On 12/21/2011 3:36 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Dec 20, 1:13 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:
On 12/20/2011 5:14 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:>  On Dec 19, 6:08 pm, 
meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>    wrote:
On 12/19/2011 2:28 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Dec 19, 4:26 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>      wrote:
But I think that's where our intuition misleads us.  It seems very likely that 
part or
even all of one's brain could be replaced by computer; and that computer could 
be emulated
by a universal digital computer.
Not to me. Does it seem very likely that part of even all of France
could be replaced by India? Or robot clones of French people?
They are all replaced every 80yrs or so (some by Algerians).
So it should be no problem to replace the brain with bone marrow.
So long as the functionality is the same.
That's a false equivalence. My example was replacing part of France
with part of India. By oversimplifying that to mean replacing the
citizens only, then straw manning my argument completely by equating
'replacement' with the natural population's growth and mortality, you
come to the erroneous conclusion that a brain transplant is no
different from a kidney transplant. Nobody has ever survived a brain
transplant. As far as we know, a living brain is completely unlike
anything in the universe.

So's a kidney.  You making an implicit argument from incredulity.

  I'm not saying the brain is magic, but since
we have way of detecting the degree to which it's 'functionality' is
the same from the outside, the argument that you can do a replacement
of the brain based on functional equivalence is begging the question.

I assume you meant to write "...no way...". An argument based on evidence is not begging the question. The argument is that the brain is a physical object that performs certain functions, just as a kidney performs certain functions. In both cases we can measure the performance of some functions, though we cannot be sure they are all the essential ones. In the case of kidneys however we know empirically that we understand the right ones. Absent magic then, the argument is that there are such physically realized functions of the brain and if we realize them in some other way it will make no substantive difference; whatever consciousness the brain instantiated will be instantiated. Since known (non-magic) physics of a finite system is Turing emulable these function can be realized by a digital computer emulation at some level. If we performed this substitution, we could judge it's success just as we do a kidney replacement. Does the patient act the same?

That's not a question begging argument. To say that there are inaccessible actions on the part of the patient that we won't be able to access and THEREFORE it is false that consciousness is instantiated...THAT's invoking magic.


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