[ExI] The point of emotions

Stathis Papaioannou 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"
>  feel.

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.

Stathis Papaioannou

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