On Saturday, October 27, 2012 12:04:48 AM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 24, 2012  Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com <javascript:>>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 
true science.

> > 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 
> behavior.

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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