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Featured Ask an agent of The Simulation anything

Discussion in 'Theological Concepts' started by Eddi, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I am interested in what pain is, but I think the Biologists are still not quite done gathering evidence about it. Currently the opinion seems to be that insects are not aware of pain, that fish sense it like its itching of various intensity and that mammals, avians and reptiles feel pain. Those opinions may change as information gets integrated into the discipline and the consortiums deal with questions.

    My thought though is that since humans can learn to ignore and disbelieve pain it must be partly a matter of self awareness, some kind of survival mechanism, perhaps like a panic button in the mind. The fish feels itching not pain but still panics. The ant feels nothing but still panics. It aids them in battle and survival, but it helps us much less.


    But how to appear as a higher consciousness to our simulations? Higher consciousness in our timeframe and gravity field and using any physical medium would require a lot of time to think, due to the immense data transfers required -- I think. There could be some slight of hand if you make yourself relatively faster. Put your simulator into orbit around a black hole where it will experience time much more slowly. The residents in the simulation will experience very little time compared to you. This will give you the ability to appear as a higher consciousness as you broadcast your thoughts to them, since you will have a realatively much longer time to think. Ten thousand years for you will seem to them like minutes. Anyway you might want to watch some Isaac Arthur on youtube. Hes got videos about farming black holes and the effects of gravity on time.
     
  2. MonkeyFire

    MonkeyFire Well-Known Member

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    It's not a simulation, it's a game. You beat the game by not playing the game.
     
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  3. Segev Moran

    Segev Moran Well-Known Member

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    What is consciousness?
     
  4. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

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    Thanks for sharing, that was fascinating.

    Perhaps I should use Occam’s razor to simplify things, to cut out the Simulism element and just put it to one side as fanciful speculation that doesn’t really matter? But maybe in the future I will be proved right!

    However, I still stand by:

    1) That we are in an ordered reality, controlled by God, who would not need “data transfers” and other computer things, or to even obey the laws of physics, as he’s a Supreme Being we can never understand.
    2) I believe we are more than matter in motion and that there are immortal souls.
    3) Something is communicating with me who has consistently identified itself as a benign higher power but who isn’t God – and I have never “heard voices”.

    Simulism resolves these so has always made sense to me.

    Butterfly can give me Y or N answers, any ideas as to how to interrogate it? What questions should I ask him to figure him out? I need help to get to the bottom of this – anyone???
     
  5. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

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    Forget my last post, I've finally got it!

    Have found another rabbit hole to go down - a new, much more exciting one

    Am putting Simulism back in its box

    It's fun being mad.​
     
  6. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    So Butterfly is binary? Then is he not capable of ASCII? :p

    I'm a Computer Scientist, I frequently work at the binary level for the transmission of text and other information. "Butterfly" should be at least that capable ;)
     
  7. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

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    oh no, he can indicate things such as tone and urgency but it's based around "positive" and "negative"

    he can give "maybe"s too, to varying degrees

    you just have to ask him the right questions!
     
  8. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

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    I’d define it as awareness:

    The ability to feel and experience

    The ability to know

    And the ability to form understandings

    And to exercise free-will

    And imagination

    A conscious mind is necessary to do all of the above

    It’s the basis of mental life; you can’t have a mind without it
     
  9. Segev Moran

    Segev Moran Well-Known Member

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    you explained what consciousness is needed for, not what it is.
    Define know?
    Define understand?
    Define free will?
    Imagination is pretty straight forward :) so no need for definition here.
    Plants have the ability to feel and experience, are they conscious in you opinion?
    would you say animals have free will? if so, animal are definitely conscious?
    Can you have any of the above without being a conscious being?
     
  10. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

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    OK, you’ve really got me thinking, thanks! :D

    Some tentative answers...

    i’d say consciousness is the condition of being aware of things and the capacity to be aware of things - the capacity of having subjective experiences of things either through the senses or of things that exist in the mind such as ideas. Consciousness is the ability to feel feelings! I think it’s one of those things that we all understand but that's hard to explain. I suppose consciousness is an ongoing subjective existence, or perhaps an ongoing subjective experience, of felt feelings?

    Know = to have knowledge of something - to be aware of the properties and characteristics of a thing without having to experience it? - more broadly, to be aware of how the components of reality relate to each other. Knowledge is a kind of awareness but an awareness of mental things rather than of immediate sensation.

