AuthorTopic: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom  (Read 18373 times)

Offline Ka

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #60 on: January 29, 2017, 01:40:34 PM »
On AI: I see no evidence in your argument that AI cant become conscious.

There is no scientific evidence either way, which is why it is a philosophical question, not a scientific one. I gave a philosophical argument for why consciousness transcends space and time, and so no strictly spatiotemporal mechanism could produce it. For you to maintain that AI can produce consciousness you need to give a philosophical argument for how that can happen. Otherwise, you are just saying "I believe".

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I believe consciousness is real, I just don't think it is supernatural.

In spite of all the anecdotal evidence that it is?

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Where is the evidence for the statement; "Only a non-spatiotemporal machine could produce consciousness."

See above.

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If the brain is a spatiotemporal machine then where does consciousness come from?

As an idealist (see below), I hold that consciousness does not come from anywhere. It is fundamental. Brains, along with the rest of physical reality come from consciousness.

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If it outside the physical realm, show me the evidence.

I have already addressed this. Science can only work with physical evidence, so to insist that only scientific evidence counts is to beg the question. On the other hand, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for non-physical existence, if you are willing to look for it, such as Monroe's book.


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Might well be a black swan moment if the singularity occurs,so we cant dismiss it without some reasoning.

I have been giving reasons for dismissing it, and why the singularity idea is so much hooey. So far I haven't seen any reasons for why it shouldn't be dismissed.

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What is your definition of consciousness and do animals have consciousness?

As an idealist I hold that there is nothing but consciousness, that nothing "has" consciousness, rather, we all are consciousness. As it is fundamental, it cannot be defined. Rather, everything else must be defined (and explained) in terms of consciousness.

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I am a little light on in this department. I am interested in your explanation now RE has pumped up your credentials!

I'm an amateur, but I have read a lot in philosophy and theology. What I hope to get across is that the positions we take on AI, on religion, etc., are based on our metaphysical presuppositions. You presuppose materialism, while I presuppose idealism. Most people presuppose dualism. The question is: how deeply have you examined your presupposition? Most people don't examine theirs at all. Here's the basic situation:

Materialism holds that the appearance of mentality is reducible to non-mentality.
Idealism holds that the appearance of non-mentality is reducible to mentality.
Dualism holds that mentality and non-mentality are both real, and neither is reducible to the other.

There is no scientific evidence that can discern which of these three is likely to be true. There is anecdotal evidence that indicates that materialism is false (though it doesn't discern between dualism and idealism).

The materialist has the intractable problem of how to reduce mentality to non-mentality.
The dualist has the intractable problem of how mentality and non-mentality interact.
The idealist has the tractable problem of how to explain the appearance of non-mentality.

By "intractable" I mean that after centuries no one has any idea of how to even guess at a solution. I consider the idealist's problem as tractable because there are ways to explain the appearance of non-mentality. The most common one is to note that there is the appearance of non-mentality in dreams, so waking consciousness could be a shared dream, which to be shared must follow strict rules, which we call the laws of classical physics. And there are other ways to think about it. If you read my "Is God a Doomer" piece, you will see reasons to think that the appearance of non-mentality came about through the evolution of consciousness. Anyway, all this is why I am an idealist. Why are you a materialist?

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Christianity and Buddhism?
Nope and nope.

Read the christian holly books. Full of death to blasphemers, adulterers, sodomites and many others. Promotes persecution of the same. Beating disobedient wives. Slavery, rape and forced marriage. After death there is eternal punishment and torment which gives those living reason to torment those they think are going to hell while still alive.
Plenty of people who call themselves Christians, including some clergy don't believe this stuff, problem is their religious doctrine is pretty unambiguous in their need to adhere to it. Thank goodness for religious disobedience!

None of this is Christian doctrine. "Doctrine" means "what the Church teaches". And while there are extremist sects that might teach white supremacy or such, no mainstream denomination teaches any of this. (You did see my note on Leviticus, right? For that matter, no Reform, Conservative, or Orthodox Jewish denomination teaches this). For example, what the Church teaches is that no one can know the eternal destiny of anyone, so if someone says "you are going to hell" they are violating Christian doctrine. There is also the problem of the difference between what is taught and what many of the laity believe. Many Christians' notions about God are such that the doctrine considers idolatrous. Hence the quote from Chesterton: "It is not that Christianity has been tried and failed, it is that Christianity is hard, and has not yet been tried".

Similarly with the doctrine of karma. If you think of it as a system of reward and punishment, you have got it all wrong.


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Religion makes good people do bad things.

The Christian doctrine of Original Sin explains this. Treating it metaphorically, I agree with it, though I prefer the Vedanta doctrine of Maya as an explanation. But this is another big topic.


Offline JRM

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #61 on: January 29, 2017, 02:10:11 PM »
There is a real enigma in the fields of cognitive science and philosophy of mind.  Even a mystery.

