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 John Camilli on January 27, 2011 at 4:57pm

Personally, I think the only evil in the world is the idea that there are "goods" and "evils." Once a person has it in their head that something is evil, they will stop wondering about it and condemn it. And likewise when someone considers a thing good, they will stop wondering and accept it. That's called faith, so the concepts of good and evil are at least some of the instigators of faith. Faith is anti-logic, so your system of morality would condemn it as evil, meaning it would condemn itself for condemning or accepting an idea.

 

Every moral system I've ever heard of winds up attacking itself like that. Morality is a dog chasing its tail. The only way to preserve the curiosity that drives us to learn and expand our views is to NOT decide that we know something for sure; to keep wondering and observing. The moment we think we've found an answer is the moment we've gone wrong.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on January 27, 2011 at 1:49pm

History can be viewed as a class struggle and as a struggle between reason and superstition. Superstition is a powerful force. Parts of the globe are cemented in superstition.

However as you point out there is a different dynamic today. Hopefully.

Comment by MCT on January 27, 2011 at 1:06pm
Human beings are only as successful as they use reason and logic to make decisions. I don't know if Christians would kill themselves off with their own idiocy, I doubt it since that shit is all over the place, but religions gain strength and lose strength, they are all arbitrary distortions of reality. I believe that since reason and logic are not arbitrary, there will, as long as there are people around, be someone trying to figure it all out. And that, to me, is reassuring. I think with the ubiquity of information and ease of knowledge acquisition nowadays, we won't go the way of the ancient Greeks, who had made some headway in the arena of reason and respect for the human mind over the supernatural. I think there is good reason for cautious optimism.
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on January 27, 2011 at 12:42pm
It wil be interesting to see how it plays out. You may see it all if your right about cryogenics. But to date the free marketplace of ideas has had limited success. I remember reading how David Hume wanted freedom for Catholics to express themselves-that the stupidity of their creed would be self-defeating. But reason certainly has made headway. Morality is lagging. I agree with your definition of morality. I was describing religion and morality.
Comment by MCT on January 27, 2011 at 12:32pm

I see it more as a situation where irrationality will always be the enemy and you can't keep reason down. As long as there is freedom to compete, we'll keep moving forward. Eventually, there'll be too many breakthroughs, to many people, too many societies. Plus, imo, a full-scale nuclear war between multiple countries wouldn't set us back more than a hundred years or so, at the most.

And what's this business that morality is simply imposition of narrow minded prejudice? How so? I define morality as a set of principle to guide one's choices towards the attainment of the only value that all others are obtained for, personal happiness.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on January 27, 2011 at 12:11pm

I would be shocked if the future is not fubar.  It is not that I lack confidence in the explosion of science and technology, it is that I am realistic about the nature of man and the abuse of power.

Has anything changed fundamentally in human civilization? Certainly is has not where relgious culture is dominant. Morality is simply imposition of narrow minded prejudice. And even if the dictatorship is overthrown it is not clear which direction will be taken. Just sayin.

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