On Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 4:42 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 22, 6:10 pm, Pierz <pier...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 'Yes doctor' is merely an establishment of the assumption of comp.
>> Saying yes means you are a computationalist. If you say no the you are
>> not one, and one cannot proceed with the argument that follows -
>> though then the onus will be on you to explain *why* you don't believe
>> a computer can substitute for a brain.
>
> That's what is circular. The question cheats by using the notion of a
> bet to put the onus on us to take comp for granted in the first place
> when there is no reason to presume that bets can exist in a universe
> where comp is true. It's a loaded question, but in a sneaky way. It is
> to say 'if you don't think the computer is happy, that's fine, but you
> have to explain why'.
>
>> If you've said yes, then this
>> of course entails that you believe that 'free choice' and 'personal
>> value' (or the subjective experience of them) can be products of a
>> computer program, so there's no contradiction.
>
> Right, so why ask the question? Why not just ask 'do you believe a
> computer program can be happy'? When it is posed as a logical
> consequence instead of a decision, it implicitly privileges the
> passive voice. We are invited to believe that we have chosen to agree
> to comp because there is a logical argument for it rather than an
> arbitrary preference committed to in advance. It is persuasion by
> rhetoric, not by science.
>
>> In fact the circularity
>> is in your reasoning. You are merely reasserting your assumption that
>> choice and personal value must be non-comp,
>
> No, the scenario asserts that by relying on the device of choice and
> personal value as the engine of the thought experiment. My objection
> is not based on any prejudice against comp I may have, it is based on
> the prejudice of the way the question is posed.
>
>> but that is exactly what
>> is at issue in the yes doctor question. That is precisely what we're
>> betting on.
>
> If we are betting on anything then we are in a universe which has not
> been proved to be supported by comp alone.

The "yes doctor" scenario considers the belief that if you are issued
with a computerised brain you will feel just the same. It's equivalent
to the "yes barber" scenario: that if you receive a haircut you will
feel just the same, and not become a zombie or otherwise radically
different being.


-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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