Can a Robot Pursue the Good?
Exploring Artificial Moral Agency
In this essay I will explore an understanding of the potential moral agency of robots, arguing that the key characteristics of physical embodiment, adaptive learning, empathy in action, and a teleology toward the good are the primary necessary components for a machine to become a moral agent. In this context, other possible options will be rejected as necessary for moral agency, including simplistic notions of intelligence, computational power, and rule-following, complete freedom, a sense of God, and an immaterial soul. I argue that it is likely that such moral machines may be able to be built, and that this does not diminish humanity or human personhood.
Copyright (c) 2021 Amy Michelle DeBaets
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