On 2/7/2013 3:52 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 7:04 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com <mailto:johnkcl...@gmail.com>> wrote:



    On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com
    <mailto:te...@telmomenezes.com>> wrote:

                >>> I'm not claiming that intelligence == mind.


            > Do you believe that your fellow human beings have minds? If so 
why?


        > Yes (weakly).


    You believe that only weakly?! Do you really think there is a 49% chance 
that you
    are the only conscious being in the universe?


I don't know how to assign a probability to that. I guess I believe it's in ]0.5, 1] because I would bet on it, but that's all I can say.

I say weakly because the only thing I have to back this belief is an heuristic, which I find to be a weaker form of approximating the truth than mathematical proof or experimental confirmation.

    By the way, I don't believe other people have minds when they are sleeping 
or under
    anesthesia or dead because when they are in those states they don't behave 
very
    intelligently.


But that is because you believe that intelligence == mind. I don't. Certain experiences that you can do on yourself might make you doubt that belief, but I don't know of any way to convince you except suggesting that you do those experiences.


        > Occam's razor. If I'm the only human being with a mind, then, for some
        mysterious reason, there are two types of human beings: me (with a 
mind) and the
        others (zombies). So heuristically I'm inclined to believe that all 
human beings
        have a mind,


    OK, but if you also believe in Darwin's theory of Evolution then you must 
also
    believe that consciousness MUST be a byproduct of intelligence because 
Evolution
    can't directly see consciousness any better than we can and so cannot 
select for it,
    and yet you and probably other people are conscious. Thus you must also 
believe that
    if a computer is intelligent then it is conscious. Then you must also 
believe that
    intelligence == mind.


You are begging the question. You're assuming, to begin with, that intelligence == mind and then you claim to prove that intelligence == mind.

By the way, for evolution to generate consciousness there has to exist a gradient to climb. Unless the evolutionary process just stumbles into consciousness, but in that case it is not a valid theory of it's origin. So you are implicitly assuming that there is some measure of consciousness, where you can say that entity A is more conscious than entity B. What would that even mean? My cat seems conscious to me (but I can't know for sure). Is he less conscious than me? Well I know stuff that he doesn't, but he also knows stuff that I don't -- for example he knows how it feels to be a cat.

But that doesn't mean there's something magic about being a cat. I think it might be possible to change your brain, and your sensory organs, so that it implemented consciousness very similar to a cat's (it couldn't be exact because you'd need a cat's body for that). Of course it wouldn't be Telmo Menezes any more.

And yes I think there are degrees and kinds of consciousness and that a cat's consciousness differs in both respects. There's consciousness of being an individual and of being located in 3-space and in time. You and the cat have both of those (whereas a Mars rover only has the latter). But there's language and narrative memory that you have and the cat doesn't. There's reflective thought,"I'm Telmo and I'm thinking about myself and where I fit in the world". The cat probably doesn't have this because it's not social - but a dog might.

Brent

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