I have been following the TV series Westworld recently and enjoying its unique take on the standard sci-fi metaphysical questions it directly poses to its audience. Is artificial life morally indistinguishable from human life? What is consciousness? What is real?
A lot of the power of the show comes from the premise. The premise is a robotic theme park where its human guests can do as they please. And this setting immediately raises a number of philosophical questions and it has these philosophical issues staring right back at you on the screen. Often times it can be difficult to not feel uneasy as 'human-appearing' robots are treated as nothing more than the robotic parts with which they were made.
Such scenes immediately bring to mind the clarity with which the Metaphysics of Quality can bring to understanding these issues. The unease of watching 'human-appearing' robots treated that way can be explained because robots aren't just the inorganic parts they are made with. The robots express and reflect the cultural values they have been programmed with. What the MOQ makes clear is that these values are just as real as the physical parts they have been created with. Even though these robots may not be able to directly respond to the undefined betterness of Dynamic Quality(are conscious), the static values with which they are created still exists and so those values are just as real as if they were expressed by a human being. Therefore raping or killing such a robot so that they are reduced once again to their inorganic parts is immoral.
And this is what's unique about the MOQ. Within those few words, we are able to quickly get to the heart of the matter. We can describe with a clarity not found before - exactly why it feels so wrong to watch what the guests do to the robots in the park. We're also able to easily describe what is and is not consciousness - something our current Metaphysics struggles with greatly.