Immortal Volitional Robots Need Morality.

Immortality would not necessarily preclude the need for morality. There is no logical need for the futility of morals for an immortal. Why can an immortal volitional robot not choose that breathing clean air, while maybe not necessary, feels better than traveling to the moon without a space suit? Maybe reminiscing by the beach on a yacht on a sunny day is worth the money earned while providing medical care to mortals or teaching philosophy and better than hanging out in a trailer while watching black and white TV. Just because death, in a conventional sense, has been removed from the situation, does not mean life and the pursuit of happiness loses meaning. Will there not come a time, say 1,000 years from now, where humanity’s children will have the technology to become impervious to disease, pressure and temperature extremes and aging? Keep in mind, more than a couple people have been walking around with artificial hearts for decades now, in the early 21st century. Can those with arbitrarily extended life spans not live as humans? Would they no longer need a morality to be happy and live better and be good rather than evil and unproductive and unhappy? And I don't see any significant difference for the need for morality, whether carbon-based or silicon or anything else-based sentience for that matter.

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Comment by MCT on January 29, 2011 at 5:28am


I have considered your arguments and here is what I think:


"I get that Identity has to be valid for us to communicate. I don't believe it has to be valid for thought to take place because there's no reason thought has to make sense, but yes "for us to even tell one thing from another" the Law of Identities must be used. The only problem is, I don't think a human can actually tell one thing from another."

-self-contradictory times three or four, I'm not sure.


"definition between a chair and a loveseat, or a couch? In my experience, love seats usually have two cushions and couches have three... well, then what is the exact length that makes a thing a chair, that makes a thing a loveseat, and that makes a thing a couch?"

-That's it, you just defined it and said you can't know the difference. The length is arbitrary!!! Haven't you been reading at all what I write? Concept formation occurs when you retain the essentials only!!!!!! And OMIT the arbitrary measurements of those essential qualities. A chair seats one, a love seat seats two, a couch seats three or more. It doesn't fucking matter what the damn length is! Or what color it is or if you can see the photons materializing right at the border of the couch. The fucking couch is there and it seats three people.


I can't take you seriously. All you do is contradict yourself and doubt very simple coherent and noncontradictory things with arbitrary tangential ideas. 

Anything that exists has identity or we would not perceive it. If you cannot perceive things with identity, then you cannot load your 'soft-ware' onto your 'hard-drive' and you cannot think. Knowledge needn't be perfect, just reasonable, contextually and hierarchically. Reason, the noncontradictory integration of perceptual evidence into knowledge, get some. :)

Comment by John Camilli on January 28, 2011 at 7:07pm

You said things without identity can not be noticed. So you are equating identity to existence. You are putting step 3 of the epistemological process where step 1 has already been put.


Things that exist are things that can be noticed or described; things that have qualities; attributes; traits; behaviors; tendencies. What cannot be described does not exist. If it can be described, it exists, but that does not mean it must therefore be described accurately.


You say identity can't be proved because it is necessary to the idea of proof, but what makes the idea of proof necessary? Why is it necessary that because we exist, we must understand existence. There is nothing that says that proof must exist and understanding must exist, therefore there is nothing that says the Law of Identity is self-evident. It is not. It would be self-evident if we were only capable of noticing reality in consistently meaningful ways. If any description we made automatically fit into a grid of understanding, then Identity would prove itself, but this obviously doesn't happen; our descriptions conflict all the time.

Comment by John Camilli on January 28, 2011 at 6:55pm

I get that Identity has to be valid for us to communicate. I don't believe it has to be valid for thought to take place because there's no reason thought has to make sense, but yes "for us to even tell one thing from another" the Law of Identities must be used. The only problem is, I don't think a human can actually tell one thing from another.


I know, I know, you've got a flurry of arguments for that, but first consider my arguments, then I will consider yours. Take our "chair" again for an example: is there some hard line of definition between a chair and a loveseat, or a couch? In my experience, love seats usually have two cushions and couches have three, but what if someone covered a couch or loveseat in one long cushion. What would be the defining feature that sets it apart from a chair? The length? Well, then what is the exact length that makes a thing a chair, that makes a thing a loveseat, and that makes a thing a couch? If you had a set of fifty pieces of furniture, identical except that the first one is 40 inches wide, and all the others add 2 inches each, up to the last piece which is 138 inches long, but still all using a single cushion, how would you label them? Where would be your dividing line? Or are they all chairs?


A human thinks it can tell things apart because it pays attention to extremes of qualia, but we are incapable of accurately distinguishing between moderates of qualia, such as in the example I just gave. Or consider something like an isolated nuetron, decaying into an electron and an anti-nuetrino. At which exact point of the process does that nuetron cease being a nuetron and become an electron and anti-nuetrino? No "particle" really has a definite boundary, so we tend to assign names according to how far apart they are because their distance seems to determine the types of interractinos they have, but since we know fundamental particles can exhibit quantum entanglement, we cannot truly address how far apart things are on that level, leaving us unable to define the difference between a nuetron and its decay products.


