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Posted by Harvey on December 14, 2001 17:04:42 UTC

>>>H: I could do the same with any program that I may write, but am I really doing? I am merely giving the user the impression that my program is happy that it won. However, the program is not really aware that it won, is it? D: You are talking about a quality "aware" which you have not decently defined! You have given us no way at all to determine whether any entity at all is "aware" other than to accept their word for it! That being the case, you certainly cannot say a program cannot be aware: all one need do is put a line in the program which says "Hey guys, I am aware!" and the only mechanism you have given us to check the issue is fulfilled! I say that what you are actually doing is depending on the emotional drive of most people to insist they are aware and that a machine that says it is lies! That is a typical religious argument.>H: Again, think of the Chinese Room. The people outside the room fully believe they are talking to native Chinese speakers in the room (that they cannot see). However, if we are inside the room we realize that there is no native speaker - in fact no one understands Chinese. D: Yeh, you realize that it violates your private mental image of what is going on (your illusion of reality) and must therefor be wrong! Again, a typical religious argument! Logically the argument swings no weight because it assumes that your understanding is correct!>H: This conflicts with actual human experience. D: No, it does not conflict with actual human experience, it conflicts with your emotional explanation of human experience which you are presuming is correct!>H: We are not merely automatons that process data and simply give the appropriate response that our genes via evolution are required to give. D: Another totally unsupported religious statement: i.e., it presumes your mental model of what is going on is correct! So again, you use a presumption of correctness to prove you are correct!>H: Rather, we experience an awareness of understanding. D: That in no way supports anything you are saying! In my life, I have personally run into a lot of people who certainly "think" they understand something when, in fact, they are completely mistaken. (If you have not, then you must not have much contact with people!) That someone "experiences an awareness of understanding" can, at best, be considered a special state (some chemical high similar to any drug high) having little bearing on whether they understand or not: most analogous to a flag in a computer program tripped by the validity of an assertion step (you programmers out there should understand that - Aurino?) .

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