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transhumanism, superhappiness, effective altruism, AI, superintelligence, veganism,
utilitarianism, quantum mechanics, philosophy of mind, consciousness and stuff
by David Pearce (2015-24)
David Pearce answers Quora questions


  1. What are your philosophical positions in one paragraph?
  2. Is "The Hedonistic Imperative" plausible? Is it truly imperative for sentient life to seek self-gratification?
  3. Why do quantum physicists fear the words "the measurement problem"?
  4. How can physics explain qualia?
  5. How would David Pearce respond to Jordan Peterson's assertion that the answer to suffering is meaning, rather than eradication of suffering?
  6. Is anti-natalism a foolish idea?
  7. For what reasons might people of the future think of us as barbarians?
  8. Does the Hard Problem of consciousness imply panpsychism?
  9. How do you interpret human consciousness? Are you the centre of the universe?
  10. What is your theory of mind?
  11. Is "The Hedonistic Imperative" ethical / moral to Christians?
  12. Is physics an explanation of reality or a description of reality?
  13. Should we prevent the pain and suffering of wild animals? Why or why not?
  14. Could David Pearce explain his views on consciousness, materialism, and quantum physics in simple language?
  15. What do transhumanists think of David Pearce's "The Hedonistic Imperative"?
  16. Is Elon Musk a transhumanist?
  17. Should abolitionism (bioethics) be applied to non-humans?
  18. What are the arguments against anti-natalism?
  19. How do I believe that the humans around me actually possess consciousness?
  20. Will there ever be a time when, as a species, we eradicate warfare completely? Why / why not, if yes, how? And within what time-frame?
  21. If there is no God, then why is there something instead of nothing?
  22. How does physicalism tackle the experience of consciousness?
  23. What is High-Tech Jainism?
  24. Are we quantum computers?
  25. In what year was the original Hedonistic Imperative written?
  26. Effective Altruism: What do effective altruists think of eugenics?
  27. How much do our pain thresholds differ?
  28. Why are there meat eaters or carnivores? Why can't all animals be herbivores?
  29. Scientifically speaking, how serious is the measurement problem concerning the validity of the various interpretations in quantum mechanics?
  30. I am a big fan of David Pearce’s work, but I'm becoming increasingly pessimistic about its feasibility. Does Pearce believe humanity has a real shot at abolishing suffering, given our current trajectory of catastrophic climate change and collapse?
  31. Are our perceptions physically existing somewhere?
  32. Does consciousness serve any evolutionary purpose? Is it even necessary for biological systems to work?
  33. Why is there something rather than nothing?
  34. Is everything made of consciousness?
  35. Do Holocaust survivors feel empathy for slaughtered animals?
  36. What does David Pearce think about the strands in philosophy that describe suffering as an essential part of human existence?
  37. If events at both the quantum and "macro" levels are neither random nor deterministic, then can "probability" be viewed as a unifying principle between them?
  38. Would it be theoretically possible to experience the conscious experience of another being?
  39. How could we stop Super AI once it becomes sentient? Is that even possible?
  40. How could we make life on Earth a utopia?
  41. What is the scientific evidence against materialism?
  42. What are the most convincing theories that time is an illusion?
  43. What do you think about the view that veganism may increase wild animal suffering, because veganism have smaller environmental impact?
  44. Would there be self-awareness and consciousness without the brain?
  45. Which position has the burden of proof: dualism or physicalism?
  46. Why does quantum physics say that anything that can happen, will happen?
  47. Can time go backwards in quantum theory?
  48. Will we be able to create conscious AI without understanding how our consciousness works first?
  49. Is speciesism bad?
  50. Is the brain a quantum computer?
  51. Is an ant conscious?
  52. What if consciousness doesn't come from the brain and scientists have been fooled - bamboozled and-drawing wrong conclusion since the inception of neuroscience?
  53. Population Ethics: How has the approach to the Repugnant Conclusion changed in the last 30 years?
  54. What is an interesting fact about you?
  55. How would we tackle an alien invasion?
  56. Philosophy: Is consciousness necessary for existence?
  57. What would the Nazis think about transhumanism?
  58. Could it be that only quantum reality exists, and that classical macroscopic experiences, events, and physics are just the interpretations and measurements of this quantum reality by the senses of a particular type of observer?
  59. Are we, human beings, 100% particle and 100% wave?
  60. Are there any reasonable reasons to believe that there is a connection between quantum physics and consciousness?
  61. How do vegans feel about wild animals that kill other wild animals? I wonder if they are opposed to all predatory species, or just us humans at the top of the food chain? Surely they must realize, eating meat is as natural a thing as there could possibly be...
