On 25 October 2013 12:31, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> You could say that human chess players just take in visual data,
>> process it in a series of biological relays, then send electrical
>> signals to muscles that move the pieces around. This is what an alien
>> scientist would observe. That's not thinking! That's not
> Right, but since we understand that such an alien observation would be in
> error, we must give our own experience the benefit of the doubt.
The alien might be completely confident in his judgement, having a
brain made of exotic matter. He would argue that however complex its
behaviour, a being made of ordinary matter that evolved naturally
could not possibly have an understanding of what it is doing.
> computer does not deserve any such benefit of the doubt, since there is no
> question that it has been assembled intentionally from controllable parts.
> When we see a ventriloquist with a dummy, we do not entertain seriously that
> we could be mistaken about which one is really the ventriloquist, or whether
> they are equivalent to each other.
But if the dummy is autonomous and apparently just as smart as the
ventriloquist many of us would reconsider.
> Looking at natural presences, like atoms or galaxies, the scope of their
> persistence is well beyond any human relation so they do deserve the benefit
> of the doubt. We have no reason to believe that they were assembled by
> anything other than themselves. The fact that we are made of atoms and atoms
> are made from stars is another point in their favor, whereas no living
> organism that we have encountered is made of inorganic atoms, or of pure
> mathematics, or can survive by consuming only inorganic atoms or
There is no logical reason why something that is inorganic or did not
arise spontaneously or eats inoragnic matter cannot be conscious. It's
just something you have made up.
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