“Religion and Morality” Presented at the University of Cape Town – 27 Feb. – 1 Mar., 2019 (7 pages; with notes 15 pages) – Updated August 2019

Updated August 2019

Religion and Morality by Douglas R McGaughey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Pdf version with footnotes (rather than endnotes) and page numbers: Download Now

Religion and Morality[1]

Abstract

If there is anyone who was not (and today would not be) surprised about a disconnect “between religion and ethics, it would be Immanuel Kant.[2] Nonetheless, the two are deeply connected: there can be no morality without particular experience in the world and the transcendental conditions of possibility for which the term religion is appropriate.

Introduction

Two inter-related questions, concerned with the origins of rational capacities and not with the consequences of decisions and actions, drive the following paper with respect to the relationship between ‘religion’ and ‘morality’:

    • Are we humans playing a zero-sum game? Are we merely on a cruise ship with finite resources only able to re-arrange the chairs on the deck according to power relationships as we head towards the iceberg?
    • … or is there any place in nature that is open-ended? Is there a species capable of acting and thinking beyond the blind processes of natural events?

On the Value and Lack of Values of Artificial Intelligence (9 Pages) – Updated August 2019

Updated August 2019

“On the Value and Lack of Values of Artificial Intelligence” by Douglas R. McGaughey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Pdf version with footnotes (rather than endnotes) and page numbers: Download Now

Presented in Prof. Otfried Höffe’s
Oberseminar
12 January 2019
Tübingen

 

On the Value and Lack of Values of Artificial Intelligence[1]

Abstract

An examination of the claims made on behalf of “artificial intelligence” (AI) that it can and will replace human rationality.  Whereas AI has the potential to be beneficial (as the case with any product of autonomous freedom), it also has the potential to be extremely destructive.  However, the core thesis of the paper is not simply one of a critique of AI by practical reason but a rejection of the materialistic reductionism on the part of the blind defenders of AI.  Already in the 18th Century, Critical Idealism pointed out that there is far more to reason than the “hypothetical” imperatives and “culture” of technical skills.  We lose humanity when we overlook the a priori synthetic structures of theoretical and practical reason, the reflecting judgment of “aesthetics,” and “pure” religion.