• TheMadFool
    3.9k
    @Bartricks thanks for the inspiration.

    God couldn't prevent the fall of man.

    Neither Aristotle nor Kant nor Bentham-Mill could stop the holocaust.

    Any and all moral theories have utterly failed to make humans gravitate towards the good and away from the bad.

    Is it a total failure, the human quest for goodness?

    Wait a minute. There's an invention that is almost magical in efficacy to keep people on the highway of morality with as few attempts at taking detours into the wilderness of evil and if they do, despite warnings plain and clear, we can always catch them and bring them to justice.

    This great invention is the CCTV camera.

    Yes, I'm probably overestimating its moral utility but do you notice the uncanny resemblance between the CCTV camera and the all-seeing eye of God? Some might find it disturbing though but you know and I know if there's nothing to hide from the law no one will mind the CCTV camera at all.

    Apart from being a vindication of the universal applicability of technology it also lifts the veil off of the countenance of humanity. You may not like what you see because its morally corrupt nature demands God's existence to rein in our depravity.

    We don't have God but we do have a most effective substitute - the CCTV camera.
  • Pantagruel
    155
    Jeremy Bentham, "Panopticon"
  • Tzeentch
    339
    Any and all moral theories have utterly failed to make humans gravitate towards the good and away from the bad.TheMadFool

    I disagree. Some have helped me greatly.

    On the topic of CCTV; righteousness in thoughts and action constitutes a good man, is what Marcus Aurelius would say. In other words, if an external force is what is withholding one from committing an immoral act, one cannot be said to be moral at all.
  • TheMadFool
    3.9k
    In other words, if an external force is what is withholding one from committing an immoral act, one cannot be said to be moral at all.Tzeentch

    I'm afraid it has come to this.

    One CCTV camera is worth more than 2000 years of Christianity or any other religion for that matter because religion is, in a disturbing way, about a 24×7 surveillance camera - God.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    Perhaps one may at first obey out of fear, but later get used to obeying, and even later reflect on what good it does, and then just be morally good about it. Kind of like how some discipline their children.

    I just got a letter asking me to pay the toll for the Whitestone Bridge.
  • TheMadFool
    3.9k
    Jeremy Bentham, "Panopticon"Pantagruel

    That's the perfect word. Panopticon. Thanks. Looks like Bentham was a pessimist at heart.
  • Coben
    832
    And the East Germans had Stasi. Stasi was extremely effective, for the time, about finding out a lot of stuff about people. I am not sure East Germany was more moral than West Germany. Panopticon societies, which, it seems to me are on the way, depend on good governments and corporations and banks, since they will end up being the ones able to use the tech. Oddly, I don't trust them. The hope with God was that you'd have a nice guy in the security booth monitoring all the CCTVs. Unfortunately the various scriptures didn't really describe a nice guy. We have demiurges or defacto big brothers. And what does it do to people who grow up in the panopticon? What kind of humans are we creating? What are we saying to them about who and what they are?
  • TheMadFool
    3.9k
    The hope with God was that you'd have a nice guy in the security booth monitoring all the CCTVs. Unfortunately the various scriptures didn't really describe a nice guy.Coben

    :rofl:

    The road is narrow
    no leader to follow

    a tightrope actually
    on both sides folly

    god is a guard
    ethics is hard

    do we forfeit
    freedom or surfeit?

    the divine eye
    let's not evil fly

    the CCTV sees
    evil recedes

    into the darkness
    it's learned to harness
  • Coben
    832

    I got used to the eye
    and the eye got used to me
    someone needs to be watched
    from birth until I die

    Who is the I that needs to be eyed
    Surely not a good 'ol guy
    implicit mantra by which I'm dyed
    self-hatred rules and on the sly
  • Pantagruel
    155
    "I am the eye in the sky, looking at you
    I can read your mind"
  • ZhouBoTong
    456
    We don't have God but we do have a most effective substitute - the CCTV camera.TheMadFool

    Once computer programs can monitor the cameras, it makes sense. In the meantime, who watches the people watching the cameras?

    Can't we just invent some fake panopticon in the sky (maybe 2? that big yellow one (day), and the big white one (night)) that whips your ancestors every time you do wrong? Maybe we should keep 'god' around for awhile to keep the riff-raff in line?

