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sam the moderately wize
March 31st, 2009, 01:33 PM
Would it be morally justifiable to use a machine that made people be morally good and made them want to be morally good?

Dr Goofy Mofo
March 31st, 2009, 01:38 PM
Morals are a personal thing. So are you going to inflict your morals on others? Or how will that work?

sam the moderately wize
March 31st, 2009, 01:42 PM
That's immaterial. Assume that the machine was built with a perfect moral code.

Dr Goofy Mofo
March 31st, 2009, 01:46 PM
Who defines to moral code? Society? me? you? the bible?

Ok lets say I change the word with ethics as your title suggest. Then that all depends on where you live. In America it would not be ethically ok because it would get rid of our free will.

Perna de Pau
March 31st, 2009, 03:00 PM
Would it be morally justifiable to use a machine that made people be morally good and made them want to be morally good?

The Chinese tried to do it with re-education camps :(

tagnostic
March 31st, 2009, 03:12 PM
make one want to?
no thank you
I'll take the idiots
and
free will
over
lock step
all day long

Will.
March 31st, 2009, 08:05 PM
The thing about morals are, they are an emotional allusion, created by the depths of the mind through experiences in life, differing the state of wrong and right. No two people share the exact same moral value. - The Prospector Will.

make one want to?
no thank you
I'll take the idiots
and
free will
over
lock step
all day long

People have to pay for me.

tagnostic
March 31st, 2009, 08:10 PM
once you hit them with this ray,
you've taken away the one thing
that makes you human
the right to eff up

Will.
March 31st, 2009, 08:14 PM
What tag said, and also.
Without that right of choice,
people would be decentralizing the evolutionary process.
People would stop being individuals,
they would stop, thinking, it would end the race.

Dr Goofy Mofo
March 31st, 2009, 08:40 PM
That is why I was asking all those questions

djura
April 1st, 2009, 10:38 AM
What tag said, and also.
Without that right of choice,
people would be decentralizing the evolutionary process.
People would stop being individuals,
they would stop, thinking, it would end the race.

I don't think it would end the race, just suspect it would all look a lot different.
Imagine no greed or envy, better still a place where everyone would know right from wrong. We'd have to agree what right and wrong are first though, but it sounds like a promising idea to me at least.

Tsar Phalanxia
April 1st, 2009, 10:38 AM
This is all very Clockwork Orange, no?

djura
April 1st, 2009, 10:45 AM
no, just the opposite

sam the moderately wize
April 1st, 2009, 02:04 PM
This is all very Clockwork Orange, no?

Yes, it is. That isn't a real objection to it, however.

Actually, I would be in favour of pre-emptively rehabilitating people for crimes that they had yet to commit if it could be proved that the pre-emptive method was as likely to pick up the right people as ordinary justice.

Al Farabi
April 2nd, 2009, 04:47 AM
In a world without evil, what is good?

Dr Goofy Mofo
April 2nd, 2009, 04:59 AM
In movie voice (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7860584888956575227)
In a world without evil...

There was one man who dared to be evil, one man who committed those crimes, one badass mofo... Dr Goofy Mofo is EVIL!!!!! Coming this fall to a theater near no one!

djura
April 2nd, 2009, 09:32 AM
Clockwork orange was about violence suppression. Behavior science, on the other hand, is about making people understand the values of society, and honoring then. Some sociological methods are used even today in order to predict and control peoples reactions to certain influences.
If ethical view could somehow be injected into society, I'm positive it could be a good thing.

Tsar Phalanxia
April 2nd, 2009, 10:46 AM
Well, a Clockwork Orange is all about the morality of evil; is it even more immoral to prevent someone from having the freedom to do immoral things?

djura
April 2nd, 2009, 12:01 PM
I don't think so.
In a society without evil, good becomes lesser value, but this doesn't make it unessential virtue.
I do suppose freedom of individual could be questioned here at some point, but than again, no one is truly free - there will always be bonds of society holding us down. I see the question at hand only as one step over what we have now.

Will.
April 2nd, 2009, 06:42 PM
I don't think it would end the race, just suspect it would all look a lot different.
Imagine no greed or envy, better still a place where everyone would know right from wrong. We'd have to agree what right and wrong are first though, but it sounds like a promising idea to me at least.

But, in retrospect, the human mind is creative, and curious. It needs to be stimulated in most areas to progress, without the right of free thought, I'm pretty sure we'd be behind in the tech a few hundred years... Not that thats a bad thing now that I think of it.

djura
April 3rd, 2009, 10:06 AM
But, in retrospect, the human mind is creative, and curious. It needs to be stimulated in most areas to progress, without the right of free thought, I'm pretty sure we'd be behind in the tech a few hundred years... Not that thats a bad thing now that I think of it.

