On Wednesday, October 24, 2012 6:24:39 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
> I'm with John Clark on that - if a machine functions intelligently it's 
>> intelligent and it's probably conscious.  Nothing magical about it.
> It's completely magical. Saying that it isn't doesn't explain anything. If 
> people stop at a stop sign, and then they are glad because oncoming traffic 
> would have resulted in a wreck, does that mean that the intelligently 
> functioning stop sign is conscious? There is no function which can 
> conceivably require an experience of any kind...unless you can think of a 
> counterfactual?
> You have an exaggerated standard of explanation.  Is there any function 
> which can conceivably require gravity?

Keeping the Earth from flying off into space requires gravity. That is a 
function that requires some condition which fits the description of gravity.

>   No, GR 'explains' by showing a precise relation between the metric of 
> spacetime and the distribution of matter.  But it doesn't 'require' it. 

The relation is there though. That is completely different from 
consciousness, where there is no measurable phenomenon that's there to 
require an explanation.

> If intelligence of a certain level is always found to be accompanied by 
> reports of consciousness, 
then we hypothesize that intelligent actions are a sign of consciousness.  

That's fine for naturally occurring phenomenon, but how can you seriously 
entertain applying that to any toy or computer program that we design 
specifically to seem intelligent? 


> The difference between that and your fiat assignment of 'sense' to 
> everything, is that it points a way to produce consciousness and possibly 
> to test for it.

No, it points to way of assuming consciousness where none exists.


> Brent

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