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 Post subject: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:39 am 
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Suppose a thing [human?] existed tommorow with the ability to function and has all the autonomy of a human being.

Would it be wrong to kill it?

Can you even call it a kill?

Does it's ability to reason have huge implications to our world view?

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:44 am 
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I don't think it is possible for a computer to have such capacity. It's sci-fi. Therefore, what if scenarios are very problematic.

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:48 am 
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http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/11 ... o-hal.html

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:56 am 
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Bombadil wrote:
I don't think it is possible for a computer to have such capacity. It's sci-fi. Therefore, what if scenarios are very problematic.


party poopper....

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:59 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/11/is-it-wrong-to-lie-to-hal.html

I'll check it out. Thanks Fr.

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:37 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/11/is-it-wrong-to-lie-to-hal.html


Ok, so....

If I understood Feser correctly, it would not be wrong to kill an AI robot because you wouldn't be frustrating the natural end of anything other then nicely formed atoms that make up the AI.

Is that correct?

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 11:46 am 
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Right, because he argues that an AI is not actually a rational being.

Are you familiar with Searle's Chinese Room argument?

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Right, because he argues that an AI is not actually a rational being.

Are you familiar with Searle's Chinese Room argument?

If he isn't, here is a link to a very simple, dumbed down version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TryOC83PH1g (ignore the comments, they are completely stupid and all made by people who deserve to flunk any class in critical thought. They apparently don't understand how a thought experiment works!)

And Searle himself.


You will generally find that those who argue that animal or computers can have rationality, actually deny the existence of intelligence as we understand it and as is evidenced by common experience. There are no universals, no real understandings. Hence they define "thinking" and such in a way that begs the question. Searle is making you think about the experience of actually understanding. And all the responses to his argument completely miss that point.

It is too bad Searle is a committed atheist/materialist. It is always fun when some of the Dominicans go at it with him. Especially on free will. See, he affirms free will (only some educated into sheer stupidity would not), but knows he cannot explain it on his materialist principle. So it boils down to him going "I don't know, but I know there is a free will dammit" He does enjoy the Dominican students...maybe before he dies they will turn him

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:31 am 
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Dominic wrote:
Suppose a thing [human?] existed tommorow with the ability to function and has all the autonomy of a human being.

Would it be wrong to kill it?

Can you even call it a kill?

Does it's ability to reason have huge implications to our world view?
I'll see your question and raise you one, Dominic. Let's say we have a clone from artificially stimulated parthenogenesis or from the nuclear transfer of a human nucleus into a bovine oocyte (irrelevant, but fun) I wonder at what point would a biologically altered clone with AI implants cease to be human... would giving one a positronic brain be murder even it was able to use rational thought in a more adept manner? Would that be only apparently rational thought or actual rational thought? If it is murder, is there a percentage that might not be murder? Is the brain the only organ to discuss? Replacing essential organs (like the heart) or limbs clearly leaves the same person, but the brain is an oddity - is it uniquely irreplaceable? If it is, what percentage? It is not complicated to see at what point are we greater than the sum of our parts, but it is complicated to discern when we cease to be greater than the sum of our parts.

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:45 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Right, because he argues that an AI is not actually a rational being.

Are you familiar with Searle's Chinese Room argument?


I have now. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:50 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Right, because he argues that an AI is not actually a rational being.

Are you familiar with Searle's Chinese Room argument?



I think that arguing that it is not a rational being is side stepping the question, the proper question is 'granting the hypothetical that HAL is an actual, living, sentient being, what morals obligations, if any, do we have towards him?' Whether or not that hypothetical is beside the point, granting simply for the sake of discussion that it is IS possible and HAS already been done, what next?

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:01 am 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Right, because he argues that an AI is not actually a rational being.

Are you familiar with Searle's Chinese Room argument?

If he isn't, here is a link to a very simple, dumbed down version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TryOC83PH1g (ignore the comments, they are completely stupid and all made by people who deserve to flunk any class in critical thought. They apparently don't understand how a thought experiment works!)

And Searle himself.