  62. How does inflationary multiverse fit with the many worlds interpretation?
  63. What do quantum physicists say about the microtubules quantum mind theories?
  64. Is genetic engineering (CRISPR, gene drives, etc.) advanced enough to kill or save billions of people?
  65. Is the scientific and philosophical concept of physicalism / materialism falsifiable?
  66. What are the main differences between the anti-natalism / efilism community and the negative utilitarian/”suffering-focused ethics” wing of the effective altruism community?
  67. Space is 3 dimensions. Time is a 4th. How many dimensions beyond these four are generally accepted to exist?
  68. Can everything we know possibly be false?
  69. Is our universe the only possible one?
  70. If one wished to devote their life to it, which occupation would best serve the goal of increasing the human happiness set-point?
  71. How much good do you do in the world?
  72. How does the utilitronium shockwave (by David Pearce) maximize happiness? Does it also abolish suffering? How does the shockwave work?
  73. What would be more difficult to explain: consciousness or existence?
  74. How many infinities exist?
  75. Why do people with very high IQs dismiss the possibility of a higher power, while people of average intelligence are more likely to believe in God?
  76. Is your most upvoted answer your best answer?
  77. Can consciousness be destroyed?
  78. Should we change carnivores into herbivores to make the world more moral?
  79. What did really happen with Schrödinger's cat?
  80. What will happen to us if we eliminate boredom? How will it affect our creativity?
  81. How should gene drives be regulated in the U.S. and beyond?
  82. Is consciousness provable?
  83. Why can't we be happy for other people's success?
  84. Does anything really matter?
  85. Does consciousness exist on the Planck scale?
  86. Through what mechanism could consciousness be causally effective?
  87. Could there be an entirely unknown field of science – biology, physics, chemistry – that we've yet to discover, and if so, what might it cover?
  88. I'm 69 years old and I cry everyday knowing that I'll die soon and get erased forever or will not have consciousness. What can I do to get mental peace?
  89. Are effective altruists nicer than most people?
  90. If there was no gravitational force then what would the world and universe be like?
  91. What are some possible answers to the Hard Problem of consciousness?
  92. How did you find out about effective altruism?
  93. What is the current state of affairs in philosophy concerning the symbol grounding problem?
  94. I had sex with my girlfriend while she was asleep. Was this rape?
  95. Why are some people more interested in improving animals' lives than human lives?
  96. What is the most fundamental principle of quantum physics?
  97. Are there any observations of evolving intelligence in animals by natural or human selection?
  98. Do you sometimes get overwhelmed / saddened by the knowledge that countless number of sentient beings go through an immense amount of suffering every second? How do you handle and/or overcome it?
  99. What is the difference between a theoretical physicist and an armchair physicist?
  100. What will life be after the Transhumanism (Humanity+) project is finished?
  101. What is the latest view on the Hard Problem of consciousness? Is there really a hard problem or are we simply getting it wrong?
  102. Is all that we see just a manifestation of our consciousness?
  103. Do you think computer game characters have a consciousness? Or one day we will create characters with consciousness?
  104. I feel like a lot of evil actions in the world have supporters who justify them (like Nazis). Can you come up with some convincing ways in which some of the most evil actions in the world could be justified?
  105. Is transhumanism compatible with Islam?
  106. Does the multiverse theory include an explanation for the origination of something out of nothing?
  107. What is a quantum mind?
  108. Is it possible for a person to survive with only one (left or right) hemisphere of the brain?
  109. Are radical eliminativists about consciousness p-zombies? Or do they misinterpret the nature of their own consciousness?
  110. Why do some men get off by abusing women?
  111. Can someone explain what I believe to be the silly crossover of "consciousness" into quantum physics or mechanics? It seems like a lot of woo to me.
  112. What is subjectivity in materialism/physicalism?
  113. After an irreversible transition to a blissful existence with boundless cognitive, physical and transcendental euphoria, what would you do?
  114. What is the difference between level of consciousness and level of intelligence?
  115. What is the difference between materialism and physicalism?
  116. Why do some physicists want to "rebuild quantum mechanics from scratch"
  117. Do you think consciousness is physical or non-physical? How about causally potent or impotent?
  118. Why was Hitler so evil?
  119. What did Hitler think about the Jews that were crying during the Holocaust?
  120. Is it true that Adolf Hitler only wanted for European Jews to be exiled, not slaughtered, and that it was Heinrich Himmler who came up with the idea?
  121. Is suffering a necessary part of the human condition? What would people who never suffer be like?
  122. Do you believe that consciousness is emergent from the brain or that we are emergent from consciousness?
  123. Have you ever thought about how other people saw your existence?
  124. Can AI surpass human intelligence without showing any mark of consciousness?
  125. Are there physicists who have gone mad from learning about quantum mechanics?
  126. Does Nozick's experience machine prove anything?
  127. Is it correct to use quantum theory to explain spirituality?
  128. If you had a chance would you destroy the world?
  129. What is the link between mind, brain and consciousness?
  130. Where should I start to understand David Pearce's philosophy from the "beginning"?
  131. If you could gradually replace your brains neurons with prosthetics, one neuron at a time, would you be the same person when the process was completed?
