Re: How would a computer know if it were conscious?

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 13:54:35 +1000

On 07/06/07, <> wrote:

Nope. You are confusing the goal of evolutions ('survive, feed,
> reproduce') with human goals. Our goals as individuals are not the
> goals of evolution. Evolution explains *why* we have the preferences
> we do, but this does not mean that our goals are the goals of our
> genes. (If they were, we would spend all our time donating to sperm
> banks which would maximize the goals of evolution).

Evolution has not had a chance to take into account modern reproductive
technologies, so we can easily defeat the goal "reproduce", and see the goal
"feed" as only a means to the higher level goal "survive". However, *that*
goal is very difficult to shake off. We take survival as somehow profoundly
and self-evidently important, which it is, but only because we've been
programmed that way (ancestors that weren't would not have been ancestors).
Sometimes people become depressed and no longer wish to survive, but that's
an example of neurological malfunction. Sometimes people "rationally" give
up their own survival for the greater good, but that's just an example of
interpreting the goal so that it has greater scope, not overthrowing it.

Stathis Papaioannou
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Wed Jun 06 2007 - 23:54:45 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:14 PST