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Old 13th April 2018, 03:55 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
Yes
If concsiousness is a magic trick, what's behind the trick?



Quote:
Consciousness is the result of brain activity. That's how consciousness arises from matter. There is nothing but evidence that consciousness cannot happen without a brain, and more specifically, brain activity.
How does brain activity result in consciousness? And how can there be brain activities that we're consciously aware of and those we're not? Why does one brain activity (seeing) result in a conscious state while another brain activity (regulation of digestion) doesn't?

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Old 13th April 2018, 03:58 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
It's not a matter of innate specialness. The only thing special about you vs it is that your perspective, the process you think of as you, is located in one place and not the other. The other one would have his own perspective from that other location.
The computer simulation would exist at a different point in space. The intenticalness can be perfect, but it's still a separate thing as a matter of location. "You as a process with a first person perspective" can't be in two places at once.[/quote]

Only if you treat "first person perspective" as meaningful. I don't. To me that's just another "assuming it's different" add-on.

If I walk to the other side of the room my sensory inputs change, my mental process changes to reflect that. Again no existential crisis needed.

20 years ago I had almost completely different opinions, ideas, views. How is that "me" but some hypothetical exact copy that differs literally only in its place in space not be?

Again now, in this moment, on a practical level "me" will always be in that 3 pound meat sack between my ears but that's a practical limitation, not philosophical one.
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Old 13th April 2018, 04:15 PM   #203
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Can you please stop arguing a straw man about an existential crisis? You're not even using the phrase correctly, anyway.

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Only if you treat "first person perspective" as meaningful. I don't. To me that's just another "assuming it's different" add-on.
If I create a clone of you in a different country, and I kill it, how much do you care?

Quote:
If I walk to the other side of the room my sensory inputs change, my mental process changes to reflect that.
Of course. You don't even have to move to experience cognitive chances.

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20 years ago I had almost completely different opinions, ideas, views. How is that "me"
I've wondered that before, too. Probably that it's the same ongoing series of processes.

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Again now, in this moment, on a practical level "me" will always be in that 3 pound meat sack between my ears
And it would continue to be "you", even if a computer simulation of you was running out of some supercomputer somewhere.
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Old 13th April 2018, 04:30 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Can you please stop arguing a straw man about an existential crisis? You're not even using the phrase correctly, anyway.
Errr... okay. I don't know what else to call "Worried about the nature of my existence."

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If I create a clone of you in a different country, and I kill it, how much do you care?
(Hopefully without saying that of course I would care in the same sense that a sentient being had been killed and I'm talking about how I would care about this "specific" person being killed)

To be fair it would it someone disconcerting, but that would just be an emotional response nothing based on anything real.

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Of course. You don't even have to move to experience cognitive chances.
Yeah so the other "me" would be a thousand times more similar to "me" than then the "me" (pronouns are woefully inadequate for this discussion....) of 5 or 10 or 15 years ago.

15 year ago me still thought Green Day was a good band. I want nothing to do with that guy.

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I've wondered that before, too. Probably that it's the same ongoing series of processes.
Exactly. There's not a new "you" everytime you go to sleep or get knocked unconscious or get put under for surgery. Our "self" stops countless times throughout our life and we don't think twice about it.

It's not "continuity" it's "continuities" we aren't used to that are the problem.

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And it would continue to be "you", even if a computer simulation of you was running out of some supercomputer somewhere.
[/quote]

That's sort of my point. "Me" does not have to be singular or unique or uncopied or whatever.
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Old 13th April 2018, 08:33 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
It's not a matter of commonality, but rather continuity of positioning within space and time as an entity of a mind.
I donít see any special significance in that continuity. I believe that an identical copy would have separate but identical consciousness.

Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Another way of looking at it:

Suppose I scan you, wait a month, and stab you to death, then push the button to create a copy of you from a month ago and recreate that past you.

Am I guilty of murder?
I believe so, but ultimately that is a legal question not one of consciousness.

I think that the act of creating a new instance of a person should also have legal ramifications. If I bring a new instance of a being into existence then I have some responsibility for seeing to that personís wellbeing.
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Old 13th April 2018, 08:36 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
I donít see any special significance in that continuity. I believe that an identical copy would have separate but identical consciousness.

I believe so, but ultimately that is a legal question not one of consciousness.