  132. Is it immoral to kill an ant?
  133. Why are there physicists who explore the link between quantum mechanics and consciousness when there is none?
  134. Why do transhumanists have a bright view of the future?
  135. Do you believe physical pain could be eliminated as you profess psychological suffering will cease to exist in sentient beings?
  136. What is transhumanism?
  137. Is it possible that the Hard Problem of consciousness has a simple answer?
  138. What earthly animal comes closest to human levels of sentience?
  139. What is David Pearce's current supplement regimen?
  140. Is it possible to 'exist' but not be aware of one's existence?
  141. What makes a quantum field?
  142. What is the secret of eternal happiness?
  143. Are claims about consciousness being connected to quantum mechanics quantum flapdoodle?
  144. What is the strongest argument against David Pearce's The Hedonistic Imperative?
  145. Is there any literary / historical connection between Lewis' metaphysical modal realism and the many worlds interpretation of QM?
  146. What are the drawbacks of transhumanism on different levels (physical, moral and ethical)?
  147. Can anyone produce a magnificent theory of physics without the use of advanced mathematics?
  148. What is the evolutionary selective advantage of consciousness?
  149. Is it insane to believe nothing exists?
  150. Is quantum consciousness a phenomenon?
  151. How do we live happy lives, in spite of vegans?
  152. Would you rather be a male or female?
  153. If the many worlds theory is true, why is consciousness restricted to one cohesive timeline?
  154. Is physics or mathematics more fundamental?
  155. How could I experience the qualia of others?
  156. Do you believe we'll ever know not only how the universe came to be, but why is there nature, instead of just nothing, as a physicist?
  157. What are the assumptions of physicalism?
  158. I'm 17 and just realized that the universe is indifferent to our suffering. The universe still expands. Life goes on. What is the point?
  159. Do you have an interesting explanation for any of the paradoxes of quantum mechanics, which might involve novel, or unconventional thinking (outside of the box)?
  160. What is David Pearce's response to Vegan Antinatalist's video "Why David Pearce is Wrong about Antinatalism"?
  161. Why can’t science explain consciousness?
  162. What are the promises of gene editing?
  163. What do physicists think of quantum Darwinism?
  164. What should I do if I seem to have fallen in a nihilistic abyss?
  165. Can natural selection be a conscious endeavor?
  166. Is Science intrinsically physicalist or materialist?
  167. Can plants be considered smarter than humans?
  168. Why isn't consciousness developed in any other species except human beings?
  169. Why are vegans so cruel to vegetables?
  170. Is anti-natalism incompatible with Christianity?
  171. Who has the lowest IQ in the world?
  172. What is the purpose of our species and why should we not opt for extinction?
  173. Are there any complete metaphysical frameworks that provide a model for how everything in the world can be explained?
  174. What do vegetarians feel when they see someone eating a juicy, delicious, tasty hamburger?
  175. Would a superintelligent AI be conscious?
  176. Why do people think abortion is okay when they're actually murdering a defenceless baby?
  177. Is there a mutation preventing a human from gaining consciousness?
  178. How should we categorize the binding problem in the context of the easy and hard problem of consciousness?
  179. I have heard plants described as animals that don’t move, and animals as plants that move. Obvious visual and energy source differences aside, could plants be ‘philosophical-zombies?’
  180. If all the ants in the world suddenly became as intelligent as humans and were hell bent on world domination, could they eliminate the human race in a coordinated attack?
  181. Why doesn't eugenics work?
  182. Are any current theories of consciousness falsifiable?
  183. Does the "experience machine" (pleasure machine) argument adequately refute hedonism?
  184. Is philosophy dead?
  185. Why is consciousness hard to perceive in spite of it being certain?
  186. Why do people need to eat meat?
  187. How can AI be useful to answer the 'Hard' problem of consciousness?
  188. Is "nothing" really possible? How can the concept of "nothing" be validated as real?
  189. Was Parfit correct about consciousness and how we're not the same person that we were when we were born?
  190. Are particles conscious?
  191. Can consciousness be modelled mathematically?
  192. Why did humans and other animals evolve to be conscious of the world around them?
  193. What is really “hard” about “the hard problem of consciousness”?
  194. What are some philosophical arguments against the possibility of conscious machines?
  195. Why is existence so complex?
  196. Philosophers of physics: what is your preferred interpretation of quantum mechanics and why?
  197. What is a good way to describe the hard problem of consciousness to someone with little background in philosophy and/or science?
