Author Topic: Discussing suicide  (Read 13962 times)

Offline An¡mus

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2008, 05:23:11 PM »
I don't have that trust your friends with everything thing

Offline Sgt. Liony

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2008, 06:05:23 PM »
Nor me ... I have the friends who I hang around with and who make me laugh, and the one friend who I actually properly talk to :P

Offline Doctor Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2008, 02:22:17 PM »
*thinks about building an automated sucidie booth* :P
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Offline Decimus Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2008, 03:28:40 PM »
*thinks about building an automated sucidie booth* :P
According to Futurama, suicide booths will be invented this year :P

Offline Marko Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2008, 05:43:06 PM »
Though, you do remind me, Marko, of a scene in Terminator 2, John and the Termintor look at two kids shooting at each other with toy guns.

John; We're not going to survive, are we?'
Terminator' It's in your nature to destroy yourselves'

That idea's certainly more likely than the suggestion that computers will take over the world. It would be relatively easy to build safeguards into any computerized system, even if it simply involved isolating any true AIs from direct control systems, and using humans to transfer information between them. Not to suggest that I particularly dislike being human- we're certainly more amazing than any current computers.  lol

Offline Doctor Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2008, 07:38:43 PM »
I'm afraid, Marko, that inputting the Three Laws into a machine is considered unethical in the AI community, simply because there are so many holes in them.

Also because such a limited mind would not be 'human'
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Offline Baso Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2008, 08:44:01 PM »
yes, considering most goals is to create a relpica of a human-mind, restricting it wouldnt be on the top of the to-do list.
Although you have to think of the frankenstein scenario...
!!Baso!!

Offline Doctor Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2008, 10:38:49 PM »
Hmmm.....


Give a sentient, unfeeling computer WMDs? No, it would destroy us.

Give a sentient, feeling computer WMDs? We wouldnt be in anymore mess then we are right now....
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Offline RoughBounds

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2008, 11:42:15 AM »
No

I left the cursor blinking for a while as I tried to think what to say. Last week someone in my wider circle of friends committed suicide so it has been in thoughts and general conversation in the scattered rural community in which I live. No is the answer to a certain type of suicide.

Some years ago a friend of mine filled the the absurdity of existence (a sort of existential nihilism that followed Kierkegaard and I feel misinterpreted Camus) decided the answer was to take his own life. The manner of it was messy and public and left his wife and family. well needless to say with a lot of unresolved issues (especially anger). Kierkegaard in his essay Fear and Trembling suggest and wonders about belief in existance without proof Abraham takes  a 'leap of faith' ant akes Issac to the mountain to sacrifice him, that faith is rewarded. However its not clear whether we are to draw parrellelsls. Camus is much clearer the answer to the lack of meaning in life is not suicide or faith but a dull acceptance. I feel that one can be both aware of the absurdity of existance  and live within it. Perhaps thats because I have moved towards a more phenomeoligical view of existance and accept the 'betweenness' of dwelling in the world and being aware of its absurdity.

My wife who is a psychologist and used to be a mental health nurse on a suicide ward argues that suicide is ultimately a very and ultimate cry for attention. Many of the people she worked with did it/attempted it to get attention and quite often to hurt those around them. She argues that  though people think of themselves as selfless that it is ultimately a selfish act.The person I know who committed suicide last week was not involved in complex philosphical debates about the nature of existnace, he siuffered from depression.  The manner in which it was done indicates that this person wanted to make a statement to his family.  Depression is so often a privsate and personal thing, yet when people take their own lives it is often very public. I dont pretend to understand the thinking behind this, but I am certain that taking ones own life in these circumstances is not defensible.

I think the suicide machine refered to in earlier posts alludes to an altogether different form of suicide, the assisted suicide for those who are, aged, in pain, or terminally ill. With the later the higher doses of morphine admin'd in the closing stages of life by medical teams are actually what allow people to 'slip away'.  The hum of court cases and prosecutions of dr who assist patients to die indicates that we are not ready to accept this form of suicide either. Its complex, I would defend someones right to take their own life but I havent (as yet) made a living will that contains instructions on what should be done if I reach a stage of physical collapse that diminishes the quality and meaning of my life.

