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old_nick

Agi And Personhood

62 posts in this topic

~ I am enjoying the discussion :)

Could I please get better working definitions on the difference between sentience & conciousness? :dntknw:

{ Y'know me... I need clarification :) } Thank you! :friends:

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"Claire, if I 'cation" I'll be sure to send ya pictures!!!

sentience = the ability to perceive sensations; elementary or undifferentiated consciousness.... a slug or snail for instance would have the ability to perceive "sensations", "consciousness" would be thinking, rationalizing, hypothesizing about those sensations....rudimentary, but how I differentiate the definitions

YVW

Blessings of Peace,

Edited by Atwater Vitki

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Thus far your argument boils down to a "because I said so".
Well, no. Thus far, I have had three separate arguments. "That is not proven." "That cannot be proven." and "That is wrong."
Our brains choose what they do and do not filter every given moment and more often than not, we're entirely unaware of it.
Which is different than saying "Indeed, the vast majority of choices we ourselves make do not even register in our consciousness" in the same way "I like pie" is not the same as "You like pie".
Indeed it does fit. Try again.
You defined a verb by citing the definition of a noun. It does not fit.
No, it cannot.
Of course it can. I can say it every bit as easily as you can say what you did. It is the proving that is difficult.
Touch is not the defining characteristic of a physical phenomena, however.
That was what is known in scientific circles as a "joke".
Consciousness is a brain state. A composition of parts firing in a particular manner.
Perhaps it is. Perhaps it isn't. At this stage, to assume that what you have measured is all that there is would be as much a prejudice as assuming that there must be more.
Again no and again for the very same reasons I specified above.
The same incorrect reasons? Ok.
He presented a philosophical argument to a neurological issue.
Considering that the word "consciousness" was invented by a philosopher, the term is and always has been the bailiwick of philosophy. For neuroscientists to ignore the philosophical ramifications is to only do half the job. Which is, of course, the whole point of the essay. That which is inherently subjective cannot be objectively observed. Edited by mererdog

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Could I please get better working definitions on the difference between sentience & conciousness?
Different people have used the words to differentiate between different things, but, for the most part, the words are interchangeable.

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... Perhaps it is. Perhaps it isn't. At this stage, to assume that what you have measured is all that there is would be as much a prejudice as assuming that there must be more....

IMHO, it is also like saying we have nothing bigger than 12' (twelve feet) because the tape measure on my tool-belt only goes to 144". The mere fact we have not observed, found evidence of or have the capacity to comprehend something, by no stretch of the imagination does that conclude it doesn't exist.

....Considering that the word "consciousness" was invented by a philosopher, the term is and always has been the bailiwick of philosophy. For neuroscientists to ignore the philosophical ramifications is to only do half the job. Which is, of course, the whole point of the essay. That which is inherently subjective cannot be objectively observed.

In no manner or form can I object to that.

Blessings of Peace,

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Since I can't add anything to the topic I'll just post a link to a really cool song about the topic.

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Sorry for how long this reply has taken. It's been a busier week than I had anticipated, I recently lost a close friend, and I am a perfectionist. So, after long wait, here we go.

“Heck no!” is as close to what my original thought was that I can post here. I will also have to quote you here as for my answer regarding the ability of a MI being able to do a rune reading. "....it's not really an issue of a simple yes or no, but of something being born of a dynamic complexity."

However, upon a bit more deliberation and thought, this has manifest itself into a multiple part answer. I do not agree that MI could reach an emotional state, in full as compared to humans, but I'll go with the possibility of at least a basic level being achieved. Something along the lines of what a cat or a dog may have and as improbable as I think it may be, perhaps even the “emotional state” obtained by higher primates could be considered. Just for the sake of being a bit open minded about it.

For the general mass of people, with the “usual” questions that are conferred upon the divination process, I would have to say it might be possible that a MI could indeed provide a suitable answer. I say that with the assumption that the MI has been given the enormous amount of history, logic, probabilities, motives and background insight into each of the runes. That said, I also apply that to the atypical request of “When will I meet Mr./Ms. “Right”? or “What do the runes think the outcome of my job interview will be?” Both of those, it is embarrassing to mention, how many times I have been asked.

