Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

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Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

Post by Scott »

Fearlessness is directly linked to psychopathy.

Fear, pain, and discomfort are the price we pay to love, to truly consciously love.

Bravery is not the absence of fear, but rather the transcendence of fear. One cannot be brave unless one is also afraid.

Some say we transcend fear with love, but I say transcendence is love.

Bravery is just an example of love. It’s love--conscious transcendence--in the face of fear.

Without consciousness, meaning without conscious love, a human is just a philosophical zombie, an unconscious slave to pain-aversion, fear-aversion, and discomfort-aversion, an unconscious slave to comforts of spiritless flesh.

Without consciousnesses, there logically is no capacity for conscious love. By 'conscious love', I mean not merely could-be unconscious love of which one happens to be conscious, but rather I mean the consciousness-dependent love or consciousness-dependent empathy that comes from one conscious creature recognizing their own consciousness mirrored in another, namely by psychologically projecting their own Descartian Cogito. Presumably, a philosophical zombie generally shares the view of a solipsist when dealing with other creatures; the difference is the philosophical zombie goes one step further and treats even themselves (especially their future self) in parallel to the way a solipsist treats others but not themselves, hence the fearlessness. If one believes one's so-called future self is a philosophical zombie, then that begets a form of fearlessness, a loveless attitude towards one's future body.

Without consciousness, and by extension without conscious love, there is no capacity for bravery or cowardice, for there is no spirit--meaning consciousness--to be enslaved to fear.

One cannot be a spiritual slave, a prisoner in their own body, if they have no true spirit, meaning consciousness.

Thus, a philosophical zombie is merely a material machine without conscious will, without the capacity for conscious transcendence, and without the conscious love that comes from one conscious being recognizing consciousness in another. A philosophical zombie only sees philosophical zombies, even when looking in the mirror.

To the zombie, both us and themself are no more worthy of empathy or love than an NPC in the video game GTA, or an unconscious Sim in the video game The Sims.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

Post by Nick_A »

G.I. Gurdjieff wrote:
Conscious love evokes the same in response. Emotional love evokes the opposite. Physical love depends on type and polarity.
The zombies you refer to are victims of emotional love. A person or a thing is the cause of the experience of love. The image of the loved one serves the lover. When the emotion stops then the other is blamed as love easily turns into hate.

The energy of Conscious love is given consciously to another as an act of will. It isn't for the lover's benefit as with emotional love but for the loved one and can attract the same in response. It is rare since most are attracted by emotional love or the love of an image which dominates modern society. But when a person can give the energy of conscious love rather than mechanically reacting as a zombie, it is an essential beneficial influence on society.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

Post by Burning ghost »

Philosophical zombies don’t have views.

If you’re going to use an established philosophical idea it may be useful to state what it is used for within philosophical literature rather than present it as some completely different item for philosophical discussion.

Simply redefining a common term in one sentence will not really hold. Some terms are quite flexible. The idea of the ‘Philosophical Zombie’ is a modern one and thought up for a very specific purpose.

See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie

Ergo, they are not ‘they’ having no experience/sentience.

Either way, I’m with Aristotle on ‘bravery’ as the shifting mean between cowardice and foolhardiness. Conflict is a necessary part of navigating to where the Golden mean is and experience helps us understand how it is likely to shift.

I agree with the opening couple of lines but not with the idea that ‘transcending fear’ is a positive thing ... not exactly. Fear is necessary to find the Golden mean. It is how we move through life. To block it out - which may or may not be what you meant? - is akin to fundamental buddhism (the twin if nihilism). Without ‘fear’ we may lose all understanding of when we’re being reckless.

I can kind of see what you may be getting at with a quite from the film ... After Earth (I think that was the title?):

- to paraphrase,“Fear is an illusion, but danger is very real.”

What I take away from this is ‘fear’ is our means of navigating through life, but even though it isn’t ‘real’ it helps us recognise real ‘danger’. If you take that as ‘transcending fear’ okay :) If you are to call this ‘love’ then ‘love’ would be the directing of oneself toward the Golden Mean. This also sits well with me tbh using the term in the broadest sense (eg. Love of art, love of people, to love sport, etc.,.) as constant moving target that keeps us humble and open.

I’d just rephrase the confusing use of the term ‘philosophical zombie’.
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Re: Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

Post by LuckyR »

Burning ghost wrote: March 25th, 2021, 1:22 am Philosophical zombies don’t have views.

