Brent Meeker writes:
> 1Z wrote:
> > 
> > Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> ...
> >>I've never really understood why computationalists insist that a system
> >>must be able to handle counterfactuals in order for consciousness to occur,
> > 
> > 
> > I've explained that several times: computer programmes contain
> > if-then statements.
> > 
> > 
> >>other than that otherwise any physical system could be seen as implementing
> >>any computation, which does not seem to me a good reason. In any case,
> >>Maudlin shows that the requirement for handling counterfactuals leads to
> >>a situation where of two systems with identical physical activity, one is
> >>conscious and the other not.
> > 
> > 
> > If two systems differ counterfactually, they are not physically
> > identical.
> I don't think I understand this either.  Computer programs contain if-then 
> statements which branch the process depending on the data input to the 
> program. 
>   But there is no real distinction between data an program.  So if you insist 
> that  computed intelligence or consciousness depends on counterfactuals in 
> the 
> program that seems to me to be the same as insisting that the computation is 
> implemented in some way that divides it from input data, i.e. it is in an 
> environment.
> I'm sympathetic to this view.  I think intelligence is relative to an 
> environment.  But I'm not sure what computationalists think of this; I 
> believe 
> they suppose the environment can be simulated too and so then the whole thing 
> is 
> a closed system and there are no conuterfactual branchings.
> Brent Meeker

Is it possible that we are currently actors in a single, deterministic, 
computer program, with the illusion of free will and if-then contingency in 
being due to the fact that we don't know the details of how the program will 

Stathis Papaioannou
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