I think that the act of creating a new instance of a person should also have legal ramifications. If I bring a new instance of a being into existence then I have some responsibility for seeing to that personís wellbeing.
At the moment these "two people" come in to existence they are both equal party to the decision to become two people.
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Old 13th April 2018, 10:00 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
I believe so, but ultimately that is a legal question not one of consciousness.
The fact that it's even up for legal dispute seems to show that you kind of get what I'm saying. What if I kill you and the clone I create is a past you from when you were 18?
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Old 13th April 2018, 10:21 PM   #208
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Errr... okay. I don't know what else to call "Worried about the nature of my existence."
I'm not worried, either. "Curious about the nature of existence" works, as well as "has a hypothesis about the nature of existence".

Quote:
(Hopefully without saying that of course I would care in the same sense that a sentient being had been killed and I'm talking about how I would care about this "specific" person being killed)

To be fair it would it someone disconcerting, but that would just be an emotional response nothing based on anything real.
Ok, so same principal in reverse: if I kill you, and then at some point in the future, say 20 years from now, create a copy of you that was scanned in the past, say when you were 18, does that actually bring you back to life in any meaningful way? Am I less guilty of murder now?

Quote:
Exactly. There's not a new "you" everytime you go to sleep or get knocked unconscious or get put under for surgery. Our "self" stops countless times throughout our life and we don't think twice about it.

It's not "continuity" it's "continuities" we aren't used to that are the problem.
Technically, every time a synapse fires or some other mental-neurological event on a microscopic level happens, there's a "new you", if you want to be really nitpicky.

It's the continuity in both space and time that I think is the fundamental difference.

Originally Posted by you
Originally Posted by me
Originally Posted by you
on a practical level "me" will always be in that 3 pound meat sack between my ears
And it would continue to be "you", even if a computer simulation of you was running out of some supercomputer somewhere.
That's sort of my point. "Me" does not have to be singular or unique or uncopied or whatever.
I'm saying the techno-utopians who think downloading their consciousness can theoretically get them out of death are engaging in wishful thinking. You can't get actual immortality from a hypothetical computer running a simulation of your consciousness, no matter how perfect the simulation is.
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Old 14th April 2018, 12:41 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
That depends on if you're a zombie or not. When you stub your toe does it hurt, Darat?
Not if my toe has been treated with a local anesthetic or I am dosed up on painkillers. And according to the classic pzombie definition I am a pzombie since I externally exhibit the behaviours of consciousness but lack qualia of such things as redness.
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Old 14th April 2018, 01:19 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And according to the classics pzombie definition I am a pzombie since I externally exhibit the behaviours of consciousness but lack qualia if such things as redness.
Are you certain you're not misremembering the classic definition? You can see red when you look at red, right? Not that it matters, because pzombies are hypothesized as not being conscious at all of anything. They don't feel or see or hear anything.

BTW, I think I REALLY might have been a sort of pzombie for a while once when coming back from a gran mal seizure (I'm epileptic).
Mentally, I went from nothing at all, to the sound of a voice saying "My tongue is numb" a few times, and then the voice became closer and closer, and then my vision started to return, and I noticed MY tongue was numb and the voice saying it was ME. Very, very strange. Apparently I'd been awake(ish) for a while, talking to people but being noticeably "out of it", with a lot of the mechanisms of cognition up and running, but without the actual spark of true consciousness.
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Old 14th April 2018, 01:43 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
BTW, I think I REALLY might have been a sort of pzombie for a while once when coming back from a gran mal seizure (I'm epileptic).
Mentally, I went from nothing at all, to the sound of a voice saying "My tongue is numb" a few times, and then the voice became closer and closer, and then my vision started to return, and I noticed MY tongue was numb and the voice saying it was ME. Very, very strange. Apparently I'd been awake(ish) for a while, talking to people but being noticeably "out of it", with a lot of the mechanisms of cognition up and running, but without the actual spark of true consciousness.
More likely you had an episode of Transient Global Amnesia - you were conscious, but no memories were being created.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transient_global_amnesia

It happened to me last year. I remember eating dinner in a hotel in Windsor, and the next thing I remember is sitting in my armchair at home at 4 p.m. the next day. I have no memory of getting up, packing, eating breakfast or the taxi journey home, even though I obviously did all those things successfully and without alarming anyone sufficiently for them to call a doctor.
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Old 14th April 2018, 01:55 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Are you certain you're not misremembering the classic definition? You can see red when you look at red, right? Not that it matters, because pzombies are hypothesized as not being conscious at all of anything. They don't feel or see or hear anything.

