## Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

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Greta
Posts: 7230
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

### Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

ThomasHobbes wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 5:25 pm
Steve3007 wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 5:59 am
Having done it in the past, I'd say no, but only from the point of view of the person, not the heat sink, because heat sinks and the computers that they cool aren't sentient, and that links to the other topic about algorithms.
What would be a good algorithm to know when to step on a bug.
Algorithms behind the fight-or-flight response?

ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1099
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

### Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

10 See bug
20 Gosub "bug ident"
30 rem Dangerous, Bg=1; Endangered species, Bg=2, Vermin, Bg=3
40 If bg=1 THEN run away
50 IF bg=2 THEN GOTO 100
60 IF Bg=3 THEN squish
100 If see new bug then GOTO 20 Else carry on walking.

Greta
Posts: 7230
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

### Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

LOL Nice, incorporating the FOF response into items #1 and #3.

5 Count = 1
15 If N > 0 Then 25
25 If bug is interesting then 10

The loop continues until overridden by another algorithm :)

Steve3007
Posts: 5397
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes
Location: UK

### Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

I think both of those versions of the pseudo-code/BASIC would have some compiler errors but it would be pedantic to point them out. I get the general idea. Two interesting things that they point out:

1. Infinite loops
2. The apparent absence of what most people consider to be the elements of ethics

Infinite loops are an interesting one. Humans don't generally get stuck in infinite loops of behaviour (except possibly when they get stuck for years on philosophy forums) because we have the valuable mechanism of boredom. The behaviours of some simpler creatures don't seem to have that. They often seem capable of repeating the same behaviour indefinitely until something in the external environment (e.g. getting squished) changes their behaviour.

And neither of those versions of the code have a line which amounts to: "don't squish the bug because I anthropomorphize it, then empathize with it, then assign it rights" or: "don't squish the bug because I have a general principle that, other things being equal, the destruction of life is a negative thing" or perhaps "I have a general principle that the infliction of suffering should be avoided and I think bugs are capable of suffering".

Maybe a couple of extra cases would do. Bg=4; Wriggles when squished in a way that is reminiscent of a human in pain, Bg=5; Looks kinda cute, like it should be in an animated movie.
Greta wrote:This brings a new question to mind: Re: Do cities think stepping on humans is right or wrong- why?
Perhaps the cities that survive and thrive best are the ones that are not averse to stepping on some humans if they deem it necessary, as illustrated by various loconic, deadpan, Raymond Chandler-esque statements about cities mostly delivered by Bogart.

Greta
Posts: 7230
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

### Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Heh. I learned some basic Basic in the early 80s - the best part of four decades ago - and not used it since so I might have forgotten a little bit :)

Maybe some if/then statements ascertaining whether an entity moves in a manner that could be interpreted as volition and some more to determine whether the person was empathic enough for that to matter?

ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1099
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

### Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Do you think it is oaky to step on snowflake?

https://scarriet.files.wordpress.com/20 ... mage4.jpeg

ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1099
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

... errata
'oaky' is okay