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machine brains

lesterzick at earthlink.net lesterzick at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 9 11:45:05 EST 1999


How do we know whether a brain is thinking in terms of its own thoughts
without understanding what a thought is in determinate mechanical terms
and what it means to think?

Regards - Lester


In article <79pa28$1vr$1 at garnet.mint.net>,
  "William Thomas" <wthomas at mint.net> wrote:
> I agree with Michael, however in my original message I was just laying out
> some rhetorical questions to point out that brains, organisms, and quasi
> organisms all function quite comfortably without any need for consciousness.
> The thing I really wanted to stress was not to get hung up on what is or is
> not conscious when thinking about designing a brain because:
>
> A.   The soul, or consciousness, if real, is separate from the brain. This
> is obvious, because there is no structural difference between our brains and
> the brains of major primates that would account for the function of a soul.
> Now, if the soul crowd was interested in dishing out consciousness and souls
> to all the primates, it would be a different story, however I don't think
> they are ready to do that.
>
> B.   The more likely reality is that the soul is an illusion created by the
> brain. In this case it could be assumed that if you design a clever enough
> machine brain, the brain would fool itself into thinking it had
> consciousness. In this event we would be hard pressed to argue, seeing as we
> can not agree what, if anything, consciousness is.
>
>

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