Re: Free will/consciousness/ineffability

From: Marchal <>
Date: Fri Oct 5 05:49:58 2001

Neil Lion wrote:

>This is true, but the current state of a computer can always be represented
>within a finite string. Perhaps the computer cannot ever realize this, as
>the description will be a part of the computer (ad-infinitum), but as long
>as I see myself as seperate from the process of the computation, I can
>objectively describe it in a 'total' manner - I can always describe all the
>constituent parts that satisfy the circumstance of my definition of a

You can only bet on a level of description.

>It is by definition, finitely realizable, which isn't really true
>for things that really exist in the objective world. In reality, I am not
>completely seperate from the computer as an actual physical object, but it's
>like an emulation of a computer running on a 'real' computer; code running
>on the emulated computer, makes no more sense to the actual physical
>computer its based on than any other arbitrary program would. A physical
>computer makes no more sense to the 'cosmos' than does any other arbitrary
>arrangement of objects.

But the same can be said about the brain or the body. I don't understand
the nature of the difference you are supposing.

>So is a physical computer an immaterial machine, or is it just an example of
>an immaterial machine, that does actually exist in somewhere in Plationia,
>or is it neither?

It is neither. The physical aspect of the computer comes from
the covering of all immaterial description of that computer made
at all possible correct level of description existing in Platonia.
(look at the UDA; links at

>Seeing that there is no rigerous way to define what
>actually constitues a physical computer, and what does not, does it make any
>sense to say "my desktop computer" has become conscious?

Your desktop computer cannot be conscious, nor can my brain.
If you succeed putting my mind (software) in your desktop
computer, your desktop computer will still not be conscious, but
it will make possible for me to talk with you (as my brain does
now). Only a person can be said conscious. And person, like
nation, or game are immaterial (with comp), and not absolutely
"singularisable" (only relatively).

>As the entire
>universe is eventually connected, I could prob. show and almost infinite
>number of such machines, just by choosing arbitary points in space to
>represent the various units of my computer.

Which "entire universe" (quite undefined term for me). Which
various units of your computer ?

>OK, so memory may be a first person experience to us, but would it be a
>first person experience to an actual physical computer? All the parts of a
>physical computer are mutually exclusive and rely on a specific physical
>organisation, existing in the third-person in relation to each other.
>Therefore, there is no real sense in which the physical computer is in the
>first-person with regards to anything.

All right, we agree on that. But this reasoning works for brains, bodies,
universes, etc.

>It [the computer] is always going to perceive its
>memory in a third-person sense.


>It perhaps is justified to say that that
>although this computer specifically is not conscious/1st-person, it is an
>example of an equivalent that does exist somewhere in the platonic world or
>in the multiverse, and so in a certain sense, is conscious, but this seems a
>bit dubious.

I don't see why. Would you agree to define axiomatise partially
consciousness as something we anticipate (partially instinctively)
we cannot communicate to others that we "feel" ourselves as conscious.

Neil Lion said in another post:

> [...] I have tried to draw a
>distiniction between a computer (a concept) and a brain (a 'thing'). If
>you like, a physical computer is meaningless to the fundamental process
>(sorry I lack a better term), whereas a brain is meaningful. I do believe
>that the brain has a large part to play in the question of consciousness.

This would entail that a brain is not emulable by a computer.
And this would entail the existence of a part of brain non emulable
by a computer. This would entail something like the use of an actual
infinite somewhere in the brain or the use or some substancial soul.

What do you mean a brain is meaningful. An hard disk is also
meaningful. Are you a naturalist?

Received on Fri Oct 05 2001 - 05:49:58 PDT

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