On Tuesday, October 9, 2012 11:21:59 AM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 8, 2012 Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Ok, which computers do you think have conscious experiences? Windows
>> laptops? Deep Blue? Cable TV boxes?
> How the hell should I know if computers have conscious experiences? How
> the hell should I know if people have conscious experiences?
I didn't ask which ones you know are conscious, I asked which ones you
think are conscious. I have no trouble at all saying that zero computers
are conscious and that all living people have had conscious experiences.
> All I know for certain is that some things external to me display
> intelligent behavior and some things do not,
Why do you think that you know that? What makes a behavior intelligent?
Over how long a time period are we talking about? Is a species as a whole
intelligent? Are ecosystems intelligent? Caves full of growing crystals?
> from that point on everything is conjecture and theory; I happen to think
> that intelligence is associated with consciousness is a pretty good theory
> but I admit it's only a theory and if your theory is that you're the only
> conscious being in the universe I can't prove you wrong.
When did I ever say that I am the only conscious being in the universe?
> > Is it a fact that you have conscious experiences?
> Yes, however I have no proof of that, or at least none I can share with
> anyone else, so I would understand if you don't believe me; however to
> believe me but not to believe a computer that made a similar claim just
> because you don't care for the elements out of which it is made would be
> rank bigotry.
It's not bigotry, it's an observation that computers don't do anything
remotely implying consciousness of any kind. They are literally automatons.
Their inorganic composition only gives us a way of understanding why it is
the case that assembling something which can be publicly controlled is
mutually exclusive from growing something which can be privately
> > Stimulation that you get thorough your senses of the outside environment
>> does not control you.
> The difference between influence and control is just one of degree not of
That's your assumption. I am sympathetic to it to the extent that all
difference between degrees and kinds are also a difference between degree
not of kind. I am influenced by traffic lights, but I still have to have
control of the car I am driving. Control is a continuum. If you say that
control is subsumed completely by influence, then you are denying that
there is anything which can be discerned by degree. Control does not
automatically arise from a lack of influence. A rock will not sing
showtunes if given a chance.
> Usually lots of things cause us to do what we do,
If they caused everything to happen without us, then there would be no us.
Why would there be?
> if all of them came from the outside then its control, if only some of the
> causes were external and some were internal, such as memory, then its
We are still the ones who evaluate the influences and contribute directly
to our actions.
> >> intelligent behavior WITHOUT consciousness confers a Evolutionary
>>> advantage. Having difficulty with your reading comprehension?
>> > but what example or law are you basing this on? Who says this is a fact
>> other than you?
> It almost seems that you're trying to say that intelligent behavior gives
> an organism no advantage over a organism that is stupid, but nobody is that
> stupid; so what are you saying?
What does that have to do with this idea of yours that intelligence can
exist without consciousness? You are trying to dodge the question.
> > Who claims to know that intelligence without consciousness exists?
> I give up, who claims to know that intelligence without consciousness
You. Very insistently: "intelligent behavior WITHOUT consciousness confers
a Evolutionary advantage. Having difficulty with your reading
Having difficulty remembering your edicts?
> >> The only intelligent behavior I know with certainty that is always
>>> associated with subjective experience is my own. But I know with certainty
>>> there are 2 possibilities:
>>> 1) Intelligent behavior is always associated with subjective experience,
>>> if so then if a computer beats you at any intellectual pursuit then it has
>>> a subjective experience, assuming of course that you yourself are
>>> intelligent. And I'll let you pick the particular intellectual pursuit for
>>> the contest.
>>> 2) Intelligent behavior is NOT associated with subjective experience, in
>>> which case there is no reason for Evolution to produce consciousness and I
>>> have no explanation for why I am here, and I have reason to believe that I
>>> am the only conscious being in the universe.
>> > I choose 3) The existence of intelligent behavior is contingent upon
>> recognition and interpretation by a conscious agent.
> That's EXACTLY the same as #1, you're saying that intelligent behavior
> without consciousness is impossible, I can't prove it but I suspect you're
> probably right. And if we are right then a computer beating you at a
> intellectual task is evidence that it is conscious, assuming only that you
> yourself are intelligent and conscious.
No. A computer beating you at chess is evidence that the intelligent
behavior of conscious computer programmers is effective at fooling you that
the computer is intelligent and conscious. A conscious intelligent agent
can make an unconscious machine that reminds himself of his own
intelligence, and to some extent acts as a prosthetic extension to some
administrative aspects of intelligence (ie computation - the shadow of
lowest common denominator range of consciousness).
> > Behavior can be misinterpreted by a conscious agent as having a higher
>> than actual quality of subjectivity when it doesn't
> But that's what I'm asking, what behavior gave you the clue that it would
> be a misinterpretation to attribute consciousness to something?
Every behavior of a computer gives me the clue. They will sit and do the
same thing over and over forever. They express no personal preferences.
They are incapable of figuring out when they are wrong or learn what is
expected of them in any way. It goes on and on. There is simply no
similarity between a humming plastic box that will try to do whatever
someone tells it to do and a living, growing, organism.
> This started with your question "Which intelligent behavior do you know
> that you can be certain exists without any subjective experience associated
> with it?" I said there was no behavior to enable us to determine what is
> conscious and what is not, all you're basically saying is that conscious
> intellectual behavior is intellectual behavior in which consciousness is
> involved; and I already knew that, and it is not helpful in figuring out
> what is conscious and what is not.
