Re: qualia, once and for all

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Sat Jun 19 2004 - 09:53:48 MDT

Metaqualia wrote:

>I think you are grossly underestimating an eternal orgasmic machine. In
>fact, to imagine an orgasmic machine you must not imagine an orgasmic
>machine. You will probably imagine a world in which everyone is productive
>and joyful and altruistic and you have a beautiful house and you are in love
>and your kids are healthy and whatever you happen to desire. Imagine the
>most intense and wonderful moments of your life. That is more like an
>orgasmic machine! With all the subtleties of these experiences, not just an
>on/off switch.
mq -

The nature of humans and other evolved creatures is that pleasurable
feelings result from *getting* to the goal, not *having* the goal. It's
what keeps us moving, not satisfied. Pleasure is part of the reward
system that serves the overall goal of growth and reproduction. It's
there because it's a solution that works, not as an end in itself.

As discussed before, we now have the technology to produce the feeling
of pleasure within an organism, independantly of achieving any goals.
We can do this with electrical or chemical modification of brain
operation. If you were to query that organism's state, it would respond
that it is experiencing great pleasure. However, there would be no
incentive to growth or sustainability, and the pleasure would be
relatively short lived.

So, some would say, let us have the artificially induced pleasure, but
modify our nature such that we continue to do all the things we normally
do to sustain our lives and our living. Then ask yourself, what would
your motivations be? You would be equivalent to a machine, in the sense
of no internal purpose, all internal goals satisfied and simply
following a program.

So, some would say, let us have constant pleasure, but let it be varying
degrees of pleasure, such that we are motivated to interact with our
friends, love others, and inspired to create. Well, then you would be
right where you are now, with only a shift in viewpoint.

- zen jef

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