Moral (3): depth of information – The complex dimension

Evolution and depth of information

Have you understood how Surimposium works? Any concept explanation can be deepened towards the bottom of the complex dimension. What do we find in descending the origin of morality in this way? Some authors have ventured there: John Mayfield, Jean-Paul Delayahe. They argue that evolution in biology is an increase in the depth of information, as defined by Bennett. The general principle is this: Reality as a process perfects tools that reduce computational time (compression of information) and preserve results in increasingly organized structures, i.e. of increasing logical depth. The interest of this theory is that it applies to the physical universe even before it reaches biology. The continuity of the complex dimension is ensured.

Where does the moral appear in this story? It corresponds to a principle of maximizing Bennett’s logical depth. Let’s take an example: we consider it moral to preserve an endangered species. The death in 2019 of Sudan, the last male white rhinoceros, affects us more than that of a rodent or pigeon whose species proliferate. It turns out that the death of a common rodent does not affect Bennett’s logical depth applied to the ecosystem, while it is reduced by the disappearance of a species. Morality protects diversity.

The rapprochement seems crazy to you? In fact, the principle goes far beyond biology in our current assessments. We are more sorry by the destruction of a rare book, traces of ancient civilization, or the premature death of a Galois Évariste, a genius mathematician who died at the age of 20. All these accidents weaken the diversity of the world. Diversity is logical depth.

Social synergy of conservatism and diversity

However, we should not, as the authors cited tend to do, reduce morality to its ontological micromechanisms. Make diversity the essential principle to be protected in matters of morality? This is to overlook the fact that logical depth levels have relative independence. They can only add up on underlying stability. Diversity imposes choices, and morality imposes conservatism. Failure to respect them, on the pretext that all solutions have the right to be cited, would implode complexity. Maybe to rebuild a better building? Morality gives no guarantee of this.


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