Wednesday 15 June 2022

Life and Consciousness - two aspects of Beings

Consider the phenomenon of consciousness, of self-awareness; which is part of mainstream culture in the form of official, corporate and media outputs concerning Artificial Intelligence, the possibility of Sentient computers, robots, vehicles etc. 

It is clear that the mainstream culture has abstractly defined consciousness and abstracted it from the context of living beings; and is now off into the reals of untrammeled speculation about where it might or does exist in some electronic or informational kind, independent of life and of humans. 

But my baseline metaphysical assumption - which is apparently the built-in assumption of all (?) human beings as young children - is that everything is alive (or part of a living being) - and that consciousness is an aspect of being alive. 

In other words, consciousness cannot be separated from life. All living things are conscious to some degree and in some way; and all conscious things are living. 

Therefore; if/when a non-being seems to be conscious, then this consciousness is either not real, or else coming from a living being. 


A separate question is why our culture has assiduously implanted the idea that non-beings can or will be conscious. This has been portrayed in fiction, or wrongly claimed in media, so often that many people believe it is true - or at least possible and imminent. 

The answer to 'why' is partly because of the innate error of modern consciousness, which allows people to believe the false idea. 

And partly because of purposive, strategic evil supernatural beings; which aim to confuse and/or brainwash people, for purposes tending to make them choose their own damnation by desiring it. 



R.J.Cavazos said...

About a decade ago John Gray wrote "The Immortalization Commission: Science and The Strange Quest to Cheat Death". It is a very good treatment of the danger or removing actual life and death from religion. This AI business as sentient I think flows from the attack on religion and death that Gray notes has been ongoing aggressively since the 19th century. It is also not coincidental that life has been much cheapened since the decline of religion--people to human resources, tragedy to collateral damage.....

Bruce Charlton said...

@RJC - I have read John Gray on and off for about 30 years - I may even have met him, since he was a friend of a couple of my friends - but have always been disappointed. His diagnosis is usually fine, but he has no effective prescription - so what's the use?

R.J.Cavazos said...

BC--Agreed. His observations and diagnosis are usually interesting and spot on. But as you point out--no prescription. Though, the prescription may indeed be an individual matter and only for a discerning elect few. As I have older, the notion that most human minds are not geared to truth but rather toward physical survival (conformity, going along, evading responsibility, ignoring reality) is a truism. Ever since Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent humans will in the main dissapoint.

Sean Fowler said...

Musk is talking about the possibility of drilling a hole in our heads, sucking out our consciousnesses, storing them in machines and thereby granting us eternal life. He describes consciousness in reductionist, materialistic terms as a purely neurological phenomenon. A cortex doing the bidding the reptilian limbic system. Imagine being stored in some corporate corridor, filed away under the heading consciousness 501 or some such thing. CNS 501 for short. Imagine being in the wrong hands. Imagine the hell that you could be subjected too. A vast database of captured souls being tortured for all eternity.
Of course we will need to provide greater powers to global institutions to provide comprehensive worldwide legislation to prevent this kind of scenario. I’m sure we’re in good hands.
Yuval Noah Harari Israeli historian, chief advisor to Klaus Schwaub and devious pervert extraordinaire, is a leading proponent of the trans humanist movement. Every time he addresses the the subject he does three things. Denies god, denies creation and through AI promises a magnificent future to man as god and intelligent designer. Such a coincidence. A ritual reenactment of the first lie told to eve in the garden of Eden. We shall be as gods.
These people do not see us as unique, divine souls, but a random collection of neurochemical signals. Machines soon to be rendered obsolete. We really are in a jolly old pickle.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SF - " Imagine being stored in some corporate corridor, filed away under the heading consciousness 501 or some such thing. "

Of course it can't happen in mortal life in this world.

But for those that imagine and desire this state - then a demonic simulacrum will be provided after death.

It can only be inflicted on those who want and consent to it - but of such people there seems to be a surprising abundance.