On 8/2/2011 3:26 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Aug 2, 5:58 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:

I understand what you're saying.  I just don't see any reason to believe it.
You were summing up my position as including

(although of course it would be it would be
much more efficient to actually use molecules instead of computationally
simulating them).
I'm not saying that. I'm saying that you could possibly simulate human
consciousness using different molecules and cells, but not simulating
them computationally. A computational simulation implies that it is
substance independent, which obviously biological life and the
conscious feelings that are associated with it are not.

But that is not obvious and saying so isn't an argument.

If you do a
computational simulation through a similar material that the brain is
made of, then you have something similar to a brain. The idea of pure
computation independent of some physical medium is not something we
should take for granted. It seems like a completely outrageous fantasy
to me. Why would such a thing be any more plausible than ghosts or

I don't take it for granted. But I can imagine building an intelligent robot that acts in every way like a person. And I know that I could replace his computer brain for a different one, built with different materials and using different physics, that computed the same programs without changing its behavior. Now you deny that this robot is conscious because its brain isn't made of proteins and water and neurons - but I could replace part of the computer with a computer made of some protein and water and some neurons; which according to you would then make the robot conscious. This seems to me to be an unjustified inference. If it acts conscious with the wet brain and it acted the same before, with the computer chip brain, then I infer that it was probably conscious before.

Do I conclude that it experiences consciousness exactly as I do? No, I think that it might depend on how its programming is implement, e.g. LISP might produce different experience than FORTRAN or whether there are asynchronous hardware modules. I'm not sure how Bruno's theory applies to this since he looks at the problem from a level where all computation is equivalent modulo Church-Turing.


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