  198. How may accepting quantum mind (potentially) factor in resolving extant metaphysical questions such as causation, identity, supervenience, modality, binding etc. in tension with the Standard Model?
  199. What would be the philosophical and societal implications if Kantian idealism were somehow proven true and dualism and physicalism fell by the wayside?
  200. What is the root cause of all suffering?
  201. What do physicists think of the philosophers of physics who philosophise about physics?
  202. Should anything actually exist?
  203. How do I shut down radical vegans claiming that eating meat is abusing animals?
  204. Is human consciousness just a series of chemical reactions in the brain?
  205. Who is currently the most powerful transhumanist?
  206. Do physicists tend to be physicalists?
  207. Can subjective experience and the physical be reconciled?
  208. How is eugenics justified?
  209. Can anyone ever explain the 'Measurement Problem' in quantum physics?
  210. Did matter arise from consciousness, or did consciousness arise from matter?
  211. What if solipsism is true?
  212. What are David Pearce's political leanings?
  213. If humanity solves the Hard Problem of consciousness, does the Philosophy of Mind collapse?
  214. How could we tell if a computer has consciousness?
  215. Why isn't there a good definition for what consciousness is?
  216. What are some good, simple texts that support the utilitronium shockwave (by David Pearce)?
  217. Do animals feel pain as intensely as we do?
  218. If there are no carnivores, how will the herbivores and plants be affected?
  219. Can consciousness be quantized? If so, what is the quantum of consciousness?
  220. Are there other dimensions that help explain quantum physics?
  221. Is consciousness a phenomenon of cosmic significance?
  222. Will designer babies lead to a resurgence in eugenics?
  223. Has David Chalmers resurrected interest in dualism?
  224. Could human brains be organic quantum computers?
  225. Do we have to believe everything physicists say?
  226. What are some of the darkest scientific based theories of our universe and the terrifying implications they could have if proven true?
  227. Should we neuter wild animals?
  228. Transhumanists aim to completely remove the suffering of humans. How will humans still value the good in life if there is no bad to compare it with (i.e. no peaks without valleys)?
  229. Could quantum computing cause sentience in A.I.?
  230. What will the world be like if animals stopped killing each other?
  231. Do vegans think that they can convert the whole world to veganism?
  232. What is "nothing"? According to a popular theory everything (i.e. the universe, space, time, energy, matter) came from "nothing." What could this nothing be, if time does not exist and space does not exist?
  233. Are you aware of your surroundings?
  234. Did Immanuel Kant say that reality as we perceive it is not the ultimate reality?
  235. How would you argue that negative utilitarianism is ethically correct?
  236. What is the purpose of the existence of consciousness?
  237. Why don't more effective altruists work on the Hedonistic Imperative?
  238. How many universes are possible in the string theory landscape? You see not only 10500 bandied about, but also 105000. Which should we believe?
  239. Physicists and mathematicians, which interpretation of quantum mechanics do you think is the most plausible? Why?
  240. How can you know if you are a psychic?
  241. If every particle and atom in our bodies have no consciousness, how do we have consciousness?
  242. Does this material world exist independently of our consciousness?
  243. Brian Tomasik suggests that plants and even bacteria could be sentient, should the Hedonistic Imperative apply to these beings too?
  244. What are the downsides of transhumanism?
  245. What is wrong with the functionalist argument for consciousness? Why would modelling neurons in a classical computer not yield consciousness?
  246. To what degree do you consider theoretical physics a form of philosophy?
  247. Can a thought think of itself?
  248. Do you think artificial intelligence will ever be conscious?
  249. Does consciousness exist or have our brains tricked us?
  250. What would Satan think of Transhumanism?
  251. Does particle physics rule out that photons are conscious as claimed by strong panpsychism?
  252. Do you think that Roger Penrose's Quantum Consciousness theory is correct?
  253. Are there people who believe that anything is potentially harmful, including rainbows and unicorns?
  254. Is there any scientific evidence for the existence of group consciousness?
  255. Can Quantum Mechanics explain how everything came to be?
  256. Do physicists address the role of consciousness in quantum theory?
  257. Would you retain a degree of consciousness with both hemispheres removed?
  258. “Is it possible for a person to survive with only one (left or right) hemisphere of the brain?”
  259. What is a comprehensive list of ways in which reality may be distorted by perception?
  260. Are you a seeker of reality?
  261. Can artificial intelligence be used to develop artificial consciousness that is sentient, self-aware, sapient, etc.?
  262. Do you accept that colours do not exist in the Universe (It is a creation of our mind's imaginations used to better perceive our surroundings)?
