[ExI] The point of emotions
stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Apr 22 13:38:16 UTC 2008
2008/4/22 Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>:
> On Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 1:30 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> > There are also practical and theoretical consequences to the theory
> > that other people have feelings; whether we can torture them with
> > impunity, for example.
> Are there really? Many would assume that torturing without reason
> something or somebody who persuasively show bad feelings about it
> denotes sadistic instincts anyway, whatever the subject may "really"
Not really. People do all sorts of terrible things to characters in
computer games because they don't believe they have feelings, but only
*act* as if they have feelings. Myself, I eschew such behaviour, but I
won't call those who enjoy it sadistic.
> > Reluctantly, I have dropped that position and
> > now think that it is *very likely* other people have feelings.
> Fine. It is therefore reasonable to make similar assumptions about
> other biological or non-biological entities that exhibit a
> phenomenically similar behaviour in this respect, as natural empathy
> tends to dictate anyway.
Oh yes, I wasn't disputing this. What I was disputing is the idea that
we treat others as having minds while remaining agnostic on, or
indifferent to, the question of whether or not they have minds.
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