In reply to mach56gs
What is good? Great idea, let's discuss. I'll start I guess. Starting with the most basic of things. Can anything be good or bad for unliving things? I suppose it can if you mean it in the sense of whether it becomes destroyed or not. Say, an atom being broken in two.
However, if the question is of goodness in the sense of morality, I can't imagine that anything that is not able to think at at least some level, can possibly care about anything, like caring about whether it itself exists or not.
I think it's clear that since we humans are even having this discussion, we have a level of intelligence that is able to have a sense of morality, to care about things so that things could even be considered good or bad.
But before we go further, I would question, what is thought? Does a computer think? Does a virus think? Does a bacteria think? Also, how does thought work? A computer can compute, a human mind can also compute (by compute I mean calculate). A computer has electric impulses that does the computing as code. A human brain has electro-chemical impulses that compute as code (although we as yet do not understand that code).
I would say the difference seems to be that humans can initiate thought and create algorithms and thought patterns not preprogrammed. Computers as far as I know, can only do as they've been programmed. I have heard of people trying to make AI programs, I don't know that any have been at all successful. Human minds are self-aware, whereas computers are not.
With that said, back on topic. It begs the question, is there a minimum level of intelligence needed for a sense of morality? I think so. I think a high level of abstract thought is required. Animals have intelligence and emotions I think, but I think theirs is lower than humans. Animals do not have art museums, they have yet to write any math textbooks, they haven't created space shutttles... I could go on. A monarch butterfly doesn't need to go to school to learn how to migrate, it knows it innately - called instinct. That is, animals are programmed to use their bodies as they are made to to survive.
Humans also have instinct. But we can go beyond that. Instinct did not tell humans what the periodic table of elements was.
So before I go further, what do ya'll think? Is intelligence required for good/bad? Is there a level requirement?
In reply to BakedBrain
Well we agree on something, that most things are not too complicated for people to have a consensus on if it is bad or good. And for you I'll refrain from using the word evil as I do think it is one of the words society has attached a trigger to, like the word conspiracy.