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Dent 10-20-2013 08:06 PM


Originally Posted by ninjaface (Post 437020)
Wouldn't it be more cruel for all the animals to die of starvation because humans are eating all their food?

No animals need to be starve to death


Originally Posted by ninjaface (Post 437022)
I am a carnivore, but if cows pugs and chicken are not equipped to survive, why are they here now?



Originally Posted by The MacCready Explosion
According to calculations by Paul MacCready (1999), at the dawn of human agriculture 10,000 years ago, the worldwide human population plus their livestock and pets was ~0.1% of the terrestrial vertebrate biomass. Today, he calculates, it is 98%! (Most of that is cattle.)

We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form. - William Ralph Inge


Originally Posted by Dirty Harry (Post 437021)
Or how about causing entire species of animals to go extinct?

Not an animal but most people think the demise of Smallpox was a good thing, where do you stop?


Originally Posted by Dirty Harry (Post 437023)
Well they have evolved to be dependent on humans to survive-their evolutionary niche is to be food for humans. It seems like it was a good strategy since the population of cattle, for example, is quite large. The wild cow, whose name escapes me at the moment, is nearly extinct.

"they have evolved"
If demons are torturing human-like beings on another planet, but cloning them at the same time, to perpetuate the torture, is that a good strategy?
Blonde vs FC on this here, note that the starving cow card is pulled again, cows don't need to be starving, stop pretending we aren't in the space age.

Edit :
Fancied posting some more quotes, feels a bit greenpeace-y

"One of the really exciting prospects for genetic engineering, morally speaking, is its potential to reduce the capacity for pain. If, for example, it becomes possible to produce people and animals without reduced painience then this should be welcomed. What a revolution this will be! Ultimately there is the prospect of a painless future! Of course, there will be dangers. The trick will be to produce individuals who are largely analgesic but who are of no danger to themselves or others. So they will have to learn how to avoid being harmed even if they can feel no (severe) pain. They will, one hopes, still be able to feel joy and compassion and to show a moral concern for others. This will be a great challenge for science and for those ethical and democratic structures that control science."
Richard Ryder

"All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals"
Peter Singer

“Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.”

Theodor Adorno

second edit : If cows decided that being domesticated was a good idea, why hasn't domestication cropped up in the evolutionary record before?

Dent 10-21-2013 02:29 PM


Originally Posted by Dirty Harry (Post 437023)
The wild cow, whose name escapes me at the moment, is nearly extinct.

Aurochs? is extinct.

Mr. Blonde 10-23-2013 12:36 PM

Should a Chimpanzee Have Human Rights?

Mr. Blonde 10-23-2013 12:52 PM

RE: the mostly reactionary carnivore/herbivore debate, the future solution is in-vitro meat. Many appear to find the concept "gross" or "unnatural". I think people would think differently if they had to kill every being that they ate themselves.

Eventually, in-vitro meat will (probably) be deemed 'completely safe' by whatever authorities, and at that point the meat industry will realize that it's much more efficient and cost-effective to start producing meat in "laboratory-factories". In-vitro meat will be cheap, nutritious, and virtually identical to "real meat". With the world population being what it is, and so much hunger worldwide, doesn't this future scenario make the most sense?

They will, of course, still raise animals for "real meat" -- at an increasingly higher cost as demand becomes less and "real meat" becomes a delicacy.

Watching science fiction become a reality is pretty fucking badass.

Dent 10-23-2013 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde (Post 437052)
RE: the mostly reactionary carnivore/herbivore debate, the future solution is in-vitro meat.

Yep, the news the other month of the first synthetic burger, In my future dreamworld I hope that it's noted as a big step.

"They will, of course, still raise animals for "real meat""

I hope not, and I don't know of any reason why this would be the case, synthetic meat can be better than any real meat currently, it should leave the best of modern day gastronomy in the gutter. Why do you think it will still exist? A future Chinese alternative medicine where the more the animal suffered before death the better it is for you kinda thing?

Cannibalism is interesting to apply synthetic meat to, cloned cock on a skewer anyone? not real cannabilism because the meat wasn't a human "being"?

Mr. Blonde 10-23-2013 02:48 PM

I am moreso talking over the next maybe 50-100 years. On a long enough timeline, after enough events occur, sure, it make sense that we would transcend meat-eating altogether.

That being said, it's so tied to our evolutionary history and psychology that it's borderline impossible to a future humanity (keyword: humanity) without at the very least, some small black-market niche for illegal meat, lol.

