Friday, October 07, 2005

At Philosophy Club last night, Adam pointed out that he could make a machine that says 'Ow, that hurts!' when you punch it. So I threw this thing together. Dr. Murphy an d Dr. Vebber seemed to think it was amusing.

Anyhoo, this is similar to a basic computer program I bring up whenever idiots start talking about plants and vegetarianism. 'Oh, eating meat isn't worse than eating plants, 'cause plants an feel pain too!' Bullshit. Animals have a centre of subjectivity. Plants don't. Plants feel pain in the same sense that this button feels pain: it reacts negatively to certain stimuli. Most philosophies and certainly common sense insist that there's a morally relevant difference between animals and Javascript programs. Yet there's no basis for the claim that there's a relevant difference between a plant and the button. You can bullshit all you'd like about plants sensing whether you're a murderer or not, but _plants_ _have_ _no_ _mentation_. Animals do.

Once again, science defeats bad philosophy. The good philosophers know this.


Anonymous said...

May I eat the button? It's looking tasty, in a grey, masochistic sort of way.

That didn't make any sense, I know.

Am I the only person who's ever posted on your Blog?

LKBM said...

Nope: I've posted; Graham once posted; a borderline troll/moron once posted.

But mostly you and me.