On 11 October 2013 11:37, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thursday, October 10, 2013 4:32:54 PM UTC-4, Liz R wrote:
>> On 11 October 2013 04:54, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Unless a machine used living organisms, molecules would probably be the
>>> only natural things which an experience would be associated with. They
>>> don't know that they are part of a machine, but there is probably an
>>> experience that corresponds to thermodynamic and electromagnetic
>>> conditions. Experiences on that level may not be proprietary to any
>>> particular molecule - it could be very exotic, who knows. Maybe every atom
>>> of the same structure represents the same kind of experience on some
>>> radically different time scale from ours.
>> Wow! Molecular experiences! That seems......far out, man. Could you get
>> me some of whatever you're taking? :)
> You mean can I get you some molecules to interact with the molecules of
> your brain :)?
> If we have experiences, and we are made of molecules, then what would be
> the logic of an arbitrary barrier beyond which non-experience suddenly
> turns into experience? If molecules don't need experiences to build
> biology, and stem cells don't need experience to build nervous systems and
> immune systems, then I find it pretty improbable that a particular species
> of animal would suddenly be the first entities to ever experience any part
> of the universe in any way, just because it makes it easier to to do the
> things that every other organism does - find food, reproduce, avoid
> threats.
> This is an interesting reversal of the usual argument of people like
Daniel Dennett, which goes something like "we are made of molecules,
molecules can't have experiences, therefore we don't really have
experiences, we just think we do." -- Obviously paraphrased to absurdity,
but that's the basic idea as far as I can see. Your argument uses the same
logic, inverted - "we have experiences, we're made of molecules, therefore
molecules have experiences!"

Nice, although I feel that by stopping at molecules you're denying the fact
that quarks and electrons obviously have experiences too, and perhaps even
free will ("Shall I be spin-up or spin down today?")

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