On Thursday, February 7, 2013 11:35:08 PM UTC-5, Stephen Paul King wrote:
>
>  On 2/7/2013 9:42 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>  
>
>
> 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> 
>> 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 
> themselves.
>  
>  
>
>     When objects can compute 'for themselves' they are conscious. Maybe?
>

Sure, although I think that means that they have to first feel and think 
for themselves. You can lead a computer to their own computations, but you 
can't make them drink.
 

>
>
>  
>> > 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.
>  
>
> *"L'homme est d'abord ce qui se jette vers un avenir, et ce qui est 
> conscient de se projeter dans l'avenir."* ~ Jean Paul Satre
>
> ("Man is, before all else, something which propels itself toward a future 
> and is aware that it is doing so.")
>
> Cool. I can agree with that.
>
>   
>  
>>
>> >> 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.
>
> Craig 
>  
>  
>     Indeed! This makes consciousness a subject forever removed from the 
> instruments of the scientific method....
>

Not necessarily... the mind can be made scientific if it is directly 
accessible by other minds. We just need to start looking at those 
brain-conjoined twins and sticking wires in our brains.

Craig
 

>
> -- 
> Onward!
>
> Stephen
>
>  

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