[ExI] Zombie glutamate

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Mon Feb 16 18:42:15 UTC 2015

On Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 11:49 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>

>> Since you can't prove what causes consciousness you can't prove that
>> moving the mind to a different substrate, like from biology to electronics,
>> won't effect or destroy the consciousness.
> > Yes, you CAN prove just that, with the only assumption being that
> consciousness, if it exists,

We don't need to assume that, we all know from direct experience that
consciousness exists, or at least I know that mine does.

> > is due to physical processes in your brain.

Sure, but WHICH physical process? If you're going to change the substrate
your mind operates on from biology to electronics then, although the
logical schematic would remain the same, some physical processes are going
to change or be eliminated entirely. If one of those physical mechanisms
produces consciousness and does nothing else (and the discovery of such a
thing would prove Darwin wrong because it could never been created by
natural selection) and your new mind doesn't include it then you would be
just as intelligent as you are now or even more so, but you would not be
conscious. However as I've said I think the probability of that idea being
correct and Darwin being wrong is so ridiculously tiny it would be silly to
worry about it.

> > As I've tried to explain several times, the argument is a reductio ad
> absurdum. If we say that a replacement part functions perfectly according
> to every test but lacks the ability to sustain consciousness, that would
> allow us to make you completely blind


> > but you would behave normally

Yes, you'd be a intelligent zombie, and I worry about the idea that
intelligent zombies are possible about as much as I worry about me being
the only conscious entity in the universe. Not much.

> > according to any test we apply to you, and either honestly believe that
> you had normal vision or, if you realised you were blind [...]

I don't understand. If you're not conscious then you're out of the
realization game, you behave intelligently but you don't realize anything.

 John K Clark

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