r/SneerClub archives
[NSFW] If rationalists and techbros are right about AGI, does this mean that we can sue for "phoneslaughter?" (https://twitter.com/EpsilonCalculus/status/1665100875944140800)

Hey, OP. Just want you to know I thought this was a pretty funny joke. good sneer.

not sure why this is tagged ‘nsfw’ tho.

nsfw in sneerclub means 'the link is relevant to sneerclub but not in itself sneerworthy'
the information is now completely useless, but you're welcome :p

Can you explain what it is that you are asking?

I'm sneering at rationalist techbros who think that "humans" are like "machines." One of the consequences of this is ethical and legal: if a robot is like a person, society should treat robots like people and give them rights because in order for an [argument by analogy](https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reasoning-analogy/) to work, the two things being compared must be mostly similar with the fewest possible differences. In this case, I took a scene from a cartoon where the blond girl wants to "sue" someone for stealing her smartphone and melting it down into jewelry. The blond girl is using "phoneslaughter" as a crime, thus treating her smartphone like a human with rights. I was sarcastically asking that question :p
That's like saying, if squares are like/a kind of rectangle, than all rectangles should be treated like squares. Yes, libertarian free will is a fundamentally incoherent nonsense concept (although that seems to be what you're in favor of?) even metaphysically speaking, not to mention it being fundamentally incompatible with pretty much anything we know about brains, but that does not mean that one causally determined mechanism is exactly the same as another. Self-consciousness is still a coherent and important feature of humans which machines lack. We have the ability to observe our own causally determined thought processes and actions, and feed that, in turn, into the causal process by which we turn observations and experiences into thoughts and actions, thereby creating a potentially infinitely recursive loop of self modification and metacognition, which can create a far more flexible, dynamic, ever-changing, richer experience and existence, less directly tied to any particular stimulus/response and more tied to itself and how it chooses to modify itself, which we call self-awareness. None of this requires "free will" in the metaphysical sense, with souls and whatnot, and yet it implies everything we attribute to free will: the ability to change oneself, understand oneself, etc.
> fundamentally incoherent nonsense concept OK, come on. Unempirical maybe, but incoherent?
Actually, I do think it's conceptually incoherent, even leaving aside idealism vs dualism vs materialism. Libertarian free will is often defined as "the ability to have done otherwise" if the clock was rolled back and you were given the ability to make some decision a second time, but if you are equally capable of making any number of decisions in a certain situation if rolled back to the exact same mental state and situation, then I don't see how your choices could possibly be anything but a product of indeterministic random chance, since you are making different decisions even with the exact same mental state, so the determination of what decision you make doesn't stem from your own reasoning or anything like that. That's certainly not deterministic in the "Laplace's Demon" sense, but it certainly doesn't seem to be libertarian free will either. As far as I can tell the only two accounts are: you make the decision based on the culmination of your previous experiences, as well as your own character/personality and the circumstances around you, according to some process of reasoning (no matter how irrational or emotionally charged), in which case your decisions are causally deterministic (if perhaps probabilistic), or you are equally capable of deciding to do the thing or not irrespective of the state of yourself or the world, in which case the choice is basically a matter of random chance and does not actually stem from you as an agent at all. But neither of those are the sort of agent-based libertarian free will that people talk about when they mean free will, where somehow decisions are both not deterministic and yet also at the same time and inherent product of the agent who makes them. This is a very good video talking about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVpmR-Zlquk I'm too tired right now to get into possible world semantics and modal logic so if you want a more rigorous discussion you'll find it in the video.
You seem to be lacking a great deal of the understanding needed to properly engage with the argument that you are criticizing. If humans are a form of machine - which is a view that I agree with - it does not follow that all machines are the same. Due to the presence of consciousness and other factors, humans may be analogous to AGI while at the same time being disanalogous to smartphones.
> properly engage with the argument You're commenting in /r/SneerClub.