On 2/8/2013 1:02 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:




On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 7:12 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

    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.


I agree that this might be possible. But the paradox then is the following: to make me feel like a cat you have to strip me of my memories (read/write access), so when I'm back from the experience I won't remember it. In fact I turned into a cat for a while and then back to Telmo Menezes. Telmo Menezes still knows nothing about being a cat.


    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.


But is this really a case of "degrees of consciousness" or is it just the general property of "being conscious" instantiated in different contexts? The fact that you believe you can turn me into a cat seems to indicate that ultimately you believe that consciousness is all the same.


No, because I think I would have to diminish your consciousness to make your brain like a cat's. I think your consciousness is a superset of a cat's. But as I said I think consciouness can differ in kind as well as degree - it's not one-dimensional anymore than intelligence is one-dimensional. Yet we can say you're more intelligent than a cat and a cat is more intelligent than a snail.

Brent

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