Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
> 
> 
>>I think we need to say what it means for a computation to be 
>>self-interpreting.  Many 
>>control programs are written with self-monitoring functions and logging 
>>functions. 
>>Why would we not attribute consciousness to them?
> 
> 
> Well, why not? Some people don't even think higher mammals are conscious, and 
> perhaps 
> some there are true solipsists who could convince themselves that other 
> people are not really 
> conscious as rationalisation for antisocial behaviour. 

Autistic people don't emphathize with others feelings - perhaps because they 
don't 
have them.  But their behavoir, and I would expect the behavoir of a real 
solipist, 
would be simply asocial.

>On the other hand, maybe flies experience 
> pain and fear when confronted with insecticide that is orders of magnitude 
> greater than that 
> of any mere human experience of torture, and maybe when I press the letter 
> "y" on my 
> keyboard I am subjecting my computer to the torments of hell. 

And maybe every physical process implements all possible computations - but I 
see no 
reason to believe so.

>I don't buy the argument that 
> only complex brains or computations can experience pain either: when I was a 
> child I wasn't 
> as smart as I am now, but I recall that it hurt a lot more and I was much 
> more likely to cry when 
> I cut myself. 
> 
> Stathis Papaioannou

You write as though we know nothing about the physical basis of pain and fear.  
There 
is a lot of empirical evidence about what prevents pain in humans, you can even 
get a 
  degree in aesthesiology.  Fear can be induced by psychotropic drugs and 
relieved by 
whisky.

Brent Meeker

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