best, this exercise is on par with giving an elephant a paintbrush and canvas, the emulation of creativity.

You may create substance from a dream just by writing it down in a dream diary which will never be read again, removing it from being solely consciousness/memory. The thought of a unicorn is twice removed from reality (and the thoughts of other unreal beasts can regress to infinity) but the written word of the unicorn--creativity united with intelligence and work--has an existence, a substance.

GoC
2009-05-11, 09:55 AM
GoC: Thank you for clarifying the prompt, but I still just don't agree with it. At best, this exercise is on par with giving an elephant a paintbrush and canvas, the emulation of creativity.

You may create substance from a dream just by writing it down in a dream diary which will never be read again, removing it from being solely consciousness/memory. The thought of a unicorn is twice removed from reality (and the thoughts of other unreal beasts can regress to infinity) but the written word of the unicorn--creativity united with intelligence and work--has an existence, a substance.

I'm not very good at understanding metaphores. Could you spell it out for me?:smallredface:

Coidzor
2009-05-11, 10:21 AM
Reoccuring dreams=duplicate
Continuation dreams=continuation


Hmm, well, the continuation dreams might make it so that I get attached to a certain world and don't feel so bad since I'd know it'd just come back right as rain the next time I dreamed about it, and once I got attached enough to remember a certain world, it'd basically be assured to be dreamed of occasionally.

Might get very, very bored being constantly aware and remembering though, might get a bit unhinged from that if I remembered every single dream and was aware during it. Sort of like Death from the Discworld, who views humanity's ability to forget as it's greatest gift. Because he has to remember everything and be constantly aware. The idea of eternal cognizance is a bit... overwhelming.

All told though, I just think that it would be extremely unlikely that enough attachment would form to care about these dream creations, even if the rest of humanity stumbled upon them. Especially since it doesn't seem like any real harm comes to them, they just go away. Rather than, like, being irrevocably consumed by hellfire.