Do you have any book recommendations on the idea of "there is no absolute good or bad"? Or if I want to learn more about this idea, how should I get started? Many thanks! :)


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Within the last few months I considered this idea and I'm sorry to tell you I could find only one source that came close to focusing on it and that was Nietzsche's book "Beyond Good And Evil". I did read it and it was not an easy read so I don't know if I can recommend it. Maybe just read about Nietzsche's ideas via some other book or website. I did that and found it an easier go. For example his concept of the Übermensch.

I provide the following only to describe my own recent efforts to explore the same or at least a closely related idea.

Regarding the idea of "there is no absolute good or bad" as I’m sure you know that could only exist within an intelligence that is not based on values since it is values that make a thing good or bad. The closest Nietzsche actually gets is talking about new or different values rather than NO values.

I was interested in the idea because, as a hobby now that I'm retired, I write science fiction about AI based social robots in the near future.

In my fictional world I propose that the evolutionary step from instinct (genetically programmed responses) to rationality is due to the evolution of species specific, social or personal values. However as many AI researchers in the real world have suggested AI does not have to reflect human intelligence. They refer to the assumption that it does as “anthropomorphizing”. For example, many people suffer from Aphantasia, the inability to imagine things that are not present. Yet without being aware they have the condition they have found workarounds and lead normal lives even as artists and engineers. So as the AI researchers suggest there is more than one way intelligence can arrive at similar ends.

Towards writing a new short story I asked myself if there could be another evolutionary step in our future based on something other than values, which would imply "there is no absolute good or bad", something perhaps AI could be capable of and thus perhaps it represents that next evolutionary step. I found this to be a very challenging thought experiment and so far have found no resources.

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