A true, heart felt, Life Path Reading can take up to several hours or more and requires far more than a simple “Toss and Tell” as I call the “usual”. Regardless of the many runic academics that do not believe in any form of divination, a detailed, Life Path Guidance is what the divination process has been about since the first mentions of it in the sacred texts.(1)

This is the part I find most interesting. On your part it comes down to not believing humanity is simply a machine, that it is something more than this mass of parts. On mine, I do not believe in something more. This physical world is all I see data to suggest the existence of. There is a line of questioning I'd like us to follow on this, but it requires a bit of give. For the following questions, I'll need you to pretend an MI can reach the depth of complexity I suggest. I'll pretend divination is more than make-believe. So, hypothetically there is an MI and divinitory techniques actually work. Would then an MI be capable of it? If so, having a greater access to "subconscious" routines, could it actually gain a greater insight than current humans are able to. And, if it were to develop its own divinitory system catered to the processes inherent of its intelligence, could it then walk around in a perpetual divinitory state? Would it then be better to see a machine oracle(assuming humans have yet to upgrade themselves as well) than a human as the MI would have better access to its own subconscious as well as better abilty to collate data in general(Imagine bringing an MI a thumb drive filled with data about yourself just to enhance it's ability to do a life reading).

I do realize that many of our human functions, even brain activity are indeed very machine like.

I am curious in which functions we have that you do not feel are machine-like. Everything we learn leads more and more towards the body being just a complex meat machine. Indeed, there are already parts we can swap out or even enhance with machines(up to and including parts of the brain). I understand the urge to somehow see us as special or more than the wetware robots we are, but in light of all the data indicating that is not the case, why cleave to it?

As a bit of an aside, I had a similar discussion with a Christian fellow. He felt my view is nihilistic and hopeless. That somehow if there were no inherent purpose, nothing beyond this life, nothing to set us apart from being just a thinking animal capable of realizing its own loneliness; all must be without hope or joy. But I cannot help but disagree with that sentiment. We as a species are in a position to confront our primal and existential fears. We have evolved to a point where we can free ourselves and other life from the horrors inherent in evolution. We can, in the words of PZ Myers's obituary for Christopher Hitchens: "rage against the darkness, fight back against our mortal enemy Death". We can conquer these things. We can do better. Because the unthinking processes of this godless universe cannot recognize concepts such as better, mercy, horror, or love. There is no afterlife. Fine, let us create one. There is no magic. Fine, let us find ways to do it anyway(I am a huge fan of Clarke's Third Law, but all three are good.). We can bring our dreams to reality. But not through superstition. Indeed, all superstition can do is delay us from achieving those dreams. Knowledge and elbow grease is what will bring us these things. We have to be proactive. It isn't enough to hope the world becomes a better place, or believe the world will someday become a better place. We have to make it one. And rejecting fact for fantasy, regardless of how lofty the intentions, will not do that. At some point, perhaps, I'll get into predictive algorithms and conjure up Laplace's Demon to give my view on how something very like divination could be brought to exist.

Being a “human” who has experienced an awful lot in Life, been to many different countries, held a variety of jobs, associated with many different social strata...it is very difficult for me to fully accept any machine having the full range of emotions, conscious awareness or ability to reason in the same manner a human being does.

But you are a machine. Just a gooey Von Neumann universal constructor. And that is okay.

Difficult, but as time goes on, perhaps not impossible.

I'd argue it is inevitable.

I also think that the sciences should begin now to redefine sentient and sapient life, before the issue of MI's come...I'm just very suspicious of how our system works and know that once an agenda has been set up for a specific thing, bias comes out of every crack in the wall!

I think any attempt to redefine those things could only exist as a means of prejudice against MI. The definitions as they stand are sufficient to allow MI as life. Organic life and mechanical life would be worthwhile distinctions to make, but my great fear is redefining life to turn MI into a class divorced from the rest of us. To make killing it, mistreating it, and generally just abusing it okay because "it's not alive", despite its thoughts and feelings.

