Agreed. Consciousness is being defined differently by different posters. For argument’s sake, I am happy to start with any definition. From there, it might be possible to get close to the truth about the meaning of consciousness.
There’s the rub. Does conscious know the PB&J sandwich (a thing which can be seen, touched, tasted and smelled) by being the PB&J sandwich? I really don’t know if this is your meaning or not, because the syntax does not appear to follow conventional rules. If you are not a bot, you will understand what I’m saying about the relation between syntax and meaning, and be able to use language more precisely.
This entire thread is rife with non-conventional expressions. To say that consciousness is something that is an attribute, that it is something that is aware of an existence, or that it is something that cannot be detected by humans, does not explain what consciousness is. Instead of describing what it does or does not do, what can or cannot be done to it, perhaps we need to focus consciousness per se. Yet consciousness may not be definable at the level of the language we use to define it. It is possible that some sort of meta-language is needed here. I don’t know.
Yes! The question requires that we come to an agreement, or at least a willful consensus, on the meanings of ‘conscious’, ‘consciousness’ and perhaps later we all will need to agree on what a robot is.AlexW wrote: ↑Tue May 08, 2018 11:44 pm Discussing the question "Could a Robot be Conscious?" without intimately knowing what consciousness is doesn't make much sense. We can at best substitute "consciousness" for something we know (a concept drawn up in thought) and pretend it is what we are talking about.
Absolutely. Dualistic thinking limits us to a dualistic interpretation of consciousness. Perhaps sublimating dualistic thinking to being only a part of the perspective we need.
Of course, there are some who get upset. After all, “you ARE consciousness” is a tough one to fathom. The playground analogy points out that we can’t see the forest for the trees without flying over it. The perspective must be broadened rather than limited.AlexW wrote: ↑Tue May 08, 2018 11:44 pm Then someone says: You don't have/own consciousness, but you ARE consciousness - and everybody gets upset because it doesn't fit into the dualistic playground we have so carefully crafted. Then somebody dares to say: "Get out of your playground and look what its made of!" but nobody does... we rather keep on playing with our conceptual toys and get upset if they don't explain the world outside of the playground.
Definitely. We have to be open-minded in order to hear what other voices are saying.AlexW wrote: ↑Tue May 08, 2018 11:44 pm To understand what consciousness is you will have to be prepared to make some room for it to enter. Making room is done by abandoning ideas and beliefs that are found to be worthless as they don't take us anywhere (other than around in circles) - once there is room knowledge can enter, but only as long as we keep it empty and not immediately fill it up again with new, better ideas of what "consciousness" or reality is. It will make itself known if you let it - the only way to know it, is to know it directly (and not to hem it in with dualistic structures).
Amen.AlexW wrote: ↑Tue May 08, 2018 11:44 pm Discussing things like "Could a Robot be Conscious?" is really not about finding an answer - its about seeing that there is no one true answer and that it might as such be beneficial to try a different approach. Maybe there is a way to know that the question simply makes no sense? Maybe there is a way to know what consciousness really is... this is what the question is made for. Not to be answered in a dualistic sense but to make us look beyond the question.
I don’t know what consciousness is, but I’m trying to find out. I realize that this could turn out to be an impossible quest, but I’m willing to take on the task with the help of all who have contributed here.
I’d also like to see posts that are literally more understandable.