But it's not so much about "mentality," per se. Or even intelligence.  We have some primitive artificially intelligent machines already, and I expect them to become more and more intelligent over time.  But I don't expect them EVER to become "conscious" in any sense comparable to animals, including human animals.  To be "conscious" in this sense is to be an experiencing being.  No machine has ever had an experience.  Only animals, including humans, have experiences.

I have nothing to say which could demonstrate or prove my hypothesis here. But neither could anyone prove or demonstrate me to be wrong. That's because we have no foolproof test to determine whether anything, or anyone, is "conscious" in the sense of having awareness (a.k.a., "inner experiencing").  Nor do we have a scientific explanation for how awareness arises, or what it is, exactly.    Perhaps we never will.  Who knows, but I'll bet that only living beings will ever be experiencing, aware beings.  Machines will be smart -- highly intelligent. But they will not have "inner experiencing" is my best guess.   I guess I think of living beings as ontologically unique in this sense.  But it's only a guess.  And I'll be very worried when folks start assuming that AI machines are "just like us" in having "inner experience".  They may be able to fool even the experts in this way. But there is no test for it, and may never be one.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline JRM

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #62 on: January 29, 2017, 02:11:49 PM »
The last fifty or a hundred posts in this thread have had very little or nothing do do with the title of the thread.  I regret having contributed to that trend. 
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #63 on: January 29, 2017, 06:09:28 PM »
As an idealist (see below), I hold that consciousness does not come from anywhere. It is fundamental. Brains, along with the rest of physical reality come from consciousness.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/gBzJGckMYO4" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/gBzJGckMYO4</a>

You may consider yourself an Amateur as a Philosopher, but this whole post was straight out of the Ka handbook!  BARField himself could not have said it better!  You more than lived up to your reputation as the foremost metaphysical philosopher on the Diner.  ;D  lol.

Can't wait to see how JoW responds to this one!  :icon_sunny:

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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2017, 06:09:46 PM »
The last fifty or a hundred posts in this thread have had very little or nothing do do with the title of the thread.  I regret having contributed to that trend.

I'd split the topic,  if it weren't for the last time I split one.  Half of the thread  disappeared.

Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2017, 06:14:20 PM »
The last fifty or a hundred posts in this thread have had very little or nothing do do with the title of the thread.  I regret having contributed to that trend.

I'd split the topic,  if it weren't for the last time I split one.  Half of the thread  disappeared.

Oh alright.  I'll go back and look for a good splitting point and drop the new thread into Doom Psychology.

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Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #66 on: January 29, 2017, 06:23:41 PM »
Topic now split and last half moved to Doom Psychology.

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Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #67 on: January 29, 2017, 07:06:42 PM »
There is a real enigma in the fields of cognitive science and philosophy of mind.  Even a mystery.

But it's not so much about "mentality," per se. Or even intelligence.  We have some primitive artificially intelligent machines already, and I expect them to become more and more intelligent over time.  But I don't expect them EVER to become "conscious" in any sense comparable to animals, including human animals.  To be "conscious" in this sense is to be an experiencing being.  No machine has ever had an experience.  Only animals, including humans, have experiences.

Probably the best questions for AI come in the area of Emotions rather than Logical thought.  Can a machine experience Love or Hate?  Has anyone ever even tried to duplicate emotions in a computer?  Can it experience Hunger or Sexual Desire?  Can one AI Laptop ever be Sad when a friend AI Laptop goes offline & walkabout and no longer will chat with it?  Can an AI Laptop Cry? Can it Laugh?  Is anything Funny to an AI Laptop?

Computers are just a large array of Logical Switches.  Any way at all you program it is limited by this fact of engineering. In their current form, there just is no way they can reproduce the Human Psyche, and there is no way Elon Musk or Ray Kurzweil will drop their personal consciousness into a computer, without some massive revolution that would dwarf even Cold Fusion.  Such a thing is nowhere on the Horizon.

Beyond all of that is the Energy problem and requirements of computers, and nobody explains how they will manage to keep the gigajoules of energy flowing through their circuits as Homo Saps can no longer dig up enough even for themselves.

People who buy into AI and a "Singularity" are uniformly Techno-Engineering types who view the world very mechanistically.  The world of life though is not really mechanistic, not at a deep level anyhow.  It's quite an impenetrable problem, either for science or for philosophy.  What it "IS" can't be proved in any logical sense of the word.  To make up for the space in between what can be scientifically "proved" and what a philosophical argument is, you insert your BELIEFS.  You can then argue for why your belief is right and another one is wrong, but you can never prove it to someone who holds a different set of beliefs.

