Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
Hypotheticals are the playgrounds of sophists
And personal insults like this are the height of intellectual integrity? Hypotheticals are an important tool for finding truth and determining general principles. But since you are just going to insult me I'm not even going to bother to read the rest of what you said, or continue this discussion. Goodbye.
That was not a personal insult. I wasn't attacking you. I was making a general statement. And that statement is particularly apt for this field, as hypotheticals, and hypotheticals upon hypotheticals are abused by sophists
E.g. (one actually used in academia). We have a married Catholic priest (say eastern), and he learns through confession that his supposed wife is actually married to another man (presume he discovers her former husband is still alive). That night his wife requests the marital debt. And suppose she insists. He either must break the seal or commit adultery, right?
And if you answer that, the sophist will just attach another hypothetical, and so on and so on.
Hypotheticals are useful in limited contexts. But there are hypotheticals which may actually be the case, hypotheticals that are contrary to fact, and then there are hypotheticals which are contrary to principle. And in the latter class are hypotheticals that assume something self-contradictory or which beg the question being addressed.
Now we have only two possibilities with your hypothetical. One, God creates an immortal soul for HAL and transforms him into a substantial whole, not merely a machine or computer, which is absurd and in anycase he would cease to be a computer and program. Or, by intelligence we means something far less than what man actually possesses, not in degree, but in kind.
In anycase, you hypothetical falls short of the per impossibile of intelligence, and your choice of language betrays the loaded game that is played here. A living, sentient being...a mussel is a living sentient being, as is a dog, a bee, a bird, etc. Being sentient is not being intelligent. But even then, to even presume that such a sentient being is possible makes an assumption about organisms, that befits a perspective that has no grounding for any dignity even for animals. So yes, assuming atheistic, eliminative materialists, and/or strong functionalists are correct (which is an assumption if one takes the hypothetical of an AI like human intelligence), which entails a denial of human nature and therefore his dignity, such a machine, HAL, would have the same dignity as man...which would be to say none