Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
2010/1/19 silky <>:

Exactly my point! I'm trying to discover why I wouldn't be so rational
there. Would you? Do you think that knowing all there is to know about
a cat is unpractical to the point of being impossible *forever*, or do
you believe that once we do know, we will simply "end" them freely,
when they get in our way? I think at some point we *will* know all
there is to know about them, and even then, we won't end them easily.
Why not? Is it the emotional projection that Brent suggests? Possibly.

Why should understanding something, even well enough to have actually
made it, make a difference?

Obviously intelligence and the ability to have feelings and desires
has something to do with complexity. It would be easy enough to write
a computer program that pleads with you to do something but you don't
feel bad about disappointing it, because you know it lacks the full
richness of human intelligence and consciousness.
Indeed; so part of the question is: Qhat level of complexity
constitutes this? Is it simply any level that we don't understand? Or
is there a level that we *can* understand that still makes us feel
that way? I think it's more complicated than just any level we don't
understand (because clearly, I "understand" that if I twist your arm,
it will hurt you, and I know exactly why, but I don't do it).

I don't think our understanding of it has anything to do with it. It
is more that a certain level of complexity is needed for the entity in
question to have a level of consciousness which means we are able to
hurt it.

But it also needs to be similar enough to us that we can intuit what hurts is and what doesn't, to empathize that it may feel pain. If my car runs out of oil does it feel pain? I'm sure my 1966 Saab doesn't, but what about my 1999 Passat - it has a computer with an auto-diagnostic function?

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