On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 3:44 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

I'm talking about *every experiment* that has been done. There is nothing
> to misunderstand. When I change my mind, through my own thought or though
> some image or suggestion, that change is reflected as a passive consequence
> of the macro-level event. I am not at the mercy of the cellular agendas of
> my brain - I can think about all kinds of things. I can take drugs to
> further impose my high level agenda on low level neurology.

You are at the mercy of the cellular agendas of your brain unless you
believe there is a magical effect of consciousness on matter. How else can
I try to explain this? It appears that you are bamboozled by complex
systems, so that even if each simple interaction is understandable
individually you imagine that something mysterious might be happening if
you can't hold all of the interactions in your mind at once. To eliminate
this difficulty, consider a very simple system that manifests
consciousness. Suppose it has only two components, like two billiard balls.
The components could have whatever special qualities are required for
consciousness. For example, the balls could have evolved naturally as part
of a larger organism. When these balls bounce off each other, consciousness
is implemented. Now, the trajectory of these balls is determined completely
by such factors as their position, mass, velocity, elasticity, air density,
gravitational field, and so on. And as they go about their business
bouncing around, consciousness of a basic kind is generated. As they are
moving towards each other the ball system is thinking of the number 3, but
when they hit and bounce apart it changes its mind and thinks of the number
2. Now, would you say the balls bounced apart because the system decided to
think of the number 2, or would you say the system decided to think of the
number 2 because the balls bounced apart?

The question was about two identical computers, one made in a factory,
>> the other assembled with fantastic luck from raw materials moving
>> about randomly. Will there be any difference in the functioning or
>> consciousness (or lack of it) of the two computers?
> Yes. We have no way of knowing whether the self-assembly is due to luck or
> not, so we have to give it the benefit of the doubt. The computer made in
> the factory is subject to the opposite bias, since we know precisely how it
> was fabricated and that it was made for the purpose of simulating
> consciousness. If asked to choose between a known pathological liar who
> claims to be telling the truth, and someone who has never claimed to be
> telling the truth, all things being equal, we have to give the benefit of
> the doubt to the latter, as we have no reason to expect deceit from them.

You haven't answered the question. The spontaneously formed computer is
*exactly the same* as the manufactured one. I give you what is apparently a
brand new iPhone 5, complete with the inscription "Designed by Apple in
California, assembled in China." You turn it on and it searches for a WiFi
network, asks you if you want to set it up as a new phone, asks for your
Apple ID, and eventually the home screen appears with the familiar icons. I
then inform you that this phone was formed spontaneously in a distant
galaxy and arrived on Earth after being ejected by a supernova explosion
billions of years ago. You disassemble it and determine that in every
respect it seems the same as a phone from the factory. Do you still think
that this phone would have different experiences purely because of its

Stathis Papaioannou

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