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

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 21:01:41 MDT

--- "J. Andrew Rogers" <>
> John K Clark wrote:
> > You seem to be assuming that intelligence without
> consciousness is
> > possible, or at least, easier to come up with than
> intelligence with
> > consciousness. What a strange idea. If that were
> true why did random
> > mutation and natural selection bother to produce
> an animal that was
> > conscious in the first place?
> It doesn't follow that consciousness is required for
> intelligence.
> Consciousness may be a feature only expressed in one
> part of the
> intelligence implementation phase space. How do you
> know that
> consciousness isn't just a probable outcome of
> intelligence rather than
> a required one? Just because consciousness requires
> intelligence does
> not mean that intelligence requires consciousness.
> At the very least, I
> don't see any reason from theory to assume that this
> must be the case.
> j. andrew rogers

Actually, a major thrust of what Win Wenger has to say
about increasing one's intelligence (,
highly recommended) is based on the idea that the
human mind has scads of intelligence to call upon,
while the conscious part is but the tip of an iceberg,
i.e. the 1/6 that is visible above the surface, or
even perhaps like a Pacific atoll atop a seamount
which is 99% submerged.
Let me tell you an amusing tale of unconscious human
intelligence. It was told to me by a witness I
consider truthful, and although it concerns me, I have
no memory of it.

I was napping in the afternoon once, four or five
years ago perhaps, or sleeping late, I don't remember
which. I am a heavy sleeper. My daughter Heidi came
into the room for some reason, and found me in a dream
state. I was lying on my back, eyes closed, hand
waving in the air, trying to grab something in front
of me. My daughter was fascinated. Apparently I was
having trouble grasping It, as it eluded me like a
butterfly. Who knows what It really was. So, in the
name of Science, she intervened. She mimed handing me
something and said, "Here it is." She says I took it
and clutched it to my chest, smiling, eyes still
closed. Then she got really curious. She says she
crept close, as quietly as possible, and reached
toward the mysterious object in my hand. Without
opening my eyes or waking up, I slapped her hand and
rolled over. She says it was both funny and amazing.

So, yes, I agree. Intelligence can do a lot without
being conscious. It's just that an outside observer
may not be able to tell when consciousness is there or
not. If I slept with my eyes open my daughter would
have assumed I was awake.


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