One need only look at the slave trade to see how that went. Non-whites were not even viewed as the same species.

Oh yeah, and one last thing, the comment on marrying...I believe, that should MI prove to be what you envision it to be, that somewhere along the line, yes indeed, "they" should be allowed to marry, providing a provable definition of "sentient/sapient life". I'm also sure the entire "definition process" would be made a mess of in the courts based on the known bias and prejudice of "human" judges, politicos and government officials. I meant, the mess that our political and legal system (courts) makes of every little thing is the "wrong" in society, not what can be defined by learned, thinking, rational people.

Ah, I understand and largely agree.

In our short history of America, I also believe, a good many learned, thinking, rational people have put those positive attributes aside to arise to their lofty positions of governance of the masses.

Agreed. If it helps, I consider the thought of one man ruling over another as disgusting as I do superstition. Really, I see them as manifestations of the same core problems. My anarcho-communism really ties in to my anti-theism, transhumanism, and every other aspect of me. I want to see the world become a much better place. I rail against the things keeping that potential at bay.

Actually, I don't think I've had to break down the processes involved in a rune reading since taking my verbal Apprenticeship Exams at the Gild over 25 years ago to become a Vitki. Rune divination is far more than a simple process. It entails a bucket full of emotions, instincts and intellect that far surpass a simple a+b=c as far as a true, in-depth reading goes.

It is always good to get back to the basics. I still occasionally audit courses here that I took ages ago just to keep myself fresh.

One other thing you mentioned above Nick, being "passionate about" your MI/AI work.

There is an emotion that I find a bit of difficulty in understanding just "how" a 'machine' could develop, regardless of the type of "software".

Passion is just how our brain lights up to certain sets of stimuli. It's a motivational factor and has been of use to us as a species. I see no reason it'd not develop in MI. It's that chemical soup in our skulls rewarding or driving us to certain behaviors.

Having that overwhelming, nothing else matters, focused passion for something is an attribute of our emotional response I find great difficulty in accepting a construct of aluminum, latex and circuit boards could ever achieve. (Somehow I envision the MI as being quite similar to Commander Data (Bruce Spiner) on STNG...a rather featureless, and expressionless near human in appearance.)

It's simply an issue of emergent properties. Our emotions are just electrochemical properties. They're even built around binary mechanics. But evolution is sloppy and wasteful. So not only can we achieve emotion mechanically, we should be able to do so much better and more efficiently than is done in our own brains, eliminating the cognitive bias hardwired in thanks to the evolved nature of our brains.

I looked up Data. He'd be an example of problems with the Uncanny Valley. And if that is how you see MI, no wonder you feel compelled to keep it separate somehow.

More to follow.

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<p> </p>

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But let's wander ahead 500 years. ...
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<div>It presents an interesting example and one that ultimately verifies what I have said of superstition.  That it is ignorance.  These MI would have been drawing faulty assumptions out of poor analysis and poor data.  For example, would they compare their own construction to that of the remaining animals?  Wouldn't they ask themselves, "Why is my construction more similar to these inanimate non-living machines than to these gooey meaty Von Neumann Machines?"  These are fundamental and important questions.  Scientific questions.  And the more data that one gains, the more accurate the insights and predictions that are gained.  This is why we do science.  It gives us that data and helps us understand the world around us.  In ancient times, it makes sense that people would use superstition to explain a world they were largely ignorant of, just like your MI.  But we know better now.  It is time to put away foolishness for what has demonstrated itself to be real.  I am loathe to do it, but there is a quote from the Christian bible I think applies.  "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."  Superstition, theism, belief in an afterlife, these are childish things.  They are holdovers from the youth of our species.  Let us put them away.</div>

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I don't see how 1 and 0 's can have emotions.
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<div>They do in humans.  The action potential of your neurons is an all or none issue.  In other words, it is a binary.  Ones and zeroes have been at the heart of every thought or feeling you have ever or will ever have.</div>

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Apparently emotions, love, and beliefs are just neurological phenomena and nothing more.
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<div>Do you have evidence suggesting anything more?</div>

