[ExI] Quantum consciousness, quantum mysticism, and transhumanist engineering

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri Mar 31 15:19:36 UTC 2017

On Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 4:11 PM, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>

​> ​
> Part of our consciousness is a real detection system ​

I've asked this more than once before but I'll ask it again because it is
the key to the entire matter, WHAT'S WITH THIS "*OUR*" BUSINESS? You have
direct evidence of the existence of one conscious being in the universe,
and that's it. Nothing more. After that all you can do is use a theory to
infer consciousness from behavior.  Even if there is no proof I think it is
a very reasonable assumption the theory is true, but it would be
inconsistent to invoke it only when the being in question has a soft
squishy brain and ignore it if the brain is hard and metallic.

> ​> ​
> of whatever is the neural correlate of redness.  So, if we are talking
> about qualia, we are talking about consciously detecting the real thing,
> and distinguishing it from greenness.

What evidence do
​ ​
you have that you can do this but a computer with a hard metallic brain can

​And ​w
hat evidence do you have that you can do this and I
a human with a soft squishy brain
can too

> ​> ​
> That's what consciousness is, it is a detector of qualities of nature of
> something in our brain.  If you neurosubstitute out this ability to do this
> detection (either subjectively or objectively), your argument becomes
> invalid.

​Your thought experiment is invalid. Good thought experiments like
Einstein's show things, but you're not showing that one system experiences
qualia and the other doesn't, you're just stated that one does and one
doesn't. You've ruled out behavior for some reason I don't understand, so
until you can find some other way to tell when the system is detecting
qualia and when it is not we can learn nothing from your thought experiment.

> ​> ​
> and there is a real part of nature that has a redness quality, without it
> being some kind of: "A miracle happens here."

​OK, suppose someday we find
a real part of nature that has a redness quality
​, the next obvious question would be, "what gives this real part on nature
the redness quality?". ​ For anything, not just consciousness, the chain of
"why did that happen?" questions can only have 2 possible outcomes:

The chain of questions goes on forever
​like an ​infinitely large
​ with one question always lurking inside another.

2) The chain of questions eventually terminates in a brute fact. At that
point if you want you could indeed say "a
miracle happens here
​"; or you could be less dramatic and say ​
there are just no more whys in the why bag.

​I think it is a brute fact that consciousness is the way data feels when
it is being processed.​

​  John K Clark​

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