From: Marc Geddes (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Jun 05 2004 - 00:54:26 MDT
--- Mike <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > >
> > >
> > > Remove humans from the universe and where is
> > > morality? You can't say
> > > the same thing about gravity. Seems to me the
> > > concept of morality is a
> > > human invention. What morality is there in
> galaxies colliding,
> > > animals in the food chain eating each other,
> > Remove humans from the universe you say? What
> > any alien civilizations that might exist?
> Ok, remove them too. Same question.
It's not clear that postulating the removal of all
other 'sentience' from the universe is possible. My
hypothesis would be that isn't. See what Metaqualia
> > Don't be so sure there is no morality in:
> > colliding, animals in the food chain eating each
> > other'. There are theories of consciousness which
> > ascribe some degree of sentience to everything
> > (panpsychism).
> Are you saying sentience implies morality? (And
> I'll believe rocks are
> sentient when somebody can prove it).
I would hypothesize that any degree of sentience
implies morality yes. It is certainty true that there
could be no morality in the absence of sentience.
> > >
> > > If you were the last human alive, and the race
> > > die out after you
> > > were gone, is there anything you could do to be
> > > immoral?
> > Quite possibly. What about alien cilivizations
> > where in the universe? Humans still living in
> > alternative branches of the quantum multiverse?
> > Humans in the past? Any other sentients that
> > exist in the future? The actions taken by the
> > human alive could still be related to all the
> > mentioned, even if these actions only had a tiny
> > effect.
> Since you so strongly want to pull more sentients
> back into the
> question, is it accurate to conclude that you feel
> morality applies to multiple sentients but would not
> to a single sentient if it could be truly isolated
> from all
> other sentients for all time?
Yes. But my favoured theory is panpsychism (I think
there is some degree of 'sentience' in everything, so
I think that even a rock qualifies as having
sentience). My theory is thus that truly isolating a
single sentient for all time would be logically
> > >
> > > To answer one of your questions, I think that
> > > is no objective
> > > standard by which you can say that Ghandi is
> > > than Hitler. It's
> > > only your rules of morality that tell you that
> > > Hitler is bad (and I
> > > would personally agree). But in some societies,
> > > most vicious
> > > warrior gets the most honor and privilege. By
> > > society, he's a hero.
> > > By their morality, he's doing everything right.
> > > if you ask their
> > > opinion, they would tell you Ghandi is weak, a
> > > coward, and not someone
> > > to emulate. One obvious example of this is the
> > > Samurai in Japan a few
> > > hundred years ago. If they had to guess at the
> > > nature of the "objective
> > > morality", their guess would look nothing like
> > > How can our
> > > moralities come from the same source and be so
> > > different?
> > Are our moralitites really so totally different
> > though? Deduct out the differences and I think
> > still find a great common of commonality.
> > The answer
> > > comes when I answer your other questions:
> > >
> > > > by what standard would they define 'best'?
> > > > Why would it be good if people thought 'longer
> > > > faster'? What is 'wisdom'? It would seem
> that an
> > > > objective morality is still implied.
> > >
> > > Doesn't "best" just end up being, in the long
> > > whatever maximizes
> > > your potential to survive and reproduce? The
> > > Samurai think best is
> > > being better with the sword. We think best is
> > > thinking faster. It all
> > > depends on where you live.
> > >
> > > Mike W.
> > >
> > 'best' might possibly be related to whatever
> > your potential to survive, but even if this was
> > the fact that the laws of physics are the same
> > everywhere mean that there would still be some
> > objective standards for deciding what maximized
> > 'potential to survive', no matter where you lived.
> I don't think we disagree on the laws of physics.
> What part
> of the laws of physics are you calling objective
> Mike W.
A good question. I do have a theory. Currently I
like a proposal hinted at by David Deutsch in his book
'The Fabric of Reality'. The idea is that objective
morality is defined by a sophisticated computational
property extending across all the Everett branches of
the quantum multiverse (this requires the Many World's
Interpretation of quantum mechanics). I might write
an essay on the idea at some point. But basically my
theory implies the following:
(1) Many World's Interpretation of QM
(2) Panpsychism (Some degree of sentience in
(3) Total altruism impossible in a general
(4) General intelligence without sentience impossible
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