On Jan 29, 10:20 am, Terren Suydam <terren.suy...@gmail.com> wrote:
> OK, I think I understand you a little better. You are a vitalist who
> makes life its own ontological primitive.

No. Life is only a step from organic molecule to biological cell.
Neither are primitive. There is only one primitive and that is ense,
aka sensorimotive electomagenism. Biology is important to us because
we are biological. Animals, people, and members of our social groups
are imporant to us for the same reason. Life is as special and not
special to the universe as it seems. Now sacred and protected.. now
forsaken and cursed.

> There is a difference
> between living things and non-living things, and the gap between them
> cannot be bridged. Life is magical, in the sense that it cannot be
> explained.

No. Sounds like you are interested in pidgeonholing me. Viruses and
crystals bridge life and abiotic structures. Life is important to
living things. That you must admit. If you think that is a mistake
that should be corrected, I understand, but I disagree. The
significance of survival is not an illusion.

> I cannot subscribe to such a "theory" because it draws a line where no
> more questions can be asked (like religion). Anyway, I think it's more
> interesting, challenging, and rewarding to consider possible theories
> and explanations of how living things can and do self-assemble from
> non-living parts.
>
What makes atoms form molecules is the same thing that makes molecules
form cells, etc. It's sense. Not just logic or arithmetic or physics,
but experiences of worlds.
>
Craig
>
> On Sun, Jan 29, 2012 at 2:11 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Jan 28, 5:20 pm, Terren Suydam <terren.suy...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> I don't understand why you don't allow machine consciousness if in your
> >> theory all forces give rise to sense.
>
> > It's the other way around, sense experience gives rise to all
> > appearance of force.
>
> >> What is special about the kinds of
> >> "forces" inherent in a biological organism?  It smells like vitalism.
>
> > Biological organisms are alive. They eat other living organisms to
> > survive. Most matter is not alive and we cannot eat it. This isn't
> > some flaky theory, it's just pointing out the obvious. We distinguish
> > biology from chemistry for a reason. It's only special to biological
> > organisms. They have an opinion about whether they keep living or not.
>
> >> What is especially confusing about your position is that you allow that
> >> structure puts limitations on subjective experience (I.e. lack of rods and
> >> cones will prevent one from seeing color). Based on that you are already
> >> close to comp. It is very hard for non-comp theories to account for the
> >> changes in subjectivity that occur in tandem with brain damage,
> >> psychoactive drugs, and so on.
>
> > The structure and the experience are opposite parts of the same thing.
> > If you change one, it can have an influence sometimes on the other.
> > Not always though. They overlap and diverge. I can consciously
> > breathe, or I can observe that I am breathing. I can control my body
> > in important ways, my body can control me in important ways.
>
> >> Somewhere in your theory must be an account of the differences between
> >> biological cell and a functional silicon-based equivalent, since the same
> >> low level forces are involved in both. Why does the substance matter when
> >> any physical substrate is subject to basic electromagnetic and nuclear
> >> forces?  If that silicon version has the proper structure (organization)
> >> then why in your theory wouldn't it have subjective experience?
>
> > It matters for the same reason that we can't survive on the Moon
> > without a space suit. Why are all cells made of carbohydrates and
> > amino acids and not silicates and sulfuric acid? Why is 79 protons
> > gold but 79 golf balls just a bucket full of balls? Because the
> > universe that we see as matter and machines is only the exterior. The
> > interior is a universe of private narratives that accumulate over
> > time. The carbon based story turned out to be more interesting for us.
> > Is it because we're made of carbon or are we lucky that carbon
> > happened to be interesting. My hunch is a little of both.
>
> > Craig
>
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