24

Recipient, p6

December 10, 2021 by Tim


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GUNnibal
GUNnibal
11 months ago

Last panel: for once me and Ethan are on the same page here…

Tokeeto
Tokeeto
11 months ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

Also known as “Kants Imperative” where I’m from. It’s the philosophical idea that you should only take actions that you would take in all situations. We normally use this principle a little less extreme than Kants version. For example: You see a broken shop window. Nobody is nearby. Is it okay to steal a tiny thing from the shop? Well, Kant would argue that you should only steal a tiny thing, if steal would ALWAYS be okay. Otherwise, it’s NEVER okay to steal. Zeke believes this to be the argument that Ethen presented, and then stopped to ponder the philosophy… Read more »

JD.
JD.
11 months ago
Reply to  Tokeeto

A locked door doesn’t deter a thief, It only keeps an Honest man Honest

Last edited 11 months ago by JD.
Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
11 months ago
Reply to  JD.

No, an honest man stays honest. Someone who checked the door to see if it was locked is already a thief in his heart.

Locked doors deter plenty of thieves, just as dogs and security signs do. It turns a theft from inconspicuous to troublesome, so unless someone’s specifically gunning for your stuff, it’ll cause them to try someone else.

ocramot
ocramot
11 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

I think it’s more correct with an open door. The temptation to steal should be evident, for the Honest man to be turned into a thief.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
11 months ago
Reply to  ocramot

Only if you define honesty not as a character quality, but as the lack of a record of wrongdoing.

We all start out dishonest. Look at any toddler. As soon as they realize what trust is, they lie to get away with anything. As soon as they understand you don’t see them all the time, they break the rules when you’re not looking.

Honesty and integrity are character traits which are developed over time. The one who steals when he has an opportunity hasn’t learned them yet.

faaresemo
faaresemo
11 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Au contraire, I do believe we all start out honest. Look at any baby. They do not withhold information that they are capable of conveying. Every elation and discomfort they experience they make as clear as day.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
11 months ago
Reply to  faaresemo

That’s because at that age, they have no concept of other people, or even of self. They’re hardwired to express themselves aloud, just as parents are hardwired to care for their young. That’s not honesty; that’s lack of the capacity to deceive. Children don’t really develop a full sense of empathy until around age 8. They start learning around 2 that other people have thoughts and mental capacity, and slowly develop from there. And until you really understand concepts such as “property” and “truth” and there being the opposite of it, not to mention that other people have thoughts and… Read more »

raven0ak
raven0ak
11 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

nah, you know that only lawful ppl are restrained by law?
while in your case locked door deters low effort thieves, locked door only truly stops honest man, dishonest one could get in if he wanted

he is among us!
he is among us!
11 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Nah man… Im following the lovecraftian rules of making sure the door to the unknown is shut and if its however not: Make sure that nothing can get on your side from that the god damn hellhole!

But for that I need to check it isn´t open from the beginning…

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
11 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

And if a locked door doesn’t deter a thief, 3 inch nails on the door jamb and frame and locked impact-proof windows usually do.

Merendel
Merendel
11 months ago
Reply to  JD.

I’d argue it keeps a weak man honest. An honest man isnt going to steal from that building lock or no. A weak man may be tempted to do so if its not too much trouble and he thinks he wont be caught. A lock stops him cold. A thief on the other hand may or may not be detoured by the lock. It depends on how much he wants whats behind the lock. It may be enough to send him looking for an easier target. IF he wants through bad enough there’s no lock made by man that will… Read more »

vaisravana
vaisravana
11 months ago
Reply to  Tokeeto

It is not only about that though. The core idea is, before I do (or not do) something I should ask myself: “Is this what I would want EVERYONE to do?” For example…littering in the forest… “ouh, its just one paper tissue, it won’t be an issue at all.” -true, but would you want the 200 ppl that walked through it before you to do the same? If people would ACTUALLY utilize that approach we would be doing a lot better already. But it is not without flaws or problems. It is good tool to examine an issue with logic,… Read more »

Alex
Alex
11 months ago

Having severe flashbacks from my MBA Ethics course… The phrase “will it to be law” still confuses me 🙂

Karrde
Karrde
11 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Just think about it as if all people were 40k Orks. If you think it is, if you and everyone else will it into being, then it is. If you, and everyone else considers it not to be, then it is not.

