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Robot rights
(06-12-2017, 11:39 PM)Rynn Wrote: Specific moral systems can indeed be argued to be a social control mechanism (i.e. those imposed on populations by an oppressive class) but morality itself is an evolved trait. Various studies have shown that primate groups have an innate tendency to revert to fundamental game theoretic behaviours such as tit-for-tat, suggesting that nature has selected for these traits as they increase population fitness.

I think we're defining 'morality' differently. In my experience, people tend to speak of 'morality' in terms of the idea that there are objectively true ideas of 'right' and 'wrong' - like there is a giant invisible scoreboard in the sky that says (for example) that genocide is objectively 'wrong'. However, I would argue that there is no such thing as 'right' or 'wrong' in any objective sense in this context. Killing millions or billions of people may be something we find distasteful in the extreme, but the universe doesn't 'care' in any objective sense, nor do their deaths 'matter'. The Earth will still turn, the Sun will still burn, and the universe won't care.

Going back to the issue of morality as social control mechanism - by deeply conditioning people from an early age to react emotionally to some things as 'right' or 'wrong' without really thinking about it (a common way that morality works in my experience), it is possible to get them to engage in socially desired behaviors without constant reinforcement - so a sort of 'autopilot' social control mechanism that can be made to operate regardless of any objective/experimental information for or against what it advocates or what future generations might think about the same subject.


(06-12-2017, 11:39 PM)Rynn Wrote: But given that morality isn't absolute this opens us up to the scary notion that there could be evolved moral systems quite distinct from our own that also increase population survival chances, perhaps even in excess of our own. IMO this is a commonly overlooked part of Peter Watt's work Blindsight. People hold up that book for its awesome description of aliens that are quite alien but a scarier subtext is that the universe is filled with life that is better at us at surviving and prospering, and their methods are brutal from our perspective.

In the case of robot rights in OA aside from the fact it wasn't clear AI were sentient for a long time this issue could have played a role in the split between pro-human and ahuman groups. The former possibly had innate social instincts similar to our own giving rise to relatable altruistic behaviours. The latter could be quite different, making living along side them difficult or impossible. They may be sociopathic from a human perspective.

It's almost lovecraftian really. In a conflict with such entities one could only win by sacrificing one's humanity; literally. Re-engineering one's brain to remove/radically alter our innate moral instincts (which admittedly can manifest in a hugely diverse range of behaviours). It's also why I really like the importance of empai/empaths in OA, even if it's something that doesn't get a lot of attention. The idea that a group would take a key trait that increases population survival and enhance it. Really cool.

It might be interesting to try to 'design' other systems of 'morality' that different races and clades might use in the setting. And give thought to how they all get along in the whole structure of Terragen civ. For that matter, we shouldn't assume that the various human civs in the setting share our ideas of morality, either in whole or in part.


Messages In This Thread
Robot rights - by ai_vin - 02-26-2017, 06:12 AM
RE: Robot rights - by QwertyYerty - 02-27-2017, 01:34 AM
RE: Robot rights - by selden - 02-27-2017, 03:05 AM
RE: Robot rights - by ai_vin - 02-28-2017, 05:09 PM
RE: Robot rights - by QwertyYerty - 02-28-2017, 11:59 PM
RE: Robot rights - by stevebowers - 03-01-2017, 12:57 AM
RE: Robot rights - by ai_vin - 03-01-2017, 01:43 AM
RE: Robot rights - by rom65536 - 03-06-2017, 08:28 AM
RE: Robot rights - by QwertyYerty - 03-10-2017, 04:02 AM
RE: Robot rights - by Rhea47 - 06-12-2017, 09:45 AM
RE: Robot rights - by Drashner1 - 06-12-2017, 10:57 AM
RE: Robot rights - by Rynn - 06-12-2017, 11:39 PM
RE: Robot rights - by Drashner1 - 06-13-2017, 10:53 AM
RE: Robot rights - by Rynn - 06-13-2017, 10:50 PM
RE: Robot rights - by Drashner1 - 06-14-2017, 03:02 AM
RE: Robot rights - by Avengium - 06-14-2017, 04:19 AM
RE: Robot rights - by Drashner1 - 06-14-2017, 09:02 AM
RE: Robot rights - by stevebowers - 06-12-2017, 03:55 PM

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