  263. Why does the universe exist instead of nothingness?
  264. How would David Pearce respond to the question and comments in this video? ("Name the trait")
  265. What feeling is the most hedonistic pleasure ever?
  266. Are you a dualist or a physicalist? Why?
  267. Why do some people think that philosophy is pointless?
  268. What evidence exists that quantum effects have a nontrivial impact on brain function?
  269. Why does anything exist? It makes no sense. Shouldn't there be nothing?
  270. Is what we perceive as reality objective realm or just a subjective construct of our minds?
  271. If consciousness has no evolutionary advantage, doesn't that imply that it is an emergent property?
  272. What is it for a mental state to be ‘about’ something?
  273. Why have so many brilliant minds (e.g. Spinoza, Schopenhauer, Einstein) fallen for determinism?
  274. What does David Pearce think of the intelligence explosion theory?
  275. I don't believe consciousness exists. Can you convince me?
  276. If consciousness is fundamental, what predictions does it make?
  277. Why have psychedelics messed up the epistemic rationality (healthy cynicism and critical thinking) of intelligent, reasonable people such as most of the eminent scientists who synthesized, consumed and studied them?
  278. What, if any, is the function of consciousness?
  279. Will scientists ever be able to explain how the brain generates consciousness?
  280. Do you agree with anti-natalism?
  281. Why is the brain considered like a computer?
  282. Is nothingness a philosophical or scientific issue?
  283. Should there be a gene drive moratorium?
  284. What is the relationship between subjective experience and the physical world?
  285. What are some novel (legal, safe) substitutes for opioids for the treatment of severe pain? Has anyone had a success using the moderate consumption of alcohol?
  286. In quantum physics are there particles that can be in multiple places at the same time?
  287. Do you think Jeanne Calment was really 122 years old?
  288. Was Jeanne Calment the only person in history to surpass the age of 120 years old?
  289. Why do we ask questions that do not have a right or wrong answer like Schrödinger’s cat?
  290. Why is it hard for humans to imagine nothingness?
  291. What is considered the hardest paradox to explain?
  292. What would the world be like if we were all vegans?
  293. If the laws of physics are reversible and QM is nondeterministic, does this mean the past is not determined by the present?
  294. How can we explain the shared experience of reality?
  295. Will mathematics ever be able to explain the phenomenon of qualia?
  296. What are your thoughts on the "benevolent world destroyer" argument against negative utilitarianism?
  297. What is your take on consciousness, that it is fundamental, universal, emergent or doesn't exist at all? Why?
  298. Why does something exist rather than nothing?
  299. What if a toaster was sentient?
  300. Can a world exist where animals do not eat other animals?
  301. What is an as-yet unproven hypothesis you came up with?
  302. How does the world view of a believer in physicalism differ from one of idealism?
  303. Why is there always something rather than nothing?
  304. We find ourselves living in a probabilistic universe. How improbable is that?
  305. Are physicists far from a deep understanding of physics?
  306. Do fully sentient AI machines have the same rights as humans?
  307. What does David Pearce think about John Searle’s account of direct/naïve realism and how scepticism is philosophy’s biggest mistake?
  308. Why has God made violence a part of nature when no one can live without love? One animal (including humans) has to kill another in order to survive. In other words, why does the hunter-prey relationship exist?
  309. Will human experiments be needed in the future to complete Transhumanism?
  310. If animals were not killed anymore by humans, and they overpopulated the earth, how would vegans approach the problem?
  311. Do IQ tests really measure intelligence or simply your ability to do IQ tests?
  312. How can we be sure ants aren't conscious?
  313. Are there any reported harmful side effects of continuous modafinil use (Modvigil, Provigil)?
  314. Are there possible solutions to the Hard Problem of consciousness? Is there a theory that may explain how the physical characteristics of our brain produce a sense of experience?
  315. Will the human race ever go extinct?
  316. Have you ever made up a word or expression?
  317. Will "negative emotion" cease to exist in the future via transhumanism, or do you think these emotions will always be part of us? Think art, media, entertainment, personal growth and experience.
  318. Why is monism so controversial?
  319. What would the world look like without mathematics?
  320. Where is a list of all the domains that David Pearce owns?
  321. How can there be multiple universes if the universe is everything?
  322. Vegetarians and vegans, what (if anything) is ethically wrong about eating meat from so called "ethical farms", where the animals are treated well and killed with minimal to no pain and suffering?
  323. Is effective altruism a reincarnation of the hippie movement?
  324. Is being too honest a sign of high intelligence?
  325. Who was the oldest human to live?
  326. Do you think there will ever be a time when vegetarians comprise more than half of the world’s population? If so, when? (Let’s count lab-grown meat as vegetarian)
  327. From an anti-natalist point of view, what prevents life from evolving into sentient beings again and perpetuating suffering? Aren't we closer to eliminating suffering now than the next evolution of sentient life would be at its conception?
