Is this a valid argument?

Use this philosophy forum to discuss and debate general philosophy topics that don't fit into one of the other categories.

This forum is NOT for factual, informational or scientific questions about philosophy (e.g. "What year was Socrates born?"); such homework-help-style questions can be asked and answered on PhiloPedia: The Philosophy Wiki. If your question is not already answered on the appropriate PhiloPedia page, then see How to Request Content on PhiloPedia to see how to ask your informational question using the wiki.
User avatar
Calepiaro
New Trial Member
Posts: 11
Joined: September 11th, 2020, 3:26 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument?

Post by Calepiaro » September 15th, 2020, 4:14 pm

Kaz_1983 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 10:04 am
P1) A computer simulation can’t have any uncontrollable variables.

P2) Moral responsibility needs personal control over your actions.

P3) Taking person control away from the simulation means adding yourself as an uncontrollable variable into the computer simulation.

C) Moral responsibility within a computer simulation cannot exist.
At a first glance, it was hard to understand what you mean with each statement, but I think I managed to understand and I do agree.

P1): This is true. If there is something a computer can't do that is pure randomness. Someone said that there are random functions in specific languages. It is true, some higher languages do indeed have so-called "random functions", but they are far from random! They are more of a simulation of randomness. True randomness can be achieved only through freedom and a computer is far from free.

P2): I agree again! For a man to be responsible for anything he must be free to do otherwise, he must have control to decide what to do. How could a man that lacks control over himself be accused of bad or good, of moral or immoral? He could not.

P3): I think there is something wrong with this phrase, but if you mean that one's control over himself would be impossible in a simulation for that it adds an "uncontrollable variable", then I agree the third time. If someone is free to control himself, then his behaviour is unpredictable, it can be rational or irrational, virtuous or not, and even if it is rational, we still could not precisely know what one is going to do.

Therefore I believe that your argument is valid, of course, you should explain why P1, P2, and P3 are true, and try to make them as easy to understand as possible.

User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 1004
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

Re: Is this a valid argument?

Post by Pattern-chaser » September 16th, 2020, 9:03 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 11:36 pm
The moral model here is that the programmer holds the program responsible for the harm and uses the appropriate method to correct it.
Whatever else is the case, I can assure you that the programmer knows that the program is not "responsible" for anything at all. If there is responsibility, it belongs with humans, not with a collection of pre-calculated decisions. Decisions pre-calculated by humans, not by 'the program'.
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"

User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 1004
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

Re: Is this a valid argument?

Post by Pattern-chaser » September 16th, 2020, 9:11 am

Sculptor1 wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 6:45 am
P1. Computers can simulate lack of control with the random number function.
This topic is an odd mish-mash to start with, but that is no excuse to trot out half-truths and misunderstandings about programming. The above is a good example of the latter.
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"

User avatar
Marvin_Edwards
Posts: 607
Joined: April 14th, 2020, 9:34 pm
Favorite Philosopher: William James
Contact:

Re: Is this a valid argument?

Post by Marvin_Edwards » September 16th, 2020, 2:17 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 9:03 am
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 11:36 pm
The moral model here is that the programmer holds the program responsible for the harm and uses the appropriate method to correct it.
Whatever else is the case, I can assure you that the programmer knows that the program is not "responsible" for anything at all. If there is responsibility, it belongs with humans, not with a collection of pre-calculated decisions. Decisions pre-calculated by humans, not by 'the program'.
The function of "holding responsible" is to identify the cause and take steps to correct it.

User avatar
Sculptor1
Posts: 2529
Joined: May 16th, 2019, 5:35 am

Re: Is this a valid argument?

Post by Sculptor1 » September 16th, 2020, 5:41 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 9:11 am
Sculptor1 wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 6:45 am
P1. Computers can simulate lack of control with the random number function.
This topic is an odd mish-mash to start with, but that is no excuse to trot out half-truths and misunderstandings about programming. The above is a good example of the latter.
What I said is factual.
WTF are you talking about?

User avatar
Sculptor1
Posts: 2529
Joined: May 16th, 2019, 5:35 am

Re: Is this a valid argument?

Post by Sculptor1 » September 16th, 2020, 5:43 pm

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 2:17 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 9:03 am


Whatever else is the case, I can assure you that the programmer knows that the program is not "responsible" for anything at all. If there is responsibility, it belongs with humans, not with a collection of pre-calculated decisions. Decisions pre-calculated by humans, not by 'the program'.
The function of "holding responsible" is to identify the cause and take steps to correct it.
An inanimate thing cannot be responsible in any meaningful way, though many guilty humans often try to divert attention to their own failings by blaming machines.

User avatar
Marvin_Edwards
Posts: 607
Joined: April 14th, 2020, 9:34 pm
Favorite Philosopher: William James
Contact:

Re: Is this a valid argument?

Post by Marvin_Edwards » September 16th, 2020, 6:13 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 5:43 pm
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 2:17 pm


The function of "holding responsible" is to identify the cause and take steps to correct it.
An inanimate thing cannot be responsible in any meaningful way, though many guilty humans often try to divert attention to their own failings by blaming machines.
Responsibility is not a property of an object. It is a quality we assign to the object that caused the problem.

User avatar
Sculptor1
Posts: 2529
Joined: May 16th, 2019, 5:35 am

Re: Is this a valid argument?

Post by Sculptor1 » Yesterday, 4:10 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 6:13 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 5:43 pm


An inanimate thing cannot be responsible in any meaningful way, though many guilty humans often try to divert attention to their own failings by blaming machines.
Responsibility is not a property of an object. It is a quality we assign to the object that caused the problem.
Not sure why you are saying this.

User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 1004
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

Re: Is this a valid argument?

Post by Pattern-chaser » Yesterday, 9:19 am

Sculptor1 wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 6:45 am
P1. Computers can simulate lack of control with the random number function.
Pattern-chaser wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 9:11 am
This topic is an odd mish-mash to start with, but that is no excuse to trot out half-truths and misunderstandings about programming. The above is a good example of the latter.
Sculptor1 wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 5:41 pm
What I said is factual.
WTF are you talking about?
Random numbers, in programming, are a sort-of equivalent of truth to philosophers. What appears simple at first is actually complex, deep and difficult. What you said is not factual; random numbers are not used as you think they are. If you want to start an in-depth topic about the generation and use of random numbers, I will be pleased to discuss it with you, and to explain whatever needs explaining. But this is not the place.
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"

User avatar
Sculptor1
Posts: 2529
Joined: May 16th, 2019, 5:35 am

Re: Is this a valid argument?

Post by Sculptor1 » Yesterday, 10:45 am

Pattern-chaser wrote:
Yesterday, 9:19 am
Sculptor1 wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 6:45 am
P1. Computers can simulate lack of control with the random number function.
Pattern-chaser wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 9:11 am
This topic is an odd mish-mash to start with, but that is no excuse to trot out half-truths and misunderstandings about programming. The above is a good example of the latter.
Sculptor1 wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 5:41 pm
What I said is factual.
WTF are you talking about?
Random numbers, in programming, are a sort-of equivalent of truth to philosophers. What appears simple at first is actually complex, deep and difficult. What you said is not factual; random numbers are not used as you think they are. If you want to start an in-depth topic about the generation and use of random numbers, I will be pleased to discuss it with you, and to explain whatever needs explaining. But this is not the place.
I know exactly how RNGs select numbers.
They are no more than long lists, since no number can every be "truly" random. You can seed them with today's date and time or any other arbitrary number. This ensures a different playing field for each game play.
The point is that as far as the programmer or user is concerned RNGs make the scenario unpredictable. Lack of control is thus simulated.

Post Reply