> On Sat, Jan 14, 2012  Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

> If computationalism argues that zombies can't exist, therefore anything
> that we cannot distinguish from a conscious person must be conscious, that
> also means that it is impossible to create something that acts like a
> person which is not a person. Zombies are not Turing emulable.

Maybe. Zombie behavior is certainly Turing emulable but you are asking more
than that and there is no way to prove what you want to know because it
hinges on one important question: how can you tell if a zombie is a zombie?
Brains are not my favorite meal but I don't think dietary preference or
even unsightly skin blemishes are a good test for consciousness; I believe
zombies have little if any consciousness because, at least as depicted in
the movies, zombies act really really dumb. But maybe the film industry is
inflicting an unfair stereotype on a persecuted minority and there are good
hard working zombies out there who you don't hear about that write love
poetry and teach at Harvard, if so then I think those zombies are conscious
even if I would still find a polite excuse to decline their invitation to

> > This to me reveals an absurdity of arithmetic realism. Pinocchio the boy
> is possible to simulate mechanically, but Pinocchio the puppet is
> impossible. Doesn't that strike anyone else as an obvious deal breaker?

I find nothing absurd about that and neither did Evolution. The parts of
our brain that so dramatically separate us from other animals, the parts
that deal with language and long term planing and mathematics took HUNDREDS
of times longer to evolve than the parts responsible for intense emotion
like pleasure, pain, fear, hate, jealousy and love. And why do you think it
is that in this group and elsewhere everybody and their brother is pushing
their own General Theory of Consciousness  but nobody even attempts a
General Theory of Intelligence?  The reason is that theorizing about the
one is easy but  theorizing about the other is hard, hellishly hard, and
because when intelligence theories fail they fail with a loud thud that is
obvious to all, but one consciousness theory works as well, or as badly, as
any other. Consciousness theories are easy because there are no facts they
need to explain, but there is an astronomical number of things that need to
be explained to understand how intelligence works.

  John K Clark

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