The creation of artificial moral systems requires us to make difficult choices about which of varying human value sets should be instantiated. The industry-standard approach is to seek and encode moral consensus. Here we argue, based on evidence from empirical psychology, that encoding current moral consensus risks reinforcing current norms, and thus inhibiting moral progress. However, so do efforts to encode progressive norms. Machine ethics is thus caught between a rock and a hard place. The problem is particularly acute when (...) progress beyond prevailing moral norms is particularly urgent, as is currently the case due to the inadequacy of prevailing moral norms in the face of the climate and ecological crisis. (shrink)
Hoerl & McCormack risk misleading people about the cognitive underpinnings of the belief in a privileged “now moment” because they do not explicitly acknowledge that the sense of existing in the now moment is an intrinsically temporally dynamic one. The sense of happening that is exclusive to the now moment is a better candidate for the source of belief in a privileged now.