[ExI] [Exl] Digital Consciousness

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri May 3 14:50:03 UTC 2013

On Fri, May 3, 2013  Gordon <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>  we could in principle train a massive group of pigeons to peck in a
> manner analogous to how the brain supposedly acts like a digital computer.
> We could say a peck = 1, and a non-peck = 0. Would that group of pigeons
> really be a mind?

Logic provides a unambiguous answer to that question, yes. And if that is
counter to our intuition then that's just tough because there is no reason
to expect us to have the inherent ability to just see what the answer must
be without even thinking about it, in the way we can just know how to move
our hands to catch a baseball. The difference is that those who had good
hand eye coordination had more descendants than those who lacked that
skill, but the ability to just intuit the correct answer to philosophical
problems of this sort would have conveyed no Evolutionary advantage to our
ancestors and thus today we have inherited no skill in this area.  So being
unable to trust our ability to just intuit the correct answer to the
question we have no choice but to use logic to painfully work through it
step by step, and when we do that the answer is a unequivocal yes.

  John K Clark
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