Dent 11-18-2013 05:08 PM


Originally Posted by Dirty Harry (Post 434945)
Get the fuck out of here with that shit.

Predators keep animal populations in check

Muh carrying capacity

India's monkeys 'to be put on the pill' - Telegraph


Dent 11-26-2013 03:40 AM

I Wanna Deliver A Dolphin... synthetic biology project by Ai Hasegawa
"With potential food shortages and a population of nearly seven billion people, would a woman consider incubating and giving birth to an endangered species such as a shark, tuna or dolphin?"

Dent 02-20-2014 02:26 PM

The Genomic Bodhisattva!
The Antispeciesist Revolution

Mr. Blonde 02-21-2014 08:51 AM

So much faith in biology. I am pretty sick of having a body personally.

The technologic bodhisattva?

Eliezer Yudkowsky - RationalWiki

Mr. Blonde 02-21-2014 08:52 AM

Yeah I have a walmart phone k

Dent 02-21-2014 07:33 PM

More faith in zombies than subjects of experience?

2.1 Software-Based Minds or Anthropomorphic Projections?
3.1. Classical Digital Computers: not even stupid?


Post-Darwinian life can enjoy gradients of lifelong blissful supersentience with the intensity of a supernova compared to a glow-worm. A zombie, on the other hand, is just a zombie - even if it squawks like Einstein. Posthuman organic minds will dwell in state-spaces of experience for which archaic humans and classical digital computers alike have no language, no concepts, and no words to describe our ignorance.

4.1. Pan-experientialism / Strawsonian Physicalism.
Physicalism and materialism are often supposed to be close cousins. But this needn't be the case. On the contrary, one may be both a physicalist and a panpsychist - or even both a physicalist and a monistic idealist. Strawsonian physicalists acknowledge the world is exhaustively described by the equations of physics. There is no "element of reality", as Einstein puts it, that is not captured in the formalism of theoretical physics - the quantum-field theoretic equations and their solutions. However, physics gives us no insight into the intrinsic nature of the stuff of the world - what "breathes fire into the equations" as arch-materialist Steven Hawking poetically laments. Key terms in theoretical physics like "field" are defined purely mathematically.
So is the intrinsic nature of the physical, the "fire" in the equations, a wholly metaphysical question? Kant claimed famously that we would never understand the noumenal essence of the world, simply phenomena as structured by the mind. Strawson, drawing upon arguments made by Oxford philosopher Michael Lockwood but anticipated by Russell and Schopenhauer, turns Kant on his head. Actually, there is one part of the natural world that we do know as it is in itself, and not at one remove, so to speak - and its intrinsic nature is disclosed by subjective properties of one's own conscious mind. Thus it transpires that the "fire" in the equations is utterly different from what one's naive materialist intuitions would suppose.
Yet this conjecture still doesn't close the Explanatory Gap.

Orgazmo 02-22-2014 01:43 PM

I think the fact that Walmart phones can now post to the internet means we're already living in the future.

Mr. Blonde 02-24-2014 04:20 PM

Yeah, repug?

Dent 02-27-2014 12:47 PM


Originally Posted by Dent (Post 437053)
Cannibalism is interesting to apply synthetic meat to, cloned cock on a skewer anyone? not real cannabilism because the meat wasn't a human "being"?

The Guy Who Wants to Sell Lab-Grown Salami Made of Kanye West Is "100% Serious" | Motherboard

Kanye Kok

Dent 03-03-2014 03:01 PM

Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
Jaan Tallinn, co-founder of Skype
Huw Price, Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge

And some more David Pearce on digital beings

[on whether digital zombies can investigate sentience]
Neurons are indeed fabulously complex information processors. Thus e.g. the different amino acid sequences and secondary, tertiary and quaternary protein folding structures internal to the neuron may well be implicated in innumerable different microqualia. But once again, I'm at a loss to know how a digital computer could investigate the first-person/third person psychophysical mapping needed to understand their relationship. Even with the master equation of a formally complete Theory of Everything, you'll need to instantiate some of its solutions to understand them. "Mary" (cf. Knowledge argument - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) - or a digital computer - never will understand redness. More to the point, ignorance of the phenomenal nature of pain and pleasure entails a digital computer will never understand why anything matters at all. Insidiously, the Church-Turing thesis has promoted an impoverished conception of what constitutes a well-defined problem an intelligent agent can investigate.
[...]We are certainly acutely aware of some of our logical stumbles. But I'd argue that one is most vividly aware of an evolutionarily ancient process that works extraordinarily well - and is completely beyond any digital computer, which is "not even stupid". The classical world is an artefact of quantum minds. What one naively calls "perceiving one's surroundings" actually entails generating "bound" and cross-modally matched experiential objects in a unitary world-simulation run by a (fleetingly) unitary self - and in almost real time to boot.
* * *
Can a cognitive agent be intelligent, let alone superintelligent, and yet fail to understand, or lack any capacity to investigate, fundamental features of the natural world? If the agent in question were constitutionally ignorant of the properties of, say, matter, energy and the second law of thermodynamics, then we would say no: such an agent is profoundly ignorant, or at best an idiot savant. Yet if the cognitive agent in question is constitutionally ignorant of the properties of, say, phenomenal objects, conscious minds, or the nature of pain and pleasure, then many AI researchers are nonetheless willing to ascribe intelligence - and potentially even superintelligence. IMO this is an anthropomorphic projection on our part.
How might the apologist for digital (super)intelligence respond? Several ways, I guess. Here are just two.
First, s/he might argue that the manifold varieties of consciousness are unimportant and/or causally impotent. Intelligence, and certainly not superintelligence, does not concern itself with trivia.
But in what sense are, say, the experience of agony or despair trivial, whether subjectively to their victim, or conceived as disclosing a feature of the natural world? Compare how, in a notional zombie world otherwise physically type-identical to our world, nothing would inherently matter at all. Some of our supposed counterparts might undergo boiling in oil, but who cares: they aren't sentient. By contrast to such a fanciful zombie world, the nature of phenomenal agonies as we undergo such states isn't trivial: indeed the thought that (1) I'm in unbearable agony and (2) the agony doesn't matter, is devoid of cognitive sense. And in any case, we can be sure that phenomenal properties aren't causally impotent epiphenomena. Epiphenomena, by definition, lack causal efficacy - and hence lack the ability physically or functionally to stir us to write and talk about their existence.
Second, the believer in digital (super)intelligence might claim that (some of the programs executed by) digital computers are conscious, or at least potentially conscious, not least future software emulations of human brains. For reasons we admittedly don't yet understand, some physical states of matter and energy, perhaps the different algorithms executed in various information processors, are identical with different states of consciousness, i.e. a functionalist version of the mind-brain identity theory is correct. Granted, we don't yet understand the mechanisms by which information processing generates consciousness. But whatever these consciousness-generating processes may turn out to be, materialism is correct. Biological and nonbiological agents alike can be conscious minds.
Unfortunately, there is an insurmountable problem here. Identity is not a causal relationship. We can't simultaneously claim that a conscious state is identical with a brain state and maintain that this brain state causes (or "generates", or "gives rise to" etc) the conscious state in question. Nor - and this is where Searle stumbles - can causality operate between what are only levels of description. Hence the Hard Problem of Consciousness and the Explanatory Gap. What I meant by denying that consciousness is a mere puzzle is that the solution to puzzles don't challenge our conceptual scheme. Thus a difficult crossword clue may stump us; but we may be confident the answer will leave our world-picture intact. By contrast, if we discovered a fairy living at the bottom of the garden, even a little one, then materialism would be falsified. Materialism is the thesis that the physical facts exhaustively constitute all the facts. The existence of consciousness - even a single instance of consciousness - falsifies materialism. Actually, not everyone would agree here. Radical eliminativism about consciousness has been described as the craziest theory in the history of philosophy; but eliminativists are right in one sense: given the ontology of physics as standardly understood, consciousness is impossible. Most of us find eliminativism literally incredible.
Anyhow, the conjecture I offer to resolve the mystery of conscious mind, involving a combination of Strawsonian physicalism plus macroscopic quantum coherence, may most likely be false. But it's empirically adequate, eliminates the Hard Problem and the Explanatory Gap, and predicts that digital computers will never be sentient. We shall see. :-)
[...]Dustin, I guess we differ on whether or not our computers show abstractions can or can't have causal efficacy. Pragmatically, of course, it's hugely useful to pretend they do - just as pragmatically it's useful to think of the lump of silicon in front of me in terms of the different abstraction layers of a computer architecture (i.e. hardware, firmware, assembler, kernel, operating system and applications). But everything that takes place in your PC supervenes on microphysical interactions whose behaviour is exhaustively described by the physics of the Standard Model (or its ultimate successor). Reality only has one "level" - and that's where all the work gets done. As you know, I take an equally reductive approach to consciousness.

Mr. Blonde 03-04-2014 09:51 AM

I would like to point out to the lay-reader that Dent appears to be intentionally repeating the phrase "Digital Zombie" as a derogatory term to devalue the concept of future "sentient" beings. Dent appears to be racist against intelligent machines before they even exist. Hey, just like Will Smith, in that one movie!