There are lots of behaviors which suggest different states of consciousness
in natural systems. Artificial systems designed explicitly to fool us are
not in the same category. We have hijacked lower level consciousness to
serve our higher level sensibilities.
> > No being that we know of has become conscious by means of intelligence
> Other than ourselves we know with certainty of no other being that is
> conscious PERIOD. All we can do is observe intelligent behavior and make
> guesses from there.
> > Every conscious being develops sensorimotor and emotional awareness
>> before any cognitive intelligence arises.
> How they hell do you know?
Piaget proved it.
> > Babies cry before they talk.
> Yes, without a doubt babies exhibit crying behavior before talking
> behavior, their brains need further development and they need to gain more
> knowledge before they can advance from one sort of behavior to another; and
> that is perfectly consistent with my belief that emotion is easy but
> intelligence is hard.
Crying is less common with men than women, but adults cry. I agree that
emotion is more primitive than actual intelligence because intelligence is
an extension of emotion. That's why computers designed from logical
function are incapable of emotion.
> > You think that every behavior in biology exists purely because of
> Every biological structure exists purely because of Evolution, however one
> of those physical structures, the brain, allows for a far far richer range
> of behavior than Evolution can provide, behaviors contingent on
> astronomically complex interactions between the environment and the brain.
> The brain allows for behavior that is not hardwired in the genes.
"behavior that is not hardwired in the genes". Sounds like free will.
> > except consciousness, which you have no explanation for
> My explanation is that intelligence produces consciousness, I don't know
> exactly how but if Evolution is true then there is a proof that it does.
Evolution can be true without the implication that the musical scale and
the colors of the rainbow evolved from something else.
> And I would be the first to admit that's not as good a explanation as I'd
> like, but it's one hell of a lot better explanation than your Fart
> Philosophy can provide.
My explanation works (at least to the extent that you have no
counterfactuals). Yours doesn't work because it doesn't exist. That means
you are the fart calling the gas cloud brown.
> > It's begging the question.
> It's not begging the question to admit that I don't know how intelligence
> produces consciousness, but it is when you say everything is conscious.
Why is panexperientialism begging the question if it's true?
> > You assume the cart pushes the horse, and that you don't know how, but
>> that if the cart gets us places then it must be proof that it is true.
> I assume that Evolution produced the horse, and if my car is broken and I
> can't walk then the horse must have taken me there.
Maybe you got a ride from a friend in their car? Maybe you took a cab?
> > I am asking what conceivable process has, as a byproduct, everything
>> that has ever been experienced?
> Intelligence. I've answered this question nineteen dozen times before.
Intelligence has no use for consciousness if it can already behave
intelligently, does it?
> > Why do you assume that purpose has to belong to someone in particular?
> I don't. To you the purpose of a violin may be to make music but to me it
> may be to swat a fly; however I don't think simple molecules like Thymine,
> which is composed of only 6 atoms, or Adenine which has 8, has a opinion on
> the nature of purpose.
You don't need to have an opinion on the nature of purpose to have and
execute a purpose.
> If you believe those molecules can think
No I doubt they think.
> and have desires and goals and
Eh, only barely more desire than none at all. Not an emotional desire, but
a sensorimotive desire. Kinetic expression for its own sake.
> seek to fulfill their purpose in the universe
Never said molecules contemplate their purpose.
> then I don't want to hear you criticizing me for anthropomorphizing future
Anthropomorphize future supercomputers all you want - you may get them too,
but I think only if we build them out of DNA.
> > If I see a commercial on TV for pizza, and then eat a frozen burrito
>> because my wife bought a dozen of them, whose purpose am I serving?
> Being a complex and intelligent entity you are in the purpose conferring
> business and the purpose you gave the burrito is to relieve your hunger.
> What purpose you care to give Adenine and Thymine is entirely up to you and
> I may give them a quite different purpose. And Adenine and Thymine, being
> quite literally as dumb as dog shit, can't confer purpose on anything.
Try to bind Adenine with Guanine instead and they will resist. Why isn't
> > Computers aren't intelligent for the same reason Bugs Bunny is not
> I don't believe Bugs Bunny is intelligent because Bugs can't beat his
> animators at checkers, but computers have been beating their programmers at
> this game for half a century.
Someone can make a cartoon of themselves with Bugs Bunny playing checkers
and Bugs winning. I grant that interactivity is different than a film, but
you can make interactive films. If you can't tell the difference between a
magic 8-ball and intelligent supercomputer limited to the responses of a
magic 8-ball, does that mean the 8-ball might be conscious too?
> > A picture of a pipe is something,
> And you believe (for reasons you cannot coherently articulate) that
> everything is conscious, therefore if you are correct a picture of a pipe
> is conscious. QED
A picture of a pipe is as conscious as whatever it is made of. Ink isn't
very conscious. A crowd of people holding up signs that look like a picture
of a pipe from across the stadium are conscious.
> > You don't have to believe me...because you have FREE WILL :) ah
> Cannot comment, don't know what ASCII characters "FREE WILL" mean.
It's funny to see someone so dedicated to control deny that they have
something to gain by their words. Without free will, what does it matter if
you agree that free will is a valid concept or not? Your denial of free
will is simply an evolved regurgitation of neurochemicals that you think
means something. You are ASCII characters, no?
> > How does intelligent behavior occur?
> Intelligent behavior is produced by a intelligent brain, and a intelligent
> brain is produced by Evolution because it can get its genes into the next
> generation better than a less intelligent brain.
How does the first intelligent behavior occur?
> John K Clark
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