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« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 07:11:58 PM by RE »
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Offline Ka

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #68 on: January 29, 2017, 10:01:22 PM »
What it "IS" can't be proved in any logical sense of the word.  To make up for the space in between what can be scientifically "proved" and what a philosophical argument is, you insert your BELIEFS.  You can then argue for why your belief is right and another one is wrong, but you can never prove it to someone who holds a different set of beliefs.

True enough, but I would call it "commitment to a hypothesis", rather than a belief. I use the word 'belief' for that which it doesn't occur to me to doubt, like that if I let go of a rock it will fall to the ground. I don't know that idealism is true, but since it seems to me so much more plausible than the alternatives, I commit to it, in the sense of assuming it is true, and see where it leads. Some interesting places, as it turns out. A commitment to materialism, on the other hand, doesn't seem to lead anywhere. For one thing, it denies freedom of will, and nobody can live as if they had no will.

Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #69 on: January 30, 2017, 01:37:40 AM »
What it "IS" can't be proved in any logical sense of the word.  To make up for the space in between what can be scientifically "proved" and what a philosophical argument is, you insert your BELIEFS.  You can then argue for why your belief is right and another one is wrong, but you can never prove it to someone who holds a different set of beliefs.

True enough, but I would call it "commitment to a hypothesis", rather than a belief. I use the word 'belief' for that which it doesn't occur to me to doubt, like that if I let go of a rock it will fall to the ground. I don't know that idealism is true, but since it seems to me so much more plausible than the alternatives, I commit to it, in the sense of assuming it is true, and see where it leads. Some interesting places, as it turns out. A commitment to materialism, on the other hand, doesn't seem to lead anywhere. For one thing, it denies freedom of will, and nobody can live as if they had no will.

Since there are many more "materialists" than "idealists" out there, more people find nothing worth doubting in that philosophy.  That doesn't mean they are right, it just means you'll have a tough time of convincing any of them you are right.

Far as Free Will is concerned, first off you have to specify why you believe materialism denies free will, and then second why nobody can live as if they had no will.

Personally on a philosophical level, I don't find this distinction between materialism and idealism to be very edifying.  I can't even figure out how my own philosophy fits into this dichotomy.  It doesn't seem to be materialist, idealist or dualist.  I definitely think consciousness exists outside the physical limitations of the brain, but I don't think consciousness creates matter and energy.  They're all just different aspects of the totality we experience as "reality" while walking around in a meat suit.  Whatever created all of that reality would be what is generally referred to as "God".

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Offline John of Wallan

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #70 on: January 30, 2017, 03:13:20 AM »
I need 3 things before I can respond.....
1. A week to research all the stuff KA has thrown at me. It is very foreign.
2. Time to respond. Will have to wait to weekend. I'm working 12 your days weekdays
3. A good dictionary so I can understand half of what KA has said!

I am definately a creature of the physical world. I have to stretch my mind to go beyond that and will do so just to learn how to not be constrained by what I think I know. The old technology so advanced it appears as magic constraint.
In over my head I think but  I might learn something new this week.

New thoughts leading to new ideas!

Wait out.


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Offline RE

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2017, 03:27:29 AM »
3. A good dictionary so I can understand half of what KA has said!

When you get into metaphysics with Ka, you work into a massive SWAMP, and many words have definitions only Ka (or BARField or Coleridge) would commonly use.  Dictionaries aren't a great help, ask him to define his terms.

We have gone at it on numerous occassions in the past, although such discussions haven't been common recently.  We have a problem that we don't communicate in the same way, so we run into impasses because of this.

Over your head?  Yes, as I said, you will quickly get there with Ka, it's QUICKSAND.  If I am working on the same side as him in a given argument, you can square that problem.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/HoaUX38eC9M" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/HoaUX38eC9M</a>

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Offline John of Wallan

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #72 on: January 30, 2017, 12:14:19 PM »
Quickly before I go to work.
More questions than answers:
1. If consciousness is all around us, and we live in it rather than it inhabits us as  my notion, why cant mechanical systems obtain consciousness if we dont know the mechanisms of how we obtain it?
2. If it takes an organic brain to achieve consciousness, at what level does it obtain it? simple life forms, complex, vertebrates? What about trees and plants?
3. There should be physical manifestations of consciousness if it is as you describe. Measurable with experiment. Otherwise how does it manifest itself? Other than saying it is so, how can we prove it? This is where it gets religious in nature to me. It is because it says it is.

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Offline Ka

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #73 on: January 30, 2017, 02:20:55 PM »
Since there are many more "materialists" than "idealists" out there, more people find nothing worth doubting in that philosophy.  That doesn't mean they are right, it just means you'll have a tough time of convincing any of them you are right.

True, but it does me good, in that it makes me sharpen up my own philosophical position. However, I also think that the more materialists examine their position, the more they will see that it has to end up in the absurdity called "eliminative materialism" that I mentioned.


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Far as Free Will is concerned, first off you have to specify why you believe materialism denies free will, and then second why nobody can live as if they had no will.