I googled digital zombie and this came up: Digital Zombie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Any of you fall into this category? Hm?

Mr. Blonde 03-04-2014 09:51 AM

I would like to point out to the lay-reader that Dent appears to be intentionally repeating the phrase "Digital Zombie" as a derogatory term to devalue the concept of future "sentient" beings. Dent appears to be racist against intelligent machines before they even exist. Hey, just like Will Smith, in that one movie!

I googled digital zombie and this came up: Digital Zombie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Any of you fall into this category? Hm?

THEINCREDIBLEdork 03-04-2014 10:23 AM

I would like to point out to casual forum users that Blonde has double posted. This is a major faux pas, and he should be subject to ridicule.

Orgazmo 03-04-2014 10:33 AM

It's because he's using a Walmart phone.

Mr. Blonde 03-04-2014 02:36 PM

Incorrect. I have upgraded to Cricket.

I don't FEEL any blacker yet but they said it takes like two weeks.

Dent 03-04-2014 03:50 PM

I haven't mentioned the phrase digital zombie, how would you prefer I refer to something that isn't capable of experience?
"devalue the concept of future "sentient" beings." I am?
edit :this is a zombie
a digital zombie is that in a computer.

I'll paste what I linked to earlier and bold the bits that are interesting

2.1 Software-Based Minds or Anthropomorphic Projections?
...And in any case, runs this argument, biological minds are physically made up from the same matter and energy as digital computers. So conscious mind can't be dependent on some mysterious special substrate, even if consciousness could actually do anything. To suppose otherwise harks back to a pre-scientific vitalism.

Yet consciousness does, somehow, cause us to ask questions about its existence, its millions of diverse textures ("qualia"), and their combinatorial binding. So the alternative conjecture canvassed here is that the nature of our unitary conscious minds is tied to the quantum-mechanical properties of reality itself, Hawking's "fire in the equations that makes there a world for us to describe". On this conjecture, the intrinsic, "program-resistant" subjective properties of matter and energy, as disclosed by our unitary phenomenal minds and the phenomenal world-simulations we instantiate, are the unfakeable signature of basement reality. "Raw feels", by their very nature, cannot be mere abstractra. There could be no such chimerical beast as a "virtual" quale, let alone full-blown virtual minds made up of abstract qualia. Unitary phenomenal minds cannot subsist as mere layers of computational abstraction. Or rather if they were to do so, then we would be confronted with a mysterious Explanatory Gap, analogous to the explanatory gap that would open up if the population of China suddenly ceased to be an interconnected aggregate of skull-bound minds, and was miraculously transformed into a unitary subject of experience - or a magic genie. Such an unexplained eruption into the natural world would be strong ontological emergence with a vengeance - and inconsistent with any prospect of a reductive physicalism. To describe the existence of conscious mind as posing a Hard Problem for materialists and evangelists of software-based digital minds is like saying fossils pose a Hard Problem for the Creationist, i.e. true enough, but scarcely an adequate reflection of the magnitude of the challenge.
I think the mainstream view involves strong emergence, the "ghost in the machine" being complexity.
I really don't like it, emergence makes no sense to me. (see

Unlike reductive physicalism, which i'm used to.
"Reductive physicalism: all high-level macroscopic phenomena must be explicable ultimately in terms of fundamental physics [molecular biology reduces to chemistry and chemistry ultimately to quantum field theory [or maybe M-theory - we shall see.]"

So if you agree with this dude i'd like to know if you think that if the population of China the USA or whoever arranged themselves in a certain way they would become a unitary subject of experience? Maybe you just need one more person arranged in a special position?

Posted this paper in singularity but for reference
If Materialism Is True, the United States Is Probably Conscious

How do you get consciousness from materialism?
"Materialism: the fundamental "stuff" of the world is non-conscious"

Dent 03-04-2014 04:00 PM

"My guru is more effective than your guru. My yoga is faster than your yoga.
I am more aware of myself than you are. I am humbler than you are. I am sorrier for my sins than you are. I love you more than you love me!"

EY + co vs DP
[on physicalism; FB debate with MIRI's Robby Bensinger and Eliezer Yudkowsky]
Consciousness, physicalism, suffering, transhumanism: Unsorted Postings (facebook, Google + ) by David Pearce in 2014

EY + co's responses are missing from the link unfortunately, but it's a good read.

