On 03 Aug 2011, at 00:51, meekerdb wrote:

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
magic?


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.

This is highly ambiguous. Obviously comp does not make all computation equivalent. What happens in my head is not equivalent of what happens in your head. Comp is just the statement that there is a level where I am digitally emulable. Church thesis is used only for making "digitally emulable" mathematically defininable. Then it is proved that comp implies that below my substitution level *all* universal machine competes, and there is a big set of equivalent computations (in the sense that I could not distinguish them from a first person perspective).

Comp is just the assumption "yes doctor" for *some* level. Most computationalist are materialist and assumes comp at a high level. I don't assume any particular level, and I explain that whatever the level is, if it exists, then physics is conceptually a branch of computer science, that is a branch of arithmetic.

"My" theory is only a strong weakening of all the version of comp you can find in the literature, which are fuzzy on the level (and confuse the comp assumption with the many comp metaphors). That physics become a branch of machine's theology is a result, not a suggestion. You can still stop the conclusion by accepting that consciousness supervenes of the physical activity of inactive physical piece of matter (like Jacques Mallah).



http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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