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Building Ayn Rand"s robot.

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Leonid
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... we discuss here an artificial, man-made sapient being, constructed in such a way that he doesn't need to take actions in order to sustain his physical existence.

Again you assert the arbitrary. Show me a single example of such a material construct (I'll accept concepts as quasi-eternal, but not the identity of material things). Barring that, show me a logical induction with a single shred of evidence for me to grasp that suggest the Law of Entropy to be false.

Your construct is more or less arbitrary; squeeze out the whimsy, and see what you have left. It won't be perpetual, and it won't be able to ignore its survival needs forever.

- ico

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Again you assert the arbitrary. Show me a single example of such a material construct (I'll accept concepts as quasi-eternal, but not the identity of material things). Barring that, show me a logical induction with a single shred of evidence for me to grasp that suggest the Law of Entropy to be false.

Your construct is more or less arbitrary; squeeze out the whimsy, and see what you have left. It won't be perpetual, and it won't be able to ignore its survival needs forever.

- ico

Not arbitrary, hypothetical, something which doesn't contradict acceptable science. BTW, I never suggested that the law of Entropy is false and my construct doesn't contradict it since I postulated an internal source of energy which will last very long time, although not for ever. Indestructibility could be achieved by using intrinsic self-repair mechanism based on atomic assembly nano-technology. There is no such a thing as "for ever", but as long as such a being exists,( and it will be very long time) it wouldn't have any survival needs and it would be indestructible. My claim that such a being-call him trans-human if you wish- will be moral by the virtue of being sapient. If you disagree, please bring up philosophical, not technical arguments. I constructed this hypothetical organism in order to discuss morality, not physics.

Edited by Leonid
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Not arbitrary, hypothetical, something which doesn't contradict acceptable science.

You mean, like there might be Martians we haven't found yet? That's arbitrary.

BTW, I never suggested that the law of Entropy is false and my construct doesn't contradict it since I postulated an internal source of energy which will last very long time, although not for ever. Indestructibility could be achieved by using intrinsic self-repair mechanism based on atomic assembly nano-technology. There is no such a thing as "for ever", but as long as such a being exists,( and it will be very long time) it wouldn't have any survival needs and it would be indestructible. My claim that such a being-call him trans-human if you wish- will be moral by the virtue of being sapient. If you disagree, please bring up philosophical, not technical arguments. I constructed this hypothetical organism in order to discuss morality, not physics.

True, but you are confusing "a long time" with "eternal", psychologically. A long time looked at from the perspective of an even longer time is a short time. Time periods are relative. Presumably, if the creature is alive and conscious, it will die of boredom if it does nothing. It needs something interesting to do, and it knows it has a long time to do it, so it will pick something ambitious, eventually. And then it will want to improve its project. And eventually that death knell will loom large, because it will want to keep improving the things it cares about.

Time is relative to the scope and scale of what you are doing with it -- which will expand to fill the available time.

The problem is, eternal is NOT the limit of a progressive sequence of greater and greater units of "a very long time". So even your hypothetical is on the clock -- and it can't help but know it, and that will affect its behavior.

You can't escape from reality.

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You mean, like there might be Martians we haven't found yet? That's arbitrary.

True, but you are confusing "a long time" with "eternal", psychologically. A long time looked at from the perspective of an even longer time is a short time. Time periods are relative. Presumably, if the creature is alive and conscious, it will die of boredom if it does nothing. It needs something interesting to do, and it knows it has a long time to do it, so it will pick something ambitious, eventually. And then it will want to improve its project. And eventually that death knell will loom large, because it will want to keep improving the things it cares about.

Time is relative to the scope and scale of what you are doing with it -- which will expand to fill the available time.

The problem is, eternal is NOT the limit of a progressive sequence of greater and greater units of "a very long time". So even your hypothetical is on the clock -- and it can't help but know it, and that will affect its behavior.

You can't escape from reality.

And who suppose to look from the perspective of even longer time? That only could be done in retrospect. People live in present and plan for future. Eternity is a poetic metaphor, there is no such a thing. Let say that such a trans-human will live as long as Universe exists, without any improvement. Does it make him amoral? Does he have to die from boredom? I don't think so. There are so many values to gain outside of the needs of physical survival. The reality is that man is rational being, reason his ultimate value and exercise of his mind is the source of his ultimate happiness , not just struggle to avoid death.

Edited by Leonid
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The problem is, eternal is NOT the limit of a progressive sequence of greater and greater units of "a very long time". So even your hypothetical is on the clock -- and it can't help but know it, and that will affect its behavior.

