Re: What exactly is "panpsychism"?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Jan 11 2004 - 14:29:13 MST

On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 14:18:25 -0500
"Mark Waser" <> wrote:

> I'd like to, once again, toot my diversity horn. I believe that complexity
> correlates well with hard-to-reach/rare diversity. I believe that
> increasing diversity is a "force" in the same sense that increasing entropy
> and evolution are "forces". What you refer to as negative qualia correlate
> pretty well with GLOBALLY decreased diversity either directly or indirectly.
> Many of your problematical positive qualia (wireheading, altering someone to
> always be happy) also correlate pretty well with decreased diversity. Why
> not correlate your "morality" with what seems to be an increasing quantity
> in the universe? ( Maybe there IS an absolute goal to the universe leading
> to an absolute morality and we're just too primitive to see the connection
> yet . . . . :-) I'd be interested to see if anyone could propose a moral
> question that can't be reframed into a diversity question and correctly
> solved.

So your position is that all forms of diversity are good just because they are diverse? Then all forms of utterly painful and reprehensible conditions would also be part of the good as they are different from (diverse) relative to even a state of the universe chock full of diverse "happier" circumstances. So the problem is that diversity does not provide a moral compass guiding the actions of sentients except to rather randomly create more different situations.
> I'd also like to note that I don't believe in qualia as some mystical thing
> that all humans and many animals have. I believe that qualia are artifacts
> of the systems by which we internally represent the difference between an
> actual experience and our thoughts about an experience. I would also argue
> that rocks don't have qualia unless they have some sort of consciousness.
> And I would point out that there is scientific evidence that seems to
> support these points of view and many learned experts and philosophers who
> will debate the qualia point that seems to have become the orthodoxy of this
> list.

I agree with all but the notion that the qualia positions have settled to the point of being an orthodoxy.

- s

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