On Jan 19, 8:51 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 7:34 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> > On Jan 19, 11:33 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> > > On 17 Jan 2012, at 21:20, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> > I really don't find it a controversial statement.
> > mechanical [muh-kan-i-kuhl]
> > Part of Speech: adjective
> > Definition: done by machine; machinelike
> > Synonyms: automated, automatic, cold, cursory, *emotionless*, fixed,
> > habitual, impersonal, instinctive, involuntary, laborsaving,
> > *lifeless*, machine-driven, matter-of-fact, monotonous, perfunctory,
> > programmed, routine, *spiritless*, standardized, stereotyped,
> > unchanging, **unconscious, unfeeling, unthinking**, useful
> > Antonyms: by hand, **conscious, feeling**, manual
> > This is not evidence that machines are incapable of feeling but it
> > indicates broad commonsense support for my interpretation. Of course
> > popularity does not mean truth, but it does mean that I don't have to
> > accept accusations of some sort of fanciful eccentricity peculiar to
> > myself alone. My interpretation is conservative, yours is radically
> > experimental and completely unproven. How can you act as if it were
> > the other way around? It's dishonest.
> Our language is littered with ideas which have long been shown to be
> false. For example, we still say that the "sun sets". The word mechanical
> originated with the ancient Greeks. Would you consider them an authority
> on what machines are capable of?
The Sun does set. It's only if you are not on the surface of the Earth
that the Sun would not set. It is helpful to deprogram ourselves from
occidental prejudice this way. Naive perception is as much a part of
the cosmos as a hypothetical universal voyeur's perspective. Such an
observer is useful for predictions, but it fails when taken literally
since such an observer is impossible in reality (is the Earth tiny or
enormous? instantaneous or eternal?)
It's not about being an authority on what machines are capable of,
it's about recognizing that humans have seen machines in a certain,
remarkably consistent way. My interpretation explores that common
intuition or stereotype - not to take it as a the truth, but as a
possible clue to the truth. It is a piece to the puzzle. If we do not
examine the real pieces to the puzzle, we cannot expect to solve it.
> Also, regarding your statement that yours is the majority or conventional
> opinion, I disagree. The most widely held view among those versed in the
> subject is that the human body is mechanical (as opposed to governed by
> spirits or otherwise non-physical influences).
Mm, that's not a bad point. I wouldn't say mechanical, but yes most of
us in the developed world do think of our bodies in machine-like
metaphors but I would stop short of saying that we refer to ourselves
literally as machines. We still go to doctors and not mechanics.
Still, in delineating between a living creature and a 'machine' you
are not going to find many people who will honestly say that machines
are warm and friendly but dogs are robotic. It's hard even to play
Devil's advocate on this for me. Robotic has certain meanings,
'animal' means something very different. The two are not easily
confused. The connotations are there for a reason.
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