Eternal applies to that which is outside the province of time. Leonard Peikoff commented on time here. Harry Binswanger in Selected Topics in the Philosophy of Science stated something to the effect: time is in the universe, the universe is not in time.

You can't escape from reality.

True. Reality is the source of data we compile into knowledge of it. If we do not consistently relate our knowledge back to the source, the result is not knowledge by error. Reality is inescapable in that regard.

And who suppose to look from the perspective of even longer time? That only could be done in retrospect. People live in present and plan for future. Eternity is a poetic metaphor, there is no such a thing. Let say that such a trans-human will live as long as Universe exists, without any improvement. Does it make him amoral? Does he have to die from boredom? I don't think so. There are so many values to gain outside of the needs of physical survival. The reality is that man is rational being, reason his ultimate value and exercise of his mind is the source of his ultimate happiness , not just struggle to avoid death.

If you take the effort to induce the material that gives rise to this observation in OPAR, on page 210:

Once we remove the alternative of life or death, we remove the possibility of need satisfaction or need frustration, at least on the physical level, since "need" in this context denotes that which is required for survival. We thereby remove also the sensory incentives, the pleasure and pain sensations, which accompany need satisfaction or frustration in conscious creatures.

Just one more observation, if you continue to spend your time belaboring this point with assertions that are dismissed out of hand in this venue, it cannot be utilized in pursuing the validation and actualization of your trans-human desire, if indeed you intellectually, honestly believe it can be validated and actualized.

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The reality is that man is rational being, reason his ultimate value and exercise of his mind is the source of his ultimate happiness , not just struggle to avoid death.

The reality is, he must ensure he doesn't die BEFORE he can reason what his values are, or use his mind as a source of happiness. Then, in reasoning what his values are, and what his source of happiness is, he must ensure they do not contradict his need to stay alive to achieve those goals. Staying alive is ALWAYS primary IF one wants to keep being happy and achieving values and goals. Note, that doesn't mean taking risks with one's life is necessarily contradictory to achieving one's values and happiness.

Whether or not all this transhumanism talk really means anything remains to be seen. I'll wait for evidence to see if it will have any substantial impact on man's lifespan.

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The reality is, he must ensure he doesn't die BEFORE he can reason what his values are, or use his mind as a source of happiness. Then, in reasoning what his values are, and what his source of happiness is, he must ensure they do not contradict his need to stay alive to achieve those goals. Staying alive is ALWAYS primary IF one wants to keep being happy and achieving values and goals. Note, that doesn't mean taking risks with one's life is necessarily contradictory to achieving one's values and happiness.

Whether or not all this transhumanism talk really means anything remains to be seen. I'll wait for evidence to see if it will have any substantial impact on man's lifespan.

Please, we discuss here a thought experiment, not the feasibility or technical details of trans-human being, although the advance of biological science may turn this possibility to reality sooner than you think. But it's beyond the point. Ayn Rand's robot is also belongs to science fiction. I just accepted her premise of indestructibility and immortality and showed that this is not an obstacle for morality. I've shown why and how such a being will necessary pursue values, and even on much greater scale than we do.

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I just accepted her premise of indestructibility and immortality and showed that this is not an obstacle for morality. I've shown why and how such a being will necessary pursue values, and even on much greater scale than we do.

I recognize that as your claim, not that you have achieved that claim.

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Also you DIDN'T accept her premise of indestructibility and immortality. You accepted a long-lived intelligence and decided that long-lived might as well be immortal--you made a point of not accepting the "immortal" part of the premise in fact. But the point Ayn Rand made in her thought experiment was predicated on immortality and indestructibility--nothing the robot could do (or neglect to do) would affect its survival. That's not the case with your almost immortal transhuman.

Thus you aren't building AR's robot, in the only sense that *actually* matters.

So whatever conclusion you come to is not a contradiction to what she said, because you are talking about different contexts. And that's *assuming* you actually followed a valid chain of logic, which as Rational Biker has pointed out--you really haven't.

Edited by Steve D'Ippolito
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Steve D'Ippolito:

"Also you DIDN'T accept her premise of indestructibility and immortality. You accepted a long-lived intelligence and decided that long-lived might as well be immortal--you made a point of not accepting the "immortal" part of the premise in fact."

In fact I DID. I wrote " he will live as long as the Universe exists". To ask for more than that would be a violation of the axiom of existence.

RationalBiker:

"I recognize that as your claim, not that you have achieved that claim"

I substantiated my claim by numerous arguments which never have been refuted yet.

Edited by Leonid
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I substantiated my claim by numerous arguments which never have been refuted yet.

"I recognize that as your claim, not that you have achieved that claim"

Past that, I can't stop you from believing what you like.

Edited by RationalBiker
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