Link blog: william lane craig, psychology, iain-m-banks, metaethics

Robot makes people feel like a ghost is nearby | Science/AAAS | News
You can induce sensed presences by having a robot poke you in the back.
(tags: emotions ghosts robots psychology)
Philosophical Disquisitions: Is there a defensible atheistic account of moral values?
Maybe, or at least, it’s as good as a popular theistic account.
(tags: morality metaethics atheism william lane craig)
Strange Horizons Articles: A Few Questions About the Culture: An Interview with Iain Banks, by Jude Roberts
An old, but recently published, interview with the Iain M Banks. Via andrewducker.
(tags: iain-m-banks culture interview sci-fi science-fiction)

2 thoughts on “Link blog: william lane craig, psychology, iain-m-banks, metaethics”

  1. “To take two examples: the experience of pain is deemed to be intrinsically and necessarily bad; while the experience of pleasure is deemed to be intrinsically and necessarily good.”

    That’s obviously broken, no? Am I missing something?

  2. You may be missing something. I don’t think Wielenberg is claiming that every instance of pain is bad on the whole; only that if you imagine an instance of pain somehow detached from everything else in the world, it’s bad rather than good.

    So, e.g., here in the real world pain may be good because it stops you using an injured limb and making it worse, or because it somehow helps with the moral reform of a criminal, or because you feel it after exertion and it makes you feel pleasantly smug, or because it adds spice to a sexual encounter, but (I think) Wielenberg would say that all these benefits are separate from, and not fundamental to, the pain itself.

    I’m not convinced — I don’t see that you can meaningfully consider pain in isolation from everything else in the universe, and it’s not obvious to me that pain’s function of notifying you of danger and damage isn’t as fundamental to What Pain Is as the unpleasantness of the experience as such, and the kind of all-else-being-equal that’s required here is probably hard to give precise meaning to, and so forth. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Wielenberg were wrong about this. But I don’t think he’s trivially wrong.

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