Re: Asifism

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2007 13:41:46 +0200

Le 01-juin-07, à 18:47, Torgny Tholerus a écrit :

> Bruno Marchal skrev:
>> One more question: supposing you are correct, is it ethically wrong to
>> torture you? Is it ethically wrong to torture an entity without
>> consciousness (supposing we could be sure of that) even if it acts
>> like it was conscious?
> This is an interesting question. And the answer is:
> When I am tortured, my pain center in my brain will be stimulated.
> This
> will cause me to try to avoid this situation (being tortured). One
> (good) way to archive this is to start talking about "ethics". If I
> can
> make other human beings to "believe" that it is ethically wrong to
> torture objects, that behave as if they were conscious, then the
> probability that somebody will torture me decreases.

But if "me" is not conscious, why should us try to diminish that

> This is all ethics is about: Trying to avoid stimulating the pain
> center
> in our brains.

Could pain exist without consciousness?
Do you agree that the sensation of pain is different from acting like
if having that sensation of pain?
If not movie actors would complain!

> By the way, are you more sure about proton than about your belief in
> proton? What would that mean?
> I look at myself in the third person view. I then see a lot of
> protons reacting with eachother, and I see how they explain my
> behavior and the words I produce. I see how they cause me saying "I
> am conscious! I have a free will! I am happy!". This is all that
> is. This explains everything.

Assuming materialism it could explain everything describable at the
third person. Assuming comp, it cannot even explain neutron, which is
most probably a first person plural construct (not a human one, but I
guess a lobian one: it is far more general).

If you assume eliminativist materialism, then you would be right in
case you are indeed a zombie, something which, frankly, I doubt.

Self-referentially correct machines disagree with you, they can already
distinguish first person and third person notions and other nuances.


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Received on Sat Jun 02 2007 - 07:42:03 PDT

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