    While you may be onto something related to keeping people in line, that would not work to further develop human morality. If you ever had to learn stages of development (piaget, ericson, kohlberg, etc - I think kohlberg was specifically moral development), the panopticon would perpetuate lower level ethical development (it keeps the good boys/good girls and deontologists in line). But true moral development would be "good for the sake of good", not "because I might get caught"....right?
  • unenlightened
    3.9k
    Imagine a world where you always get caught, you always get found out and you always get punished to a degree that the crime really doesn't pay. Virtue would be mere common sense and vice idiotic. Even the nastiest little toe-rag would conform just like the saintly. One couldn't tell the difference. God has to avert his gaze somewhat to sort the wheat from the chaff.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    What CCTV (that's odd--Closed Caption TV?) does is assist in the identification and apprehension of scofflaws, major criminals, and evil doers. It doesn't prevent people from violating the law, it doesn't make people more moral. It makes some more clever in their deviousness, and many resentful toward the state that they can never casually whip out a spray can and apply vulgar, disrespectful, and inconsiderate comments to Trump and Johnson re-election posters.

    People will start wearing special cosmetics that disrupt facial recognition software (note Hong Kong demonstrator methods). Some bizarre people look like they are already wearing it! Our computer monitors (not the screens, but the AI that never sleep) will be hacked to defeat ID by AI, at least sometimes.

    I'll grant you, Total Information Systems will be very difficult to escape. Once every credit card purchase, transit pass card, facial recognition system, RFID chips in everything (including you), and universal CCTV coverage is linked together and correlated, you won't be able to fart without it registering on the web of control. Add to that neighborhood spies who report that you are serepticiousy feeding squirrels (it might be against the law one of these days) and then we will become automatons. Until that great and glorious day we rise up, smash the cameras, blow up the server farms, melt-down every AI device, and take axes to the officials who oversee the system...
  • god must be atheist
    588
    Guys, what is ethics? Everyone argues "this is ethical", "that is unethical", moral, immoral, but what is the bases on which you make these judgments on?

    Is there an agreed-upon defintion or description of ethics? Real or imagined, real or artificial, natural or artificial?

    If there is none (and I haven't heard of any, really, ever), then what the heck is all this belly-aching about ethics?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    what the heck is all this belly-aching about ethics?god must be atheist

    If you don't start behaving yourself, you'll find out what the belly-aching is about.
  • god must be atheist
    588
    If you don't start behaving yourself, you'll find out what the belly-aching is about.Bitter Crank

    Excuse me. Is this a threat?
  • Coben
    832
    it varies. There isn't agreement on what is ethical nor on how one determines it. I am not sure we were all bellyaching.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    @Baden

    Excuse me. Is this a threat?god must be atheist

    Of course it is not a threat. It is a jokey riposte to your quip "what the heck is all this belly-aching about ethics?" Electronically transmitted communications are regularly misinterpreted that wouldn't be if they were delivered in person, because facial expression, body language, intonation, etc. are missing.

    Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to be reacquainted with the fact of how easily the electronic word can be misperceived.
  • Pantagruel
    155

    Ethics in the sense in which it is normally used equates with "Normative Ethics" which simply put translates as "what people ought to do."

    So if something is unethical, it is unethical with respect to a certain set of rules or norms, either what people actually do do (the domain of descriptive ethics) or some hypothesized universal value (greatest happiness for the greatest number; good in and of itself; etc.)
  • Hanover
    4.9k
    We don't have God but we do have a most effective substitute - the CCTV camera.TheMadFool

    I'll take your reference to ubiquitous video surveillance to really be just one representative example of how technology is now overseeing our every move. It's not just CCTV. It's tracking of our cell phones, registering our every credit and debit card purchase, reviewing our emails, storing data on our car computers, registering our arrival at work when the fob is scanned, and on and on and on. Despite the increasing difficulty to get away with much o f anything, it hasn't had the effect you've suggested, which is to result in greater ethical adherence. Things are just as immoral now as they were before. It doesn't seem like our criminals or liars have gotten much smarter, still mostly relying on the hope that no one will spend the time to catch them.
  • TheMadFool
    3.9k
    I'll take your reference to ubiquitous video surveillance to really be just one representative example of how technology is now overseeing our every move. It's not just CCTV. It's tracking of our cell phones, registering our every credit and debit card purchase, reviewing our emails, storing data on our car computers, registering our arrival at work when the fob is scanned, and on and on and on. Despite the increasing difficulty to get away with much o f anything, it hasn't had the effect you've suggested, which is to result in greater ethical adherence. Things are just as immoral now as they were before. It doesn't seem like our criminals or liars have gotten much smarter, still mostly relying on the hope that no one will spend the time to catch them.Hanover

    Indeed. I wonder though if the CCTV and other technological inventions will eventually make crime without being caught possible at all. If, as you say, every device that we use, and we are using a lot of them, can be tracked accurately and in real time I think it'll result in a decrease in crime-rates. But, there's always a loophole in anything. Cyber-criminals and hackersmay be able cheat the system and they'll be in great demand in the coming future.
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