Tal Cohen's Bookshelf: A Collection of Personal Opinions about Books
(In reply to Beepoh's message posted on Friday, 13 June 2008 at 17:22 GMT)

Mike A. writes in reply to Beepoh:
RE: Totally unsatisfying!

Frankly, I think it is a huge mistake to be speaking of ''souls'' in a serious discussion of intelligence and consciousness.

We have no reason whatsoever for asserting that consciousness has any ''magic'' component that isn't a consequence of the operation of the nervous system. Brains are 3.5 pounds of matter doing what matter does. As such, while we may not know how to construct a ''strong'' artificial intelligence, there is no basis, IMO, for baldly asserting that only our squishy brains can support sentience.
[326] Posted on Saturday, 14 June 2008 at 0:38 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

Understanding writes in reply to Mike A.:
RE: Totally unsatisfying!
You've completely missed DRH's point in his discussion of the 'soul'. He, in Strange Loop, explicitly says that when he speaks of the 'soul', he does not refer to the orthodox meaning of the word (that is, the religious, ''magic'' essence in people), but refers rather to an embodiment of what separates the human consciousness from a fly's consciousness.

Hoftstadter's 'soul' is the 'I' he mentions in the title; it is the you that is unique to you, the me that is unique to me, and the sentience shared by all human life, as opposed to the seeming lack of sentience that exists in a tree.
[381] Posted on Thursday, 30 April 2009 at 17:19 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

Keith writes in reply to Mike A.:
RE: Totally unsatisfying!
I think Beepoh and Mike A. are having a little trouble seeing the Simmballs through the Simms.
[461] Posted on Saturday, 19 December 2009 at 15:17 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

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