On Thursday, February 7, 2013 6:28:39 PM UTC-5, stathisp wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 9:20 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> > 
> > 
> > On Thursday, February 7, 2013 7:12:08 AM UTC-5, stathisp wrote: 
> >> 
> >> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 4:01 AM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> 
> wrote: 
> >> 
> >> >> That's just because the simulation of a person isn't good enough. 
> The 
> >> >> question is what if the simulation *is* good enough to completely 
> fool 
> >> >> you. 
> >> > 
> >> > 
> >> > Fooling me is meaningless. "I think that you think therefore you are" 
> >> > fails 
> >> > to account for the subjective thinker in the first place. If someone 
> >> > kills 
> >> > you, but they then find a nifty way to use your cadaver as a 
> >> > ventriloquist's 
> >> > dummy, does it matter if it fools someone into thinking that you are 
> >> > still 
> >> > alive? 
> >> 
> >> You have said that you can just "sense" the consciousness of other 
> >> minds but you have contradicted that, or at least admitted that the 
> >> "sensing" faculty can be fooled. 
> > 
> > 
> > An individual's sense can be fooled, but not necessarily fooled forever, 
> and 
> > not everyone can be fooled. That doesn't mean that when we look at a 
> beercan 
> > in the trash we can't tell that it doesn't literally feel crushed and 
> > abandoned. 
> > 
> >> 
> >> If you have no sure test for 
> >> consciousness that means you might see it where it isn't present or 
> >> miss it where it is present. So your friend might be unconscious 
> >> despite your feeling that he is, 
> > 
> > 
> > Of course. People have been buried alive because the undertaker was 
> fooled. 
> > 
> >> 
> >> and your computer might be conscious 
> >> despite your feeling that it is not. 
> > 
> > 
> > Except my feeling is backed up with my knowledge of what it is - a human 
> > artifact designed to mimic certain mental functions. That knowledge 
> should 
> > augment my personal intuition, as well as social and cultural 
> reinforcements 
> > that indeed there is no reason to suspect that this map of mind is 
> sentient 
> > territory. 
> You're avoiding the question. What is your definitive test for 
> consciousness? If you don't have one, then you have to admit that your 
> friend (who talks to you and behaves like people do, not in a coma, 
> not on a video recording, not dead in the morgue) may not be conscious 
> and your computer may be conscious. 

No, you are avoiding my answer. What is your definitive test for your own 

My point is that sense is broader, deeper, and more primitive than our 
cognitive ability to examine it, since cognitive qualities are only the tip 
of the iceberg of sense. To test is to circumvent direct sense in favor of 
indirect sense - which is a good thing, but it is by definition not 
applicable to consciousness itself in any way. There is no test to tell if 
you are conscious, because none is required. If you need to ask if you are 
conscious, then you are probably having a lucid dream or in some phase of 
shock. In those cases, no test will help you as you can dream a test result 
as easily as you can experience one while awake. 

The only test for consciousness is the test of time. If you are fooled by 
some inanimate object, eventually you will probably see through it or 
outgrow the fantasy. 

> You talk with authority on what 
> can and can't have consciousness but it seems you don't have even an 
> operational definition of the word. 

Consciousness is what defines, not what can be defined.

> I am not asking for an explanation 
> or theory of consciousness, just for a test to indicate its presence, 
> which is a much weaker requirement. 

That is too much to ask, since all tests supervene upon the consciousness 
to evaluate results.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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