On Sep 22, 9:04 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 2:12 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net>wrote:
> > From what I understand of Craig's theory it describes a difference between
> > first person and third person experience/reality. Each being two sides of
> > the same coin, where first person experience is the interior side of what
> > its like to be the material. The first person experience of is
> > indeterminable (and possibly relies on the indeterminism of physics?) and
> > can cause physical changes above and beyond what can be predicted by any
> > third-person physics. While we are a machine according to this theory, we
> > are a special machine due to our history as organisms and the special
> > properties of the carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, etc. which form the
> > basis of our biochemistry. Functional equivalence is either not possible,
> > or will lead to various brain disorders or zombies.
> > [SPK]
> > Hi Jason!
> > Excellent post!! But can you see how this is really not so different
> > from Bruno's "result"?! Bruno just substitutes (N, +, *) of matter and the
> > 1p experience is the 'inside dream" of Arithmetic. Same basic outline, very
> > different semantics, but a radically different interpretation...
> Both theories suggest that neither matter nor first person experience are
> what is commonly understood, but aside from that it seems little is in
> common. To me there is a big difference between saying first person
> experience is a dream inside of arithmetic compared to a an innate sense
> capability of substance (carbon atoms, electromagnetic fields, neurons, I am
> not sure which).
To me, the difference is that substance physically exists but dreams
and arithmetic are metaphysical abstractions. The sense capability not
only extends to all substance (anything that you can detect in public
also has an undetectable private interiority) but it is sense which
defines substance in the first place.
Reality is made of feelings of reality in addition to the arithmetic
correspondences of those feelings, as opposed to feeling being an
abstraction which inexplicably and redundantly arises from computation
alone. The feeling has it's own experiential ontology.
> Bruno's result is well-defined, refutable, does not reject the physical laws
> as currently understood, and does not make unfounded assertions, such as:
> only certain materials can experience red, no computer program can feel,
> think, understand, etc.
We know for a fact that color blindness occurs as a result of material
differences in people's retina. We also know that you cannot see red
on a black and white TV set. I don't understand that the assertion
that only certain materials can experience red is controversial. Do
you have a counterfactual?
That no computer program can feel is not possible to verify without
directly connecting your brain to a computer, but it's not much of a
stretch to see that it is of course true. I've illustrated many
reductio ad absurdum examples of attributing feeling to programmatic
- the DVD player would have to watch movies with us,
- the ventriloquist dummy would have to learn it's own act
- the trash can with the words THANK YOU stamped on the lid would have
to sincerely mean it,
- you would be tempted to feel remorse if you hurt your computer's
feelings or turned it off before it was ready.
It goes on and on and on. The only counterfactuals that have been
suggested are speculative fiction and promissory materialism.
Conversion disorders and illegibility illustrate that pattern
recognition is not automatically or inevitability provided with
pattern to any particular perceiving subject.
> > Craig does make a big deal about "special properties" but the properties of
> > carbon, etc. do matter when it comes to real functionality.
It's not that the properties of carbon are objectively special, it's
that they are special *to us* because the sense that we make is an
elaboration of the sense that organic chemistry makes, and not
inorganic chemistry. Mammals are special to us because we share a
common sense with all mammals (that we don't share with reptiles),
> What is real though? In what level or context? Craig ignores the concept
> of different levels in his arguments and in our replies.
*headdesk* My entire hypothesis is about levels and contexts.
> When he says only
> carbon and oxygen can combust and produce *real* heat,
I don't say that carbon is required for combustion. I just said that
fire requires oxygen by definition, because fire is a way of
describing our perception of oxidation.
> and we tell him sim
> carbon and sim oxygen can produce *real* heat to the sim observer he expects
> that heat to appear also in the higher level universe conducting the
No, I point to that expectation as an absurd consequence of devout
comp. Sim fire cannot produce any kind of heat to a sim observer
unless that observer has sim thermal receptors which are also made of
sim animal flesh, made of sim cells, made of sim organic molecules.
'Heat' does not just appear from a picture of fire - even a really
nicely rendered 3D picture.
> What function of the brain cannot be determined with anything other than a
> carbon atom? If we can use the behavior of other systems to predict what a
> carbon would do then the carbon atom is dispensible to the functions and
> behavior of the brain.
So all you have to do is predict what a brick of gold would do and
then the gold itself is dispensable? I can just go to a bank and
explain that I could make simulate gold arithmetically and expect that
to count as a deposit.
You can then argue that this results in a mindless
> automaton, but then you run into all the funny and absurd issues with
> philisophical zombies.
