[ExI] Pascals wager

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Wed May 5 00:17:07 UTC 2021

On Wed, 5 May 2021 at 09:34, Hermes Trismegistus via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> The only way to scientifically test a theory regarding consciousness, such
> as the uploading theory, is to have a consciousness perform the
> observations of tests on itself or entities that are similar enough. If the
> consciousness cannot detect any effect or change whatsoever, then
> scientifically one must conclude that there was no effect on consciousness.
> If uploading was performed gradually such that simulated neurons gradually
> replace the biological ones through some connection, then the consciousness
> could observe any noticeable changes. In a proper upload(correctly
> simulates all the neurons and accompanying molecules), the subject cannot
> notice a change because a proper upload preserves behavior. Therefore there
> cannot be any observation that gives evidence that a proper upload does not
> preserve consciousness.
> The belief that uploading does not preserve consciousness then must stem
> from a conviction that there is some attribute to consciousness that is not
> observable, even to the subject herself. This is of course an unscientific
> belief, but many, even seemingly rational, people believe in such ethereal
> things. I think people like attaching mysterious attributes to
> consciousness because it makes them feel special, that they transcend the
> material world.
The most serious problem with the idea that there is an aspect of
consciousness which is not observable even to the subject herself is not
scientific, it is logical. A difference that is neither objective nor
subjective us no difference at all. If I had an injury requiring a part of
my brain to be replaced and I had the choice of an electronic implant for
$5000 or a magical implant for $6000, and knew that neither I nor anyone
else would be able to tell any difference between them, why would I choose
the more expensive option?

> --
Stathis Papaioannou
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