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).

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

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?


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