On the contrary, I believe the civil engineering would pick up the paste, as the military takes the best ideas for them selves now. Besides, if there was no greed in societies, alternative fuel technology would advance much faster. These are just a couple of thoughts, but you get the idea. Sure, maybe radar would've been invented 5 years later if it wasn't for ww2, but technology will progress one way or the other.

Yiuel
April 3rd, 2009, 03:40 PM
But the OP's question only arises if we accept that there is any absolute Good. Which I don't, for various philosophical reasons*.

Where construction occurs, destruction occurs as well, so in the end, unless we stop everything, there cannot be any absolute good. But then, if we stop everything, there is no destruction either, so were just in an absolute neutrality, and a very boring one. No, to me, Sam's machine is an impossibility.

* This does not mean I don't believe there can be something good for me, or something good for humanity, but it will always be relative to the group you want to maintain, never depersonalizable or universalizable.

Tsar Phalanxia
April 3rd, 2009, 03:53 PM
Well what if we agree on a machine which means that people take the best moral choices, and never steal/rape etc. I am aware that things are relative, but let's ignore that in this scenario.

I think what you'd get would be a perfect Anarchist Utopia. Thoughts?

Yiuel
April 3rd, 2009, 05:18 PM
Well what if we agree on a machine which means that people take the best moral choices, and never steal/rape etc. I am aware that things are relative, but let's ignore that in this scenario.

I think what you'd get would be a perfect Anarchist Utopia. Thoughts?

- Who owns what? How do we decide that?
- Whom do you save first : your unskilled self or the talentful surgeon?

The world itself is amoral, and doesn't (cannot) care about our own existence. How can you expect any part of it to always make the best choices, when everything can collapse from causes it cannot control, only answer to?

You do not get an Anarchist Utopia, you just get a world that will never go against the rules you will have defined as morality.

djura
April 4th, 2009, 09:27 AM
Some things are absolute to all people on Earth. We can agree that stealing, murder, rape, greed, envy etc, are in essence of every culture in the world. Now, some may take transfusion, and some may not, but this isn't important in the big picture.
I'd personally like to live in a world that has it wary basic moral guidelines set str8...

Yiuel
April 4th, 2009, 07:34 PM
Some things are absolute to all people on Earth. We can agree that stealing, murder, rape, greed, envy etc, are in essence of every culture in the world. Now, some may take transfusion, and some may not, but this isn't important in the big picture.
I'd personally like to live in a world that has it wary basic moral guidelines set str8...

If all humans lived in the same community, I certainly agree that there would be a few things, easily prescribable in laws, that can be easily commonalizable for all humans. I did not claim that such things were impossible.

Unfortunately, we are no where near the idea of living in the same community : that is not only about different States, but we hardly understand how people might like different lifestyles. We are also no where near giving the same value to individuals. And for ressources, we are no where near of some form of basic equality that would make void any try to make forceful transfer of ressources.

However, if those few details could get some fulfilling, we could try to talk about those basic laws, that set of bounds that would enable us to live together.

But, oh well...

Will.
April 5th, 2009, 04:09 AM
On the contrary, I believe the civil engineering would pick up the paste, as the military takes the best ideas for them selves now. Besides, if there was no greed in societies, alternative fuel technology would advance much faster. These are just a couple of thoughts, but you get the idea. Sure, maybe radar would've been invented 5 years later if it wasn't for ww2, but technology will progress one way or the other.

The need to kill other people is what progresses the human race, my thought plain and simple.
We can't just co exist, the competitive instinct, or our kill drive, is what motivates us to create, its that voice that says fuck you, its that thought that, maybe my TV can be bigger. Conflict can be fun, and it is also mortifyingly stimulating to the psyche, as the natural progression of the world, I . E death. has been executed, because there isn't enough room for every generation, we need war, we need murder, as much as we hate admitting it. That fact is inescapable, now you make everybody make moral and just decisions, the populi would implode,
Just my opinion though.

Will. The prospector.

rmw
April 5th, 2009, 12:08 PM
We need murder and war to control world population growth? Will., that is the dumbest thing I've heard. I don't deny that there are plenty of people out there who have no moral issue with taking another person's life, but murder and war DO NOT control population. When you consider the number of murders and wars going on at any single moment, and then consider that the world population is close 6.8 billion people, it's obvious that killing others doesn't have the kind of effect on the human population you think it does. Here's an idea: instead of using violence as population control device, why don't we look into education and birth control?

