I'm not a moral realist. But I think we definitely have personal morals, the moral norms of the culture we live in, and the moral rules we encode in law. These all interact and influence each other in an ongoing feedback process. They can be studied with psychology, sociology, anthropology, law, history, and probably some … Continue reading The forlorn search for moral realism
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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETVr_lpIMO0 Consciousness lies in the eye of the beholder. There is no universally agreed … Continue reading Does conscious AI deserve rights?
Jason Mckenzie Alexander at iai.tv makes an interesting proposition, that morality is a social technology, one that goes out of date and frequently needs to be upgraded.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?
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
Peter Hankins at Conscious Entities has a post looking at the morality of consciousness, which is a commentary on piece at Nautilus by Jim Davies on the same topic. I recommend reading both posts in their entirety, but the overall gist is that which animals or systems are conscious has moral implications, since only conscious … Continue reading The system components of pain
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?
This seems relevant to some of our discussion on the previous post. via smbc-comics.com (Click though for hovertext and red button caption.) The last caption may be in reference to these developments: https://twitter.com/aeonmag/status/728570337512828933
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
This is just too close to some of our recent discussions for me not to call attention to it. As usual, Weiner knocks it out of the park. (Click through for hovertext and red button caption.) via: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
I've had a few conversations lately on morality, and it strikes me that I haven't written about it in quite a while. The discussions focused on whether there is any objective morality, or any objective definition of good and evil. This is an age old question. It occurs to me that we can break moral … Continue reading In search of an objective morality