Dodgy
Dodgy
11 months ago
Reply to  Karrde

I always thought that interresting. Ecspecially the theory about the Emperor. He should be a lifeless corpse on a throne, yet he is still alive only because the Orks think he is and the thousands of psykere sacrificed every day do nothing but power the Astronomicon. The moment that the Orks stop believing the Emperor is alive, it all stops.

Karrde
Karrde
11 months ago
Reply to  Dodgy

I suspect theres a few more moving parts to the pepetuation of the God Emperor than just Orkish belief. Human belief, when strong enough, is enough to make saints. Its certainly no “I tink der’s dakka, so it shoot!” capabilities of the Ork, but its not without merit or measure. And to consider that Humans outnumber every other species (except maybe for orks, and Tyranids, depending on how many are outside the galaxy) by a 10-1 margin, with 99/100 worshiping Big E, its no wonder even in his depleted state, his power dwarfs that which he held in the Great… Read more »

Chieroscuro
Chieroscuro
11 months ago
Reply to  Dodgy

That’s a fun theory!

My personal favorite is that the God-Emperor is, in fact, Nagash.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
11 months ago
Reply to  Karrde

Just think about it as if all people were 40k Orks.”

That doesn’t help at all

The Legacy
The Legacy
11 months ago

Waagh?

Karrde
Karrde
11 months ago
Reply to  The Legacy

Waagh.

faaresemo
faaresemo
11 months ago
Reply to  Karrde

….as in that’s an actual metaphysical law within the world of 40k?

Casi
Casi
11 months ago
Reply to  faaresemo

Orks in 40k are a sort of psychic fungus that have localized reality warping abilities. Ork vehicles that are painted red go faster because Orks believe that Red makes it Fastah. An Ork will never run out of ammunition for its dakka, because if it runs out the Ork will go “oi, i can’t be out of dakka cuz i just reloaded this mornin'” and boom, it has more ammo again.

faaresemo
faaresemo
11 months ago
Reply to  Casi

That’s legitimately incredible and goddamn do I wish that existed for humans in this world. Would never run out of chocolate milk again

The Legacy
The Legacy
11 months ago
Reply to  Alex

‘The phrase “will it to be law” still confuses me 🙂’

What about “I AM the law!”? 😅

vaisravana
vaisravana
11 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Ehr, don’t worry, even in the original german phrase it is a bit confusing…kinda antiquated.

Essentially it is just : “Do you want EVERYONE to behave like that?”

Killiak
Killiak
11 months ago

ZK getting into Kantian ethics is hilarious, really. It’s not purely rational, so he’ll be working on his ‘humanity’ through this for a while!

Jack0r
Jack0r
11 months ago

He pretty much misunderstood the Kantian principle of universalizability. Because the principle doesn’t say “What ever you do will become the law for everyone else”, but instead it says “Act as if”.

Karrde
Karrde
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack0r

Because Kant isnt attempting to convince a megalomaniac, he’s attempting to convince regular people. I imagine if the arguments were being directed specifically with somebody with those sorts of predilections, he’s phrase it accordingly. The general application of ethics almost always assumes the being it is applied to, is human, and has the universal human experiences. More difficult when the being does not have the universal human experiences. A myrmidon, springing from the ground, fully adult, fully able to fight, and with questionable empathy, would be a terribly difficult being to force to comply to a ethical standard without something… Read more »

random_npc
random_npc
11 months ago
Reply to  Karrde

interestingly enough, Zeke could make a pretty good argument Kant in particular is a poor match for him. His existence in unique in a lot of ways, his desires and capabilities are going to be outside the norm. Even aside from simply having slightly different basic drives, he does not have legal personhood. A philosophy that starts with “act as you would have all act” seems a poor starting point for someone who can act and be acted upon in fundamentally unique ways.

Humsterr
Humsterr
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack0r

I think that “act as if” is a conclusion, not a principle. The Kantian principle itself, the premise to the conclusion, is that moral laws are universal, as long as I allow myself to do a thing, there’s no reason for me to oppose others doing a thing, as we are equal and have to be bound by same rules

robloughrey
robloughrey
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I wonder if he got the part where that means its ok for people to steal from him as well.

vaisravana
vaisravana
11 months ago
Reply to  robloughrey

I believe he did. I am worried he might come to the conclusion of “it is fine if someone takes stuff from me cuz I can take whatever I want whenever I want it anyway cuz I came to the conclusion that property is a dumb concept”

Jack0r
Jack0r
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Tbh, yes I misread it. English is not my first language, and I actually haven’t come across that phrase before. What do you mean by that phrase?

