On Saturday, January 19, 2013 6:50:19 PM UTC-5, stathisp wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 8:23 AM, Craig Weinberg
> >> There are those who believe that the very atoms are necessary in order
> >> preserve a consciousness: making an arbitrarily close copy won't do.
> >> what you have said before, this is what you think, but it goes against
> >> widely accepted biological or physical scientific theory.
> > Since there is no widely accepted biological or physical scientific
> > of what consciousness is, that doesn't bother me very much.
> The assumption by scientists is that consciousness is caused by the
We could also assume that ground beef is caused by the grocery store, but
that doesn't tell us about ground beef.
> and if brain function doesn't change, consciousness doesn't
> change either. So swapping out atoms in the brain for different atoms
> of the same kind leaves brain function unchanged and therefore leaves
> consciousness unchanged also.
An idea can change the function of the brain as much as a chemical change -
maybe more so, especially if we are talking about a life altering idea. To
me, the fact that physics seems more generic to us than chemistry which
seems more generic than biology is a function of the ontology of matter
rather than a mechanism for consciousness. The whole idea of brain function
or consciousness being 'unchanged' is broken concept to begin with. It
assumes a normative baseline at an arbitrary level of description. In
reality, of course brain function and consciousness are constantly
changing, sometimes because of chemistry, sometimes in spite of it.
> Also, swapping out atoms in the brain
> for different atoms of a different but related type, such as a
> different isotope, leaves brain function unchanged and leaves
> consciousness unchanged. This is because the brain works using
> chemical rather than nuclear reactions.
That's because on the level of nuclear reactions there is no brain. That
doesn't mean that changing atoms has no effect on some non-human level of
experience, only that our native experience is distant enough that we don't
notice a difference. Some people might notice a difference, who knows? I
wouldn't think that people could tell the difference between different
kinds of light of the same spectrum, but they can, even down to a
geographic specificity in some cases.
It is an assumption but it is
> consistent with every observation ever made.
The consistency doesn't surprise me, it's the interpretation which I see as
an unscientific assumption.
> Stathis Papaioannou
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