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What's the difference between 'The Abolitionist Project' and 'The Hedonistic Imperative'?
The Abolitionist Project is focused on phasing out the biology of suffering in humans and non-humans alike.
The question is: After we have phased out we have phased out involuntary suffering -
where do we go from there? Should we be satisfied with relatively mediocre states?
or should we aim to plunge on.
Because, technically at least, there is no reason why life shouldn't be animated by gradients of bliss that are orders of magnitude richer than anything physiologically feasible today.
Already we are homing in on the molecular signature of 'pure bliss' -
given today's limited understanding it would be very difficult to secure extraordinarily high-functioning
empathetic pro-social well-being that's also exceptionally blissful.
But in future as we understand more about the mind-brain - yes it would be possible to be much more ambitious - true 'paradise engineering'.
Though its almost cruel to say so today, it may prove technically at least, relatively straight forward to phase out the biology of suffering.
Much, much more ambitious however is full-blown paradise engineering.
Adam: So the 'Abolitionist Project' is about what we can do now about phasing out suffering, and
'The Hedonistic Imperative' is about where we can take this... and more .. and how we can increase our potential for pleasure, and hedonism in the future?
Yes, though I don't think we should postpone any form of serious enjoyment until we have phased out suffering -
nonetheless one needs to be very, very careful perusing the more extreme forms of pleasure -
that they don't diminish our empathetic concern for other sentient beings.
Indeed, I think we ought to treat the existence of suffering in both humans and non-human animals
as an emergency - and be devoting our efforts towards phasing it out - yes.