Does conscious AI deserve rights?

This is an interesting video from Big Think.  It features discussion from a variety of thinkers like Richard Dawkins, Peter Singer, Susan Schneider, and others, including a lot of intelligent remarks from someone I wasn't familiar with until now, Joanna Bryson. Consciousness lies in the eye of the beholder.  There is no universally agreed … Continue reading Does conscious AI deserve rights?

Is morality objective, yet relative?

Jason Mckenzie Alexander at makes an interesting proposition, that morality is a social technology, one that goes out of date and frequently needs to be upgraded. He first describes the common sentiment that morals are objective in some timeless platonic sense.   I discussed the problems with this view in a post a while back … Continue reading Is morality objective, yet relative?

Changing what makes us happy

from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (click through for the hovertext and red button caption) Greg Egan in his novel Incandescence posits an alien civilization whose ancestors, in order to survive, establish a series of space habitats.  In order to ensure their descendants will be happy, they bioengineer those descendants to feel satisfaction and bliss working within … Continue reading Changing what makes us happy

Is there a moral arc to history?

The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. As someone who isn't able to find an objective basis for morality, I've often wondered what that means for the above statement from Martin Luther King.  It certainly feels like we're making moral progress, that the status of previously oppressed or marginalized people … Continue reading Is there a moral arc to history?

The unavoidable complexity of morality

I've written before on why science can't determine morality.  This isn't a particularly controversial position (even if many of Sam Harris or Michael Shermer's followers find it so).  No one seems to have found an intellectually rigorous answer to David Hume's is/ought divide, that you can't derive an ought from an is.  To logically determine … Continue reading The unavoidable complexity of morality