You will generally find that those who argue that animal or computers can have rationality, actually deny the existence of intelligence as we understand it and as is evidenced by common experience. There are no universals, no real understandings. Hence they define "thinking" and such in a way that begs the question. Searle is making you think about the experience of actually understanding. And all the responses to his argument completely miss that point.

It is too bad Searle is a committed atheist/materialist. It is always fun when some of the Dominicans go at it with him. Especially on free will. See, he affirms free will (only some educated into sheer stupidity would not), but knows he cannot explain it on his materialist principle. So it boils down to him going "I don't know, but I know there is a free will dammit" He does enjoy the Dominican students...maybe before he dies they will turn him


Searle is at Berkeley. Didn't imagine too many Dominican students there.

For some reason I always assumed classical philosophy as mostly dominated by people of faith. It's just so bizarre to see an atheist be an expert in anything classical or Thomistic in nature. Makes me think they are interpreting the texts differently then your everyday aristotelian thomist would. What would drive them into that field anyways? :scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:08 am 
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Searle is an analytic philosopher. He is noted for his biological naturalism, is strangely resembles Aristotle's hylomorphism.

Also in Berkley is the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology. One can cross enroll at Berkeley, and many brothers have, and Searle has given lectures at the DSPT, and there have even been classes co-taught by a professor at the DSPT and Searle.

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:10 am 
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Doom wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Right, because he argues that an AI is not actually a rational being.

Are you familiar with Searle's Chinese Room argument?



I think that arguing that it is not a rational being is side stepping the question, the proper question is 'granting the hypothetical that HAL is an actual, living, sentient being, what morals obligations, if any, do we have towards him?' Whether or not that hypothetical is beside the point, granting simply for the sake of discussion that it is IS possible and HAS already been done, what next?

Hypotheticals are the playgrounds of sophists

By granting your hypothetical, we must assume something contrary to the very nature of rationality. For it to be possible, rationality cannot exist. Not as properly understood, but then what happens to moral obligations as we are no longer talking univocally?

Suppose God created a square circle, etc... It may not look like it, but that is just as valid as a hypothetical. One would have to redefined square or circle, but then who cares if you are just redefining things?

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:17 am 
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Sirius wrote:
Dominic wrote:
Suppose a thing [human?] existed tommorow with the ability to function and has all the autonomy of a human being.

Would it be wrong to kill it?

Can you even call it a kill?

Does it's ability to reason have huge implications to our world view?
I'll see your question and raise you one, Dominic. Let's say we have a clone from artificially stimulated parthenogenesis or from the nuclear transfer of a human nucleus into a bovine oocyte (irrelevant, but fun) I wonder at what point would a biologically altered clone with AI implants cease to be human... would giving one a positronic brain be murder even it was able to use rational thought in a more adept manner? Would that be only apparently rational thought or actual rational thought? If it is murder, is there a percentage that might not be murder? Is the brain the only organ to discuss? Replacing essential organs (like the heart) or limbs clearly leaves the same person, but the brain is an oddity - is it uniquely irreplaceable? If it is, what percentage? It is not complicated to see at what point are we greater than the sum of our parts, but it is complicated to discern when we cease to be greater than the sum of our parts.


Well, it would be akin to leaving the motherboard (brain) in a computer and changing out other parts (which I have done more then once). The other parts (organs), affect the performance but it is essentially the motherboard that defines it. Not an exact analogy but I think the classification of species is more accurate to what you are saying. Is a dog more aware of itself then an insect? Is an insect more aware then a clam? I don't know the answer to this.

All I know is that it's hard to talk about gradiations and degree's of awareness or consciousness when it comes to rational beings. You either are, or you're not. And if you are, we'd find out rather quick if you are.

Ever watch that movie short circuit? They found out rather quickly that the robot was able to conceive the thought of death and reacted with what looked to be emotions.

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:20 am 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
Searle is an analytic philosopher. He is noted for his biological naturalism, is strangely resembles Aristotle's hylomorphism.

Also in Berkley is the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology. One can cross enroll at Berkeley, and many brothers have, and Searle has given lectures at the DSPT, and there have even been classes co-taught by a professor at the DSPT and Searle.


Mea culpa.

I was diggin him up and saw classical somewhere and assumed he taught it.

