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Old 14-12-11, 10:09   #111
Ikas90
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We don't understand it fully yet. That is very different from "it can't be understood". Obviously, the universe holds too much data for one human mind to ever hold it all. But with many of us working together, and using computers for data storage and for any computational needs? Maybe it still can't be understood. But we can't know that for sure unless we've tried.

Understanding the universe better is one of the greatest things humans can do; perhaps the only thing worth doing after the basics (ensure survival of the species and live a comfortable and long life) are done. Saying "ah, it'll never succeed" right at the start is a red flag for me.
I don't think we need to try in order to find out that we "can't do it". We can indeed try, and while we can try to understand as much as we can, we will never have the full story. For instance, we do not know what occurred before the Big Bang, and I don't see how it's humanly possible to measure that with technology, since the borders of our universe limits us.

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Why do you think so? What makes consciousness special?
Consciousness makes consciousness special. The fact that we have it. Like I said, we do not need it, and there is no reason for us to have it; we can survive without it - we will just not be able to genuinely observe; just look like we can.

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So self-referential observing is enough? I'd ask "what does it take to be an observer", but if I understood you correctly, the answer to that would be consciousness, which you consider to be a special property that happens through means we cannot understand and cannot replicate, correct?
Yes, except I wouldn't exactly say that consciousness is a "property", nor is it something that "happens". It's something that just is. It is the essence of existence. Again, you're looking at consciousness as if it is something material and literal. Would you also call "existence" a thing?

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Originally Posted by Cochrane
Actually, I'm referring to root pointers in a garbage collection system, but yes, God would work, too. Due to what you said above, this point has become moot: If a floating island of observers that only observe each other is still real, then there is no need for a root observer.
And like I said, with us, there may be no root observer, as technically we ARE God, hence we are root observers ourselves.

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Oh, I understand philosophical concepts, I just think they are generally pointless, stupid and can actually hinder understanding of the world to a similar amount as misunderstood quantum theory. I believe we'll never learn anything interesting about the world through philosophy. All the interesting stuff is in science, with its observation (in the scientific sense), theories, and codified logic (in particular maths).
Well, truth be told, different people are going to find different things important. I for one choose to live my life believing that it is a gift, and given to me purposefully, as this very belief is what drives me forward. Life without meaning ultimately must mean that everything I do will not count, and nothing I do really matters; it will all be forgotten, and it might as well be said to have never happened. I think it's a very cynical and nihilistic perspective, not to mention also depressing, to believe that we simply spawned out of sheer luck and that there is absolutely nothing for us. Theoretically, we still could have spawned out of sheer luck - but without the need for the universe to hand consciousness to us, as I see consciousness only as something that can be purposefully given or passed on, not spawn miraculously - because as I said, there is absolutely no reason for us to have it.

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You assume that there is some difference between "genuine" and "fake" observation, "genuine" and "fake" emotion, "genuine" and "fake" consciousness. I think that is incorrect. I think consciousness, being alive, being able to observe and whatever else you want are not some weird magic from the universe; just high-level descriptions for rather complicated processes that we don't fully understand yet. Do you have a good reason why I should regard consciousness as something special?
So by that logic, should I assume that computers, houses and robots can all feel pain?

Yes, they absolutely are different. You are a conscious human being. You feel, you perceive. A robot is something that doesn't feel anything, nor is it aware that it exists. It has no soul, so to speak. How you think a robot can actually do that is beyond me. A robot can never be aware of itself, no matter how many times you program it to say "I am aware of myself".

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Well yes. Evolution is pointless, as in, it has no defined goal. That's kind of the point of the whole thing.

You do realize it is a bit ironic when you say we shouldn't look for a reason, and then give a reason for that? My comment was because you specifically keep talking about how things would be pointless or what reason the universe might have for a certain decision.
Well I think that everything is the way it is for a reason, but that doesn't mean we need to look for those reasons; rather just sit back, relax, and enjoy the lives we're meant to live out. After all, we do not know for certain if this is our only shot at it. It would be pointless to know the answer to that. I don't see it as ironic, really. I mean, surely it's acceptable to have a reason for not understanding our reason for being here.

