On 16 March 2010 01:39, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

>> The problem is that "right" has no objective basis. It's like "good"
>> or "beauty": a concept made up by humans.
> The concepts of moon, rock, galaxies, and numbers, are also made by human,
> but they may relate to things no done by humans.
> Let me (try to) give you a definition of beauty. X is beautiful relatively
> to universal Y, if universal Y is attracted by X.  X is very beautiful if X
> attracts a large class of universal Y. X is universally beautiful if X
> attracts all universal Y.
> Good is a notion quite close to consciousness. We cannot define it, but we
> know it most clearly than anything else.
> Most people are clear about what they find good, in the instant (as opposed
> to long term effect which makes things having both good and bad aspects).
> Subjective is true and undoubtable, but non definable, and non communicable,
> still less institutionalizable.
> Good is related to the partial ability that universal machines to get
> partial and local level of satisfaction, sometimes eventually based on
> universal goal (like "survive").
> I tend to believe also in universal right. Although I doubt any temporal
> construction other than education, schools, academies, research institutes,
> can help to develop it. I would say that all universal machine have, at
> birth, the right to search happiness. It may be a moral duty to share the
> tools facilitating that search.

But people may disagree in aesthetic and ethical judgements while they
will all agree on some matter of fact. If you say "good" is defined
for a machine in terms of that which helps it attain a goal that is a
good operational definition but then the problem is only deferred
until we consider the goal. A goal of destroying all intelligent
entities other than oneself is a perfectly legitimate one; there is no
logical contradiction and no incompatibility with physical reality in

>> You obviously think that
>> public health care is morally wrong while others (probably most people
>> in the world) think that the lack of public health care is morally
>> wrong. You could have a rational discussion about, say, the efficiency
>> of public versus private health care, but with the core moral issue
>> you will reach an impasse, because your premises differ.
> I may disagree. There is a quasi-universal reason for which health should be
> a public care, or at least a matter of making heathy people to provide the
> money. Why? Because if you don't force the healthy people to provide money
> to the medical system(s), then, it will be in the survival interest of the
> medical systems that there are as many unhealthy people as possible. The
> results will be like making efficacious and cheap medication illegal, and
> encourage, by making legal, medications which are inefficacious and
> unhealthy.

You could argue that would be the case with many privately provided
services; a mechanic should not be motivated to fix your car, for
example. Despite this obvious bias, mechanics still fix cars because
(apart from honesty and professional standards) they will not get
repeat business if the cars they fix keep breaking down: their
competitors who do a better job get the business instead.

Stathis Papaioannou

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