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:23 am 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
Hypotheticals are the playgrounds of sophists


And personal insults like this are the height of intellectual integrity? Hypotheticals are an important tool for finding truth and determining general principles. But since you are just going to insult me I'm not even going to bother to read the rest of what you said, or continue this discussion. Goodbye.

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:44 am 
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Dominic wrote:
All I know is that it's hard to talk about gradations and degree's of awareness or consciousness when it comes to rational beings. You either are, or you're not.
True, it's not just a degree or level, it's a matter of being.

Dominic wrote:
And if you are, we'd find out rather quick if you are.
This is where I disagree, and where I think your OP came from. Since we (humans, not other rational beings like angels or God) are comprised of both body and spirit, and the spirit is immaterial, and the body without the spirit is dead, it might not be possible to tell when the spirit leaves the body without taking time for a wake. In the case of AI implants, such entropy would be stalled so long that it might not be possible to tell.

In that case:
Dominic wrote:
Would it be wrong to kill it?
I would argue that it may not be objectively wrong (i.e. grave matter) to kill it since it may not actually be alive, but it would be morally wrong to end it if we couldn't know if the being was alive or dead, and could be murder with full knowledge that we could not know for certain.

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:58 am 
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Doom wrote:
I think that arguing that it is not a rational being is side stepping the question, the proper question is 'granting the hypothetical that HAL is an actual, living, sentient being, what morals obligations, if any, do we have towards him?' Whether or not that hypothetical is beside the point, granting simply for the sake of discussion that it is IS possible and HAS already been done, what next?
It does raise some compelling speculations when applied to ideas like extra-terrestrials which we wouldn't know how to classify initially, and which might display a sentience which is not exactly equal to ours but still might be indicative of a being that is greater than an animal, or perhaps even somewhere between men and angels, that's why I asked my question to explore the concept of how to sort out: a.) can we determine if there is a rational soul here? (which might require divine revelation - ours or theirs), and b.) how do we treat them until we know?

However, I do think that determining that it is not a rational being was essential to resolving the OP, am I missing something? Aren't rational beings the only category that is to be treated differently from other beings (i.e. as persons, never objects)?

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 Post subject: Re: Suppose AI existed tommorow
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:56 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
Hypotheticals are the playgrounds of sophists


And personal insults like this are the height of intellectual integrity? Hypotheticals are an important tool for finding truth and determining general principles. But since you are just going to insult me I'm not even going to bother to read the rest of what you said, or continue this discussion. Goodbye.

That was not a personal insult. I wasn't attacking you. I was making a general statement. And that statement is particularly apt for this field, as hypotheticals, and hypotheticals upon hypotheticals are abused by sophists

E.g. (one actually used in academia). We have a married Catholic priest (say eastern), and he learns through confession that his supposed wife is actually married to another man (presume he discovers her former husband is still alive). That night his wife requests the marital debt. And suppose she insists. He either must break the seal or commit adultery, right?

And if you answer that, the sophist will just attach another hypothetical, and so on and so on.

Hypotheticals are useful in limited contexts. But there are hypotheticals which may actually be the case, hypotheticals that are contrary to fact, and then there are hypotheticals which are contrary to principle. And in the latter class are hypotheticals that assume something self-contradictory or which beg the question being addressed.

Now we have only two possibilities with your hypothetical. One, God creates an immortal soul for HAL and transforms him into a substantial whole, not merely a machine or computer, which is absurd and in anycase he would cease to be a computer and program. Or, by intelligence we means something far less than what man actually possesses, not in degree, but in kind.

In anycase, you hypothetical falls short of the per impossibile of intelligence, and your choice of language betrays the loaded game that is played here. A living, sentient being...a mussel is a living sentient being, as is a dog, a bee, a bird, etc. Being sentient is not being intelligent. But even then, to even presume that such a sentient being is possible makes an assumption about organisms, that befits a perspective that has no grounding for any dignity even for animals. So yes, assuming atheistic, eliminative materialists, and/or strong functionalists are correct (which is an assumption if one takes the hypothetical of an AI like human intelligence), which entails a denial of human nature and therefore his dignity, such a machine, HAL, would have the same dignity as man...which would be to say none

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