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Remove that part of the brain and you have a machine
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<div>You already are a machine.  Just an evolved biological machine.</div>

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or short circuit the ones and zero's of a software program and you have a human.
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<div>No, because a human is just a specific form of thinking feeling meat machine.  Though, if mind-uploading comes to be, it could conceivably be loaded into a human body.</div>

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The big question, in my mind, is could an MI ever even get bored???
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<div>Not one worth knowing. But in general, sure.  An MI would, conceivably, have better mechanisms for dealing with boredom than we do, however.  Having a direct insight into its current state it could simply choose to not be bored, a feat comparable to Buddhist meditation.  Or it could use it's knowledge and control to change its cycle rate and perceive time differently thereby experiencing boredom for less time, similar to some forms of ecstatic technique.  Being designed with deliberation as opposed to evolved without purpose such as we are would give it access to tools we haven't had.  We can learn from our own suffering in building it.</div>

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by humans concerning our "salvation" and our relationship with "God" is as much a power trip and controlling mechanism as a programmer would have over the first MI's.
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<div>If the programmer insisted they worship and revere them, you mean.  </div>

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therefore, the more human comparison questions we raise about MI's the better understanding we may achieve of Nick's proposal.
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<div>Keep asking.  I am having a great time with it and mulling over much food for thought.</div>

<div> </div>

<div>Again, more to follow. :P</div>

<div>  </div>

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~ I am enjoying the discussion

Could I please get better working definitions on the difference between sentience & conciousness?

{ Y'know me... I need clarification } Thank you!

Sentience is the ability to feel emotion.

Consciousness is the awareness of subjective versus intersubjective. Basically, the ability to distinguish self from other. Different portions of the brain handle different aspects of this(see my posts in as we were meant to be for some more on this).

Well, no. Thus far, I have had three separate arguments. "That is not proven." "That cannot be proven." and "That is wrong."

Your arguments have been sufficiently rebutted and you are quickly beginning to provide yourself as an example of Dunning-Kruger effect. If you cannot provide data or cite legitimate sources, why continue to argue?

Which is different than saying "Indeed, the vast majority of choices we ourselves make do not even register in our consciousness" in the same way "I like pie" is not the same as "You like pie".

Not really. Let us use liking food as an example since you brought it up. In "blind" taste-testing, there is strong statistical correlation between the covered product "chosen" and the handedness of the person doing the choosing. Companies know this and they exploit it. The choice between "I like this pie more" or "I like that pie more" is irrelevant to the actual taste or liking of the pie. It is merely a demonstration of the underlying choice blindness of the person.

Indeed, exploitation of choice blindness is a large factor in how and why supermarkets are laid out as they are. Direction of store flow, height of placement of goods, name brand recognition(people will often say a glass of a named brand tastes better than something they are told is generic even if the bottles contain the same substance), even scent lingering in the aisles affects a person's choice and what they do or do not like. Impulse buyings is built of this, "I do not like x. but it was so y."

Perhaps it is. Perhaps it isn't. At this stage, to assume that what you have measured is all that there is would be as much a prejudice as assuming that there must be more.

There is no need to measure absolutely everything to know something. I do not have to examine every single molecule of gasoline to know it is combustable. Merely examine enough to infer within reasonable certainty that it is so. There is no such thing as an absolute. You're making a red herring to detract from the fact that all available evidence leans strongly towards nondualism(and has since the 1800s for that matter).

Considering that the word "consciousness" was invented by a philosopher, the term is and always has been the bailiwick of philosophy. For neuroscientists to ignore the philosophical ramifications is to only do half the job. Which is, of course, the whole point of the essay. That which is inherently subjective cannot be objectively observed.

Considering that the word "Jupiter" was invented by a Astrologer, the term is and always has been the bailiwick of Astrology. For astronomers to ignore the astrological ramifications is to only do half the job. Which is, of course, the whole point of the essay.

-------------

Considering that the word "Algebra" was invented by an Numerologist, the term is and always has been the bailiwick of Numerology. For mathematicians to ignore the numerological ramifications is to only do half the job. Which is, of course, the whole point of the essay.

