[ExI] a little essay on anger and respect

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Tue Apr 25 13:08:20 UTC 2023

On Tue, Apr 25, 2023 at 4:07 AM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

>   Because if you murder someone, you are destroying at most 100 years of
> life.  But if you push the singularity back a day, you've prevented
> thousands of people from making it to the immortal life (i.e. heaven) after
> the singularity.

Nice insight.

> Precisely the reason I fight against anti qualia transhumanists is because
> in my belief, you are part of the problem.  Everyone can know, absolutely,
> that our knowledge of [image: red_border.png], is different from a code
> like "*RED*".  And I'm sorry, in my opinion, as  much as you know about
> neuroscience, to me, and many religious people, when you make the claims
> you make about qualities, like this, you completely destroy your reputation
> in their eyes.

Qualia (as in states of consciousness) are the most important thing (or
perhaps the only important thing (ultimately)) there is. I write about
this, and reach this conclusion here:
So I agree with yo 100% that understanding qualia and how to produce them,
and create more of them, and better of them, is incredibly important, and I
believe will set the course of things to come after the singularity.

But while qualia may be the only important thing (from an axiological stand
point) there is, that does not necessarily mean it is the best starting
point when it comes to understanding what consciousness is or how it works.
No more so than we would attempt to understand how a smartphone works by
focusing solely on its graphical display. So when others on this list say
to you "Forget about redness" it is not because they think qualia don't
exist or aren't (axiologically) important, but rather, they aren't
important to understanding the processes that underlie consciousness, they
are the end state, the final product, like the graphical interface on top
of the myriads of layers and processes functioning within the smartphone.

So functionalists need not be your enemy in your quest. They may turn out
to be your greatest ally (assuming they help us to converge on the truth,
whatever it may be). In the end we both want to understand how
consciousness works, and those on this list who want to upload themselves,
certainly have a vested interest in making sure we have the right theory of
consciousness in hand. I don't think anyone on this list would disagree.

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