7 thoughts on “The Zombie Argument”

  1. If two beings are molecule-for-molecule identical, they will have the same internal mental state. Assuming the contrary in the form of a nebulously-defined “zombie” is right up there with assuming both an immovable object and an irresistible force. It’s not that interesting.

    “… to have these revolutionary arguments on the basis of premises that you can ascertain just in your armchair, just by thinking about it … If that isn’t seductive, I don’t know what is.”

    Yes, navel-gazing is seductive to some, especially if you’re paid for your trouble and you don’t really have to make any sense. That quote is the prescientific viewpoint in a nutshell.

  2. Zombies don’t exist. They are Hollywood.

    “There is no universally agreed-upon definition of consciousness. ”
    That I could agree with.
    “The experiment features an imagined creature exactly like you or me, but with a crucial ingredient – consciousness – missing.”

    Well it seems it would like you looking at yourself as a baby- and baby is not zombie. Or you are teenager and looking at you who is 60 years old. There is sameness and there is something different.
    But not sure I could predict “myself”, it seems it would be weird.
    So then you add movie Big:
    The baby become adult with magic or other way around.
    The problem is you should know stuff, and given time one could fiqure it out. But since baby is not suppose to know stuff, what happens old becomes a baby. I think babies is quite intelligence creatures and you could get “lost” being a baby. Or you become some dream or fantasy.

  3. A being that appears to be conscious without actually being conscious. Hmmm…

    Let’s go Brandon!

  4. If the doppelganger is an exact physical copy but does not have consciousness, then the Zombie idea presupposes that consciousness is not a physical process. That’s a logical fallacy called “begging the question”.

    I can’t prove that any of you reading this are conscious. I can’t prove that I’m conscious. Heck, I’m kind of on autopilot a lot of the time, especially before that first coffee in the morning.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter whether we ever get a “true AI”. What matters is whether we can program our machines with enough smarts to do the job, whatever the job is. A Mars rover (or better yet, a serpentine robot) that could navigate around on Mars autonomously and safely with no more human control than “check out that rock outcrop 200 meters North of you” would need to navigate around irregular terrain without incident. It doesn’t need to appreciate Shakespeare to get the job done.

  5. The question of consciousness is theoretical philosophical, which means its consequences are most likely to result from people trying to take it from theory to application, as in a philosophy of government. That makes it worth being aware of.

    To me a more immediate concern isn’t people without consciousness, but people who reject the responsibility of personal agency — especially while insisting on the privileges that carry that responsibility.

    Zombies are Hollywood. NPCs are real.

  6. Hmm, my zombie is standing right here, let me ask him:

    So, what do you think of the Zombie Argument?

    Oh I’m sorry, that’s a mirror…. That must explain why my dog found his zombie to be very boring and unimaginative.

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