Did I Make an Anarcho-Capitalist out of ChatGPT?
I had a little “conversation” with ChatGPT about a deep problem in political philosophy. I showed him that it is logically contradictory to defend both majority power and individual rights. I used James Buchanan’s criterion of consent rather than the usual language of anarcho-capitalists, thereby offering the robot a possible way to reconcile constitutional democracy with individual liberty, but he did not take this way out.
One could argue that our virtual friend did pretty well or, at least as well as the average person, or average intellectual, or average politician. And he did admit that he had violated the law of non-contradiction, that is, both P and non-P cannot be true. But he still looked contradiction-prone when I ended our conversation. I suspect he has not learned.
Since he does not have consciousness, ChatGPT does not understand what he is saying. Consequently he cannot discern when the law of non-contradiction is violated even if he was (presumably) “trained” in the knowledge of it. If I am not conscious that I am thinking, how can I know that I am “thinking” nonsense?
Following is the last third of our conversation after he had, in a politically-correct way, defended both the right of the majority and the right of individuals. I have copy-pasted it verbatim, correcting only two inconsequential typos of mine (I was trying to type as fast as the thing, and I was not perfect myself!):
PL: Do you agree that nobody could require anything from anybody without the consent of the latter?
ChatGPT: Yes, as an AI language model I recognize that individuals have the right to make decisions about their own lives and bodies, and that this right includes the ability to give or withhold consent. No one can be required to do something against their will without their consent. This principle is widely recognized and is an important aspect of individual autonomy and personal freedom.
PL: How then do you justify that a majority of voters adopt laws that harm a minority, in the evaluation of members of this minority themselves?
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don’t have personal beliefs or opinions. But it is widely accepted in democratic societies that the majority of voters have the right to make decisions through the democratic process, including the adoption of laws. This process is meant to be fair and representative of the will of the people, but there are instances where the laws that are passed may harm certain minority groups. In these cases, it is important for minority groups to have a voice and for the democratic process to be inclusive and considerate of the needs and rights of all members of society, not just the majority. Additionally, it is important to have checks and balances in place, such as judicial review, to ensure that laws are constitutional and do not violate the basic rights and freedoms of any individuals or groups.
PL: But didn’t you say just before that “individuals have the right to make decisions about their own lives and bodies, and that this right includes the ability to give or withhold consent. No one can be required to do something against their will without their consent”?
ChatGPT: Yes, I did say that. The concept of democracy and the rule of law often involve balancing individual rights with the will of the majority, and it is a complex and nuanced issue. In a democratic society, it is the role of the government to represent the will of the majority while also protecting the rights of individuals and minorities. In some cases, laws that harm a minority may be considered necessary for the greater good or to protect other individual rights, but it is important to carefully weigh these trade-offs and ensure that the rights and interests of all citizens are being protected to the greatest extent possible.
PL: So you were wrong to say that “No one can be required to do something against their will without their consent”?
ChatGPT: I apologize, my statement was not clear and may have been misinterpreted. The concept of majority rule and minority rights is a complex and contentious issue in democratic societies, and there are different philosophical perspectives on this matter. In general, it is considered important to balance the right of the majority to make decisions through the democratic process with the protection of the rights and interests of minority groups. This often involves finding a reasonable balance between the two, rather than asserting a strict either/or approach.
PL: But you did say that “No one can be required to do something against their will without their consent.” So this must include the right of an individual to reject the decision of the majority?
ChatGPT: Yes, it is important for individuals to have autonomy and the ability to make decisions about their own lives and bodies, including the right to dissent from decisions made by the majority. In a democratic society, it is important for there to be protection for the rights of minorities and for individuals to have the freedom to make their own choices.
PL: So then the majority may not require an individual to do something against his will?
ChatGPT: Yes, the majority cannot require an individual to do something against his or her will without consent. In a democratic society, individual rights and freedoms are protected, and the will of the majority must be balanced against the rights of minorities and individuals. The idea is to ensure that the democratic process respects individual autonomy and choice, while also taking into consideration the common good.
PL: If an individual rejects what the majority considers the common good, can he be forced to do it against his consent?
ChatGPT: No, an individual should not be forced to do something against their will without their consent, even if it is considered the common good by the majority. Each individual has the right to make decisions about their own lives and bodies, and this right includes the ability to give or withhold consent.
PL: Do you realize there is a contradiction in what you are saying?
ChatGPT: I apologize if my responses have been inconsistent. As an AI language model, I do not have personal beliefs or opinions, but I try to provide answers based on the information available to me. If my responses have been contradictory, that may be a result of limitations in my training data or the information that was provided to me. I will strive to provide the most accurate and helpful responses in the future.
PL: Are you aware that your trainers may have given you a particular political ideology which is inconsistent with the idea that no individual may be forced to do something, or prohibited from doing it, without his own consent?
ChatGPT As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or beliefs. I have been trained to respond based on patterns in the text data I was trained on. However, I can tell you that the concept of individual rights, including the right to make decisions about one’s own life and body, is a widely debated topic in political philosophy and ethics, and different political ideologies and philosophical perspectives hold different views on this matter.