  328. What language do they speak in Hell?
  329. Can solipsism be scientifically disproved?
  330. Does every person have the thought of “I think, therefore I am”?
  331. Did humans invent emotion?
  332. How do you conceptualise the entities many individuals describe encountering when they’ve consumed DMT?
  333. Is having a job a human right or a privilege?
  334. How does the brain experience the outside world?
  335. Have any vegans survived to become one of the oldest living people?
  336. Who believes that the Hard Problem of consciousness can be solved?
  337. Is it possible to reduce the reality of everything to a single thing?
  338. What does modern science say about consciousness?
  339. Could a person die of happiness? Would it be wrong to die of happiness?
  340. Would philosophical zombies discuss about consciousness, just as we do?
  341. How can quantum nonlocality be explained in the context of local realism, and what can we learn about our perception of reality given that idea?
  342. Have you ever experienced something you can't explain?
  343. Has quantum physics proven that there is no objective reality? If so, what does that mean?
  344. Is humankind some kind of virus?
  345. How would AI destroy human civilisation?
  346. How does the recent “Wigner’s friend” experiment suggest facts are not observer-independent?
  347. How do you break the hedonic treadmill?
  348. Is Jo Cameron, the woman who feels no pain and never experiences fear or anxiety, the next step in human evolution?
  349. When has revenge been exacted on the wrong person throughout history?
  350. What are your thoughts on the feasibility of bioethical abolitionism?
  351. If eugenic genetic engineering creates superior humans, will they consider non-engineered people to be inferior?
  352. Is there a way to experience a constant 'high'?
  353. Did the Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment actually make sense or is it discredited?
  354. Should penalties for animal cruelty be the same as with humans?
  355. What is your favourite theory of consciousness?
  356. Is there purpose in all human suffering?
  357. What is the name of Schrödinger’s cat in the Schrödinger’s thought experiment?
  358. If we have a bunch of atoms, can we arrange them to create consciousness?
  359. If life is an illusion created by our consciousness why does everything look and feel solid?
  360. Can science ever answer the question: "Why is there something rather than nothing?" without begging the question?
  361. Who has higher IQ: vegetarians or meat-eaters? Why?
  362. What is the benefit of consciousness from an evolutionary standpoint?
  363. Is the superposition principle universal?
  364. How would you explain the origin of the universe?
  365. Is David Pearce a time traveller from the year 2100?
  366. Is it true that AI would destroy humanity?
  367. Can trees possess consciousness?
  368. Is colour in our minds or does it exist physically inherent to objects in the world around us?
  369. Can a materialist explain to me how much consciousness weighs?
  370. How do consciousness-realists who believe the universe is physical define 'physical'?
  371. What is the worst innate human trait?
  372. Shouldn’t consciousness be included in a theory of everything?
  373. Could a sentient quantum computer have its own code of ethics?
  374. What are the weirdest details to emerge from the Jeffrey Epstein case?
  375. What is the transhuman agenda?
  376. What are quantum fields made out of?
  377. Is anti-natalism a psychiatric disorder?
  378. Is there any scientific / biological evidence of behaviour difference between vegetarians and non-vegetarians?
  379. What does consciousness look like in the brain?
  380. What does David Pearce think about S-risks (suffering risks)?
  381. How does non-materialist physicalism address the quality/awareness gap as defined by Chalmers?
  382. What are your thoughts on life being an imposition, not a choice?
  383. Why is David Pearce a vegan and a negative utilitarian given industrial agriculture's decimation of insect populations and, therefore, suffering the greater number of insects than farm animals?
  384. What do you love most about your brain?
  385. Technological advances will eventually enable humanity to achieve enormously enhanced intelligence, immortality and bliss. Would that be enough for human fulfillment?
  386. What work does the word "unitary" do in the term "unitary subject of experience" (in David Pearce's view)? What would it be like to be a non-unitary subject of experience?
  387. Is there any philosophy that can overcome materialism?
  388. Could future technologies induce mass bliss that doesn't necessarily reduce intelligent agency?
  389. According to anti-natalism, shouldn't we force the extinction of the entire animal kingdom?
  390. What does David Pearce think of closed, empty, and open individualism?
  391. Isn't it obvious that eliminative materialism is the only possible explanation for consciousness?
  392. Do you identify with solipsism?
  393. Have psychedelically altered states ever revealed objectively verifiable truths that were previously unobservable?
  394. Nick Bostrom acknowledges that running ancestor simulations is unethical. Does that make our modern gaming simulations of war just as unethical?
  395. What does David Pearce mean when he says the AI paperclip maximizer seems an autistic worry?
  396. What are the best arguments for materialism or physicalism explaining consciousness? Also what are the best arguments against this position?
