Re: Collective Volition fascinating but I'm not convinced ;)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Fri Jun 04 2004 - 23:24:42 MDT

On Jun 2, 2004, at 5:15 AM, Ben Goertzel wrote:

> Marc Geddes
>> 'Oh I don't know what morality is, I'll just throw the
>> question entirely back on you humans! Tell you what,
>> you humans can vote on it - give me your opinions and
>> that's what I'll take to be morality. Cheers! ' ;)
>> Seems like a terrible waste of super-intelligence to
>> me. Perhaps the whole concept of 'Collective
>> Volition' has gone over my head, I don't know. I'm
>> sticking to my guns and still favoring the 'Objective
>> Morality' approach.
> To me, the concept of Objective Morality is an obvious oxymoron.
> Obviously there is not, and can never be, an "objective morality." The
> whole idea of morality is to impose some value system, some criterion
> regarding how things "should be." But objectivity is about how things
> ARE not about how they should be. The very nature of should-ness
> implies diversity, as opposed to singularity (in the sense of
> singular-ness).

I find a statement that the "whole idea of morality is to impose some
value system" quite strange. Morality to me are a set of working
principles found to be most useful/fulfilling in dealing with other
sentient beings. If so morality is not an imposition but the working
out of ideals of interaction. These ideals of interaction are
objective depending on the nature of the sentient beings involved and
their needs/capabilities. For most fruitful interaction of large
numbers of beings it may be there are relatively universal norms.
There are no doubt others that are unique to a species or a level of

I don't see why you are stuck on "should-ness" or imposition.
Catholic upbringing? :)


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