Our definitions are always being refined because the closer we look, the more qualia we wil find. We could call it progress to refine our definitions more and more, except that qualia in the universe is probably infinite, since scale seems to be infinite (we have not discovered a largest or smallest unit). There we be no end to our defining, and no end to the shifting meanings of our words. That is the same as saying they have no meaning, because meaning requires understanding, and if we cannot understand what is a chair and what is a couch, then how are we suppose to establish rock solid epistemological rules that are based on those meanings?


A is only A today.

Tomorrow it won't be the same

And if you give it a new name

It still won't answert to it.

Comment by MCT on January 28, 2011 at 9:24am


Cognition is not possible without the axioms being valid. Identity is not a small trivial assumption. It is presumed, subsumed, assumed and MUST be valid for us to even tell one thing from another. I know reality exists, has primacy over consciousness and that anything that exists has identity, because if they were not all true I could not think. You cannot use your thoughts which are dependent on everything within the universe being causal to negate causality. It serves no purpose, other than trying to figure out what you have missed when it comes to particle physics, because we sure as hell aren't going to be replacing identity because scientists can figure out what is going on in the quantum realm.


Things without identity can not be noticed. And you say identity doesn't exist. It is necessary and valid. And because it is a primary, it cannot be proved because it is necessary for the concept of validity and proof to occur. You brain would not at all work, reality would not exist, nothing could be noticed, seen, described, thought about or acted upon, and things would not exist if identity did not exist. It is a "linch-pin". Without it, everything would not be or nothing would be. Your quantum physics can't show that reality doesn't exist at all. 


Quantum physics, or any other discovery by the use of the scientific method, cannot remove or negate the primary building blocks of that which is necessary for thought, and science, to occur. It is absolutely juvenile to speak about a chair having action over a distance instantaneously, a shoe will not appear or disappear because it's particle are entangled, and the building blocks of cognition do not go away because we don't know what is going on in some laboratory.


Paint it any way you like, you still assert a huge contradiction. Over and over and over and over. You cannot know for certain that certainty is impossible. Sorry, you just can't. In fact, absolutely you cannot and you absolutely cannot and you cannot absolutely.


Life is a misnomer? Dude, what are you even doing if you won't at all define words? Who cares if we cannot not nail it down perfectly. Life is that which acts autonomously and can metabolize pieces of the environment to hold its identity. It does not have to be perfect to be valid knowledge or definition.


According to you, the tools you use to interpret quantum theory are not valid, yet you are asserting with them that quantum theory is what negates them. It is absolute rubbish.


You take your fancy 21st century probes and poke to well below a billionth of a millimeter and only find things that challenge your views there. Nowhere else. Whatever is down there is part of our causal, existing knowable universe. We can know nothing about something outside of it. And it gets blurry at the edge or limit of our perception.


Locality is a mistaken concept? Johnsense. Locality in the subatomic realm is not the same thing in saying that an object, like a hammer, cannot be in a single place. It might not appear to hold up in the quantum realm, but only objects at the limit of perception appear to demonstrate lack of locality. Then, by your logic, sub-atomic particles spin, then so should the entities that are made of them. Why isn't everything spinning. Spinning doesn't even mean the same things in the two different realms and neither does locality!


Quantum theory cannot touch epistemology. No way. No how. It is impossible for contradictions to exist IN this physical realm. Just is. So stop asserting contradictions. OK? I've checked my premises and there is nothing irrational, an objective knowable causal reality is the only one without blatant contradiction. It is the only one that allows concept formation. What's outside of it is non-existent. And what's at the limit is difficult to talk about with knowledge, since our perception is limited there. And you certainly cannot use reason and logic to negate it.

Comment by John Camilli on January 28, 2011 at 12:03am
I'm not saying locality, life and Identity are absolutely NOT TRUE. What I'm saying is that they are not ABSOLUTELY TRUE. They are assumptions, and according to quantum mechanics they are mistaken ones, but hat could just be my mistaken interpretation of quantum mechanics. It changes a lot because there is a lot of new information available constantly.
Comment by John Camilli on January 27, 2011 at 11:59pm

Michael, if photons are capable of communicating instantaneously over any distance, then it doesn't matter if we can teleport things on the macro-scale. The macro is made of the micro, so if locality breaks down at the micro, then it just doesn't hold as a Law, period. I've asserted time again that we can't prove something true, but I think science makes us able to prove something not true, and all it takes is one exception to break the rule. We have that exception, so locality is a mistaken human concept.


Life is also a misnomer, at least so far, because no one has been able to clearly define what is living and what is non-living. That's the abortion question I asked earlier: can you tell me exactly when it's life and when it's still just chemistry? No, because there just is no concrete dividing line. Life is able to be produced by chemistry because the properties for it are already there in the micro-scale, so it really is no different than what we tend call non-life. There are non-living structures more complex than living ones, and vice versa, so to ask if one is alive is foolish.