  397. What is the difference between metaphysical materialism and monism?
  398. What is the substrate-neutrality or substrate-invariance of qualia?
  399. What is metaphysical nihilism?
  400. Does consciousness pervade the universe in any meaningful way?
  401. Is consciousness possibly a field?
  402. What does David Pearce see as the ideal, final state of sentience that is technologically achievable? Is it pure hedonium/utilitronium, and what would that feel like? Would it be “timeless”, or include some sort of dynamic change?
  403. Could David Pearce explain why sentient nonbiological quantum computers wouldn't have a pleasure-pain axis and more about them?
  404. What is your view of the work of Nick Bostrom? Did you see his recent interview with Joe Rogan?
  405. While our brains evolved to understand the world in a classical (mechanics) sense, are there creatures who can look at it in a quantum mechanical way?
  406. How can qualia not be explained by the natural sciences?
  407. How do you evaluate Brock Bastian's critical review of David Pearce's "Abolitionist Project" from his book "The Other Side of Happiness"?
  408. What is the strongest argument for anti-natalism?
  409. What is David Pearce's view of the philosophy of mathematics?
  410. Where do you think is the center of your consciousness or mind in your body? Do you sense or feel all of your thoughts up in the head where your brain situated or you sense or feel it elsewhere in your body?
  411. What is your opinion on Philip Goff's "Galileo’s Error"? Does this book teach us something new about consciousness?
  412. Does the mind exist in quantum space?
  413. Does a quantum mind exist?
  414. What does David Pearce think is the best strategy for reducing animal suffering? Should we focus more on politics? Should we focus more on wild-animal suffering?
  415. Which is true: dualism, idealism or materialism?
  416. Are some human races smarter than others?
  417. What do David Pearce and other transhumanists think of the "benevolent world exploder" or the red button thought experiment?
  418. Does materialism/physicalism have any explanatory power? I’ve been told it doesn't.
  419. Why do vegans get angry when humans kill animals but don't care if animals kill animals?
  420. Does panpsychism imply mathematical entities are conscious?
  421. What do you think of Longtermism in the Effective Altruist movement?
  422. Do you consider it to be a curse to have been born as a conscious and sentient being, with the ability to feel pain and suffering?
  423. What is non-materialist physicalism? Is it a scientific theory?
  424. Is philosophy really important?
  425. What is an example of an empty answer?
  426. Are non-rational animals conscious?
  427. How might we naturalistically explain qualia?
  428. Life is totally meaningless. We live. We die. So what's the point?
  429. Is Sam Bankman-Fried a psychopath?
  430. Is scientific realism rapidly fading? Are anti-realism, instrumentalism and idealism quickly taking its place?
  431. Transhumanism: What are the potential dangers of people living forever?
  432. What is the most horrible children's book ever written?
  433. Is current AI technology on a developmental trajectory to eventually spawn actual consciousness in machines?
  434. Do you support natalism or antinatalism?
  435. People who don't agree with panpsychism, what is your reasoning?
  436. What animals have two brains?
  437. Is eugenics moral?
  438. "Consciousness" is defined as the state of being aware of and responsive to one's surroundings. By that definition, are computers already conscious?
  439. Do subjective moral values exist?
  440. Is interface theory of perception a convincing theory?
  441. Do you believe that Musk, Hawking, etc. are wrong to fear self-aware AI? If so, why?
  442. What do you think of the panpsychist view that everything has an element of consciousness?
  443. What if you don't like it in Heaven?
  444. I've been a long-time avid reader of your Hedonistic Imperative, but recently discovered "Jhana" meditation states. Wonder if you are you aware of those blissful states? Why are the experiences of jhana so unknown?
  445. How can we best resolve the problem of definite outcomes in quantum mechanics?
  446. What is something everybody likes?
  447. Why was Hitler so evil?
  448. Is the mind made of material substance, if so how is consciousness possible?
  449. What are the main points of disagreement between Brian Tomasik and David Pearce?
  450. Can you prove others’ consciousness?
  451. What causes human suffering?
  452. Do you believe that suffering is worthwhile?
  453. If we were always happy, would we know what happiness is?
  454. What is your opinion on quantum immortality?
  455. Should we be concerned about the welfare of insects?
  456. Is a low-IQ brain essentially a low-quality brain?
  457. Does quantum mechanics really have something to do with consciousness, or as is sometimes asserted, does this idea belong in the category of “quantum woo”?
