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consciousness

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Thu May 22 22:13:48 EST 1997


I give up.  It's hopeless.











In <Pine.A32.3.91.970522181506.16947B-100000 at glibm8.cen.uiuc.edu>
Eugene Khutoryansky <ekhutory at glibm8.cen.uiuc.edu> writes: 
>
>
>
>On Thu, 22 May 1997, John H. Casada wrote:
>
>> This seems to be developing into the kind of debate that will have
no 
>> winners.  Each side catrivial liguistic game and a trick of
sophistry -- 
>> don't tell me what I must think, ask me what I think and why.)  
>gically consistent, that is your choice.
>
>
>> There 
>> are some who jump lightly from the concept of "consciousness" to the

>> concept of "sensience" and treat these a
>> logic."
>
>I doubt we are all using the same definitions of these words. 
According 
>to one dictionary definition, "sentience" is the ability to detect and

>respond to outside stimuli.  But then, an electric bell would be 
>sentient, and that is not what we were trying to convey.  A similar 
>definition of "conscious" which was offered in a previous post lead to

>the same result.
>
>Here is the concept I am trying to convey.  There are some people who 
>believe in the existence of something similar to a "soul".  To them, 
>items such as electric bellsam trying to convey by the word
"conscious" or 
>"sentient" is something s

imilually perceives this stimuli.  An electric bell 
>does not count as an "observer".  This is not a very good definition 
>(since now I would have to define "observer", which I can not) but my 
>point is that it is impossible tsume that other organisms are not
conscious 
>until "proven" otherwise.  As a result, they believe that other
species 
>are not conscious.  However, to be consistent, they would have to 
>conclude that all human beings other than them self are not conscious 
>either.  This is due to the fact that it is also not possible to
provide 
>concrete evidence that other human beings are conscious.
>
>The reason that I do believe that other animals (including humans) are

>conscious is through inductive reasoning.  That is, I know that I am 
>conscious.  I know that other animals (including human beings) have
many 
>visible characteristics which are similar to the ones I have.  I 
>therefore conclude that they are probably conscious.  
>
>> 
>> If we are to discuss "consciousness," then please let us agree on
what 
>> we are talking about. If we are going to talk about a variety of 
>> phenomena that we may (or legitimately may not) think are correlated

>> with "consciousness" then let us say so.  But let's try to avoid 
>> talking about "sensience" and pret
>> 
>
>I needed to mention animal rights to demonstrate that there is indeed
a 
>fundamental disagreement, and that it is not just a dispute over the 
>definitions of words.  By the way, believing that our own species has 
>"rights", but that other species do n
>have equal moral obligations regarding both our own and other species.
>




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