BTW, I think I REALLY might have been a sort of pzombie for a while once when coming back from a gran mal seizure (I'm epileptic).
Mentally, I went from nothing at all, to the sound of a voice saying "My tongue is numb" a few times, and then the voice became closer and closer, and then my vision started to return, and I noticed MY tongue was numb and the voice saying it was ME. Very, very strange. Apparently I'd been awake(ish) for a while, talking to people but being noticeably "out of it", with a lot of the mechanisms of cognition up and running, but without the actual spark of true consciousness.
Well we have to remember that p-zombies are logically incoherent and there are a few flavors of them. Given they are logically incoherent of course I can't be one, but I can only "experience" red when under the influence of stimulus i.e. when I "see red". I have no experience of red unless my eyes* are being stimulated by photons and the whole cascade of chemical processes that creates, I'd say that falls within the definition of many a p-zombie.



*Of course you could probably hijack my optic nerve input (indeed the technology exists to do this now) or apply a direct stimulus to my brain to get me to "experience" red but that doesn't alter the fact that my experience of red can only happen with an external stimulus.
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Old 14th April 2018, 02:06 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
More likely you had an episode of Transient Global Amnesia - you were conscious, but no memories were being created.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transient_global_amnesia

It happened to me last year. I remember eating dinner in a hotel in Windsor, and the next thing I remember is sitting in my armchair at home at 4 p.m. the next day. I have no memory of getting up, packing, eating breakfast or the taxi journey home, even though I obviously did all those things successfully and without alarming anyone sufficiently for them to call a doctor.
I've wondered before if it could have been a variant of some sort of amnesia. I've had more regular types of amnesia coming back from seizures, too, including this time, actually. (I didn't recognize my own mother at first.)

What was completely bizarre about this particular aspect of "whatever it was" is having the memory of hearing the voice talking without knowing it was me doing the talking. I was kind of passively assuming it was someone else saying "my tongue is numb."

I apparently always go through a period of quasi-consciousness coming back from a seizure, where I say things I don't remember, but usually consciousness hits me in a more traditional fashion, like snapping out of an intense daydream where reality moves upon you like a burst of wind. That happened here, too, but I was mid-sentence as it happened!

I almost wonder if it's like when you move a cold foot back under a blanket in your sleep without waking up, except is was verbalizing about sensory input while sitting up.
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Old 14th April 2018, 02:11 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Well we have to remember that p-zombies are logically incoherent and there are a few flavors of them. Given they are logically incoherent of course I can't be one, but I can only "experience" red when under the influence of stimulus i.e. when I "see red". I have no experience of red unless my eyes* are being stimulated by photons and the whole cascade of chemical processes that creates, I'd say that falls within the definition of many a p-zombie.
Nope. P-zombies don't experience red, or anything else, at all. P-zombies are hypothesized to be as conscious as a thermostat.
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Old 14th April 2018, 03:09 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Nope. P-zombies don't experience red, or anything else, at all. P-zombies are hypothesized to be as conscious as a thermostat.
Who says a thermostat isnt conscious......
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Old 14th April 2018, 03:13 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Nope. P-zombies don't experience red, or anything else, at all. P-zombies are hypothesized to be as conscious as a thermostat.
But they would say they are seeing red when they have a red object in front of their eyes, which is what I do. Remember I have no mind's eye, for me there is simply seeing a red object, just like the pzombie is meant to do.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:02 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
At the moment these "two people" come in to existence they are both equal party to the decision to become two people.
I agree that is true if the person made the decision to copy himself.

I was thinking more of the case where someone is copied without their consent. Whoever makes a copy of a conscious individual should have some responsibility for the well-being of the copy.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:04 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
So you believe that machines can be as intelligent as humans but can't be conscious? Why not?
The bolded part of your post is assuming something I never said, as I do believe a sufficiently intelligent machine can be as conscious as a human being.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:07 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
If concsiousness is a magic trick, what's behind the trick?
Again: Brain activity.

Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
How does brain activity result in consciousness? And how can there be brain activities that we're consciously aware of and those we're not? Why does one brain activity (seeing) result in a conscious state while another brain activity (regulation of digestion) doesn't?
The answers to those questions are of course, very complex and long and technical, but there's plenty of literature that develops on this in full detail. VS Ramachandran comes to mind. But even Daniel Dennett's "Consciousness Explained" is a very good start.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:08 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
The bolded part of your post is assuming something I never said, as I do believe a sufficiently intelligent machine can be as conscious as a human being.
So you post was about consciousness arising from brains was completely vacuous or what? At least two of has asked about everything we think that could possibly mean and you don't appear to have meant any of it.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:09 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Ok, so same principal in reverse: if I kill you, and then at some point in the future, say 20 years from now, create a copy of you that was scanned in the past, say when you were 18, does that actually bring you back to life in any meaningful way? Am I less guilty of murder now?
I don't get what the big philosophical "Gotcha" is supposed to be here.

