[ExI] punishment

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Mar 25 05:35:57 UTC 2009

Mirco (painlord2k at libero.it) wrote:

> Il 24/03/2009 9.11, Lee Corbin ha scritto:
>> But to return to the subject at hand, should brain-washing
>> techniques be used against *our* captives, i.e., the morally
>> depraved criminals who fall into our hands? For example, the
>> animal who killed those four Oakland Police Officer---should
>> "Clockwork Orange" techniques be tried against him?
>> I myself doubt it---but only because the techniques may be
>> too non-humanitarian and because they probably (in 2009) cannot
>> be made to work well enough.
> What is the difference from killing someone and altering his/her mind 
> (and maybe body) in a permanent and deep way against his/her will?

However a change is effected does not affect the identity
issue. *I* deciding suddenly to become a missionary and
preach in Africa isn't all that different from you sending
some nanotech into my brain to effect the same change.

(My deliberate use of "effect" vs. "affect" is for the
enlightenment of non-native English speakers, as well as for
some others who are ignorant of English, or at least how she
is spoke.)

Note that NONE of what I wrote above addresses the *propriety*
of making said changes; of course we must disapprove of you
doing this to me while making no protest against a natural
development in my own personality in this same direction.

> In both you have practically erased the person and supplanted him with 
> another person that you (intelligently) designed to suit your standards.

I dispute your contention that someone has become all that
different because of a change of heart. People change all
the time, sometimes in deep ways. But since almost all of
their memories remain unaffected, they're clearly the same
people. (At least their friends, children, wives, relatives,
and the police think so---everyone thinks so, except some
amateur philosophers who have unfortunately thought about
this, but not thought about it long enough or well enough.)

> He/she is not more a subject but an object of action. Then, having 
> redesigned him, are you responsible and accountable for his/her actions?

I would say "yes!". If *you* decide to have a change of
heart against your landlord and go kill him, that's your
responsibility. But if you do so at the instigation of
some nanoware I unleash in your direction, clearly it's
my responsibility. In the former case, of course you would
be punished, while in the latter case, I.


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