We will probably end up saying the same things over and over again and not get anywhere with this, lol. Although I must say it's good discussion material. My goal is not to get you to believe what I believe, but rather, discuss these things to recognise and understand our differences and perspectives, and to help us grow and learn.
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Old 14-12-11, 10:45   #112
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Oh, I understand philosophical concepts, I just think they are generally pointless, stupid and can actually hinder understanding of the world to a similar amount as misunderstood quantum theory. I believe we'll never learn anything interesting about the world through philosophy. All the interesting stuff is in science, with its observation (in the scientific sense), theories, and codified logic (in particular maths).
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I think there should be a new rule for philosophical discussions here: Do not apply quantum theory to trees. Never helps.


That misconception.

I think you've deleted a text I read in this thread of how you use concepts about computers to talk philosophy. I can not find it. Anyway, let me tell you whenever I can read you talking about issues related to this, your defense becomes absolutely square.
Your PC, your computer, your circuits never fail, never make mistakes, there is never a blue screen, you never need to reboot, you never need maintenance, fans, cooling system, cables, everything, absolutely everything is perfect and infinite. But sadly that is not so. In your perfect system you will never admit the unexplained variables that make things stop being suddenly. Because yes. For something you do not know and escapes from your logic. If by chance something like that happens, you enter another separate process and not related to the above, which re-compete the rationality of the perfect and logical explanations attempted, consensual and perfectly demonstrable. But suddenly, again, inexplicably appears a tummy ache, and your system breaks down again, though you do not want to admit it or see it.
You often forget the circle in your approach.

All that being said with respect and knowing, how wonderful you are as a rival in these conflicts.

You acknowledge the existence of sound though not heard by anyone.
But you do not admit/acknowledge the existence of concepts, beliefs or personal experiences, religious or private.
You admit the sound because you have previously known, but those who have known or perceived no measurable mystical concepts are wrong for lack of scientific veracity. Simply because the only measuring device that exists is the human being in question. One who could feel that feeling.

So the sound is there or is not there.


EDIT: And I know that with this post, all I do is give you a new reason, a new argument in your favor and against me... or maybe not. So capricious is life.
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Old 15-12-11, 08:20   #113
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I don't think we need to try in order to find out that we "can't do it". We can indeed try, and while we can try to understand as much as we can, we will never have the full story. For instance, we do not know what occurred before the Big Bang, and I don't see how it's humanly possible to measure that with technology, since the borders of our universe limits us.



Consciousness makes consciousness special. The fact that we have it. Like I said, we do not need it, and there is no reason for us to have it; we can survive without it - we will just not be able to genuinely observe; just look like we can.



Yes, except I wouldn't exactly say that consciousness is a "property", nor is it something that "happens". It's something that just is. It is the essence of existence. Again, you're looking at consciousness as if it is something material and literal. Would you also call "existence" a thing?



And like I said, with us, there may be no root observer, as technically we ARE God, hence we are root observers ourselves.



Well, truth be told, different people are going to find different things important. I for one choose to live my life believing that it is a gift, and given to me purposefully, as this very belief is what drives me forward. Life without meaning ultimately must mean that everything I do will not count, and nothing I do really matters; it will all be forgotten, and it might as well be said to have never happened. I think it's a very cynical and nihilistic perspective, not to mention also depressing, to believe that we simply spawned out of sheer luck and that there is absolutely nothing for us. Theoretically, we still could have spawned out of sheer luck - but without the need for the universe to hand consciousness to us, as I see consciousness only as something that can be purposefully given or passed on, not spawn miraculously - because as I said, there is absolutely no reason for us to have it.



So by that logic, should I assume that computers, houses and robots can all feel pain?

Yes, they absolutely are different. You are a conscious human being. You feel, you perceive. A robot is something that doesn't feel anything, nor is it aware that it exists. It has no soul, so to speak. How you think a robot can actually do that is beyond me. A robot can never be aware of itself, no matter how many times you program it to say "I am aware of myself".



Well I think that everything is the way it is for a reason, but that doesn't mean we need to look for those reasons; rather just sit back, relax, and enjoy the lives we're meant to live out. After all, we do not know for certain if this is our only shot at it. It would be pointless to know the answer to that. I don't see it as ironic, really. I mean, surely it's acceptable to have a reason for not understanding our reason for being here.