And identity is not valid because of what we've already discussed in several posts - the Law of Identities is an assumption, however small you want to say it is, it just can't be proven, or hasn't been so far.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on January 27, 2011 at 7:27pm


Morality is not complicated: promote happiness, golden rule, decrease human suffering. By and large good and evil is not complicated either. Rationalism and innate sense is a good guide. If your best friend was brutally murdered would you think it an evil act? In your world of moral relativism any act of unspeakable barbarism is equivalent to any act of bravery, altruism, etc. That is johnsense.

Concepts of good and evil are not instigators of faith. Faith is brain kill indoctrination before the victim has attained the age of reason. Notions of good and evil are byproducts of faith and religion and are used to control the behavior of the victim and to perpetuate the cult. There is a rational good and evil which exists independent of religion.

The idea that people stop investigating and wondering how and why because of notions of good and evil is not true. Think for instance how much research has been done hoping to understand serial killers. People stop wondering about things because of the indoctrination.

Having an open mind and having ideas about good and evil is compatible. Science is correcting. It does not make any sense other than johnsense to approach the world without any preconceived notions of good and evil or notions of an objective reality. Mistakes will be made but corrections will follow.  If the evidence or reason point in another direction you change your opinion.

Otherwise we ought to all go in the corner and assume the fetal position.

Comment by MCT on January 27, 2011 at 5:21pm


So, locality, life and identity are not valid? Come on, dude. Then you can't know anything or form concepts. I would love to go ahead and give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you were just writing those because that was your old worldview where you thought that quantum physics has something awesome to do with a correct model of the universe. But, it seems to me that you still do.

I can't even play with God hypotheticals. Omniscience is such a bold contradiction. God could not possibly know surprise, like you wrote, that's enough for me to deem any thought experiment with God, arbitrary and useless, at this point.

Comment by MCT on January 27, 2011 at 5:15pm


We have an implicit morality, that is such because of what we are and of the nature of reality. If we are to be successful and happy, we must chose to do certain things and not others. What is in our long-term rational self-interest can be said to be good. And that which, turns our attention away from reality and towards some arbitrary principle, and therefore makes us less likely to be happy and prosper, can be said to be evil. Faith is evil. I do not have faith that exercising is moral or good. I know it because of the logical and proven benefits to one's life. I do not need to know everything, to consider something knowledge and since I cannot know everything or any amount even remotely close to that, I will always be curious. If we have no knowledge, then learning itself is impossible, with or without curiosity. So, the moment we think we have found an answer is the moment we didn't? Great. So correct answers are impossible too? So contradictory.

Comment by John Camilli on January 27, 2011 at 5:14pm

As an interresting tangent, I once tried to write a chapter of a book wherein a person actually got to meet God. I tried for months to think of a conversation that one might have with God or a god, if they existed, lol. But I kept coming up against the difficulty that, no matter what God said, he would be misunderstood because the human had none of the same definitions for the words he was using to ask his questions. At the time, I was allowing myself to assume that quantum physics is a correct model of the universe, so I framed God's answers as if he were a physicist.


I imagined that a human meeting God would probably ask things like 'where am I?' and 'Am I dead?' and 'Who are you?" But I could not provide the human with a straight answer because locality is an incorrect notion of humans (making the first answer 'you are everywhere and nowhere'), life is an incorrect notion of humans (making that answer 'you exist, that is all'), and identity is an incorrect notion of humans (making the third answer 'you are all things and nothing').


The stupid human was of course perplexed by such answers and quickly became frustrated with God for not being able to tell him anything straight, but it was actually the limited nature of the human's questions that caused the answers to be unsatisfactory.


I also concluded that God, being omniscient, would have no reason to talk to a human anyway, already knowing the full outcome of the event and the futility of trying to be understood by an imperfect intellect. The human would always only be seeing part of the picture. And being as the idea of God generally includes omni-presence, the God would actually already BE the human, so would be talking to Himself while already knowing what He was going to say, which would be pointless.


In the end, I decided that such a perfect state as omniscience or omni-presence, is probably impossible for humans to conceive, and would probably be a torturous state in which to exist. There would be no joy, no sorrow, no surprise, no mystery or cuiosity. All the motivators for action would be missing and the intellect would become innert; unwanting. I considered trying to explain human existence as a trick God had played on Himself in order to introduce some ignorance into His existence, separating himself into islands of consciousness that could not truly know what was going on. Ignorance can allow the holder to believe in things that cannot be real because he lacks all the information of what is real. I would think it would be impossible to have creative thought if you knew everything, so I was purporting that God had created humans in order to have ignorance again, so that he could 'dream of things that never were, and wonder why not.'

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