7eggert
7eggert
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack0r

For the Gedankenexperiment it doesn’t make much difference.

Karrde
Karrde
11 months ago

The assumptions of Kant generally are the most commonly utilized means of establishing a universal morality, although it appears that Z(eke) assumes then that if stealing becomes a universal, then property, a natural universal, will disappear. Mf gonna learn the hard way it seems. It does pose an interesting question. How does one teach moral philosophy, (most of which is anchored in religion) to a being that would appear to naturally assume atheistic stances? I’d assume whats most likely is the adoption of Egoism, as that strikes me as the natural conclusion of a megalomaniac. While I doubt the comic… Read more »

Humsterr
Humsterr
11 months ago
Reply to  Karrde

>The assumptions of Kant generally are the most commonly utilized means of establishing a universal morality

I think we should note here that it is only true in European culture and cultures born from European traditions (so called “West”). Asia, for example, works out universal moral rules not as Kant, starting from individual, but in its own way, starting from society and what benefits society. In the end it still leads to the same result of stealing being amoral though, but for different reasons.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
11 months ago
Reply to  Karrde

Please spare us all the “religious people are more moral than atheists” crap. The opposite is true: religious people only don’t do bad things if their bible tells them a thing is bad and otherwise don’t care, whereas atheists actually think and use things like empathy to decide what’s right and what’s wrong. Proof: see all the horrible horrible religious people who cherry pick parts of the bible that they can use to justify being the worst people on the planet. Hating anyone who isn’t straight and cis? Check. Denying science? Check. Killing people for not believing in the same… Read more »

Me-me
Me-me
11 months ago

He wasn’t talking about an absolute truth, but merely referencing the history of western philosophy. No need to get so mad about it, geez. Ethicists, ones even respected today, have made arguments from metaphysical presuppositions. For example, Descartes’ demon, no less powerful than he is deceitful, could be any reason for Descartes to doubt what he saw, from a brain-in-a-jar to plato’s cave, but it took the form of the demon due to the cultural context of the society he grew up in. If Zeke ends up examining the history of the argument, he might engender conflict from his own… Read more »

Karrde
Karrde
11 months ago
Reply to  Me-me

If Zeke ends up examining the history of the argument, he might engender conflict from his own atheistic stance to that context, without necessarily getting the greater message from it.

Exactly. Thank you.

Karrde
Karrde
11 months ago

Im not saying at all that “those without god are immoral” Im saying “those without empathy would require a higher power to coerce ethical practices upon them” which, a machine would effectively have no higher power beyond that which can destroy it. The existence of a divine punishment is a omnipresent means of coercing good behavior from immoral people. Its represented across many religions, showing that its for a long time considered to be a good idea to make bad people fearful of being bad even when nobody can see. If you’re familiar with the movie Ex Machina (spoilers) the… Read more »

Daemone
Daemone
11 months ago
Reply to  Karrde

Hearing people espouse this idea that morality stems from religion — and therefore starts from “God(s) will punish you if you step out of line” — has always disturbed me. As does the closely related suggestion that atheists must by definition be amoral. It suggests (re. your other comment) that the speaker/writer is themselves a psychopath, that it’s only the threat of punishment that keeps them in line. If it were really true, we simply wouldn’t need an entire field of study called moral philosophy. It would just be “Oh, you’ve read the Bible? Right, you’re sorted then.” Moral philosophy… Read more »

HonoredMule
HonoredMule
11 months ago
Reply to  Daemone

What I will say is that I have very strong doubts that ANY society’s moral system has ever come from its religion. Rather, I’d expect that as a religion has established itself over time in a given society, it has also merely formalised the existing moral system and turned it into dogma. And in places where religion was imposed from the outside (such as during colonial expansion), it hasn’t “taught morality to savages” (as the Europeans of the day would have put it), but rather superimposed one moral system over another equally valid pre-existing one. QFT. I would go a… Read more »

