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Author Topic: Sentient Digital Lifeforms (SDL)  (Read 336 times)

dyany

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Re: Sentient Digital Lifeforms (SDL)
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2017, 09:50:39 pm »
TL;DR:
Beauty=physically attractive.  English definition.
Standards of beauty=physical traits that make someone attractive.  Based on individual opinions, culture, etc.  Varies widely.
 

Roper

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Re: Sentient Digital Lifeforms (SDL)
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2017, 07:03:48 am »
Dyany, you said, "One way that doesn't work is changing the meaning of a word." Words don't have intrinsic meanings.  Words are symbols we use to interact with each other. We decide what those symbols represent, and how we are going to use those symbols. I think language in general and words in particular should be flexible and adaptive. They are tools we use for inclusion. Or exclusion.  Healing or hurting.
 
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kazbert

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Re: Sentient Digital Lifeforms (SDL)
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2017, 09:29:35 am »
Wow.  This thread has taken some very interesting turns!  Lots of relevant food for thought!

The organic-centric meaning for life is indirectly represented by the first requirement (that life has cells).  That bias became more apparent to me when I looked up dictionary definitions for things like "life", "organic," and so.  I'm heading to work right now, so I need ot be brief.  More on that later.

As for my fighting so hard to have my evolved AI defined as a life form, keep in mind that we're talking about science fiction here, not any kind of fact.  In truth, my current religious and philosophical leanings do not leave any room at all for calling anything that is purely digital a life form. 

The purpose of my story is not to convince anyone of that.  As an author, I'm practicing due diligence and trying to close as many plot holes as I can, but ultimately I will not be able to close all of them.  I'm simply using the story to examine the boundaries, and I have placed the story in a fictional world where there is already one existing character, Lt. Cmdr. Data, who has had his sentience successfully argued by Capt. Picard during season 1 to the extent that Data could not be seen as property by Star Fleet.  There were still characters in TNG who saw Data as only a machine, most notably Dr. Katherine Pulaski, who was the ship's Chief Medical Officer during season 2.  For now, my story is placed in season 3, in between episodes 21 and 22 (that could change).

As for what are justly "basic human rights" that a topic in itself, but one I will have to deal with in my story because I realize that where to drawn those lines is debatable, and our current generation seems intent on claiming as rights all sorts of things that really are just privileges, not rights, and who have trouble understanding the difference between human rights and civil rights.
If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
Ronald Reagan
 

dyany

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Re: Sentient Digital Lifeforms (SDL)
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2017, 01:36:05 pm »
Roper: true.  But it is determined by use, not by political demands of a subset of the population.  And in the examples given, a large part of my argument is that changing the meaning of the word wouldn't even come close to fixing the situation.  People will always have definitions of visual attractiveness that exclude a majority of the population.  That's just the way it works.  The problem is not in the word.  The problem is primarily two fold: first, in the large portion of the population that put far too much value in the visual appeal of someone, and second, in the people who feel they must please that first group to have personal value. 

That's part of the problem with the whole redefining marriage debacle.  Marriage has a number of denotations and connotations.  Denotations include a) a legal binding of two people that affects rights of property, privacy, and progeny, and b) an emotional/social bonding of two people who love each other.  But connotations (the gut reactions and impressions of most who use the word) include a ceremonial binding that legitimizes sexual relationships.  We know as Latter-day Saints that the family is the basic building block of society, and most sociologists agree with that definition to one extent or another.  Families are generally (though not always) built on marriages, in part because there is a lot of evidence that the legally/socially binding commitment greatly increases the stability, longevity, and benefits of the family unit.  Add to that the fact that there is a lot of evidence that a stable, long-lasting family unit greatly increases the happiness, productivity, health, and compliance to the rules in a society of the children, and you have a lot of reasons to promote the health of families, which gives a lot of social clout and benefits to strong marriages. 
However, the argument has become convoluted.  Stripping the basis of the 'right to be married' to just 'people who love each other and want to have some legal rights together,' would make it seem like marriage should be available to all.  But then they take the other things associated with marriage and try to claim them: that they should have complete social legitimacy, full latitude in child adoption, etc., when there really isn't evidence that the relationships now labeled as marriages have the same psychosocioeconomic (yes I made that word up) benefits as the relationships that were labeled as marriages before the change.  Am I even making sense?  Similar to the argument demanding that gender is fluid and a choice rather than a biological state, we rush (or are bullied) into radically changing an important and core societal and cultural definition (which then changes laws, rules, acceptable behaviors, etc.) based on emotion rather than any scientific data whatsoever. 
 

kazbert

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Re: Sentient Digital Lifeforms (SDL)
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2017, 05:18:07 pm »
Word meanings:  Etymology is really not my forte, but I think there is an element of truth in both your positions. 

When it comes to adjectives like "beauty" the meaning of the word is objective and changes very slowly, but the examples we use to represent that meaning are subjective and can change quickly and vary widely from culture to culture.  Regardless of the examples you use to represent beauty, there is absolute clarity to any hearer/reader that when you say that word it means that the example you chose possesses  “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.”  The example set forth may seem ugly to you personally, but the speaker’s intended meaning is clear. 

But I suppose that you could use Indigo Montoya’s argument: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

As for objecting to the change in the meaning of the word “marriage,” I think that deserves its own thread, please.  There is a huge potential there to spin off into tangents that have nothing at all to do with the ability of SDLs to experience real emotions.
If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
Ronald Reagan
 

 

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