Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Torgny Tholerus <>
Date: Thu, 07 May 2009 18:29:37 +0200

Bruno Marchal skrev:
> On 06 May 2009, at 11:35, Torgny Tholerus wrote:
>> Bruno Marchal skrev:
>>> Someone unconscious cannot doubt either ... (A zombie can only fake
>>> doubts)
>> Yes, you are right. I can only fake doubts...
> I suspect you are faking faking doubts, but of course I cannot provide
> any argument.
> I mean it is hard for me to believe that you are a zombie, still less
> a zombie conscious to be a zombie!

I am a zombie that behaves AS IF it knows that it is a zombie.

>>> When you say "yes" to the doctor, we
>>> assume the "yes" is related to the belief that you will survive. This
>>> means you believe that you will not loose consciousness, not become a
>>> zombie, nor will you loose (by assumption) your own consciousness, by
>>> becoming someone else you can't identify with.
>> I can say "yes" to the doctor, because it will not be any difference
>> for me, I will still be a zombie afterwards...
> I don't know if you do this to please me, but you illustrate quite
> well the Löbian "consciousness" theory.
> Indeed the theory says that "consciousness" can be very well
> approximated logically by "consistency".
> So a human (you are human, all right?

I look exactly as a human. When you look at me, you will not be able to
know if I am a human or a zombie, because I behave exacly like a human.

> ) who says "I am a zombie", means
> "I am not conscious", which can mean "I am not consistent".
> By Gödel's second theorem, you remain consistent(*), but you loose
> arithmetical soundness, which is quite coherent with your
> ultrafinitism. If I remember well, you don't believe that there is an
> infinity of natural numbers, right?

Yes it is right. There is no infinity of natural numbers. But the
natural numbers are UNLIMITED, you can construct as many natural numbers
as you want. But how many numbers you construct, the number of numbers
will always be finite. You can never construct an infinite number of
natural numbers.

> We knew already you are not arithmetically sound. Nevertheless it is
> amazing that you pretend that you are a zombie. This confirms, in the
> lobian frame, that you are a zombie. I doubt all ultrafinitists are
> zombie, though.
> It is coherent with what I tell you before: I don't think a real
> ultrafinitist can know he/she is an ultrafinitist. No more than a
> zombie can know he is a zombie, nor even give any meaning to a word
> like "zombie".
> My diagnostic: you are a consistent, but arithmetically unsound,
> Löbian machine. No problem.

An ordinary computer can never be arithmetically unsound. So I am not
arithmetically unsound. I am build by a finite number of atoms, and the
atoms are build by a finite number of elementary parts. (And these
elementary parts are just finite mathematics...)

> There are not many zombies around me, still fewer argue that they are
> zombie, so I have some questions for you, if I may.
> 1) Do you still answer yes to the doctor if he proposes to substitute
> your brain by a sponge?

If the sponge behaves exactly in the same way as my current brain, then
it will be OK.

> 2) Do humans have the right to torture zombie?

Does an ordinary computer have the "right" to do anything?

I do not want to be tortured, I behave as if I try to avoid that as
strongly as I can. Because I behave in this way, I answer "no" to your
question, because that answer will decrease the probability of you
torturing me.

> 3) Do you have any "sort-of" feeling, insight, dreams, impression,
> sensations, subjective or mental life, ... ?

I behave as if I have "sort-of" feelings, I behave as if I have
insights, I behave as if I have dreams, I behave as if I have
impressions, I behave as if I have sensations, I behave as if I have a
subjective or mental life, ...

> 4) Does the word "pain" have a meaning for you? In particular, what if
> the doctor, who does not know that you are a zombie, proposes to you a
> cheaper artificial brain, but warning you that it produces often
> unpleasant hard migraine? Still saying yes?

No, I will say "no" in this case, because I avoid things that causes
"pain". I have an "avoiding center" in my brain, and when this center
in my brain is stimulated, then my behavior will be to avoid those
things that causes this center to be stimulated. Stimulating this
center will cause me to say: "I feel pain".

Torgny Tholerus
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Received on Thu May 07 2009 - 18:29:37 PDT

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