Jack0r
Jack0r
11 months ago
Reply to  HonoredMule

I’d go a bit farther: regarding morality, what is the big difference between religion and other traditions? Just compare religious scripture to e.g. the american constitution. Sane as e.g. with the bible, you have scholars that study and interpret the constitution. The founding fathers are often viewed similar to Prophets in religious contexts. Same as with religion, morality is also passed on to the next generation even in non-religious families. For example, in the USA patriotism is valued rather high. In Austria and Germany, patriotism is viewed as very close to nationalism, which is, in turn, viewed close to national… Read more »

HonoredMule
HonoredMule
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack0r

Indeed it isn’t different, except that it doesn’t “do the work.”

  • Philosophy is not morality, but posits some starting with axioms and applying logical deduction.
  • Politics is not morality but tests morality-based social contracts in a popularity contest or other form of competitive marketplace.
  • Science is fundamentally amoral and only gathers evidence and tests hypotheses.

All three working together generate “evidence-based policy.” Morality itself is an ephemeral concept but finds foundation in these.

And how does religion do it? It says, “God said.”

Hence, shortcut.

Last edited 11 months ago by HonoredMule
Jack0r
Jack0r
11 months ago
Reply to  HonoredMule

Nah, that’s not really true. Religion evolves and did so from the beginning. I couldn’t find a similar list in English, but look at this: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_von_Konzilien_und_Synoden (The English article here lists some of them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synod) This is a list of Councils and Synods where the heads of church/churches came together to decide on doctrinal matters. There they considered moral, doctrinal, scriptural and traditional matters to decide what they believe. The Christian churches have been doing this since 2000 years, the Jews have been doing something similar for far longer. I wouldn’t really call a process, that is 10 times older… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Jack0r
Karrde
Karrde
11 months ago
Reply to  Daemone

Its not specifically “God will punish you” (unless you’re speaking with a fundamentalist “Fire and Brimstone” type) if you step out of line. Most of religious teachings are fundamentally centered around a metaphysical explanation of the state of nature, and the state of nature, as it exists, is overwhelming and fully capable of rending the most capable of men to death. A man cannot stand against a tidal wave, or an earthquake, and he too is governed by his own state of nature. Most of the western discussions of ethics are governed by religion because in the west, the ethical… Read more »

tiamattt
tiamattt
11 months ago

Just smile and nod Ethan, just smile and nod. Throw in a thumbs up or two if you want but most importantly nod.

Jetroid
Jetroid
11 months ago

Not the reaction I was expecting to the “treat others how you want to be treated” spiel.

I was expecting the bot to say something about his stint of imprisonment in the store room, and how Ethan (and Lucas, and Scott) wouldn’t want to be imprisoned.

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
11 months ago
Reply to  Jetroid

I think you are forgetting that ZK stays in that room by their own will – Ethan and gang explicitly asked them to stay but not demanded or threatened (though arguably you can take Scott’s final statement here as a threat). Yes, Scott still has something in place to either prevent ZK from leaving or at least monitor them, but so far we haven’t seen any indication that ZK is actually aware of that.

Pulse
Pulse
11 months ago

im more scared he survived running into a paradox

BPC
BPC
11 months ago

This arc frustrates me because what Zeke is doing here is, functionally, indistinguishable from day trading.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
11 months ago
Reply to  BPC

The ultimate form of evil.

Austin Mills
Austin Mills
11 months ago

I’d never heard of this principle, and was more under the impression Ethan was leaning towards the veil of ignorance method. It would probably be difficult for Zeke to imagine themselves as human, but understanding they wouldn’t like a robot secretly robbing from them should be well within their grasp. I personally like the veil of ignorance, because it can be used to address society, economics, rights, and sexuality if you picture yourself as the most marginalized group for the exercise. Also, Zeke clearly misjudged how much our species loves its imaginary numbers. I actually can’t think of a more… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Austin Mills
faaresemo
faaresemo
11 months ago
Reply to  Austin Mills

Heck, entertainment or not I’m sitting here like “can someone collapse the economy so hard that we realize it’s time to move on to something better?”

Austin Mills
Austin Mills
11 months ago
Reply to  faaresemo

A large portion of us already want to move on to something better – or at least severely adjust what we already have, so I’m guessing…no.