  458. How does sentience benefit survival and why is it developed?
  459. How can I explain the factors which determine the fate of the universe?
  460. In Everettian quantum mechanics, under what conditions does a branching occur?
  461. What would you do if someone attempted to rescue a prey from its predator?
  462. Is it possible that our understanding of physics is completely wrong?
  463. What are the main tenets of transhumanism?
  464. Is consciousness a scary word?
  465. Is consciousness possibly a quantum field, just as gravity can be represented as a quantum field?
  466. What do you think of natural selection being used as an argument against vegetarianism and veganism?
  467. David Pearce (philosopher): How does David Pearce (the philosopher) make money?
  468. Can a human be conscious about two thoughts at the same time?
  469. In quantum mechanics would it make more sense to throw out realism or locality -- or both -- knowing local realism is incompatible with what we consider the physical world -- or is there no intuition on which to throw out?
  470. What is the connection between transhumanism and eugenics?
  471. What do physicists think of David Pearce's
  472. What does David Pearce think of negative utilitarianism?
  473. Where do we perceive the outside world since the brain itself is "the outside world"? Where is our consciousness?
  474. What is the adaptive significance of consciousness?
  475. What would happen if the whole world was gay?
  476. What will come after humans have gone extinct?
  477. Why does existence exist?
  478. What are the best non-materialist theories of consciousness?
  479. What is Eliezer Yudkowsky's reputation in academia, especially among other AI researchers?
  480. Does a human being's right to life imply a right to life extension?
  481. Why would someone want to end humanity?
  482. What's the Cartesian theater? Can consciousness be explained without it?
  483. Can you boil quantum physics down to one sentence?
  484. What happens to our consciousness when we're asleep?
  485. What do Hedonists and Transhumanists think about the negative portrayal of Soma and genetic engineering in Brave New World?
  486. What do you think of utilitarianism?
  487. What is your stance on anti-natalism?
  488. What would the world be like if all animals became vegans?
  489. Is it possible that humankind is lacking something that we can't define, that is missing from our understanding of the universe?
  490. How does consciousness interact with the brain?
  491. Are there exceptions to the natural selection theory and to the "survival of the fittest" rule?
  492. Since the Hedonistic Imperative now seems technically feasible, what are the largest sociological barriers stopping its realization?
  493. Is the universe really composed of matter?
  494. Why is superlongevity so much more popular among transhumanists than superhappiness?
  495. What is your view of John Wheeler’s concept that we exist in a participatory universe, which he described as “it from bit’?
  496. Does quantum physics explain consciousness?
  497. What do anti-natalists think of The Hedonistic Imperative as proposed by David Pearce?
  498. What are your thoughts on anti-natalism?
  499. Are we trying to increase the longevity of any species other than humans?
  500. Has David Pearce signed up for cryonics?
  501. What is the difference between perception and consciousness?
  502. How can race influence intelligence?
  503. Does quantum mechanics ignore logic?
  504. Does the mind depend on the brain for its existence? When the brain ceases to exist, does the mind cease to exist?
  505. Does the Problem of Evil prove that we are not in a simulation?
  506. What are some books on physicalism (materialism)? Who are some physicalist philosophers?
  507. It's a fairly widespread belief that sufficiently intelligent or complex computational processes will result in phenomenal subjective experience. What are the metaphysical assumptions this belief rests on, and are they likely to be true?
  508. What is reality made of?
  509. If you had a magic button that could put an end to all sufferings on earth (psychological, physical, social, etc.), would you press it? And why?
  510. Do we have to follow the Hedonistic Imperative as a lifestyle by David Pearce?
  511. If consciousness can be explained by existing physical laws, why don't we have a mathematical equation for consciousness, like we have for gravity?
  512. If robots decide to exterminate the human race, how would they do it?
  513. Quantum physics says that an observer determines the reality upon observation. Now, why is the reality so consistent across all observers?
  514. Why don't animal rights activists care more about wild animal suffering?
  515. What is David Pearce's position on meta-ethics?
  516. Is the Hard Problem of consciousness a category error, or does it ultimately simply go away if one ignores it (in emergence and sufficient complexity)?
  517. What evidence is there for quantum computation in the brain?
  518. What do Peter Singer and David Pearce think of each other?
  519. What does Peter Singer think about reprogramming predators?
  520. Should humans wipe out all carnivorous animals so the succeeding generations of herbivores can live in peace?
  521. What will life be like in the year 3000?
  522. Why does 'anything' exist?
  523. ANSWERS

paradise engineeering
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2014 (FB)
Pre-2014 (FB)
Lesswrong (2014)
Reddit (2012-2014)
Philosophy Forums (2013)
Quora Answers 2015-24 (pdf)
Quora Answers de David Pearce 2015-24 (en español)

David Pearce
[email protected]

Talks 2015
Some Interviews
Physicalism (2015)
BLTC Websites (2024)
High-Tech Jainism (2014)
The Wit and Wisdom of ChatGPT
The Imperative to Abolish Suffering (2019)
What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher? (2022)
What are your philosophical positions in a paragraph?
(Spanish, 2020)