Chat GPT4 on the necessity for dissent in times of war

Apr 2, 2023

The new House Select Committee on China is currently blaming China for every problem in America. Those who appeared and suggested improving Sino-American relations were accused of giving comfort to the enemy.

In this light I asked Chat GPT-4 a series of questions to test GPT on its sense of the classic civic and social virtues and the necessity of principled political argument in a democracy.

Perhaps GPT4 lacks the wayward imperatives of tribalism and groupthink and being made out of meat and to the extent GPT4 share’s the convictions of us more left of center Sydney rationalists we carbon based lifeforms may take solace.

(The responses below are edited for clarity).

What lessons are offered by the life of John Stewart Service and other individuals like him?

Speak truth to power: John Stewart Service was not afraid to speak up and tell the truth, even when it was unpopular. He warned his superiors in the U.S. State Department about the corrupt and brutal regime of Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, and he advocated for a more nuanced and realistic approach to dealing with the Communist Chinese. This honesty and integrity made him a target of McCarthyism, but he never backed down from his principles.

Stand up for what you believe in: When John Stewart Service was falsely accused of being a communist sympathiser, he could have easily given up. Instead, he fought back against the accusations and worked tirelessly to clear his name. He refused to be intimidated or silenced, and eventually, the truth prevailed.

Never lose hope: John Stewart Service faced many setbacks and challenges throughout his life, but he never lost hope or gave up on his dreams. Even when he was under investigation and his career was in jeopardy, he remained optimistic and focused on his work.

Be a lifelong learner: John Stewart Service was a voracious reader and student of Chinese history and culture. He recognised the importance of understanding different perspectives and learning from diverse sources of knowledge. This curiosity and open-mindedness allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the Chinese people.

Embrace diversity: John Stewart Service was one of the first American diplomats to recognise Chinese Communism as a legitimate political force in China. He saw beyond ideology and recognised their value as a partner in the fight against Japanese imperialism. This willingness to embrace diversity and seek out common ground helped him build bridges and create lasting relationships across cultural and ideological divides..

List well known public figures who were victims of McCarthyism?

Other individuals like John Stewart Service were John Paton Davies Jr and John Carter Vincent.

Prominent victims of McCarthyism included:

Elmer Bernstein, composer and conductor

Leonard Bernstein, conductor, pianist, composer

David Bohm, physicist and philosopher

Bertolt Brecht, poet, playwright, screenwriter

Archie Brown, Abraham Lincoln Brigade, veteran of World War II

Esther Brunauer, U.S. State Department

Luis Buñuel, film director, producer

Charlie Chaplin, actor and director

Aaron Copland, composer

Bartley Crum, attorney

Howard Da Silva, actor

Jules Dassin, director

Dolores del Río, actress

Edward Dmytryk, director, Hollywood Ten

W.E.B. Du Bois, civil rights activist and author

George A. Eddy, a Harvard economist, US Treasury monetary policy specialist

Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, philosopher, mathematician, activist

Hanns Eisler, composer

Howard Fast, writer

Lion Feuchtwanger, novelist and playwright

Carl Foreman, writer of High Noon

John Garfield, actor

C.H. Garrigues, journalist

Jack Gilford, actor

Ruth Gordon, actress

Lee Grant, actress

Dashiell Hammett, author

Elizabeth Hawes, clothing designer, author, equal rights activist

Lillian Hellman, playwright

Dorothy Healey, union organizer

Lena Horne, singer

Langston Hughes, writer, poet, playwright

Marsha Hunt, actress

Sam Jaffe, actor

Theodore Kaghan, diplomat

Garson Kanin, writer and director

Danny Kaye, comedian, singer

Benjamin Keen, historian

Otto Klemperer, conductor and composer

Gypsy Rose Lee, actress and stripper

Cornelius Lanczos, mathematician and physicist

Ring Lardner Jr., screenwriter

Arthur Laurents, playwright

Philip Loeb, actor

Joseph Losey, director

Albert Maltz, screenwriter

Heinrich Mann, novelist

Klaus Mann, writer

Thomas Mann, Nobel Prize winning novelist and essayist

Thomas McGrath, poet

Burgess Meredith, actor

Arthur Miller, playwright and essayist

Joseph Needham, biochemist, sinologist, historian of science

Dorothy Parker, writer, humorist

Linus Pauling, chemist, Nobel prizes for Chemistry and Peace

Samuel Reber, diplomat

Al Richmond, union organiser, editor

Martin Ritt, actor and director

Paul Robeson, actor, athlete, singer, writer, political activist

Edward G. Robinson, actor

Pete Seeger, folk singer, songwriter

Artie Shaw, jazz musician, bandleader, author

Irwin Shaw, writer

William L. Shirer, journalist, author

Lionel Stander, actor

Dirk Jan Struik, mathematician, historian of maths

Paul Sweezy, economist

Charles W. Thayer, diplomat

Dalton Trumbo, screenwriter

Tsien Hsue-shen, physicist

Sam Wanamaker, actor, director

Gene Weltfish, anthropologist

When is political dissent against war especially virtuous?

It is important to speak out in opposition to war in Western societies because democratic societies are based on the principles of freedom of speech and open debate. It is only through the expression of diverse opinions and the vigorous exchange of ideas that a society can make informed decisions about matters of war and peace.

Political dissent against war is especially virtuous when it is based on ethical principles and a deep commitment to human rights and dignity. When individuals speak out against war on these grounds, they are not only opposing a particular policy, but are also affirming the fundamental values that underpin a democratic society.

Is opposition to nuclear escalation rational?

Opposition to nuclear escalation is crucial for the survival of humanity. The consequences of a nuclear war would be catastrophic, and it is the responsibility of all individuals to do what they can to prevent such a conflict from occurring. This includes speaking out against nuclear weapons and supporting efforts to reduce the global stockpile of these weapons.

Along with Chat GPT-4, I feel in good company here.

Generated using ChatGPT Feb 13 Version. Free Research Preview. “Our goal is to make AI systems more natural and safe to interact with. Your feedback will help us improve.”

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