Consciousness

#meta: group curation, notes & history, etc

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  PopeBeanie 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #25491

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    This topic will be most uninteresting!

    If I could hide it easily, I would.

    For the sake of editorial transparency, I’m just documenting here how I exercise my stated Consciousness group policy to edit and curate posts and/or topics when I feel it furthers the interest of the group, and furthers the group’s usefulness as a resource to non-group members, even including non-AtheistZone members who are discovering posts here via (e.g.) internet search engines.

    Any posts you see below were most likely moved here, by myself or an admin, from a different topic.

    #25445

    Unseen
    Participant

    Sorry. Forgot to put quotes around the Wittgenstein quote. The very last paragraph is me not he.

     

    PopeBeanie edit: I fixed it (post #24552).

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  PopeBeanie.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  PopeBeanie.
    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: Edited and moved this comment about it to #meta topic
    #25996

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator
    PopeBeanie note, 15 Jan 2020: I moved the post below to this topic, from the topic blah blah, because I realized how rambling it was, and because I wrote a better — or at least a shorter — reply to Unseen.

    […] so if one of these Turing-humans gave you art and it was good enough to be bought and sold on the fine art market, would that necessarily imply a consciousness generating it? And why (whatever your answer is)?

    Remember, my concern is whether this being is having experiences, because I think that is what consciousness is […]

    [Pardners, I’m calling this here paragraph somewhat of a repeat of earlier remarks, a temporary zooming out from our primary focus on Unseen’s questions, and maybe a meta-note. I’m thinking about how to think and how to describe thinking. But most significantly, I think I know a lot about consciousness, especially my own, and yet there still comes a lesser or higher understanding of it, practically every day.]

    Still zoomed out wrt your questions, but focusing on topic “Defining Consciousness”:  Today’s revelation (for me) is a deeper confirmation I feel that defining consciousness is much easier than defining experience. I’ll take the liberty of positing that there is no hard problem of consciousness, but there is a hard problem of experience, also referred to often as qualia.

    Per wikipedia (which looks reasonable to me):

    In philosophy and certain models of psychology, qualia (/ˈkwɑːliə/ or /ˈkweɪliə/; singular form: quale) are defined to be individual instances of subjective, conscious experience.

    Focusing on qualia can become fruitless in light of how, as a word, it’s abused almost as much as the word quantum, but I don’t know of a more useful word atm. I will repeat that a living being’s consciousness itself can vary over wide range of depth and quantity of qualia, good feelings vs bad, sensed via senses or otherwise imagined, and blah blah I’ve said a million times already. Consciousness is NOT an all or nothing possession, but comprises various or few modes of various or few experiences. (Or qualia.)


    Now my attempt to answer your questions, but with our granular emphasis on whether qualia/experiences are the things that a being or machine can or can’t have. Answer upon quick reflection: As an armchair scientist, I don’t fricken even know if there can ever be an empirically verifiable answer! So next, onto philosophical suppositions… (where I admit, you might be able to enlighten us more?!).

    There is a relevant “rights” aspect to this discussion, which is the question of whether any experiences of any being or machine should be protected by law. E.g. where can we draw the line on what constitutes unlawful torture of another being or machine. I’m seriously considering that, if and when humans codify such lines into law, a priori assumption number one is that machines have no qualia, experiences, consciousness, and rights! This is the current default in law (as machines are not even mentioned), and in my currently preferred position. I’m open to future re-considerations. For example, how to approach consideration of the inevitable human-machine hybrids.

    States vary on what protection humans have rights to, most notably before birth, and near end of life. How or when can machines be presumed to be subject to the same such biological and mental test criteria?

    And the gray lines may never disappear. Each state defines where those gray lines are and who has the authority to arbitrate their enforcement. One reason (I feel) this is relevant to your question is because WE humans are currently the arbiters. We are still developing our definitions and suppositions, even if we’ll never be able to arrive at absolute, empirical certainty of where is the black and white vs the gray.

    I cannot yet decide on whether your question can ever have a final, ethically valid or empirically based answer. It may eternally comprise a mix of human opinions, varying across different domains of authority.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by  PopeBeanie.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: see first paragraph for explanation
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