Dent 03-04-2014 06:00 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Dent (Post 437612)
How do you get consciousness from materialism?
"Materialism: the fundamental "stuff" of the world is non-conscious"

Or how do you get materialism from consciousness?
Or does consciousness not exist? (I've changed my mind and I reckon it does!)

Copied is the first page of the paper linked which is probably tldontcare

Realistic monism: why physicalism entails panpsychism

Galen Strawson
__________________________________________________ ___________

1 Physicalism

I take physicalism to be the view that every real, concrete phenomenon in the universe is…physical. It is a view about the actual universe, and I am going to assume that it is true. For the purposes of this paper I will equate ‘concrete’ with ‘spatio-temporally (or at least temporally) located’, and I will use ‘phenomenon’ as a completely general word for any sort of existent. Plainly all mental goings on are concrete phenomena.
What does physicalism involve? What is it, really, to be a physicalist? What is it to be a realistic physicalist, or, more simply, a real physicalist? Well, one thing is absolutely clear. You’re certainly not a realistic physicalist, you’re not a real physicalist, if you deny the existence of the phenomenon whose existence is more certain than the existence of anything else: experience, ‘consciousness’, conscious experience, ‘phenomenology’, experiential ‘what-it’s-likeness’, feeling, sensation, explicit conscious thought as we have it and know it at almost every waking moment. Many words are used to denote this necessarily occurrent (essentially non-dispositional) phenomenon, and in this paper I will use the terms ‘experience’, ‘experiential phenomena’, and ‘experientiality’ to refer to it.
Full recognition of the reality of experience, then, is the obligatory starting point for any remotely realistic version of physicalism. This is because it is the obligatory starting point for any remotely realistic (indeed any non-self-defeating) theory of what there is. It is the obligatory starting point for any theory that can legitimately claim to be ‘naturalistic’ because experience is itself the fundamental given natural fact; it is a very old point that there is nothing more certain than the existence of experience.
It follows that real physicalism can have nothing to do with physicSalism, the view—the faith—that the nature or essence of all concrete reality can in principle be fully captured in the terms of physics. Real physicalism cannot have anything to do with physicSalism unless it is supposed—obviously falsely—that the terms of physics can fully capture the nature or essence of experience. It is unfortunate that ‘physicalism’ is today standardly used to mean physicSalism because it obliges me to speak of ‘real physicalism’ when really I only mean ‘physicalism’—realistic physicalism.
Real physicalism, then, must accept that experiential phenomena are physical phenomena. But how can experiential phenomena be physical phenomena? Many take this claim to be profoundly problematic (this is the ‘mind-body problem’). This is usually because they think they know a lot about the nature of the physical. They take the idea that the experiential is physical to be profoundly problematic given what we know about the nature of the physical. But they have already made a large and fatal mistake. This is because we have no good reason to think that we know anything about the physical that gives us any reason to find any problem in the idea that experiential phenomena are physical phenomena. If we reflect for a moment on the nature of our knowledge of the physical, and of the experiential, we realize, with Eddington, that ‘no problem of irreconcilability arises’.
A very large mistake. It is perhaps Descartes’s, or perhaps rather ‘Descartes’s’, greatest mistake, and it is funny that in the past fifty years it has been the most fervent revilers of the great Descartes, the true father of modern materialism, who have made the mistake with most intensity. Some of them—Dennett is a prime example—are so in thrall to the fundamental intuition of dualism, the intuition that the experiential and the physical are utterly and irreconcilably different, that they are prepared to deny the existence of experience, more or less (c)overtly, because they are committed to physicalism, i.e. physicSalism.

EDIT : The next hundred words also seem paste worthy.

They are prepared to deny the existence of experience.’ At this we should stop and wonder. I think we should feel very sober, and a little afraid, at the power of human credulity, the capacity of human minds to be gripped by theory, by faith. For this particular denial is the strangest thing that has ever happened in the whole history of human thought, not just the whole history of philosophy. It falls, unfortunately, to philosophy, not religion, to reveal the deepest woo-woo of the human mind. I find this grievous, but, next to this denial, every known religious belief is only a little less sensible than the belief that grass is green.

edit And the wikipedia entry for Strawsonian physicalism :

2 minute clip calling out the consciousness naysayers(Dennett and co)

55 minute talk calling out the consciousness naysayers(Dennett and co)

Mr. Blonde 03-04-2014 10:50 PM

You'll have to forgive me, I'm rather slow these days...but I'm trying to get to the meat of your position. Am I correct that your overall summed-up opinion is that machines will forever be excluded from experiencing consciousness equivalent to a human or even animal?

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