Saying evolution created pain and pleasure is a bit of a cop out. When we
say evolution created mammals, we can theorize about a progression of
material forms (and environments) that led to mammals.
So *how* did evolution do that? What sort of progression could you theorize
about that led to pain and pleasure? I think to do that, assuming
mechanism, you still have to come up with something that maps those
feelings to 3p processes.
On Feb 24, 2012 12:20 AM, "meekerdb" <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 2/23/2012 6:00 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
>> On Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 7:21 PM, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>>> On 2/23/2012 2:49 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
>>> As wild or counter-intuitive as it may be though, it really has no
>>> consequences to speak of in the ordinary, mundane living of life. To
>>> paraphrase Eliezer Yudkowsky, "it has to add up to normal". On the
>>> other hand, once AGIs start to appear, or we begin to merge more
>>> explicitly with machines, then the theories become more important.
>>> Perhaps then comp will be made illegal, so as to constrain freedoms
>>> given to machines. I could certainly see there being significant
>>> resistance to humans augmenting their brains with computers... maybe
>>> that would be illegal too, in the interest of control or keeping a
>>> level playing field. Is that what you mean?
>>> There will be legal and ethical questions about how we and machines
>>> treat one another. Just being conscious won't mean much though. As
>>> Bentham said of animals, "It's not whether they can think, it's whether
>>> can suffer."
>> That brings up the interesting question of how you could explain which
>> conscious beings are capable of suffering and which ones aren't. I'm
>> sure some people would make the argument that anything we might call
>> conscious would be capable of suffering. One way or the other it would
>> seem to require a theory of consciousness in which the character of
>> experience can be mapped somehow to 3p processes.
>> For instance, pain I can make sense of in terms of what it feels like
>> for a being's structure to become "less organized" though I'm not sure
>> how to formalize that, and I'm not completely comfortable with that
>> characterization. However, the reverse idea that pleasure might be
>> what it feels like for one's structure to become "more organized"
>> seems like a stretch and hard to connect with the reality of, for
>> example, a nice massage.
> I don't think becoming more or less organized has any direct bearing on
> pain or pleasure. Physical pain and pleasure are reactions built-in by
> evolution for survival benefits. If a fire makes you too hot, you move away
> from it, even though it's not "disorganizing" you. On the other hand,
> cancer is generally painless in its early stages. And psychological
> suffering can be very bad without any physical damage. I don't think
> suffering requires consciousness, at least not human-like consciousness,
> but psychological suffering might require consciousness in the form of
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