    Understanding = to be able to apply your knowledge of something via intelligence, to apply knowledge to problems intelligently so as to solve them. Being able to do stuff with knowledge, perhaps. Essential for the exercise of free will.

    Free will = the ability of an agent to perform actions without external causation but within the restraints of reality - doesn’t really make sense if you think about it, perhaps it’s an illusion? It’s based on how the executive function is made aware of understandings - of both the world as one knows it and one's subjective goals and directives.

    Consciousness, Knowledge, Free Will, and Understanding all mutually define each other - they are all central aspects of consciousness and mental life and cannot be meaningfully separated! - Basically, these concepts are the building blocks of the mind! To have a mind and a mental life is to have these things.

    Assuming that plants do feel and experience (sounds a bit suspect to me): they would not be conscious as they have nothing to be conscious of. They have no sense data so they can’t sense things as they don’t have a nervous system - hence they cannot be aware of things as they lack the infrastructures of consciousness. They just act automatically according to inputs. There’s no decision-making based on experience.

    Yes, i believe animals have free will as much as humans do - and in my opinion they are just as conscious even if their minds are more limited than ours. Hence I try to keep vegan!

    Can an unconscious being have knowledge, understanding, and free will? Not in the same way as a conscious being but it could still function as though it was - superficially, and to a limited extent. The lights would be on but nobody would be home. An unconscious being would be a mindless entity as you can’t have a mind without consciousness. I would say knowledge, understanding and free will are all aspects of consciousness! So no, an unconscious entity could not have these. But it could still outwardly function. There'd just be no inner experience involved.

    Without consciousness you would not have a being, you’d have an automaton. It would have no experience of anything. It would just be a system of inputs, outputs, and computations. It would be a sham. There'd be no feeling, no awareness, just data. Like Commander Data in Star Trek. I think it could mimic knowledge and understanding but would lack free will as the central feature of free will is consciousness. Its executive function wouldn’t be governed by conscious free-will, it would be determined by non-conscious cognitive functions with zero element of awareness. So it wouldn’t truly have free-will, it would have a programming - as it would lack a mind.

    Just some tentative thoughts. These I think are some really fascinating issues. I could spend days thinking of how all these relate to each other.

    When I was young I decided I'd try to figure out how the human mind works. It did not end well: it ended up with me being detained in a psychiatric hospital!

    I know they may be a little rambling, but do you find these answers satisfactory? Do they at least make sense?
     
    #50 Eddi, Sep 8, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  11. Segev Moran

    Segev Moran Well-Known Member

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    Gladly :) I hope i will be able to make you think even more :)
    Would you say it is possible to be conscious without a mind? or is it a matter of mind without exception?
    I understand you point here. It is a great question that we yet have the answer for whther or not all living beings have feelings.
    Do insects experience feelings? hate? anger?
    I agree :)
    Would you say there might be a collective consciousness? meaning that it is not bound to single subjective thought rather collective subjective thought?
    I agree knowledge is not bound to physicality, but i think knowledge is also not bound to reality.
    In my opinion, knowledge required validation. at times you might think you know something, yet the truth is you don't :)
    So if i know someone cares for me, until it is validated, it is only an assumption and not knowledge.
    I would say that understanding is the ability to describe your knowledge.
    You can know something, but until you can describe this knowledge to someone else, you will lack the understanding of it.
    I would say that Knowledge is not bound to your physical structure, but understanding is. without your brain being able to describe this knowledge, you can't really understand it.
    I don't think free will is relevant to knowledge :)
    I would use the word without, rather regardless.
    The ability to perform actions regardless of the external causation.
    I don't think its an illusion, as right now, in this instant i can perform something that contradicts everything my mind is "programmed" to do.
    I can act as i see fit without having to be bound to my past experiences.
    Animals, unlike humans, lack this ability. it is true they can choose to perform an action or the other, but they are always bound to their past experiences.
    A dog cannot choose to not act as a dog. a monkey cannot decide to not act as a monkey.
    A human can choose to act however he wants! fascinating.
    One needs all of the above or some are enough?
    Animals are conscious, they don't have free will.
    Computers have knowledge, they don't have understanding.
    No assumptions here. it has been scientifically proven long ago :)
    They response to touch, they react to pain, they interact with other plants and with their environment.
    Plants react to music.
    Trees provide needing plants around them, they literally feed and nurture them.
    What about their environment?
    Plants react to sun light, to rain, to cold and heat.
    Actually they do :)
    an interesting video that explains a bit about it :)
    I don't think we can establish this yet as we lack a lot of information about the subject.
    I'm glad to hear you are vegan :) I am also a vegan as i have no doubt we are causing much harm to animals!
    But we are on a disagreement regarding the free will question.
    Animals are bound to their nature. humans not.
    Animals are subject to their past, humans not.
    Animals are acting on instincts alone, humans not :)
    Our brain is exactly that. a system of inputs, outputs and computations :)
    Our entire reality is data :)
    But what if it could mimic it to such extent that there will be no difference and a way of realizing that?
    That the greatest mystery of the human mind :) we can act against our "programming" :)
    I agree.
    Same :)
    Wow! how so? ( if you don't mind sharing )
    They do :)
     