Will.
April 5th, 2009, 03:56 PM
We need murder and war to control world population growth? Will., that is the dumbest thing I've heard. I don't deny that there are plenty of people out there who have no moral issue with taking another person's life, but murder and war DO NOT control population. When you consider the number of murders and wars going on at any single moment, and then consider that the world population is close 6.8 billion people, it's obvious that killing others doesn't have the kind of effect on the human population you think it does. Here's an idea: instead of using violence as population control device, why don't we look into education and birth control?

Thats the issue, we haven't had a particularly nasty war. And its not a population control, its just one of those natural facts of life, people don't like eachother.

Al Farabi
April 5th, 2009, 07:41 PM
Some things are absolute to all people on Earth. We can agree that stealing, murder, rape, greed, envy etc, are in essence of every culture in the world. Now, some may take transfusion, and some may not, but this isn't important in the big picture.
I'd personally like to live in a world that has it wary basic moral guidelines set str8...

If all humans lived in the same community, I certainly agree that there would be a few things, easily prescribable in laws, that can be easily commonalizable for all humans. I did not claim that such things were impossible.

Unfortunately, we are no where near the idea of living in the same community : that is not only about different States, but we hardly understand how people might like different lifestyles. We are also no where near giving the same value to individuals. And for ressources, we are no where near of some form of basic equality that would make void any try to make forceful transfer of ressources.

However, if those few details could get some fulfilling, we could try to talk about those basic laws, that set of bounds that would enable us to live together.

But, oh well...

I think that these two seemingly opposed viewpoints can be resolved. Where you guys are running into problems is the word 'moral,' which is by all accounts a slippery character. Better perhaps to consider not the morality of the acter, but the happiness of the acted upon. There are some actions which, pretty universally, we are opposed to having be taken against us. Rape, for example, and stealing.

So while it is impossible to create a moral code outside of context, there are still things that, if prevented from happening to people, would never be considered a loss. Regardless of your community's moral code, you aren't gonna complain if there is less rape in your neighbourhood; everyone will be happier.

jon_hill987
April 8th, 2009, 09:38 AM
If there is no choice to make, good or evil, then there can be no morals, morals are about making the choice and if everyone was "zapped" with this gun then there would be no choice to make.

This is why I consider myself (as an atheist) to be more moral than most people of the religious persuasion. I don't need a book to tell me what is right and the threat of eternal damnation to make me do it.


Also, watch Stargate: The Ark or Truth for more on the subject of mass brainwashing.

Tsar Phalanxia
April 8th, 2009, 11:49 AM
Welcome back Jon.

Al Farabi
April 8th, 2009, 11:10 PM
If there is no choice to make, good or evil, then there can be no morals, morals are about making the choice and if everyone was "zapped" with this gun then there would be no choice to make.

If there is no choice, is morality necessary?

This is why I consider myself (as an atheist) to be more moral than most people of the religious persuasion. I don't need a book to tell me what is right and the threat of eternal damnation to make me do it.

Do you really think that most religious people consult the bible for every decision and act morally only out of fear of damnation?

Also, watch Stargate: The Ark or Truth for more on the subject of mass brainwashing.

Or read Brave New World

jon_hill987
April 9th, 2009, 10:08 AM
If there is no choice, is morality necessary?
No, but that doesn't justify the ray gun idea. My point was the ethics ray gun wouldn't make everyone moral, it would remove all morals.


Do you really think that most religious people consult the bible for every decision and act morally only out of fear of damnation
Subconsciously, yes.

djura
April 9th, 2009, 11:28 AM
Well if you set your moral phaser to kill, then you would definitely create a bunch of zombies. On the other hand, stun setting might prove to be useful after all.
After all, morals are about decent behavior, and everyone could use a dose.

Daruko
April 10th, 2009, 02:16 AM
BZZZT!

I'm suddenly thinkin' a lot smarter, knowwutimeanVern?
__________________/_______
http://www.nndb.com/people/232/000022166/varney01.jpg

tagnostic
April 10th, 2009, 04:57 PM
my issue with the ray gun is free will
while I feel it is necessary under certain
circumstances to physically restrain the
body & movements of certain physically
dangerous anti-social individuals, it is
never acceptable to imprison or restrict
the mind and it's free will, that sounds
contradictory but I don't think it is,

