[ExI] Culture war and universal values in the age of spiritual machines

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Mon Nov 27 00:32:36 UTC 2023

On 26/11/2023 20:14, bill w wrote:
> I'm not a fan of the concept "justice" without the machinery underneath
> defined. Otherwise it is just an empty term. So that's why I'm wondering
> about collapsing some of them into the others.  daniel
> This sounds like a multiple regression type problem.  Why not let some 
> AI parse this one?  Maybe everything on the list will collapse into 
> the Golden Rule.   bill w

I've never been a fan of the golden rule. It basically assumes that 
everyone is the same, that what's good/desirable for me is always 
good/desirable for everyone else, and vice-versa. This is clearly not 
true. People who are anti-choice regarding abortion, for example, are 
following the golden rule in imposing their values on other people.

'Universal values' has a nice ring to it, and it's tempting to think 
that such things must exist, but I have my doubts. Using religious 
quotes to express them is even more dubious, especially as there is a 
strong tendency for religions to recast all these values into a single 
command to Do As You're Told Without Question. You certainly won't see 
one very important fundamental value in any religion that I know of: 
"Question Everything". Without that one, none of the others is worth a 
damn, imo, because they cease to be values and become commandments instead.

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