Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Le 18-déc.-06, à 20:04, Brent Meeker a écrit :
>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> ...
>>>> Moreover, I don't have to justify it in terms of other
>>>> ethical principles or commandments from God:
>>> With (a)comp, you have to NOT justify it in terms of God. With comp
>>> (and God = +/- Plotinus'one) we could justify that any *action* made 
>>> in
>>> the name of God is bad, even saving the planet from some attack by
>>> horrible monster ...
>> That seems to be a reductio against comp.
> I know it seems a little bit paradoxical, but then it is my methodology 
> to take seriously the interview of the lobian machine, which is 
> "famous" for its many paradoxical thoughts.
> It is certainly not a reductio against comp, given that we are not 
> arriving at a genuine contradiction. It just happens that "goodness" is 
> as unnameable as truth.
> Now, concerning this paradox, it seems to me intuitively 
> comprehensible. If someone saves me from some horrible pain, then that 
> is (arguably) good; but if he does that in the *name* of "good", I can 
> understand that this naming depreciates its action. Even if personally 
> I am still benefiting from that situation, the naming could make me 
> uneasy, and who knows what will be done under that or any name.

A little uneasiness about what someone might do in the future is hardly enough 
to transform a good act into a bad one.  It seems you are saying that if the 
good samaritan claimed to have performed his kind act *for any reason 
whatsoever* it would become a bad act.  That sounds like a reductio to me.

>>> Witrh comp (and the "ideal" case of self-referentially correct 
>>> machine)
>>> it is just impossible for a machine to do something good and at the
>>> same time telling she is doing something good ... (similar paradoxes
>>> are illustrated in taoist and buddhist tales).
>> So one cannot be reflective about one's actions and conclude they are 
>> good? That sounds like nonsense.
> We can be reflective about one's actions and conclude *for ourselve* 
> that they are good, but lobianity prevents correct machine to 
> communicate it to others *as such*,  if only to prevent any normative 
> use of a notion like "goodness". It prevents also idolatry toward names 
> or descriptions of "good", "true", "correct". With comp a judge can put 
> a machine in jail, despite its total inability to ever judge the 
> machine deserve jail.

OK.  That comports with my thought that good/bad are personal.  So one can say, 
"I did that because I think it was good to do so."  And I can try to persuade 
you that you should think it good too.  It's just wrong to assume that there is 
a knowable, objective "good".

> Some buddhist told this in some provocative way: if you really love 
> buddha, kill it.   (Not to take literally OC).
> Recall that once we interview a correct machine, be it Peano-Arithmetic 
> PA, or the far richer Zermelo-Fraenkel, or even the "angel" 
> Analysis+OmegaRule (which has infinite cognitive abilities), the first 
> interesting thing such machines or entity say is that they will told us 
> some bullshit or that they may told us some bullshit. So am I. Please, 
> don't infer from that that I believe to be such a *correct* machine 
> (that does not follow logically). I know "I" am lobian, assuming comp 
> or (much) weaker. I don't know (and will never known) if I am 
> consistent and I still less know if I am correct.
> Bruno

Yes, I understand and agree with that.  But you are using "know" in an absolute 
sense.  In the everyday sense of uncertain, but probably correct belief, one 
can know many things - though of course not that one is consistent.

Brent Meeker

 You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at

Reply via email to