X-Message-Number: 17937
From: "John de Rivaz" <>
References: <>
Subject: The Old Consciousness Thing
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 13:57:34 -0000

> From: Dave Shipman <>
> How can we know whether
> another person, animal, or machine is conscious if we can't tell from its
> behavior or any other physical manifestation? Well, simply put, we cannot.

How can we be sure that person A is more conscious than person B? Even
further, do we experience the same level of consciousness all the time? I
suggest not.

With regards to the suggestion that it is unwise to consider such matters in
favour of more pressing matters of wealth generation, biostasis research and
so on, I can't agree. The thing is, that if you are interested in *all* of
these things, you can often apply one to the other (particularly wealth

Also a better understanding of the arguments surrounding the concept of
consciousness may be highly useful if one day the authorities start thinking
that there may be no such thing as consciousness, therefore there need be no
cryopreservation, medical services beyond that needed to insure expenditure
on education, and indeed no individual rights beyond those required by
economic necessity.

To reiterate what I think: whatever consciousness is, it (or what passes as
it) is all you have and it is worth preserving. But that doesn't lead me to
consider it unworthy of thought and debate.

Sincerely, John de Rivaz:      http://www.deRivaz.com
my homepage links to Longevity Report, Fractal Report, music, Inventors'
report, an autobio and various other projects:
http://www.autopsychoice.com - http://www.cryonics-europe.org -

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