"you may kill my body, beat it or imprison it,
but you can never control my mind"
Epictetus

imprisoning the body for the common good
is one thing, but keeping the mind intact so
they can reflect on the consequences of using
free will is part of the punishment and possibly
the path to more positive social behaviour

the ray gun removes all human dignity both
for the target and the one who utilizes it

djura
April 10th, 2009, 05:12 PM
But it doesn't have to do that, just lets say but a block to wary few human urges that society might call unacceptable. One would still have free will of their own, just not the ability to become skinhead nazi fuck, for instance...
Where the ethics end and free will begins is an different question altogether though.

tagnostic
April 10th, 2009, 05:16 PM
and you still have to decide
who decides on whats
moral & ethical
then you get
in that
loop
who decides
who decides whats
moral and ethical
end loop

djura
April 10th, 2009, 06:12 PM
and you still have to decide
who decides on whats
moral & ethical
then you get
in that
loop
who decides
who decides whats
moral and ethical
end loop

Good point, but there are certain rules and principals that everyone agrees upon - every culture even. Things like murder, rape, child molesting, racism, greed, etc... we can all agree that these are the things we can all do without.
That's why it's called ethics ray, as it should influence how you perceive the world around you, not the way one makes decisions...

Perna de Pau
April 11th, 2009, 09:22 PM
"you may kill my body, beat it or imprison it,
but you can never control my mind"
Epictetus


When I read this I thought that 2000 years of christianity had proved Epictetus wrong. Sadly it is possible to control minds as well :icon_cry:

tagnostic
April 11th, 2009, 09:26 PM
might be a matter of semantics
those that can be controlled
are so because they
relinquished it
usually through
atrophy

(how ya been Perna?)

rmw
April 12th, 2009, 12:18 AM
Good point, but there are certain rules and principals that everyone agrees upon - every culture even. Things like murder, rape, child molesting, racism, greed, etc... we can all agree that these are the things we can all do without.

I don't know if I agree with you, djura. Look at the phenomenon of "honor killings" in some societies. What you and I see as first-degree murder, others see it as justice for a crime. This might be an example of the extreme, but I think that people try to rationalize or justify some crimes or behaviors that are detrimental to society. "Well, he molested that child because he has a mental illness. She was dressed like a tramp, so she deserved to be raped. Whites are superior to blacks--it's not racism, merely Darwinism."

Al Farabi
April 12th, 2009, 07:09 PM
I don't know if I agree with you, djura. Look at the phenomenon of "honor killings" in some societies. What you and I see as first-degree murder, others see it as justice for a crime. This might be an example of the extreme, but I think that people try to rationalize or justify some crimes or behaviors that are detrimental to society. "Well, he molested that child because he has a mental illness. She was dressed like a tramp, so she deserved to be raped. Whites are superior to blacks--it's not racism, merely Darwinism."

I agree with rmw. Saying everyone agrees on some things is just plain false. I bet there are lots of pedophiles that think that what they do is perfectly natural and morally a-okay.

tagnostic
April 13th, 2009, 04:13 AM
Personal morals and beliefs are just that,
Personal, they come from living your specific life
from introspection and deciding what your values
are, it's not something you can convince someone of
if they agree on one point be thrilled, if you can communicate
your ideas and understand others without necessarily
agreeing with them, that's a win, at least until we're
all exactly identical and live identical lives

djura
April 13th, 2009, 09:47 AM
There will always be differences in societies. In Thailand they chop your finger off for stealing a kilo of bananas. We would expect to find no crime there, for punishment being so ridiculously harsh, but, instead, all you'll find there is a bunch of people with missing fingers.
My point here was not that we all should obey same laws, and do same things, but rather that we are all people, and, I'm deeply convinced that everyone can sit and work out differences between them selves. And if this doesn't work, let's just zap each other, and get it over with, because what we have now, just isn't working...

Al Farabi
April 13th, 2009, 05:26 PM
There will always be differences in societies. In Thailand they chop your finger off for stealing a kilo of bananas. We would expect to find no crime there, for punishment being so ridiculously harsh, but, instead, all you'll find there is a bunch of people with missing fingers.
My point here was not that we all should obey same laws, and do same things, but rather that we are all people, and, I'm deeply convinced that everyone can sit and work out differences between them selves. And if this doesn't work, let's just zap each other, and get it over with, because what we have now, just isn't working...

People will always try to take advantage of a given system

terrorX
April 14th, 2009, 02:04 AM
Would it be morally justifiable to use a machine that made people be morally good and made them want to be morally good?

It is hard to trust people who are morally good...

terrorX
April 14th, 2009, 02:20 AM
might be a matter of semantics
those that can be controlled
are so because they
relinquished it
usually through
atrophy

(how ya been Perna?)

