'... the generation of
> feelings which represent accurate tokens about motivational
> automatically leads to ethical behaviour.'

I have my doubts about this.
I think it is safer to say that reflective intelligence and the 
ability to accurately perceive and identify with the emotions of 
others are prerequisites for ethical behaviour. Truly ethical 
behaviour requires a choice be made by the person making the 
decision and acting upon it. Ethical behaviour is never truly 
'automatic'. The inclination towards making ethical decisions 
rather than simply ignoring the potential for harm inherent in 
all our actions can become a habit; by dint of constantly 
considering whether what we do is right and wrong [which itself 
entails a decision each time], we condition ourselves to 
approach all situations from this angle. Making the decision has 
to be a conscious effort though. Anything else is automatism: 
correct but unconscious programmed responses which probably have 
good outcomes.

 From my [virtual] soap-box I like to point out that compassion, 
democracy, ethics and scientific method [which I hold to be 
prerequisites for the survival of civilisation] all require 
conscious decision making. You can't really do any of them 
automatically, but constant consideration and practice in each 
type of situation increases the likelihood of making the best 
decision and at the right time.

With regard to psychopaths, my understanding is that the key 
problem is complete lack of empathy. This means they can know 
*about* the sufferings of others as an intellectual exercise but 
they can never experience the suffering of others; they cannot 
identify *with* that suffering. It seems to me this means that 
psychopaths can never experience solidarity or true rapport with 


Mark Peaty  CDES


> On Jun 3, 9:20 pm, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> On 03/06/07, [EMAIL PROTECTED] <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> The third type of conscious mentioned above is synonymous with
>>> 'reflective intelligence'.  That is, any system successfully engaged
>>> in reflective decision theory would automatically be conscious.
>>> Incidentally, such a system would also be 'friendly' (ethical)
>>> automatically.  The ability to reason effectively about ones own
>>> cognitive processes would certainly enable the ability to elaborate
>>> precise definitions of consciousness and determine that the system was
>>> indeed conforming to the aforementioned definitions.
>> How do you derive (a) ethics and (b) human-friendly ethics from reflective
>> intelligence?  I don't see why an AI should decide to destroy the world,
>> save the world, or do anything at all to the world, unless it started off
>> with axioms and goals which pushed it in a particular direction.
>> --
>> Stathis Papaioannou
> When reflective intelligence is applied to cognitive systems which
> reason about teleological concepts (which include values, motivations
> etc) the result is conscious 'feelings'.  Reflective intelligence,
> recall, is the ability to correctly reason about cognitive systems.
> When applied to cognitive systems reasoning about teleological
> concepts this means the ability to correctly determine the
> motivational 'states' of self and others - as mentioned - doing this
> rapidly and accuracy generates 'feelings'.  Since, as has been known
> since Hume, feelings are what ground ethics, the generation of
> feelings which represent accurate tokens about motivational
> automatically leads to ethical behaviour.
> Bad behaviour in humans is due to a deficit in reflective
> intelligence.  It is known for instance, that psychopaths have great
> difficulty perceiving fear and sadness and negative motivational
> states in general.  Correct representation of motivational states is
> correlated with ethical behaviour.  Thus it appears that reflective
> intelligence is automatically correlated with ethical behaviour.  Bear
> in mind, as I mentioned that: (1) There are in fact three kinds of
> general intelligence, and only one of them ('reflective intelligence')
> is correlated with ethics.    The other two are not.  A deficit in
> reflective intelligence does not affect the other two types of general
> intelligence (which is why for instance psychopaths could still score
> highly in IQ tests).  And (2) Reflective intelligence in human beings
> is quite weak.  This is the reason why intelligence does not appear to
> be much correlated with ethics in humans.  But this fact in no way
> refutes the idea that a system with full and strong reflective
> intelligence would automatically be ethical.
> > 

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