We will probably end up saying the same things over and over again and not get anywhere with this, lol. Although I must say it's good discussion material. My goal is not to get you to believe what I believe, but rather, discuss these things to recognise and understand our differences and perspectives, and to help us grow and learn.
I think the important question that we differ on is whether consciousness is something special. Everything else follows from that. To me, consciousness is simply the result of some very complicated processes in my brain. My ability to feel pain is a process that gives me an evolutionary advantage, because it makes me run away from danger. In short, I see no difference between me and a hypothetical robot programmed to feel pain, to observe and so on. Just the implementation might be different.

I know you disagree, but from a scientific point of view, I cannot understand why. That is why I keep asking about the difference between "real" and "fake" consciousness (which, to me, are the same). Your assertion that consciousness just is special certainly does not help me.

You think my point of view is cynical, but I am not do sure of that. Yes, I do believe that all we ever did or were will be forgotten in time. But that does not make it unimportant now. My actions, my very presence, change the world for this around me. Most of the time not very much, of course, but still a little bit. Meaning comes after and because of life (or consciousness), not before. Ultimately, the idea that we have no pre-defined meaning is only as cynical as you want it to be.

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That misconception.

I think you've deleted a text I read in this thread of how you use concepts about computers to talk philosophy. I can not find it. Anyway, let me tell you whenever I can read you talking about issues related to this, your defense becomes absolutely square.
Your PC, your computer, your circuits never fail, never make mistakes, there is never a blue screen, you never need to reboot, you never need maintenance, fans, cooling system, cables, everything, absolutely everything is perfect and infinite. But sadly that is not so. In your perfect system you will never admit the unexplained variables that make things stop being suddenly. Because yes. For something you do not know and escapes from your logic. If by chance something like that happens, you enter another separate process and not related to the above, which re-compete the rationality of the perfect and logical explanations attempted, consensual and perfectly demonstrable. But suddenly, again, inexplicably appears a tummy ache, and your system breaks down again, though you do not want to admit it or see it.
You often forget the circle in your approach.

All that being said with respect and knowing, how wonderful you are as a rival in these conflicts.

You acknowledge the existence of sound though not heard by anyone.
But you do not admit/acknowledge the existence of concepts, beliefs or personal experiences, religious or private.
You admit the sound because you have previously known, but those who have known or perceived no measurable mystical concepts are wrong for lack of scientific veracity. Simply because the only measuring device that exists is the human being in question. One who could feel that feeling.

So the sound is there or is not there.


EDIT: And I know that with this post, all I do is give you a new reason, a new argument in your favor and against me... or maybe not. So capricious is life.
First of all: One of the nice things about computers is that they do not fail for no reason. No matter what happens, if you spend enough time, there will be a perfectly logical reason why it stopped working. There are times when finding that reason can be do difficult that it is no longer practical to do so. But the reason is there, and if we wanted to, we'd find it sooner or later.

Yes, I do evaluate things that have real scientific evidence differently from those where there are only people who say they've experienced something, with no way to reproduce it. Is that unfair or wrong of me? Maybe. But I think it is the only useful way to understand the world, because people are not reliable.
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Old 15-12-11, 09:09   #114
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First of all: One of the nice things about computers is that they do not fail for no reason. No matter what happens, if you spend enough time, there will be a perfectly logical reason why it stopped working. There are times when finding that reason can be do difficult that it is no longer practical to do so. But the reason is there, and if we wanted to, we'd find it sooner or later.
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If by chance something like that happens, you enter another separate process and not related to the above, which re-compete the rationality of the perfect and logical explanations attempted, consensual and perfectly demonstrable.
Do you see?

If you were talking and visit to some electronics technician, you might change your way of thinking. Maybe.

Do you know why science attempts that only an electron activates certain components? Why look for the size of the circuitry is so small that electrons have no chance to escape to an expected destination?

Indeed, one reason is to eliminate unexplained variables. Electrons with anomalous and unexpected behavior.
Not to mention the deterioration of the components in question.

Sometimes I think that so-called non-believers are the true believers.
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