Le 19-déc.-06, à 21:32, Brent Meeker a écrit :
Bruno Marchal wrote:
I know it seems a little bit paradoxical, but then it is my
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"
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.
Not at all. It becomes bad when he refers or "justify" his act in the
*name* of any "unnameable virtue". It is hard to define those
unnanmeable virtue except that "true" is already one of those and
"good", "just" etc. are obvious derivative of "true". But I must say
that I am talking about some ideal case, and I can imagine context
where nuance should be added. You can, for example, give a vaccine to a
child. The child is unhappy about that because the vaccine has some
distasteful taste or because he is afraid of needles, and you can make
short your justification by saying "it is for your own good". Here you
don't act in the name of good, you just sum up a long explanation based
on the idea that a disease is not good for your child. Well even here
the complete explanation is better in the case the child has no idea of
any relationship between the vaccine and the disease.
Although a lobian machine has no idea of what is an absolutely true
sentence, she can have genuine approximation of true for restricted set
of sentences and I can imagine similar definable restricted notion of
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
or descriptions of "good", "true", "correct". With comp a judge can
a machine in jail, despite its total inability to ever judge the
machine deserves 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".
Indeed. As far as there is a knowable good, it cannot be objective. As
far as there is an objective good, it is not knowable *as such*. (It
can be accidentally knowable but then not as an "objective good".
I guess this is related with the popular belief that "Roads to Hell are
paved with good intentions" (approximate translation from the french).
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
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
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.
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.
OK. (To be sure I am indeed using "know" in an absolute sense, even in
the theatetical sense: meaning that "knowable p" = " p & provable p").
To split the hair a bit, if "know" is used with a nuance of
"probability" we can "know" our consistency (obvious: we can bet on
it), so that in your last assertion I would say you were also using
"know" in the absolute sense. But I think we mainly agree.
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