U relinquish control because you are forced to. I dont believe a society will idly stand by and submit. However, there are some who favor it. On other alien worlds I believe it is more common than not to have social impedance and moral control though a hierarchy of some sort, and this is usually of a religious nature I suspect.

tagnostic
April 14th, 2009, 06:03 AM
that book
gave me
the creeps
it's too
possible

Al Farabi
April 14th, 2009, 05:11 PM
While reading Brave New World, my ability to decide whether their society was moral or not was completely ruined by the revelation that people who didn't like the situation they were in were allowed to go to a place where they'd be happy. Quite an incredible book, although I disliked the protagonists with great intensity.

A friend of mine wrote a paper where he argued that the society was perfect and dissenting individuals that the book follows were actually the antagonists. Interesting stuff.

rmw
April 15th, 2009, 01:09 AM
What was troubling about Brave New World was the fact that the "perfect society" was forced onto people by a bloody global war. I find that akin to the ethics ray gun. Perhaps less blood, murder, and mayhem, but the fact of the matter remains that ethical behavior (however you quantify that) is forced upon someone in the name of a "perfect" (and soulless) society.

Al Farabi
April 15th, 2009, 05:10 AM
What was troubling about Brave New World was the fact that the "perfect society" was forced onto people by a bloody global war. I find that akin to the ethics ray gun. Perhaps less blood, murder, and mayhem, but the fact of the matter remains that ethical behavior (however you quantify that) is forced upon someone in the name of a "perfect" (and soulless) society.

At this point I am obliged to ask: what can we possibly say is wrong with a society without unhappiness?

tagnostic
April 15th, 2009, 05:12 AM
that would depend
on how said happiness
is achieved,

rmw
April 17th, 2009, 02:47 AM
At this point I am obliged to ask: what can we possibly say is wrong with a society without unhappiness?

But there was unhappiness. Look at Bernard--he was miserable, because he didn't live up to the physical expectations of society, which had a psychological effect on him. Or Helmholtz, who was unable to do state/publish what he wished, because to do so could introduce chaos into the perfect, ordered society. Or the fact that being miserable/unhappy/"different" got one exiled to an island in the middle of nowhere. Still, to quote Mustapha Mond, I'd rather claim the right to be unhappy than have the artificial happiness in BNW forced upon me.

Al Farabi
April 17th, 2009, 05:04 AM
But there was unhappiness. Look at Bernard--he was miserable, because he didn't live up to the physical expectations of society, which had a psychological effect on him. Or Helmholtz, who was unable to do state/publish what he wished, because to do so could introduce chaos into the perfect, ordered society. Or the fact that being miserable/unhappy/"different" got one exiled to an island in the middle of nowhere. Still, to quote Mustapha Mond, I'd rather claim the right to be unhappy than have the artificial happiness in BNW forced upon me.

If 99.9 percent of the population want one thing, should it matter that a few people want something else?

Perna de Pau
April 17th, 2009, 09:30 AM
If 99.9 percent of the population want one thing, should it matter that a few people want something else?

Absolutely. Democracy means that the wish of the majority is carried but not at the detriment of the rights of minorities. Therefore it does matter that a few people want something else.

I would rather agree with rmw and Mustapha Mond

Daruko
April 17th, 2009, 09:30 PM
A perfect society is a ridiculous and impossible notion, just like heaven. If nothing bad ever happened, how would we know the difference? If there was no pain, how would you define pleasure? Contrast in one's quality of life is an essential part of a life worth living.

I do endorse innovation for the sake of improving our quality of life, but mostly when the initialization of said societal change is done in a decentralized manner. Authoritarian control for the betterment of humanity doesn't often seem to amount to anything good.

Tsar Phalanxia
April 18th, 2009, 12:10 AM
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Always.

Will.
April 18th, 2009, 12:34 AM
Absolute power, makes my toes feel tingly, then you know when your in trouble.

Al Farabi
April 20th, 2009, 02:03 AM
Absolutely. Democracy means that the wish of the majority is carried but not at the detriment of the rights of minorities. Therefore it does matter that a few people want something else.


What about the few people who wanna rape women? Do their wishes matter? The state makes a call somewhere no matter what kind of government you have. Who's to say our particular selection of opinions to ignore is the best one?

A perfect society is a ridiculous and impossible notion, just like heaven. If nothing bad ever happened, how would we know the difference? If there was no pain, how would you define pleasure? Contrast in one's quality of life is an essential part of a life worth living.

I do endorse innovation for the sake of improving our quality of life, but mostly when the initialization of said societal change is done in a decentralized manner. Authoritarian control for the betterment of humanity doesn't often seem to amount to anything good.

I agree. I just wanna see if we can justify that position logically.