On Saturday, October 27, 2012 12:04:48 AM UTC-4, John Clark 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.
> When you watch your friend take a Calculus exam and get a A+ on it you
> deduce he was probably conscious,
Right away you are operating from a toy model of the world in which
consciousness is some kind of fragile qualifier that people have to
actively deduce. People don't have to prove that they aren't machines.
> and when you see him sleeping or under anesthesia you deduce he's probably
> not conscious. The only difference between the two is that in one case your
> friend behaved intelligently and in the other case he did not; so why
> aren't you being "completely magical" too?
We know that isn't true though. People report being awake under anesthesia.
Your judgment of whether something is acting intelligently is not a great
indicator of anything, and is certainly a poor indicator of whether
something is capable of conscious experience. What is magical is the
suggestion you can take a 'build it and they will come' approach in
simulating intelligence so well that a living identity will appear to
embody your simulation out of nowhere. It's like saying you can draw a
picture of a fire so realistic that...
> > Saying that it isn't doesn't explain anything.
> It explains something very important, it explains why Evolution bothered
> to produce consciousness on this planet, it explains why it produced
> something that it can't see.
How? Just saying that it happens magically but then insisting it isn't
magic explains only that sentimental attachment to theory is the enemy of
> > 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?
> Yes its conscious if the stop sign displayed intelligent behavior, but in
> this case if you say it did then you are not displaying intelligent
Why? What makes this case any different? How can you tell the difference
between intelligent drivers using an inert sign intelligently, and
deterministic drivers being guided intelligently by the stop sign?
> > There is no function which can conceivably require an experience of any
>> kind...unless you can think of a counterfactual?
> Gasoline + one lighted match = a experience of pain.
Huh? Drop the lighted match from the roof = no experience of pain. That has
nothing to do with what I was asking though, which shows me that you aren't
willing or able to follow what I am talking about. I am talking about the
ontology of experience and the assumption of its inevitability. You are
talking about experiences of pain which are caused by physical events.
Nobody is suggesting that physical events are not painful, or reliably
painful, only that there is no physical function that is served by having
an experience associated with it or not. It makes no difference to the
function. We could live a completely conscious life with no pain at all,
just whenever we try to do something that damages us we find that we are
not able to do it.
> John K Clark
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