RE: computer pain

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2006 15:39:02 +1100

Oops, it was Jef Allbright, not Mark Peaty responsible for the first quote below.

> From:
> To:
> Subject: RE: computer pain
> Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2006 15:31:03 +1100
> Brent Meeker writes:
> [Mark Peaty]
> > >> From the foregoing it can be seen that while there can be no objective
> > >> morality, nor any absolute morality, it is reasonable to expect
> > >> increasing agreement on the relative morality of actions within an
> > >> expanding context. Further, similar to the entropic arrow of time, we
> > >> can conceive of an arrow of morality corresponding to the ratcheting
> > >> forward of an increasingly broad context of shared values (survivors of
> > >> coevolutionary competition) promoted via awareness of increasingly
> > >> effective principles of interaction (scientific knowledge of what works,
> > >> extracted from regularities in the environment.)
> [Stathis Papaioannou]
> > > What if the ratcheting forward of shared values is at odds with
> > > evolutionary expediency, i.e. there is some unethical policy that
> > > improves the fitness of the species? To avoid such a dilemna you would
> > > have define as ethical everything improves the fitness of the species,
> > > and I'm not sure you want to do that.
> >
> > If your species doesn't define as unethical that which is contrary to continuation of the species, your species won't be around to long. Our problem is that cultural evolution has been so rapid compared to biological evolution that some of our hardwired values are not so good for continuation of our (and many other) species. I don't think ethics is a matter of definitions; that's like trying to fly by settling on a definition of "airplane". But looking at the long run survival of the species might produce some good ethical rules; particularly if we could predict the future consequences clearly.
> If slavery could be scientifically shown to promote the well-being of the species
> as a whole does that mean we should have slavery? Does it mean that slavery
> is good?
> Stathis Papaioannou
> _________________________________________________________________
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Received on Sat Dec 23 2006 - 23:39:18 PST

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