2008/11/24 Kory Heath <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:
> On Nov 22, 2008, at 6:52 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>> Which leads again to the problem of partial zombies. What is your
>> objection to saying that the looked up computation is also conscious?
>> How would that be inconsistent with observation, or lead to logical
>> contradiction?
> I can only answer this in the context of Bostrom's "Duplication" or
> "Unification" question. Let's say that within our Conway's Life
> universe, one particular creature feels a lot of pain. After the run
> is over, if we load the Initial State back into the array and iterate
> the rules again, is another experience of pain occurring? If you think
> "yes", you accept Duplication by Bostrom's definition. If you say
> "no", you accept Unification.

I accept Unification, though for different reasons to those discussed
in these threads.

> Duplication is more intuitive to me, and you might say that my thought
> experiment is aimed at Duplicationists. In that context, I don't
> understand why playing back the lookup table as a movie should create
> another experience of pain. None of the actual Conway's Life
> computations are being performed. We could just print them out on
> (very large) pieces of paper and flip them like a book. Is this
> supposed to generate an experience of pain? What if we just lay out
> all the pages in a row and move our eyes across them? What if we lay
> them out randomly and move our eyes across them? And so on.

If the GOL results in consciousness, then I don't see how you could
consistently claim that such activities don't generate consciousness.
The question turns on what is a computation and why it should have
magical properties. For example, if someone flips the squares on a
Life board at random and accidentally duplicates the Life rules does
that mean the computation is carried out? How would you know by
observation if this was happening just by luck? You could argue that
after a short period of observation the Life board would become
completely disorganised, but what about the case of competent
square-flipper who has a condition that might render him amnesic at
any moment? What about the case of having a vast army of random
square-flippers operating multiple boards, so that at least one of
them necessarily follows the correct rules?

> I argue
> that if running the original computation a second time would create a
> second experience of pain, we can generate a "partial zombie".
> Stathis, Brent, and Bruno have all suggested that there is no "partial
> zombie" problem in my argument. Is that because you all accept
> Unification? Or am I missing something else?

I think there is a partial zombie problem regardless of whether
Unification or Duplication is accepted. Interestingly, Nick Bostrom
doesn't seem to have a problem with the idea of partial zombies:


Stathis Papaioannou

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