On Sun, Feb 5, 2012  Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

> > The only understanding of Chinese going on is by those Chinese speakers
> outside the room who are carrying on a one-sided conversation with a rule
> book.

So you say, but Searle says his idiotic thought experiment has PROVEN it;
and yet one key step in the "proof" is "if there is understanding it can
only be in the little man but the little man does not understand so there
is no understanding involved". But if you start the thought experiment as
that as one of the axioms then what the hell is the point of the thought
experiment in the first place, how can you claim to have proven what you
just assumed?  I stand by my remarks that Clark's Chinese Room, described
previously, has just as much profundity (or lack thereof) as Searle's
Chinese Room.

> > >  OK fine, the man does not understand Chinese, so what? How does that
>> prove that understanding was not involved in the room/outside-people
>> conversation?
> > Because there is nobody on the inside end of the conversation.

So what? The point of the thought experiment was to determine if
understanding was involved at the room end, not how many people were inside
the room, you can write and scream that there was no understanding from now
to the end of time but you have not proven it, and neither has Searle. It's
not uncommon for a mathematical "proof" to contain a hidden assumption of
the very thing you're trying to prove, but usually this error is subtle and
takes some close analysis and digging to find the mistake, but in the case
of the Chinese Room the blunder is as obvious as a angry elephant in your
living room and that is why I have no hesitation in saying that John Searle
is a moron.

> I suspect the use of the man in the room is a device to force people to
> identify personally with (what would normally be) the computer.

Yes that's exactly what he's doing, and that's what makes Searle a con
artist, he's like a stage magician who waves his right hand around and
makes you look at it so you don't notice what his left hand is doing, and
the thing that makes him a idiot is that he believes his own bullshit. It's
as if I forced you to identify with the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and
then asked you to derive grand conclusions from the fact that acetylcholine
doesn't understand much.

> yes I only have first hand knowledge of consciousness. Because the nature
> of sense is to fill the
> gaps, connect the dots, solve the puzzle, etc, we are able to generalize
> figuratively. We are not limited to solipsism

By "fill in the gaps" you mean we accept certain rules of thumb and axioms
of existence to be true even though we can not prove them, like induction
and that intelligent behavior implies consciousness. That is the only way
to avoid solipsism.

> >>  Take a sleeping pill and your brain organization, its chemistry,
>> changes and your consciousness goes away; take a pep pill and the
>> organization reverses itself and your consciousness comes back.

>  > The organization of the brain is still the same in either case.


> > the brain retains the capacity for consciousness the whole time.

As long as the drug is in your brain consciousness is not possible, it is
only when chemical processes break down the drug and the concentration of
it is reduced (it wares off in other words) does consciousness return.

> If the pill killed you, a pep pill would not bring you back.

And if the pill did kill you that would certainly change brain
organization. And by the way, why do you believe that dead people are not
conscious? Because they no longer behave intelligently.

> What we sense is not imposed from the outside,

Well it had better be! If the outside world could be anything we wanted it
to be then our senses would be of no value and Evolution would never have
had a reason to develop them. In reality if we project our wishes on how we
interpret the information from our senses too much our life expectancy will
be very short; I don't like that saber toothed tiger over there so I'll
think of him as a cute little bunny rabbit.

 John K Clark

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