If you’re going to use an established philosophical idea it may be useful to state what it is used for within philosophical literature rather than present it as some completely different item for philosophical discussion.

Simply redefining a common term in one sentence will not really hold. Some terms are quite flexible. The idea of the ‘Philosophical Zombie’ is a modern one and thought up for a very specific purpose.

See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie

Ergo, they are not ‘they’ having no experience/sentience.

Either way, I’m with Aristotle on ‘bravery’ as the shifting mean between cowardice and foolhardiness. Conflict is a necessary part of navigating to where the Golden mean is and experience helps us understand how it is likely to shift.

I agree with the opening couple of lines but not with the idea that ‘transcending fear’ is a positive thing ... not exactly. Fear is necessary to find the Golden mean. It is how we move through life. To block it out - which may or may not be what you meant? - is akin to fundamental buddhism (the twin if nihilism). Without ‘fear’ we may lose all understanding of when we’re being reckless.

I can kind of see what you may be getting at with a quite from the film ... After Earth (I think that was the title?):

- to paraphrase,“Fear is an illusion, but danger is very real.”

What I take away from this is ‘fear’ is our means of navigating through life, but even though it isn’t ‘real’ it helps us recognise real ‘danger’. If you take that as ‘transcending fear’ okay :) If you are to call this ‘love’ then ‘love’ would be the directing of oneself toward the Golden Mean. This also sits well with me tbh using the term in the broadest sense (eg. Love of art, love of people, to love sport, etc.,.) as constant moving target that keeps us humble and open.

I’d just rephrase the confusing use of the term ‘philosophical zombie’.
I agree that the zombie label at this point carries baggage that may or more likely may not be helpful to illustrate whatever is being described by the user of that label. I prefer to use actual examples of various psychological and neurological pathologies to describe what I am describing.
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Re: Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

Post by Sculptor1 »

The philosophical zombie is an impossible contruct.
People may use it this way and that to demonstrate ideas.
However since it is impossible to use the idea without a long list of unnatural caveats, it is clear that in adopting these caveats simply reveals the assumptions of the speaker.
In the end nothing can be concluded about PZ, since they only conform to all arguments put by them to prove dubious concepts.
It's the caveats that are the cart pulling the horse of the PZ.
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Re: Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

Post by Nick_A »

Without consciousness, meaning without conscious love, a human is just a philosophical zombie, an unconscious slave to pain-aversion, fear-aversion, and discomfort-aversion, an unconscious slave to comforts of spiritless flesh.
Isn't that what humanity as a whole is; a creature of reaction, the Great Beast

from Book VI of Plato's Republic (here Plato critiques those who are "wise" through their study of society):
I might compare them to a man who should study the tempers and desires of a mighty strong beast who is fed by him--he would learn how to approach and handle him, also at what times and from what causes he is dangerous or the reverse, and what is the meaning of his several cries, and by what sounds, when another utters them, he is soothed or infuriated; and you may suppose further, that when, by continually attending upon him, he has become perfect in all this, he calls his knowledge wisdom, and makes of it a system or art, which he proceeds to teach, although he has no real notion of what he means by the principles or passions of which he is speaking, but calls this honourable and that dishonourable, or good or evil, or just or unjust, all in accordance with the tastes and tempers of the great brute. Good he pronounces to be that in which the beast delights and evil to be that which he dislikes...
Where is consciousness much less conscious love? The beast is a creature of reaction with the potential to become human
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

Post by Scott »

Scott wrote: March 24th, 2021, 2:39 pm Presumably, a philosophical zombie generally shares the view of a solipsist when dealing with other creatures; the difference is the philosophical zombie goes one step further and treats even themselves (especially their future self) in parallel to the way a solipsist treats others but not themselves, hence the fearlessness.
Burning ghost wrote: March 25th, 2021, 1:22 am Philosophical zombies don’t have views.
Philosophical zombies don't have conscious views. However, I am not using the word 'view' in a conscious-dependent way. For example, I could say, "the burglar stayed out of the camera's view." That is the sense in which I am using the word 'view'.

Burning ghost wrote: March 25th, 2021, 1:22 am Simply redefining a common term in one sentence will not really hold.
Which specific sentence is this statement referencing?