Yes our legal concepts of murder and perhaps even our own base moral stances toward killing might have to change in some manner in a world were things like copies of people or backups of brains or multiple instances of a person exist or some other at this point unforeseen technological leap that changes fundamental definition of person-hood or identity exist.

And? What's the mystery?

Yeah if things were different... they'd be different. *Shrug* I got nowhere to go with that. And we didn't have grand theft auto as a legal concept until cars were invented. Where's the paradox I'm supposed to be accounting for here?

Yeah... it's possible "murder" will be partially or completed rethought in a hypothetical scenario like we're discussing. Of course would be. The law reflects the situation, if the situation changes would the law.

A lot of the arguments here are boiling down to some variation on "But if 'me' isn't a singular process tied only to a singular body everything's gonna chance."

Yeah... that's the point.

Quote:
Technically, every time a synapse fires or some other mental-neurological event on a microscopic level happens, there's a "new you", if you want to be really nitpicky.

It's the continuity in both space and time that I think is the fundamental difference.
Okay. I mean that's picking one random arbitrary factor that exists now and assigning some special category of "you"-ness to it in my view.

Quote:
I'm saying the techno-utopians who think downloading their consciousness can theoretically get them out of death are engaging in wishful thinking. You can't get actual immortality from a hypothetical computer running a simulation of your consciousness, no matter how perfect the simulation is.
*Shrugs* Well then if and when it happens you don't have to come along.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:15 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
The fact that it's even up for legal dispute seems to show that you kind of get what I'm saying. What if I kill you and the clone I create is a past you from when you were 18?
Regardless of whatever other actions you take you have still killed an instance of me. Whether you kill the original or a copy, I would say that you have committed murder.

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Old 14th April 2018, 07:17 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
The answers to those questions are of course, very complex and long and technical, but there's plenty of literature that develops on this in full detail. VS Ramachandran comes to mind. But even Daniel Dennett's "Consciousness Explained" is a very good start.
The bolded apart is an example of the "atheist woo" I mentioned earlier. Those books don't go in to "full detail". That's an overstatment in order to not face the question. Dennett's work is mocked by some as "Consciousness Explained Away" because it completely fails to explain consciousness at all but rather defines it out of existence.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:35 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
So you post was about consciousness arising from brains was completely vacuous or what? At least two of has asked about everything we think that could possibly mean and you don't appear to have meant any of it.
I don't see where the contradiction is. The fact that consciousness arises from brains doesn't mean it couldn't also arise from sufficiently advanced machines as well.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:37 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
The bolded apart is an example of the "atheist woo" I mentioned earlier. Those books don't go in to "full detail". That's an overstatment in order to not face the question. Dennett's work is mocked by some as "Consciousness Explained Away" because it completely fails to explain consciousness at all but rather defines it out of existence.
Actually, in that book, Dennett predicts and explains why some people such as yourself will, in spite of all the detailed explanation, hand wave it away and say that "that's all fine and dandy, but that still doesn't explain why I feel like I'm a conscious entity/quale inside a body" or something along those lines. So your response is neither a surprise, nor proof that the consciousness "problem" hasn't been explained.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:37 AM   #226
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Because people are counting on "consciousness" being so ill defined, meaning everything from basic sensory awareness to a full on religious soul, to keep this discussion nebulous and go-nowhere.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:41 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
Actually, in that book, Dennett predicts and explains why some people such as yourself will, in spite of all the detailed explanation, hand wave it away and say that "that's all fine and dandy, but that still doesn't explain why I feel like I'm a conscious entity/quale inside a body" or something along those lines. So your response is neither a surprise, nor proof that the consciousness "problem" hasn't been explained.
OK. So cite an experiment that has confirmed his theory. Cite people using it clinically to address disorders of the mind. Cite a consensus of the experts around the theory.

And since when does a skeptic fail to realize that anticipating objections is something a charlatans might do? That's hardly an argument in his favor.
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:44 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
I don't see where the contradiction is. The fact that consciousness arises from brains doesn't mean it couldn't also arise from sufficiently advanced machines as well.
It's not a contradiction. It's a total lack of substance. Your original statement is so lacking in meaning that it boils down to "We know how consciousness happens, IT HAPPENS".
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:46 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
It's not a contradiction. It's a total lack of substance. Your original statement is so lacking in meaning that it boils down to "We know how consciousness happens, IT HAPPENS".
Which is a perfectly valid response to "Oh you know what consciousness is... it's that thing that you know..."
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Old 14th April 2018, 08:13 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Well we have to remember that p-zombies are logically incoherent and there are a few flavors of them. Given they are logically incoherent of course I can't be one, but I can only "experience" red when under the influence of stimulus i.e. when I "see red". I have no experience of red unless my eyes* are being stimulated by photons and the whole cascade of chemical processes that creates, I'd say that falls within the definition of many a p-zombie.



