Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
Belindi
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Belindi » July 2nd, 2018, 7:19 am

Certainly your viewpoint discourages me. It's good that my complacency be discouraged.

I am sorry that Roosevelt refused entry to the shipload of political refugees. Would Eleanor have done so too? A leader should have the character to do the right thing and shame the devil. "The right thing" ; Human Decency you named it.

Jan Sand
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » July 2nd, 2018, 7:51 am

I saw Roosevelt only once when I was 10 years old in 1936. I was attending P.S. 102 in Brooklyn and when Landon was trying to replace him as president. One morning, without explanation, we kids were herded out of elementary school to 69th street and we waited lined up on the sidewalk mysteriously. I remember when a guy on a bicycle delivering groceries rode down the street he was somewhat embarrassed by the great cheers he received as he rode by.When Roosevelt, in an open car, finally came through it seemed to me the guy on the bike got a more enthusiastic reception. I can't remember the date but many years later there was a time when I was startled in Manhattan in City Hall park to see Eleanor Roosevelt pausing for a moment and then walking on.

One of Roosevelt's famous remarks was that he may agree with some concept or agenda but he needed the public to force him to accomplish it. At the time of the Jewish ship arrival anti-antisemitism was rife throughout the USA and Jews were vastly discriminated against in universities and many businesses . A Nazi organization called The German American Bund had a large following, Lindbergh accepted a medal from Hitler, and Hitler had good relationships with many US corporations. Hitler confessed that many of his programs against minorities were copied from policies in the USA. It was only after WWII that the Jews in the USA began to have a better time. Even Roosevelt had to be cautious about attitudes.

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Mark1955
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Mark1955 » July 2nd, 2018, 2:01 pm

Belindi wrote:
July 1st, 2018, 3:35 pm
Mark, I meant actually killing people. Killing to order is I understand a skill that has to be indoctrinated, some say that those who kill to order have been brutalised or are too fearful of peer pressure to resist.
I think you need to differentiate your types of killing to order. I didn't have to do it but I don't think I needed much indoctrination to be prepared to shoot at invading Soviet tanks [and by implication kill the men inside them] if they'd ever arrived. My reasons to do so would have been a) self preservation, he who shoots first hopefully stays alive, they certainly weren't going to just drive past me waving, b) I had this silly idea I was defending in any order of priority, democracy, my mates and my family.
If someone had ordered me to start shooting unarmed civilians it would have been a different ball game, but in western democratic armies that's not supposed to be the way we operate.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

Jan Sand
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » July 2nd, 2018, 2:14 pm

The killing done in Vietnam and in North Korea and in much of the Middle East by democratic countries was not defensive killing and it greatly involved killing non combatants The very large number of drone killings of innocent funeral and bridal parties and even kids herding goats was not defensive killing in any reasonable sense of the words. I cannot say if the huge number of suicides committed by returning military veterans was done out of feelings of guilt but I have my suspicions.

Belindi
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Belindi » July 2nd, 2018, 2:32 pm

Mark, what you describe b), apart from the self preservation component a), is part of what I meant by peer pressure.

Jan Sand, the early 1930s were marked by the great depression after the Wall Street collapse. Don't you think that Roosevelt's New Deal and the Hitler regime's investment in autobahns and electricity and so on had a lot in common? Also in the early 1930s Hitler was not generally viewed as an immoral politician and mass murderer.

I am unwilling to accept that there was widespread antisemitism during the first half of the 20th century, without a lot of statistical evidence. I was growing up in Scotland during the 1930s and was aware of no such undercurrents among the grownups. I do know about Oswald Moseley and recall my parents expressing shocked dislike of him.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » July 2nd, 2018, 10:34 pm

No need for me to verify USA antisemitism as there are easily available sources on the web. As someone of Jewish ancestry I was fully aware of it and especially the quotas for Jews in universities. No doubt it was far less than the horrors that black people are subject to even today. You might research Fritz Kuhn and the German-American Bund and the idiocies of Henry Ford. The information is there if you look for it. My father's family was forced to leave Europe at the beginning of the 20th century by the pogroms. It's no secret.

Belindi
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Belindi » July 3rd, 2018, 3:43 am

Jan Sand, US and German economic advances after 1929 are similar effects of the same cause, the Big Depression. That Roosevelt was a nice man and that Hitler wasn't, and that racism and nationalism were adjuncts to Hitler's economic improvements , is beside the point.
I have now read a little about Fritz Kuhn and the German-American Bund. I don't see that the Nazism myth was essential to economic advances in either US or Germany after the Wall Street collapse.

Anyway, I said "widespread antisemitism" not USA antisemitism. In a small town in 1930s 1940s Scotland even as a sheltered child I'd have been aware if there had been significant antisemitic feeling. There were two Kindertransport children in my class at school and no suggestion of antisemitism no particular interest in those children's backgrounds. It was not until decades later that I guessed that those may have been Jewish Kindertransport kids.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » July 3rd, 2018, 4:01 am

I am not concerned with your denials or inexperience. I lived through the period and am acquainted with the results. If you desire to deny my understandings, that is your problem, not mine.

Belindi
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Belindi » July 3rd, 2018, 5:16 am

Jan Sand, I understand that you are unimpressed . It's not evidence only an anecdote.

I don't deny your understandings and I am impressed by them, by your experiences of antisemitism. I don't have a problem with denying your antisemitism experience, because I believe you.
I am a little surprised that your being offended takes precedence over a cool consideration of attempts and by Roosevelt and the Hitler regime to rebuild economic strengths after the Wall Street crash of 1929.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » July 3rd, 2018, 6:06 am

Please understand, I am not offended in the least, merely cautioning you that I am merely one person with very limited experience. There are many historical studies on the various economic and psychological contexts of the rise of Hitler and the concomitant accompanying brutalities. I merely suggest that you are far better off consulting hugely better sources for opinions on the history than my very limited personal experience. The current huge vicious and stupid dynamics of the current USA does not prejudice me over my native land as well as my experience in WWII in the US Army Air Force did not stop me from appreciation of my German friends when I lived in West Berlin in 1962 where my older son was born. I know of you only from a few sentences on the web. This is all of you to me which certainly gives me no grasp of you as a person. Hitler forged his policies, to a great deal, over the peace treaties of the First World War and his most odd opinions on other policies involving genetics and racial characteristics. He openly complimented the USA on its idiotic racism which has lessened since the 1960's but even a few days ago prejudiced people have called the police in the USA when they spy black kids in their area. Much of the world has a long way to go before fundamental decency and reason can take hold and the planet has indicated that the time limit for sensible behavior may have already lapsed. I certainly can have no influence about that.

Jan Sand
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » July 3rd, 2018, 6:12 am

Incidentally, you might be interested in this piece about Father Coughlin at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Coughlin

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