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Comment by gnz on When Anthropomorphism Became Stupid · 2008-08-17T07:07:40.000Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I think we have a definitional issue with "morality" and "should". I cant see why we seem to think it is so beyond the ability of any brain that can process millions of bits per second.*

The good news however is that if we could get a decent definition there is a lot of literature on studying animals for signs of complex human style behaviors.

"It's the point where you can look at a puppy, and say: "The puppy's parents may push it to the ground when it does something wrong, but that doesn't mean the puppy is doing moral reasoning."

err... obviously the puppy IS engaging in complex information processing, using neurons no less and we can prove that with microscopes. So somehow you have provided evidence that you are wrong on this point, and then, have come to the conclusion you are right.

on the other hand there is some validity in the ev psych argument - but only some. This is exactly the sort of story telling and leaping to the assumption that that proves facts that makes so many biologists hate evolutionary psychology.

*In fact in a certain sense I go with what HA seems to be saying about it being unclear if morality (thinking deciding etc) exists in the mystical sense we seem to be aiming for.

Comment by gnz on Hot Air Doesn't Disagree · 2008-08-16T02:27:52.000Z · score: -3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm it doesnt seem implausible to me at all. W#hat I would want to see is the thing lacking in a fox that prevents it from having that sort of pattern in it's mind. Just like I would want to know that if someone suggested a person was unable to do it.

Comment by gnz on The Fear of Common Knowledge · 2008-07-11T05:55:00.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

my impression of what Watson said was that he was describing not an innate difference (and to a geneticist surely that would be nonsense) but a difference that it is unlikely will disappear (which surely is true). And that his critics interpreted his position as being the more extreme version in order (maybe subconsciously) to protect society from the dangerous idea.

Comment by gnz on Moral Complexities · 2008-07-06T06:40:45.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

People quite often hold contradictory positions simultaneously. there not an incentive for people to be entirely consistent - in fact it is prohibitively expensive in a psychological sense. (eg voters). It would be even easy for the inconsistencies to occur between what you choose to do and what you think you should do.

Comment by gnz on Against Devil's Advocacy · 2008-06-09T06:30:34.000Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I imagine two ideal debating agents each with a set of facts and tools with which to make logical connections between those facts. They start to debate over an issue and decide that they agree on whoch is the most plausible answer but also see a large number of flaws in the other side's argument. As ideal debaters they don't 'overlook' those flaws just because they imply the conclusion they want - they highlight them and ask for logical answers. In some cases one side will start to look like a devil's advocate as a result of how debates form and the nature of the alternate scenarios.

With us non ideal agents I instead see people intentionally suppressing arguments that they know are good because they don't further their side of the argument.

I'm inclined to think if you can't argue for the other sides position you probably don't fully understand it. If there position has 0 probability of being true that may be no issue at all, but there are not that many things I could ascribe that level of certainty to.

Comment by gnz on Bell's Theorem: No EPR "Reality" · 2008-05-04T07:41:56.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Psy-Kosh, when you work it out tell the rest of humanity :)

I do find it intuitive that 'worlds' would interfere with each other so that if one found a photon in an unusual situation then the world/alternate photons would 'resist' that in some way. But I don't know enough of the details to propose a theory that I would not be confident could be shot down.

Comment by gnz on Zombie Responses · 2008-04-11T09:39:43.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It would be progress (in as far as one might want to disprove zombie philosophy) to disprove any part of it or to show any part of it was inconsistent with any other part. Its a bit optimistic to think one can in one step disprove it without leaving any conceivable route for the other side to retreat to in as far as they might easily just deny any position that one chooses to leaver against it.

Comment by gnz on The Generalized Anti-Zombie Principle · 2008-04-06T05:05:37.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I always took it to be that a zombie could catch itself thinking (as a listener) in the same way a non zombie could, the zombie doesn't lack inner speech in that sense, the whole causal chain remains and doesn't create an issue well at least not for a certain set of definitions and understanding of logic.

which really just reflects my agreement with Frank's "Please let's spend more time discussing dubious non-disprovable hypotheses!"

however I like "Thou shalt provide operational definitions for your terms!"

Comment by gnz on Zombies! Zombies? · 2008-04-06T04:52:00.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Richard,
is he burden of proof always upon the person proposing that something is impossible when it looks like it might be possible? You are after all trying to use this item to prove something and it is a scenario constructed carefully by your own side of the argument to be almost impossible to disprove. I would think you carry the burden of showing that it is extremely likely to be ideally conceivable - something I think you are very far from doing because of more or less the sort of argument made in the main article above.

2) That is, it's "miraculous" in the same sense that it's "miraculous" that our universe is fit to support life.

is it not conceivable (in the sense that you refer to) that you could have qualia that don't line up with the outside world? That is a situation where we are concious in such a way as we might reasonably be in that world (in the same way that we obviously can't be in a world where there is no conciousness) just not in a sense that looks like it has causality - ie you are a watcher of some actions but they are different from your desires - like how some people describe hypnosis but much more extreme.

anon,
> If it could be shown that I'm the only conscious person in this world and everybody else are p-zombies, then I could morally kill and torture people for my own pleasure.

that would seem to imply that if I don't believe in qualia that I can kill and torture people... cripes.... sounds a bit like the "if there was no god we could all do anything" argument.

Comment by gnz on Fake Selfishness · 2007-11-09T11:30:03.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

like pablo I have considered whether arguing for in my case altruism/utilitarianism is always altruistic and thought "well probably" - but I dont analyse it much because in the end I don't know if it would matter - it seems I do what I do because 'that is what I am', more than 'that is what I think is right'. I guess it works the other way too eh.