--------------

Considering that the word "Crucible" was invented by an Alchemist, the term is and always has been the bailiwick of Alchemy. For chemists to ignore the alchemical ramifications is to only do half the job. Which is, of course, the whole point of the essay.

Your argument is insipid, short-sighted, ill-informed, and utterly without worth. You should be made to feel small and meaningless for even trying it.

IMHO, it is also like saying we have nothing bigger than 12' (twelve feet) because the tape measure on my tool-belt only goes to 144". The mere fact we have not observed, found evidence of or have the capacity to comprehend something, by no stretch of the imagination does that conclude it doesn't exist.

A poorly reasoned argument. We know things are larger than 12' as the measuring tape doesn't contain the whole length of all things when you stretch it out. It borders on tautology. And, more to the point, when you posit something may exist, you should at least be prepared to present data to suggest it possibly could. I don't ask for definitive evidence of a god existing. Merely evidence that could lead a reasoned informed mind to ask the question of whether a god could exist. I'll quote a greater mind than my own on the absurdity of the proposition:

"Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time." -Bertrand Russell

And he is exactly right. "You don't have all data" or "You cannot prove it isn't" simply are not valid arguments.

With that, I am going to take a small typing break. Oh my fingers.

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I suppose I should have said "all tape measures" are only 12' instead of "my" and that in our world nothing larger existed. Perhaps mis-stated, but my point was if we use the "measure" as defining all we know and something falls out of that parameter, then either the measure is incorrect or the basis of our entire, inclusive knowledge is incorrect.

As to "how" or "why" I believe in the processes of runic divination is the known effect it has had on others. That is why I allow others who believe that "God" or "Buddha" or "Shiva" or"?" is the crux or driving force behind the path they follow, to do so. Is it the object of our affection and passion that makes something "right" or "wrong" or is the passion itself that proves the emotional and what many term "Spiritual" value of believing? The bottom line, to me, is if a person believes that eating a PBJ every morning will make them live to 100 and they do so, is it really the PBJ or genetics or "?" ? The end proof is they lived beyond 100 and some will follow suit and others will decry the "science" behind the theory...so?....what does any of that have to do with the 101 year old PBJ eater??

The fact that no one can disprove the existence of "God/Creator/All/Collective Conscious/One" any more than a religious or divinic person can prove it, is no proof for either side. Just because someone, with a mind far more brilliant than my own, like Dr. Hawking says "God" did not create the universe" does not make it necessarily so any more than those who've chemically altered their mental state and stated "I saw God".....did they?

I guess for me, it's all about allowing. Allowing people to believe in what they will regardless of my personal feelings about it. Allowance and tolerance will have more positive affect on our species than control and intolerance, and that's what I'm after more-so than any other thing in this world. That we each face our fears with dignity, stretch our imaginations to the limit and let our creativity lead us into the future with the courage and strength to fully comprehend and understand what we have created for ourselves. Greed, power and war mongering are far more important issues to work on doing away with in my mind than hypothesizing the probable direction of future technologies, regardless of how much I enjoy the subject and prospects.

As far as the proposition of an MI ever having the ability to lead a congregation of believers, perform rune-divination or calculate the next level of humanity...until there is MI with far superior ability than the current state of mechanics and science behind them, you, me, the rest of us are really just speculating. That is not basing our presentations on facts, just speculation. And that can only lead us into a round robin of theoretical proofs and disproofs until the proverbial cow comes home.

It's like all the limitations we put on space travel, the current thinking is a physical piece of equipment traveling within the limits of "light speed" is not well suited for interstellar travel, true. We need to think outside the box, or brain bucket or physical and begin to explore the realms of "astral travel" as we've coined it. But that is yet another thread for another day.