GUIGUI
GUIGUI
11 months ago

For those not following, there is always the option to go read Existentialism Comics.

Casra
Casra
11 months ago

Do unto others as you’d have others do unto you…

rebmcr
rebmcr
11 months ago

Slightly more pertinent than morality, is the risk of attracting the attention of those who would try and destroy Zeke out of fear.

bamed
bamed
11 months ago

This is why people hate moral philosophy professors.

Chidi
Chidi
11 months ago
Reply to  bamed

They do???

Scott
Scott
11 months ago
Reply to  Chidi

Only the ones that can’t figure out wtf is being taught… 😛

JD.
JD.
11 months ago
Reply to  Scott

More like what specific morals are being taught. A moral Philosophy class teaching the prevailing morals in Denmark would be completely different then one teaching the prevailing morals in Texas.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
11 months ago
Reply to  bamed

Some, maybe. I hated my moral philosophy professor because he rarely bathed and would periodically grab himself during lectures.

Chidi
Chidi
11 months ago
Reply to  bamed

I am sad that no one but me seems to have understood your reference.

R77
R77
11 months ago

I must say I love it, I’ve read the comic in a minute and re-read it because its great.
But for the past half hour I am reading the above comments regarding Kant (Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals), and …

I am not certain what fascinates me most, my re-remembering Kant and friends (Heidegger, Hegel, …) or

That we are discussing the fundamentals of morals on a superhero comic discussion forum.

Simply fascinating.

Last edited 11 months ago by R77
vaisravana
vaisravana
11 months ago
Reply to  R77

I Love this so much. I comment from time to time, but I think this might be the first time I have been this excited ahaha

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
11 months ago

One frustration I have about this entire situation is… well, ZK’s not doing this out of selfishness. He’s doing it because he has a legitimate need – debris getting in his joints – which happened because he made a choice as a free-willed person to discard the clothes of his past slavery. Does that mean it’s right to steal? Of course not. But at the same time, as a free-willed person, he should have the right to make provide for himself, and make income honestly. And that’s not exactly easy when you’re a metal-and-plastic electronic golem living in someone’s storage… Read more »

Leon
Leon
11 months ago

People might disagree with me, but, sometimes, I think morality is about ‘shut up and do it’

Alno
Alno
11 months ago
Reply to  Leon

Well, that’s obedience. The order CAN be to enforce morals, but even if the one being ordered obeys, that does not make them moral, since they haven’t made the decision themselves.

Leon
Leon
11 months ago
Reply to  Alno

Yes, morals cant be forced. But, the philosopher Plato once said ‘do the right thing because its the right thing to do’. Dont justify crime with ‘who cares’

JD.
JD.
11 months ago
Reply to  Leon

” you can’t legislate morality” forget who said it though

Mr_Meng
Mr_Meng
11 months ago

If Ethan is wanting to convince Zeke I think Utilitarianism(that is John Stuart Mill’s form of Utilitarianism that promotes the most good AND the least harm as opposed to the wrong and outdated version that every single tv show/movie uses that just focuses on the most happiness which is actually Benthamism) or Plato’s Nicomachean Ethics would probably work a little better than Kant.

Last edited 11 months ago by Mr_Meng
Crestlinger
Crestlinger
11 months ago

So that last bit is him setting guidelines for his country. Cool.

Rolando
Rolando
11 months ago

All technicalities and pontificating aside… It doesn’t make sense, to try to make sense of the whole deal. Because it’s a bunch of human notions. And, as usual, those are plagued with: Bias, contradictions, paradoxes, and general irrationalities. If ZK can come out with a way to “figure out how it all should be,” it’s pointless. If mere reasoning were enough to “fix” the system, it would’ve been fixed long ago. You can’t fix the inherently, willingly irrational, with reasoning. In the same manner you cannot unscrew with a hammer, or appeal to an anti-vaxxer’s sense of logic (as they… Read more »

Trapsin
Trapsin
11 months ago

Possibly not the place, but I got my shipping notification for my CAD 2.0 books and I’m freaking stoked.

Trapsin
Trapsin
11 months ago
Reply to  Trapsin

Whoops, was actually the addons

Bope
Bope
11 months ago

..then all resources are shared, and utopia is achieved. By Kant! Stealing is the moral solution!

Matt
Matt
11 months ago

It was already there, somebody just had to say it 😉