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Is A Sentient Pilot Really Neccesary?

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Posted by Mario Dovalina on July 2, 2001 03:40:38 UTC

To save time (and to avoid repeating myself) I'll reply to your post "What drives a helicopter" here too, if you don't mind.

you didn't answer Mike's question. He asked, What drives a helicopter?

The answer to his question is "The pilot."


All right, so a helicopter wasn't the best possible example. I DO think that making a paralellism between a conscious pilot and a conscious creator is taking the example a bit too far. I would suggest that a pilot doesn't have to be sentient (the pilot of a waterfall is gravity, the pilot of the sun is fusion, the pilot of life is evolution and natural selection.) A pilot, more than simply a sentient director, is just a driving force for a certain act.

I agree with a good portion of your list, with the possible exception of number 11, and it makes good logical sense (though you haven't yet provided a method for researching the software portions of our brains either) until you start using the word "Parsimonious." Then it all kind of falls apart:

"(14) It seems parsimonious to assume such conscious involvement, since consciousness is the only thing that I know exists for sure."

Why should your certainty on the existence of consciousness correlate to the existence of a conscious creator? You personally can ascribe chances of certain things to be true (for example, I am 98% sure you exist) but you have to bear in mind that that probability is only a mental aid. Regardless of what the probability is, the ACTUAL chances of your existence is either 0% or 100%: either you exist or you don't. Personal opinion has no direct effect on the world, and using a personal opinion do describe the nature of god involves a large gap in logic.

What prevents an unconscious source resulting in a conscious product? Why can't our pilot simply be trial-and-error evolution? Whoever isn't on the right trajectory crashes and burns, those who are on the correct trajectory pass that direction onto their offspring, and so on and so forth ad infinitum. What is wrong with this logic besides it's cold?

"And just what might that secondary external agent be? As Dick and I both have repeatedly tried to point out, when you try to pin down the ultimate origin of anything, you reach a point where you must admit that you know nothing and can say nothing."

As always, you have a point, but I think you were ducking the question a little. Simply saying "I don't know that" has in my experience been less a problem of ability than of desire. I personally think this is a valid question: If we cannot produce consciousness independently, why can our outside agents?

"The same kind of question can be asked of each and every explanation of origins whatsoever.

What do you think came first, Mario? And what is your level of confidence in your belief?"


That's a good point. But what I'm trying to get across is that we must take our beliefs one step at a time. We are all in a dark room headed toward the door. What is behind the door, no one knows. It may be a brick wall, it may be another, equally mysterious room, it may be an exit. But at the heart of the matter is the fact that we simply don't know, and any speculation on what lies beyond is just that: speculation. Not to be taken seriously. The only concrete knowledge we have on the nature of life is that it ends with death. And currently death IS an end, as far as we can tell, not a beginning. Until facts show otherwise I see no need to another room attached to ours.

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