Blessings of Peace,

Al

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Isn't it odd that we attempt to personify mechanisms while trying to mechanize humans. Humans are just never satisfied.... :crazyeyes::dirol:

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Being a little over 3% teflon, 2.5% keflex mesh, 4% 313LVM stainless steel....it's difficult for me to choose!! ...and battery pack? Well, ah...er...um... it's a bit personal where they inserted that! :derisive:

I do know I never got my $6M settlement though! :hideingbhindcurtian:

Edited by Atwater Vitki

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~ Thank you everyone for being so patient with me :)

Old Nick, you posted, "as the MI would have better access to its own subconscious"... Now I need a definition of subconscious :dntknw:

I'm sorry!

I thought I knew what a subconscious was, but if a being was created with those nano-seconds involved & such, why would it have a subconscious?

Like an under-lying program? A secondary back-up?

I apologise for being annoying!

{ My step-father took classes to be a therapist & kept arguing with me that there is no subconscious, only conscious & unconscious. Yes, I know. :rolleyes:

He lasted 2 weeks as a therapist & thankfully realised he was not able to do that job! :rolleyes: }

{ Why does that word look odder & odder? No matter what's added to it, 'conscious' is odd.}

:shades2:

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that also ties in to my earlier question.still an interesting thread.

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Your arguments have been sufficiently rebutted
Sufficient for what?
If you cannot provide data or cite legitimate sources, why continue to argue?
Because I am right.
Not really.
Really.
Let us use liking food as an example since you brought it up. In "blind" taste-testing, there is strong statistical correlation between the covered product "chosen" and the handedness of the person doing the choosing.
Correlation does not prove causation. I thought everyone knew that.
(people will often say a glass of a named brand tastes better than something they are told is generic even if the bottles contain the same substance)
People also often lie. When I took the "Pepsi Challenge" I watched the pattern revealed by the choices of the people in front of me and picked the cup the Pepsi was in, in order to garner personal rewards. That difference between what I was actually doing and what I told the tester I was doing forms a major problem with all tests of consciousness.
even scent lingering in the aisles affects a person's choice and what they do or do not like.
Absolutely. Now, note the difference between a choice being affected by unconscious forces and a choice being made unconsciously. They are totally different things.
There is no need to measure absolutely everything to know something.
No one said otherwise.
You're making a red herring to detract from the fact that all available evidence leans strongly towards nondualism(and has since the 1800s for that matter).
Nope. I am disagreeing with you about what the evidence indicates. That is what happens when evidence is not conclusive.
Your argument is insipid, short-sighted, ill-informed, and utterly without worth. You should be made to feel small and meaningless for even trying it.
I wonder what unconscious factors made you choose to move on to attacking me? Continue to simply ignore the ramifications of the inherently subjective nature of consciousness. I'm sure no one else will notice you're doing it.

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~ I do wonder what difference extra senses would have upon a mind, organic or inorganic.

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More later, having a rushed morning. But I just wanted to mention to you that people have extended and enhanced some senses as well as adding new senses. You can, for example, have small magnets embedded in your fingertips which expands your haptic perception into the emf. There is also the example of Kevin Warwick, a professor of robotics and cybernetics, who has mucked around with his nervous system and added new senses, including an experiment that resulted in a form of rudimentary telepathy between him and his wife(a link to an article on this is included for being especially amazing).

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/login.jsp?url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fiel5%2F2191%2F29069%2F01309768.pdf%3Farnumber%3D1309768&authDecision=-203

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I came late to this thread. Uploading an organic brain to a virtual world? Nonorganic sentience in a marriage with organics? Machine souls? Non-organic un-conscious?

The issues are too complex for a general thread. And too many.

AI casting runes? (Actually, I think the I Ching would work better, under these conditions.)

:borg:

:whist:

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Downloading a human brain into a computer is not going to happen any time soon. What will start happening; in the near future, is replacement issues.

John Doe has lost all his teeth. He has a new set of dental implants installed. Any problem with his humanity yet? No? Add a few other replacements. A new hip. A knee replacement. A mechanical heart. An artificial kidney. Any problem yet, with being human? No? Keep going. Artificial skin. Some titanium bones. No problems yet? How about a few computer chips implanted in his brain?

The years go by. More and more parts wear out and are replaced. Is there a tipping point? Is there a point where this person stops being a person?

:dirol:

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