Re: R: Science and human morality

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2002 13:09:06 +0200

Biggie (in the FOR list):

>In some cultures, the pschologists, being in sync with
>conservative religous and political forces, would
>probably turn her in to the authorities if she
>"violated" their "psychologically sound" moral agenda,
>right? No, to the extent psychology is constued as a
>hard science is the extent to which human liberties
>are at peril, in my view.

I will not insist because what I want to say is admittedly
subtil especially for those not familiarised with Godel, Lob
or other incompleteness theorems. But I really believe the
contrary. For exemple the Lobian "psychology of machine" I work
with, which belongs to Hard Science (it is a purely mathematical
theory, even embedable in arithmetic) is not only non normative
at all, but is even vaccinated against *ANY* normative approach
in psychology. In some sense the first theorems of that psychology
say that any certitude in psychology, and any normative use of that
psychology is inconsistent. Remember that the comp hypothesis
can be shown essentially (sorry for the word!) hypothetical.
If you meet a surgeon proposing you an artificial brain/body, and
telling you that science has found our correct level of
description, machine's psychology suggest you better run away!
Descartes was *only* 99% correct, we cannot expect any certainty,
beyond actual feeling, from a psychological point of view.
The human liberties are at peril with vague psychological theories
especially when they are accompagnied by "idolatry for the
master" like it happens with most school of therapeutic psychology.
(Especially some Lacanian and freudian school).
We will fear tomorow exact (machine) psychology: not because
it lead to normative axiomatic, but because we will slowly but surely
understand how *very* large is machine potential free will.
We will (that's not really new) fear ourselves for that reason,
and we will progress only if we aknowledge how different we can be.
(We = humans and machines).
Some bad use of that exact psychology could also be socially
dangerous, but any bad use of science could be harmfull ...
But with the comp psychology that bad use can be shown to be
incorrect. With comp exact psychologies will only enhance our
freedom. It will enlarge and complexify our decision spaces, and
it will most certainly not make our lives easier.

Received on Fri Jul 05 2002 - 04:05:55 PDT

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