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> that the universe is an entity that can experience harm & that it's harmed by the absence of sentient beings — is a specific idea. Not really. That is a way of posing a description of the universe, not a specific idea about the way the universe could work. You and I could take that description and propose hundreds of millions of specific ways that could actually work, and, importantly, we could come up with imagined scenarios that are entirely consistent with everything we've ever observed. Your second point is spot on, we could go through that exercise and propose very specific scenarios that could all be described as "more sentience = bad." This is why I describe all those possibilities as a very nebulous space that in my limited capacity, I can't directly really grapple with. I hope it's clearer in the blog post I wrote, but the basic gist is that I don't subscribe to one, but instead I try to imagine a superposition of all sets of consistent beliefs. Then, I separate my total identity down into those consistent "sub-identities," and I let those belief systems play out. Now I've never explored the proposition "that there's a very real experience of bad just from existing" exactly, but it applies pretty well to my method. If I gave the freedom to choose whether to exist or not to those sub-identities within myself that would believe that proposition, then they would freely choose to cease existing. So when I round up all the remaining viable belief systems that I could possess, I'm left only with the class of belief systems that are pro-existence. In other words, a part of me once agreed with you, but that part self-annihilated under the contradictions of existing when existing is bad. > I'm gathering that you want to believe that some inherent good comes from existing You are not at all wrong here at this point. The part of me that is still going on writing arguments on the internet consistently believes that existing is a net positive, and at least a part of me wants that proposition to be true. I even interact with the world in a way to potentially influence that proposition to be true under the assumption that it may be a malleable feature of some universes! PS thanks for this conversation. It's been a while since I've specifically thought through this and it was a good reminder for me.