*Of course you could probably hijack my optic nerve input (indeed the technology exists to do this now) or apply a direct stimulus to my brain to get me to "experience" red but that doesn't alter the fact that my experience of red can only happen with an external stimulus.
In fact, all you need to do is press your fingers against your eyes (don't overdo it!). You will experience colors. For myself, they are more green than red, but that should be beside the point. Still, it is correct that you need a stimulus to experience. I can, however, recall the impression of a color. Just as I can recall the impression of pain, sugar, love, the rustle of leaves, etc.

But I still fail to see where the hard problem is.

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Old 14th April 2018, 09:15 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
But I still fail to see where the hard problem is.

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If I believe that my personal feelings towards someone who is pain isn't relevant to the truth of their being in pain, then the truth of their being in pain reduces to an observer independent description of their behaviour. Such a behavioural description then possesses no notion of what I think of as experience.
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Old 14th April 2018, 10:13 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Who says a thermostat isnt conscious......
In all seriousness, I'm not 100% sure the "proto-consciousness" theory is necessarily wrong.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/p.../#PanpVersPanp

(go to the panprotopsychism part.)
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Old 14th April 2018, 10:15 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
OK. So cite an experiment that has confirmed his theory. Cite people using it clinically to address disorders of the mind. Cite a consensus of the experts around the theory.

And since when does a skeptic fail to realize that anticipating objections is something a charlatans might do? That's hardly an argument in his favor.
An experiment? Heck, you don’t even need a specific experiment considering there is simply no evidence that consciousness can happen without a brain. If you claim otherwise, it is up to you to prove that consciousness is independent of the brain.
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Old 14th April 2018, 10:17 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
Regardless of whatever other actions you take you have still killed an instance of me. Whether you kill the original or a copy, I would say that you have committed murder.
So, what if I use the star trek type teleporter on you without your consent?
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Old 14th April 2018, 10:19 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
The bolded apart is an example of the "atheist woo" I mentioned earlier. Those books don't go in to "full detail". That's an overstatment in order to not face the question. Dennett's work is mocked by some as "Consciousness Explained Away" because it completely fails to explain consciousness at all but rather defines it out of existence.
Yeah, that's why I said earlier "I do think it's an atheist-specific sort or error in reasoning, tho...It's a particular kind of strong conviction in an oversimplification so extreme it's almost a mythology."
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Old 14th April 2018, 10:31 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
OK. So cite an experiment that has confirmed his theory. Cite people using it clinically to address disorders of the mind. Cite a consensus of the experts around the theory.

And since when does a skeptic fail to realize that anticipating objections is something a charlatans might do? That's hardly an argument in his favor.
I know Sam Harris' view is that, directly quoting him, "Consciousness is the one thing in the universe which can't be an illusion".
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Old 14th April 2018, 10:55 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
An experiment? Heck, you donít even need a specific experiment considering there is simply no evidence that consciousness can happen without a brain. If you claim otherwise, it is up to you to prove that consciousness is independent of the brain.
So now you've got to resort to lying. I said cite an experiment that proves Dennet's theory.
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Old 14th April 2018, 10:57 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
So now you've got to resort to lying. I said cite an experiment that proves Dennet's theory.
I don't think he's lying. I think some communication wires just got crossed.
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Old 14th April 2018, 11:00 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I don't think he's lying. I think some communication wires just got crossed.
Well, I really don't see how given what he quoted.

And didn't we just establish that he thinks consciousness can arise without a brain? I didn't call him out on that because I can see he might be thinking "electronic brain".
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Old 14th April 2018, 11:00 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
In fact, all you need to do is press your fingers against your eyes (don't overdo it!). You will experience colors. For myself, they are more green than red, but that should be beside the point. Still, it is correct that you need a stimulus to experience. I can, however, recall the impression of a color. Just as I can recall the impression of pain, sugar, love, the rustle of leaves, etc.

But I still fail to see where the hard problem is.

Hans
I'm someone who can't recall the impression of a colour. I can tell you that your car is red because I remember looking at it and noticing it was red but that creates no impression of "redness".
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