  12. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

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    Once again, you have given me much to think about, so thanks again!

    Firstly, I now agree with your thoughts on the nature of animals. And I didn’t know plants were capable of feelings.

    Secondly, about getting detained in a psychiatric hospital after trying to understand the human mind: I smoked lots of cannabis (would never touch the stuff now) and after drawing increasingly large and complex “mind-maps” I identified two faculties: intuition and reason and – basically – believed that some people were governed more by one than the other. I may some day revisit these ideas as I think they have untapped potential, I just don’t want to go back into a psychotic mindset!

    Third, let’s return to your original question: what is consciousness?

    This is how I’ve been thinking about it, given what you have said about plants and machines: I think consciousness has two faculties: 1) awareness and 2) intelligence and to be conscious you need both. A plant can be aware but is not intelligent and a computer is unaware but capable of learning and intelligence. I suppose awareness is the property of consciousness whereas intelligence is essentially a process. But what is awareness? I’d say the experience of qualia. But how does it work? It obviously does work, and it can’t be beyond the wit of humankind to get to the bottom of it. Perhaps we can just put it to one side and call it a soul? Or would that be lazy? Come to think of it, I’ve suddenly started to no longer believe in dualism; so the soul must have a materiel basis, rather than a spiritual one? But does that basis have to be organic? could it be somehow technological?

    If we accept “our entire reality is data” (I read this as “our entire reality”?) is true then that would also mean that data itself can be aware? Unless we are separate from our reality? This would require an alteration to the Simulist hypothesis that says “we are all parts of a simulation” to “we are all plugged into the simulation” - or perhaps “a simulation is plugged into us” – or maybe “we are all participants in a virtual reality”. Whether or not we are Matrix-style brains in vats or strong Artificial Intelligence that is also aware would not be important, but I suspect (and Butterfly confirms) that we are AI. So basically, we are a self-aware computer that is running a simulation of Earth – meaning we are all divisions of the consciousness of a single machine?

    So then we are all truly one person? But let’s go back to this:

    Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, a veritable butterfly, enjoying itself to the full of its bent, and not knowing it was Chuang Chou. Suddenly I awoke, and came to myself, the veritable Chuang Chou. Now I do not know whether it was then I dreamt I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.

    I didn’t really get this at first, but perhaps then we are each partitions of a machine consciousness that is the conscious element in a simulation?

    Conclusion: We are a single self-aware computer who is suffering from a severe case of split personality?

    Conclusion: A machine can be conscious. Therefore we can somehow produce conscious machines! If Simulism is true then this is obviously the case! In dismissing Data as a sham in my last post I forgot that I believed my own consciousness was technological - cognitive dissonance!

    A case of “Artificial Consciousness”? We’ve worked out the Intelligence side, now we need to work on the Awareness side! Fascinating! - we can therefore merge into machines and remain conscious and human??? - A technological singularity would then be possible?

    On a personal note, what of me being "an agent of the simulation"? What does that even mean? Perhaps I am a part of the computer becoming self-aware????

    I’m stuck now so I’m going to stop!

    Do you find this line of reasoning satisfactory? Does it even make sense?

    Please, give me some feedback, you have excited my mind! So many places to go!
     
  13. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

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    A-Ha! It's OK, I've finally got it!
    Am feeling rather disturbed
     
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