On Thu, Nov 25, 2010 at 3:38 PM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > But I also deny that mechanism can account for consciousness (except > by fiat declaration that it does). > > Rex, I am interested in your reasoning against mechanism. Assume there is were an] mechanical brain composed of mechanical neurons, that contained the same information as a human brain, and processed it in the same way. The behavior between these two brains is in all respects identical, since the mechanical neurons react identically to their biological counterparts. However for some unknown reason the computer has no inner life or conscious experience. If you were to ask this mind if it is conscious it would have to say yes, but since it is not conscious, this would be a lie. However, the mechanical mind would not believe itself to be lying. It's neural activity would match the activity of a biological brain telling the truth. It not only is lying about it's claim of consciousness, but would be wrong in its belief that it is conscious. It would be wrong in believing it sees red when you hold a ripe tomato in front of it. My question is what could possibly make the mechanical mind wrong in these beliefs when the biological mind is right? The mechanical mind contains all the same information as the biological one; the information received from the red-sensitive cones in its eyes can be physically traced as it moves through the mechanical mind and leads to it uttering that it sees a tomato. How could this identical informational content be invalid, wrong, false in one representation of a mind, but true in another? Information can take many physical forms. The same digital photograph can be stored as differently reflective areas in a CD or DVD, as charges of electrons in Flash memory, as a magnetic encoding on a hard drive, as holes in a punch card, and yet the file will look the same regardless of how it is physically stored. Likewise the file can be sent in an e-mail which may transmit as fields over an electrical wire, laser pulses in an glass fiber, radio waves in the air, the physical implementation is irrelevant. Is the same not true for information contained within a conscious mind? Jason -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.