Re: The dangers of genuine ignorance (was: Volitional Morality and Action Judgement)

From: Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu May 27 2004 - 22:16:50 MDT

fudley wrote:

> On Thu, 27 May 2004, "Marc Geddes" <> said:
>>Conclusions: Higher level forms of qualia are
>>obtained through multiple recursion of the
>>laws of logic.
> Consciousness (but not intelligence!) theories are a dime a dozen because
> there are no facts they need explain.

The fact that needs explaining is: "Why do people believe they are
conscious?" When David Chalmers says "I have qualia", air vibrates, his
lips move, a physical event bound into the universe of cause and effect.
The problem with panpsychism is that if you can't measure the so-called
"awareness" of elementary particles, the alleged "awareness" can't affect
Chalmers's brainstate in any way. Cannot be the agency responsible, in
*any* sense, for making Chalmers's lips move. Eliminate the postulate of
panpsychism, and everything remains exactly the same, including the real
explanation for Chalmers's lips moving.

Even at age sixteen, when I thought mysterious questions had mysterious
answers, I knew better than *that*.

> Come up with an experiment that has
> the potential to prove you wrong and Iíll be interested.
> John K Clark

I once heard a wise man say:

"The trouble is that consciousness theories are very easy to dream up...
Theories that explain intelligence, on the other hand, are fiendishly
difficult to come by and so are profoundly useful. I don't know for sure
that intelligence always produces consciousness, but I do know that if you
assume it does you'll never be disappointed."
        -- John K Clark

It was good advice.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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