Context: Real Meat That Vegetarians Can Eat If the reason for not eating meat is purely ethical, then consuming simulated meat bears no moral consequence whatsoever to a person committed to a position that all plausibly sentient life is sacred, that all manifestations of embodied experience and awareness are a difference of degree, not of […]
Context: The Appearance of Robots Affects Our Perception of the Morality of Their Decisions Curious: “People consider moral decisions made by humanoid robots to be less ethically sound than when another human or traditional-looking robot makes the same decision.” The uncanny valley rides again. This is a particular instance of a general principle. The apperception […]
Context: Experts Sign Open Letter Slamming Europe’s Proposal to Recognise Robots as Legal Persons Robots might be a bit of a stretch for asserting personhood although it does remain somewhat indistinct as to where and when awareness, experience or sentience arise in recognisably “living” things. We may (following, at a distance, something I once read […]
Context: Shakespeare’s Moral Compass Is a moral compass always and necessarily retrospectively attributed in art and to artists? I do wonder how often we do assert or interpret such qualitative values in hindsight only to (eventually) discover that all such attributions of ethical relativism are always and already much more a literal and half-mirrored reflection […]
Everything points towards language being a distributed, adaptive encoding system. Biases and norms (among many other interpenetrating and interdependent sub-systems) are not merely, or only, the hyper-extended cognitive and cultural artefacts of linguistic mediation. The encoded symptoms of bias and normative assumption or behavioural prohibition (as self-inflected, reflexive agent/entity control) non-linearly and recursively reproduce the […]
Context: ‘This is not science fiction,’ say scientists pushing for ‘neuro-rights’ Dystopian authoritarian visions notwithstanding, there is a strong philosophical argument to be made that consciousness, sentience or intelligence only possesses the value (and, indeed, the substantive reality) it does because there are aspects of self and indeed of complex systems self-organisation that are not […]
Context: The Calculus of Ought It is a curious world in which what can ever and only be proven from within the clockwork constraints of complex quantitative and logical tautologies might become the foundation and justification of and for ethical prescription. Of course, science is invaluable and proceeds from strength to strength by proof and […]
Politics is really nothing more than ethics writ large. Any sense in which political science, ideology or (the all-too-often psychologically dissociative dark arts of) ethical rhetoric are axiomatic or mechanistic systems is a misdirection to what they might actually be or become. We find ourselves, more than a Century after relativistic geometry demonstrated that not […]
Context: In 2020, let’s stop AI ethics-washing and actually do something The most mystifying aspect of this ethical issue is that, on a quick survey of available literature, the emphasis is clearly on “fixing the technology” but leaves as conspicuously absent any concerted attempt to “fix our societies” even though these are in fact the […]
A (perceived) ethical void in the bare-metal mechanisms of pure mathematical and statistical Reason generates that ideological and cultural reflex we see all around us as intransigent denial of demonstrable and provable facts.
The implicit inconsistency of sufficiently complex logical systems implies that ethical systems, abandoned by the metaphysical anchor of immanent divinity, must seek their own internal anchors and logical certainty.
Justice or fairness is not implicit in the world; we have to continuously define, cultivate and maintain it ourselves.