web analytics


What is a moral absolute?

In order to understand what it is, it is maybe easier to say what it is not.

it is not “Fairness” life isn’t fair, get over it. it isn’t “Mercy”, that is the domain of the merciful who often don’t exist, and it damned sure isn’t “Justice” because justice is a moving target.

One thing moral absolutes are not, and have nothing to do with, are Crime, and Punishment.

Lots of things are crimes, and they are not remotely immoral. Speeding on a long stretch of highway in the desert? Crime. Not immoral. Speaking your mind in Chicom country? Crime. not immoral. In fact a great deal of crime, and the laws that are aimed at controlling behavior, are not about immoral behavior at all, and as often as not the very law itself is immoral, because it is a theft; it’s a crime to carry a loaded firearm in Illinois except under the most stringent of circumstances, and that in and of itself is immoral, because it robs the individual of his or her right to defend his or her person.

No, to discuss justice or mercy or crime or punishment or fairness in the same breath as moral absolutes is to grossly misunderstand the meaning of moral absolute, and we can always return to the basic moral absolute of theft, because a lot of other moral absolutes are based on it. Kill someone? you are stealing their right to live. Rape someone? Stealing from them their ability to determine what happens to their own body.
A moral absolute is something that is wrong no matter who does it nor who it is done to. Stealing a loaf of bread is stealing a loaf of bread. Doesn’t matter if yopu steal it from a pauper or a millionaire, doesn’t matter if you are in need or just like stealing, the only consideration is the theft itself and that theft is always wrong. There is no circumstance under which it is not. nobody deserves to take someone else’s property without consideration, period. And from this moral absolute springs all others.

Home Improvement.

I have a window in my bedroom that has seen better days. it’s better days have seen better days. Yesterday I intended to go look at it to see if I could determine what I could do to help it limp along, and I grabbed a punky looking piece of the sill, and it came off in my hands. So I figured, I guess today is the day I have to do this.

I managed to get a reasonable cross section of the old sill cut out, and I used the table saw to get as close as I could to the original profile. I pulled out the punky wood and cut back to good, dry wood, and I made the replacement out of PT. Screwed and glued it in place, put in new stainless screws for thew whole assembly, and called it a night. Need to fix a couple of pieces of trim now, and recalk and repaint, but I no longer have to lie in bed when it rains and wonder if there’s water getting into the house through the rotted sill.

OK, so everyone understands.

Weak AI vs Strong AI.

it isn’t exactly weak vs strong, what it is, essentially, is that weak AI has a group of preprogrammed responses to everything, and if you ask it to perform a task, it will perform that task based on it’s programming, which is to say it will perform the task in the way it’s programmers want it to perform the task. Weak AI is merely a stand in for a human; it does not “Think” but merely respond in a set of preprogrammed ways.

Strong AI, which we are nowhere near, nor are we anywhere close to, requires building an electronic infrastructure that “learns” And I don’t mean it calculates answers to formulas it is given, it takes input and draws conclusions based on that input. For an example of how weak vs strong might work, think of a lawnmower. You could make an autonomous lawnmower that cut the grass. You could have a camera that sensed when the grass was too high and activated the lawn mower to cut it. You could have several patterns of mowing programmed in so the mower would vary the pattern. But it would still always be all that equipment acting as a proxy for the specific desires of the programmer. A true AI system would start with only the equipment, and the knowledge that the grass needed to be short.

« Prev - Next »