Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Mon Mar 03 2008 - 08:56:08 MST

Krekoski writes

> [Lee wrote]
> > [Nick wrote]
> > >I f computation is sufficient for experience, since what a physical
> > > system is computing is subjective, this can't be the case.
> > Oh, why not? Perhaps there is a terminological problem here, but
> > to the physical system in question, of course the computation yields
> > (subjective) experience. What a system is computing is objective,
> > naturally, but the "consciousness" experienced, that old murky
> > problem, "as seen from inside" by a device is all that is subjective.
> > Lee

> Why is whether something has experience or not even relevant?

Because all moral questions revolve around the answer! And so unless
you are a complete nihilist, solipsist, or sociopath, all actions whatsoever
that affect other sentients depend crucially upon the answer.

> I don't immediately know if any of you have conscious experience,
> but you'd pass a turing test if I gave you one. Although that wouldn't
> tell me if you're really conscious, its 'good enough' so to speak.

Well, you can't *immediately* know if the people living on your
street have their hearts on the left sides of their bodies, either,
and for practical reasons you can't and won't go test them all.
Likewise, it is incredibly reasonable to suppose that such similar
creatures to you as other humans are also conscious.


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