Re: More silly but friendly ideas

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Tue Jun 10 2008 - 05:55:53 MDT

2008/6/10 John K Clark <>:

> And that is just what happens in every being ever observed that had even
> the slightest hint of intelligence. Goals are about as permanent as a
> snowflake in a blast furnace.

You are saying that because naturally evolved intelligence behaves in
a particular way, every possible intelligence must behave in that way.
There is no basis for this assertion. Do you expect that every
computer with the processing power of a bacterium will start behaving
like a bacterium?

>> But even primitive humans realised this is not
>> true, and invented religion in large part because
>> they found this fact unpalatable.
> I have no idea what you're talking about.

There is no objective ethics, aesthetics or aim of life that can be
deduced without reference to axioms which are themselves ultimately
arbitrary; or equivalently, an AI cannot arrive at ethics, aesthetics
or purpose without having such arbitrary axioms as givens in its
initial programming. Historically, many people have found this fact
uncomfortable, and therefore have invented a God in whom these
ultimate axioms are invested (which of course only defers the problem,
noted as far back as Plato's Euthyphro).

Stathis Papaioannou

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