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

From: Pedro Machin (
Date: Sun May 30 2004 - 05:35:18 MDT

Natural selection ´bothered´ to create a concious being, but it also
bothered to create many other non-concious intelligent beings. Conciousness
is a matter of degree, which almost definitely required intelligence but not
vice versa (conciousness is emergent of intelligence). Take the rheus
monkey, for example, it´s fascinated by pieces of glass that it finds in
junkyards yet it always looks behind the glass to find where the other
(reflected) monkey is hiding. That demonstrates a degree of conc¡ousness
that recognizes the existence of others but not of yourself.

If we define intelligence simply as "the ability to solve complex problems"
then there is no need for conciousness or sentience. We have Automated
Theorem provers right now that can tackle fairly sophisticated theorems and
that is not to say only Strong-Method solvers but weak ones as well (By
weak-method solvers I mean ones that manipulate concepts in a purely
syntactical fashion without the need of logical inferencing).
In short, symbol manipulation, no matter at what level implies intelligence.
'Intuition', or 'creativity' can effectively be emulated by such methods
without the need of conciousness; they only form part of our mind as
heuristic shortcuts (usually by means of association) when not enough
computing power is available.

Pedro M.

>From: "fudley" <>
>To: "SL4" <>
>Subject: RE: The dangers of genuine ignorance (was: Volitional Morality and
>Action Judgement)
>Date: Fri, 28 May 2004 07:44:52 -0700
>On Thu, 27 May 2004 22:54:52 -0700, "Mike" <> said:
> >If you write one program that solves a problem using brute-force
> >method,and another that uses heuristics to arrive at a solution
> >much faster, is it correct to say that the second one is more
> >intelligent than the first? If so, that would be some degree
> >of intelligence without consciousness.
>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? Our inner mental lives may be supremely
>important to us but to evolution only external actions are important; an
>intelligent zombie that acts the same way we do would work just fine from
>evolution’s point of view and there would be no point in going to the
>trouble to come up with consciousness unless you can’t have intelligence
>without consciousness.
>John K Clark
> - And now for something completely different…

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