On Friday, March 1, 2013 4:32:54 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
>  On 3/1/2013 12:52 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> On Friday, March 1, 2013 3:33:03 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote: 
>>  On 3/1/2013 12:20 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>> It doesn't matter how many knee-jerk twitches you put together or in what 
>> order, they are still always going to be empty, mindless mechanisms.
>> Repeated assertions aren't evidence.
> It's interesting because my assertion is rooted in the same understanding, 
> but you are applying a double standard. I say that repeated mechanical 
> assertions aren't anything other than that. You say that they aren't 
> evidence...but how do you know? 
> For one thing because you contradict them yourself.  You just posted, in 
> reply to Bruno, "I don't know that all machines cannot think"  Then you 
> turn around and assert,"they are always going to be empty mindless 
> mechanisms."  

It's not a contradiction, it's an assertion that as far as we know they are 
always going to be empty mindless mechanisms. I don't know that to be the 
case for all possible machines executed in all possible ways... a fusion of 
biological and inorganic material could strike a thinking balance - the 
point though is to understand that the principle of mechanism (which is 
functions of forms) is the perpendicular axis from sensitivity to those 
forms and functions. This is what I keep trying to say - things which have 
a lot of consciousness are the least possible things to control externally. 
By definition, the more robotic something is, the less alive it is, and 
that is not trivial or coincidental. If you understand why that symmetry is 
meaningful, then you will have no problem being confident that although 
life uses mechanisms, it is not, in itself a mechanism at all. It's not 
just the boundary between living and non-living (which I would not rule out 
being more of an anthropic or biopic boundary), but all qualitative 
boundaries, between physics and chemistry, biology and zoology, 
anthropology and psychology, etc may not have purely quantitative bridges. 
The is no combination of yes and no which turns yellow.

>  If a mechanical potato peeler can someday learn to taste potatoes, then 
> maybe repeated assertions can become evidence?
> If the potato peeler has a choice and chooses to peel potatoes more than 
> tomatoes then that will be evidence. 

Choice is a matter of perspective. It only exists because we (or most of 
us) can see that we can't rule it out without choosing to rule it out. We 
have no reason to extend this condition to inanimate objects. Nothing as 
ever suggest that we should, and it would generally be considered psychotic 
to do so adamantly in public.

> It's same kind of evidence that would tell you whether a human being 
> preferred potatoes to tomatoes.

Evidence cannot access consciousness. We can only use sensitivity, 
intuition, reason, and experience. It is consciousness upon which all forms 
of evidence supervene.

> I suppose you heard about the guy who worked in at fast food place and 
> developed an irrational urge to put his penis in the potato peeler.  He 
> knew something bad would happen but he couldn't stop himself from thinking 
> about it.  He finally went to a psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist told him 
> that if he couldn't stop thinking about it he might as well try it.  So he 
> did.  
> When he got home from work, he told his wife what he'd done.  
> She said,"Oh, my God!" and rushed to pull down his pants.  She looked at 
> him and said, "What happened to the potato peeler?"
> He said, "I think she got fired too."

Hehe. Hard times for Spud Sluts.

> Brent

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