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

From: fudley (
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 08:22:39 MDT

On Fri, 28 May , "Eliezer Yudkowsky" <> said:

>The fact that needs explaining is: "Why do people believe
> they are conscious?"

I donít know for a fact that ďpeopleĒ do believe they are conscious; the
only thing I know for sure is that I am conscious. As I said before,
consciousness theories that can neither be proved nor disproved are a
dime a dozen. Example:
ďA size 12 shoe causes consciousness, people with other shoe sizes may be
intelligent but are no more conscious than a rock.Ē
As a matter of fact I have one confirming example that this proposition
is true and none that it is untrue. I can even propose an experiment that
has the potential to disprove it so that makes it a valid scientific
theory; I could cut off my feet and see if Iím still conscious. I confess
I havenít performed this last experiment yet.

I said it before Iíll say it again, consciousness theories are a dime a

  John K Clark

> 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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