The idea of p-zombies arise out of the a priori assumption of
functionalism. There are no funny or absurd issues with conversion
disorders or HADD.
> > While it is true that we can build universal Turing machine equivalents out
> > of practically anything, explaining and modeling the physical world is not
> > about computations that do not require resources or can run forever or such
> > "ideal" things, it is about how all this stuff that has particular
> > properties interacts with each other. We simply cannot dismiss all of the
> > details that encompass our reality by just invoking computational
> > universality. What is that truism? The Devil is in the Details!
> Craig posits an infinite devil, but does so without evidence. And contrary
> to evidence from physics, chemistry, neurology, etc.
I am the evidence, and so are you. I don't posit anything infinite as
far as I know. You could say that a unique event is infinitely like
itself if you want but it's a rather oblique way of thinking about it.
As I have said before, if you think that anything that I have said is
contrary to evidence from physics, chemistry, neurology, etc, then I
know for a fact that you do not understand what I'm saying.
> Frankly I have grown tired of debating Craig's thesis because his responses
> ignore everything we say, and he has admitted as much: that nothing we say
> will convince him he is wrong. Only interviewing someone who has received a
> partial digital neural prosthesis can do that.
If you are able to consider the possibility that I'm not wrong, then
my behavior will make sense. I have not, to my knowledge, ignored
anything that any of you have said, and I try to address each point
> > My own thesis follows this same outline, except that I propose that the
> > topological spaces are the "outside" and algebras (which would include
> > Bruno's (N, +, *) and minds are the inside. This outline dispenses with the
> > problem of psycho-physical parallelism that I will make a comment on below.
> > There is no need to explain why or how matter and mind are harmonized or
> > synchronized when, ultimately, they are jsut two different (behaviorally and
> > structuraly) aspect of each other, all of this follow from M. Stone's
> > representation theorem.
> Do you agree that computers can be conscious?
> > My idea is a bit tricky because we have to treat topological spaces
> > (such as the totally disconnected compact Hausdorff spaces dual to Boolean
> > logics) both as the form and content of 1p and as mathematical objects. This
> > is not a problem because math is all about representing 1p and more! This
> > makes sense because mathematical representations can both represent
> > themselves and be what they represent. WE see this explained in a round
> > about way in Stephen Wolfram's essay on intractability and physics. The
> > basic idea of the essay is that physical systems are, effectively, the best
> > possible computational model of themselves. We do not need to postulate
> > computations separate from the physical processes themselves, if we are
> > going to stay int eh semi-classical realm. If we wish to go to a fully
> > quantum model, they the wavefunction (and its evolution) of a physical
> > system is the computation itself of that system.
> > Vaughan Pratt argued that QM is just a consequence of the way that the
> > stone duality is implemented. I am just taking this ideas and exploring them
> > for flaws and falsification, but to do so I have to be able to fully explain
> > them (not an easy job!) but that is what is necessary to claim that I
> > understand them.
> > This assessment of Craig's idea seems accurate from what I can tell at
> > the start but falls down on the epiphenomena bit AFAIK...
> > Consciousness to Craig is an epiphenomenon, since he has said there is no
> > reason to evolve this tehnicolor cartesian theater.
No, human consciousness is a phenomenon which has evolved from hominid
awareness, mammal perception, amphibian feeling...etc all the way down
to cellular sensation and molecular detection. The common thread of
sense is primitive, not an epiphenomenon, and so is substance - it's
equally primitive opposite.
> > I need to get his comment on this statement about the Cartesian
> > theater.
The problem with the Cartesian theater is that it tries to make
experience into a substance. Like phlogiston, aether, soul, etc. It's
understandable - we want to conceive of ourselves as objects, but my
hypothesis explains that this approach is critically flawed. We are
not a substance, because substance is nothing but our perception of
that which is not us. The duality is total, meaning that matter across
space on one side does not translate into some other kind of
theatrical matter/space on the other side, but rather translates as
the opposite of matter/space: experience/time.
It's a monumental shift in interpretation to realize that energy is in
fact an experience of matter, but it is the truth, and I think any
kind of thought experiment grounded in reality will bear that out.
> The reason I say it is an epiphenomenon is that if there is no reason to
> evolve it, then human behavior would be unaltered with its absence. Thus
> its presence makes no difference one way or the other according to his
No, there is just no biological reason to evolve it. The presence of
consciousness of course makes all the difference - to us, but it makes
no difference to what we think of as our biology. Human behavior would
be altered by the absence of consciousness because human behavior is
not determined entirely by biological imperatives. It has semantic
imperatives, psychological, mythological, sociopolitical, artistic,
scientific, philosophical agendas.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at