[ExI] Self-Driving Cars Must Make Ethical Decisions

Dan danust2012 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 31 18:58:50 UTC 2015

> On Thursday, July 30, 2015 9:51 PM Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 8:39 PM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> If the cops have a pull-over button, the bad guys can get to it.

>> spike

>> This might start a whole new discussion - hope so.  The quality of our
>> police is too low.  >

> ### I disagree.

> The quality of US police is surprisingly good, considering the insane
> laws they are charged with upholding, and considering the existing
> incentives to behave badly. They are encouraged to lie routinely in
> court, there is no effective supervision of prosecutors, they are
> allowed to take your money, they are crucified in public if they
> shoot in self defense against blacks, and yet usually they don't
> do much mischief. I doubt any one of you ever lived in a depraved
> police state. If you ever go native in Pakistan or Russia, you may
> find a whole new meaning of low quality. Sure, US cops can't compare
> to the Japanese or Finnish ones but I don't believe there is a huge
> problem with cops - yet there is a fairly significant one with our laws.

This seems akin to saying, "He's not so bad because he only beats his wife once a month, unlike that guy who beats his wife every day."

And I think that police and government aren't far worse in the US -- aside from wondering how much worse something must be before it's okay to complain -- is more a testament to American culture than to the restraint of either the police or the rest of the government. (And with them enforcing all sorts of victimless crime laws -- which are the mainstay of police work, no?* -- it seems like they are doing pretty bad things to society.)

What's sad too is that most of these problems -- police brutality and murder of civilians in police custody -- have a long history in the US but only in the last couple of years have become mainstream issues. Even now, when the police do beat or kill someone in their custody, too many people have the knee-jerk, "the victim had it coming to them" or "the victim has a criminal record" and such.


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* Hassling pot smokers, sex workers, and someone selling cigarettes on the street seems to be pretty bad. I don't think one has to make the comparison with shakedowns in other nations to see this as something to worry about and to stop, and something the police do not get a free pass on.

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