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

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2007 09:57:41 -0700

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> On 07/06/07, * <>*
> < <>> wrote:
> Evolution doesn't care about the survival of individual organisms
> directly, the actual goal of evolution is only to maximize
> reproductive fitness.
> If you want to eat a peice of chocolate cake, evolution explains why
> you like the taste, but your goals are not evolutions goals. You
> (Stathis) want to the cake because it tastes nice - *your* goal is to
> experience the nice taste. Evolution's goal (maximize reproductive
> fitness) is quite different. Our (human) goals are not evolution's
> goals.
> That's right, but we can see through evolution's tricks with the
> chocolate cake and perhaps agree that it would be best not to eat it.
> This involves reasoning about subgoals in view of the top level goal,
> something that probably only humans among the animals are capable of
> doing. However, the top level goal is not something that we generally
> want to change, no matter how insightful and intelligent we are. And I
> do think that this top level goal must have been programmed into us
> directly as fear of death, because it does not arise logically from the
> desire to avoid painful and anxiety-provoking situations, which is how
> fear of death is indirectly coded in animals.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou

The top level goal implied by evolution would be to have as many children as you can raise through puberty. Avoiding death should only be a subgoal.

Brent Meeker

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Received on Thu Jun 07 2007 - 13:02:16 PDT

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