I had an austrailan friend who used to say 'am' here for a good time, not a long time'. I am not to sure about the former sentiment (to much schooled in the scottish self sacrifice work ethic) but I can certainly agree with the later.

Offline Marko Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2008, 04:38:01 PM »
I'm afraid, Marko, that inputting the Three Laws into a machine is considered unethical in the AI community, simply because there are so many holes in them.

I wasn't suggesting using Asimov's laws- they were after all invented so that they had loopholes which could be plot devices. I was more thinking of stopping AIs having a physical presence or any element of wide-ranging control, simply banning any harm (mental or physical, direct or indirect), or otherwise limiting their capabilities until AIs are advanced enough that they do not want to commit acts of violence.

Quote
Also because such a limited mind would not be 'human'

Human minds are pretty limited actually. We have genetic safeguards to promote altruism, encourage group interaction, and attempt to maximise happiness. AIs would simply require different safeguards, and more effective ones. Then there's the fact that humans are limited by their conditions. One reason there haven't been more dictatorships in the past is that the capabilities of humans are limited by other humans, whether through incentivisation, imprisonment, or surveillance of those in power by others. In the same way, AIs would require extensive screening before they could be given positions of power.

Offline Doctor Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2008, 05:39:08 PM »
Are you suggesting a mix of a dictatorship diploma and a turing test? :P
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Offline Marko Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2008, 03:50:04 PM »
I was thinking more of checking whether they've ever outputted "Destroy all humans"  :P

Offline Doctor Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2008, 05:46:28 PM »
A man killed himself with such a booth, it's a long time since I read the article, it was on Reuters.
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Offline Rowan

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2008, 05:05:32 PM »
I'm worried about this strand.  I feel very ambiguous about it.

On the one hand Schome is a good place for discussing things and the anonymity - or at least the fact that we do not know each other face to face on the whole gives extra possibilities to the discussion.  It might be for some it is easier to bring things up here that might be difficult in another forum.

But I do have another worry which is the publicity that has been given to suicides by especially) young people which, it is sometimes alleged (without foundation as far as I know) that they are linked by 'internet sites'.  If, for the sake of argument, it got into the Sun newspaper that youngsters in a 'so-called' educational project by the university were debating in a forum thread entitled 'should we commit suicide?' there would be a huge scandal I fear.  Unjust I am sure but it would happen.  With the loss of this community and a great deal of trouble for all the staff including our 'benevolent dictator' above all as the director of this project.  People could lose jobs.

So am I saying, 'let's not talk about awkward subjects that could bring lots of troublesome attention from tabloid newspapers?'  No I'm not, I don't believe lives can be run that way. 

But I would propose, for discussion, that we might think about taking certain precautions. I would like to ask if it is possible to change the title of this thread so that it becomes a more general discussion rather than have 'we' in the title and the future tense (in effect). Is this possible and if so would that be OK?

I would also like to contribute to the substantive topic by mentioning that many people in this project are young adolescents which is notorious for being at times a tricky part of life.  There are physiological changes in the body that can contribute to feelings of depression, even quite suddenly, and for people who have not suffered from them before.  I certainly had both the best of times and the worst of times when I was 16 and definitely remember feeling quite sure I would never see the age of say 20.

It is very difficult to recognise the various components that may be influencing the way one feels, especially when one is depressed.  But it is absolutely vital to seek help.  There is always someone, if you think hard about it, that you can communicate with when things are rough.  If it seems impossible to turn to a family member, or teacher, or friend, then pick up the phone and call Childline. 08001111.  This is confidential.  There are also some useful resources on their website.

Finally, I have to say that if other staff members think it necessary to 'pull' this thread I will understand why.  If so, I hope we can bring the topic into general discussions about ethics and philosophy and maybe other appropriate places.
Rowan SParker

Offline Explo Schomer

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Re: Discussing suicide
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2008, 07:56:34 PM »
Firstly, this is in the Private Area, so we'd hope that no one would be able to access it without becoming more deeply involved in the project. However, you still make a good point, and renaming the thread would be a good idea. We can do this by starting a new thread, merging the two threads, and choosing the title of the new thread, and then the post of the new thread could be deleted.
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