On Thursday, February 7, 2013 8:50:09 PM UTC-5, stathisp wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 11:52 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> 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 
> > consciousness? 
> The test for my own consciousness is that I feel I am conscious. That 
> is not at issue. At issue is the test for *other* entities' 
> consciousness. 

Why would the test be any different?

> You are convinced that computers and other machines 
> don't have consciousness, but you can't say what test you will apply 
> to them and see them fail. 

I'm convinced of that because I understand why there is no reason why they 
would have consciousness... there is no 'they' there. Computers are not 
born in a single moment through cell fertilization, they are assembled by 
people. Computers have to be programmed to do absolutely everything, they 
have no capacity to make sense of anything which is not explicitly defined. 
This is the polar opposite of living organisms which are general purpose 
entities who explore and adapt when they can, on their own, for their own 
internally generated motives. Computers lack that completely. We use 
objects to compute for us, but those objects are not actually computing 
themselves, just as these letters don't actually mean anything for 

> > 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. 
> So if, in future, robots live among us for years and are accepted by 
> most people as conscious, does that mean they are conscious? This is 
> essentially a form of the Turing test. 

I don't think that will happen unless they aren't robots. The whole point 
is that the degree to which an organism is conscious is inversely 
proportionate to the degree that the organism is 100% controllable. That's 
the purpose of intelligence - to advance your own agenda rather than to be 
overpowered by your environment. So if something is a robot, it will never 
be accepted by anyone as conscious, and if something is conscious it will 
never be useful to anyone as a robot - it would in fact be a slave.

> >> 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. 
> It's the case for any test that you will use your consciousness to 
> evaluate the results. 

Sure, but for most things you can corroborate and triangulate what you are 
testing by using a control. With consciousness itself, there is no control 
possible. You can do tests on the water because you can get out of the 
water. You can do tests on air because you can evacuate a glass beaker of 
air and compare your results. With consciousness though, there is no escape 
possible. You can personally lose your own consciousness, but there is no 
experience which is not experienced through consciousness.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email 
to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Reply via email to