If materialism is true then one's mind is nothing but the electro-chemical activity of the brain, which is deterministic. Hence, when you think you make a choice, what is "really" going on is that the brain is one in state rather than another. But which state it is in was determined by deterministic laws from its previous state, which in turn....back, one presumes, to the Big Bang. One could appeal to quantum indeterminacy, but then (as physicists will point out) you run up against the Law of Large Numbers. True, an electron might jump way one way rather than another, but once you get to big things like neurons, things are effectively just as deterministic as in classical physics.

When I say "one can't live" believing one has no will, I mean that one would be in a constant state of severe cognitive dissonance. You couldn't logically blame or praise anyone for anything. Your belief in materialism is itself utterly determined, as is your opponent's belief.

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Personally on a philosophical level, I don't find this distinction between materialism and idealism to be very edifying.  I can't even figure out how my own philosophy fits into this dichotomy.  It doesn't seem to be materialist, idealist or dualist.  I definitely think consciousness exists outside the physical limitations of the brain, but I don't think consciousness creates matter and energy.  They're all just different aspects of the totality we experience as "reality" while walking around in a meat suit.  Whatever created all of that reality would be what is generally referred to as "God".

Well, I would call you a dualist in that you think matter and energy are a different category of reality than is consciousness. And so, if you wanted to defend it philosophically, you are faced with the problem of how your will makes the brain send the signals to your fingers to type what you choose to say.

As to whether consciousness can create matter, God is conscious, and since there isn't anything else out of which matter could be created than God's consciousness, then matter must be created by consciousness. Now if you add a bunch of theological theory and strain it through an idealist vocabulary, one can get to the point of saying that what we consider material things and events are thoughts of God. Energy, under this theory, is the will of God being applied to think these thoughts.

Offline luciddreams

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Re: Thoughts & Ideas in the Philosophical World of Doom
« Reply #74 on: January 30, 2017, 03:43:08 PM »
Since there are many more "materialists" than "idealists" out there, more people find nothing worth doubting in that philosophy.  That doesn't mean they are right, it just means you'll have a tough time of convincing any of them you are right.

True, but it does me good, in that it makes me sharpen up my own philosophical position. However, I also think that the more materialists examine their position, the more they will see that it has to end up in the absurdity called "eliminative materialism" that I mentioned.


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Far as Free Will is concerned, first off you have to specify why you believe materialism denies free will, and then second why nobody can live as if they had no will.

If materialism is true then one's mind is nothing but the electro-chemical activity of the brain, which is deterministic. Hence, when you think you make a choice, what is "really" going on is that the brain is one in state rather than another. But which state it is in was determined by deterministic laws from its previous state, which in turn....back, one presumes, to the Big Bang. One could appeal to quantum indeterminacy, but then (as physicists will point out) you run up against the Law of Large Numbers. True, an electron might jump way one way rather than another, but once you get to big things like neurons, things are effectively just as deterministic as in classical physics.

When I say "one can't live" believing one has no will, I mean that one would be in a constant state of severe cognitive dissonance. You couldn't logically blame or praise anyone for anything. Your belief in materialism is itself utterly determined, as is your opponent's belief.

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Personally on a philosophical level, I don't find this distinction between materialism and idealism to be very edifying.  I can't even figure out how my own philosophy fits into this dichotomy.  It doesn't seem to be materialist, idealist or dualist.  I definitely think consciousness exists outside the physical limitations of the brain, but I don't think consciousness creates matter and energy.  They're all just different aspects of the totality we experience as "reality" while walking around in a meat suit.  Whatever created all of that reality would be what is generally referred to as "God".

Well, I would call you a dualist in that you think matter and energy are a different category of reality than is consciousness. And so, if you wanted to defend it philosophically, you are faced with the problem of how your will makes the brain send the signals to your fingers to type what you choose to say.

As to whether consciousness can create matter, God is conscious, and since there isn't anything else out of which matter could be created than God's consciousness, then matter must be created by consciousness. Now if you add a bunch of theological theory and strain it through an idealist vocabulary, one can get to the point of saying that what we consider material things and events are thoughts of God. Energy, under this theory, is the will of God being applied to think these thoughts.

Bravo Sir :eusa_clap:

You just upped my spiritual game...thanks :emthup:

What say you to this:

Reality has just always existed as the alpha and omega.  Reality is God. What we experience with our senses being reality.  With the caveat that we have more senses then are commonly used.  Like whatever sense you would ascribe to an Oneironaut...which is what I am.  In amateur one, but in training.  I've been dabbling with it since I was 18.  Currently I am not dabbling.  I have a dream journal that I regularly hand write dreams into. 

Currently my unconscious dream mind is my study.  I know that sounds egotistical, but I also know that Ka understands that it is not.  One cannot help anybody if one's mind is not one's own...


 

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