[ExI] The alleged existence of consciousness

Spencer Campbell lacertilian at gmail.com
Tue Feb 16 19:07:46 UTC 2010

The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com>:
>Spencer Campbell <lacertilian at gmail.com>:
>> What logic could you possibly bring to bear on a person with
>> this set of beliefs?
> The logic of pain. That which reacts to pain *must* have the subjective experience of pain because there can be no such thing as objective pain or objective suffering of any kind for that matter.

The ouch-test! Okay, I'll play your little game.

First, it's obvious that false negatives are possible. Even if a
reaction to pinching implies consciousness, it does not follow that no
reaction implies no consciousness. If I concentrate on it, I can
ignore a pinch of virtually any intensity.

Even so, it's still scientifically useful in theory. Let's try it out
on a Furby!


Furbies do not appear to be capable of pain. Perhaps if we programmed
one to scream in agony and gave it a linear actuator so that it can
propel itself away, whenever touched? These sedentary, polysensuously
perverse monstrosities are clearly unconscious; yet with the addition
of just a few strong negative reactions, we could turn one into the
perfect consciousness generator.

Too sarcastic?

You see my point, anyway. It's trivially easy to reproduce the outward
appearance of pain without the corresponding subjective experience.

Consciousness does not imply a reaction to pinching.

A reaction to pinching does not imply consciousness.

Thank you, try again!

The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com>:
> It is a hypocritical position where a person's arguments and a person's actions are in contradiction.


Hypocrisy does not imply falsehood, you'll note.

The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com>:
> You need not answer me until you have performed your experiment or chickened out of it. ;-)

That's okay, I have time!

I'll note that your test would work if we had rayguns that shoot pure
ionized pain, but sadly qualia have not yet been weaponized. C'est la

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