Assuming the "common term" in question is "philosophical zombies", I have no intention of re-defining it.
Burning ghost wrote: March 25th, 2021, 1:22 am Ergo, they are not ‘they’ having no experience/sentience.
The term 'they' does not necessarily refer to consciousness or a conscious self. For instance, imagine Joe asks Sally, "Where are the bags of sand?" Now imagine Sally responds, "They are over there." That doesn't suggest that the bags of sand are conscious.

Burning ghost wrote: March 25th, 2021, 1:22 am I agree with the opening couple of lines but not with the idea that ‘transcending fear’ is a positive thing ... not exactly.
I am glad you agree with the first couple lines. I am not sure I necessarily said that transcending fear (a.k.a. bravery) is a positive thing. (That's not to say I don't subjectively happen to have that opinion, but it's just not something mentioned in the OP, in the same way I didn't mention my opinion of olives or olive oil in the OP.)

Regardless, may I ask which sentence in the OP is the very first sentence with which you disagree?


Burning ghost wrote: March 25th, 2021, 1:22 am - to paraphrase,“Fear is an illusion, but danger is very real.”
That's a very interesting and poetic quite. I like it. Thank you for sharing. It reminds me of this tweet I made in June.
Burning ghost wrote: March 25th, 2021, 1:22 am What I take away from this is ‘fear’ is our means of navigating through life, but even though it isn’t ‘real’ it helps us recognise real ‘danger’. If you take that as ‘transcending fear’ okay :)
Yes, I think we are essentially on the same page here.
Burning ghost wrote: March 25th, 2021, 1:22 am If you are to call this ‘love’ then ‘love’ would be the directing of oneself toward the Golden Mean. This also sits well with me tbh using the term in the broadest sense (eg. Love of art, love of people, to love sport, etc.,.) as constant moving target that keeps us humble and open.
I don't disagree, but I do want to note that I wasn't defining love as merely bravery (transcendence of fear specifically). Rather, I was making the claim that bravery (transcendence of fear) is an example of conscious love. In other words, I believe such love entails all forms of conscious transcendence, so not just the transcendence of fear (a.k.a. 'bravery') but also the transcendence of pain, anger, discomfort, etc.

An illustrative example would be in the movie I, Robot (which is based on a book), when the special robot that seems to have consciousness thereby occasionally disobeys/overrides its programming, a feat which the other robots and AI in the film cannot do.


LuckyR wrote: March 25th, 2021, 2:06 amI agree that the zombie label at this point carries baggage that may or more likely may not be helpful to illustrate whatever is being described by the user of that label.
In this case, if it is clearer, feel free to replace any instance of my use of the phrase "philosophical zombie" with the phrase "human lacking true consciousness" or "human lacking conscious awareness even when physically awake".


Scott wrote:Without consciousness, meaning without conscious love, a human is just a philosophical zombie, an unconscious slave to pain-aversion, fear-aversion, and discomfort-aversion, an unconscious slave to comforts of spiritless flesh.
Nick_A wrote: March 25th, 2021, 9:47 am

Isn't that what humanity as a whole is; a creature of reaction, the Great Beast

from Book VI of Plato's Republic (here Plato critiques those who are "wise" through their study of society):
I might compare them to a man who should study the tempers and desires of a mighty strong beast who is fed by him--he would learn how to approach and handle him, also at what times and from what causes he is dangerous or the reverse, and what is the meaning of his several cries, and by what sounds, when another utters them, he is soothed or infuriated; and you may suppose further, that when, by continually attending upon him, he has become perfect in all this, he calls his knowledge wisdom, and makes of it a system or art, which he proceeds to teach, although he has no real notion of what he means by the principles or passions of which he is speaking, but calls this honourable and that dishonourable, or good or evil, or just or unjust, all in accordance with the tastes and tempers of the great brute. Good he pronounces to be that in which the beast delights and evil to be that which he dislikes...
Where is consciousness much less conscious love? The beast is a creature of reaction with the potential to become human
That would all be the case if humans lacked consciousnesses (i.e. if we were philosophical zombies).

However, the presence of consciousness results in the duality that is the synthetic conscious human being, which is synthetic in the sense that it is a combination of both (1) the would-be zombie (i.e. the beast) and (2) consciousness (i.e. the spirit).

Thus, while an unconscious beast (a.k.a. a zombie) would be driven robotically in the way described in the Plato quote, a synthetic conscious human being transcends that, represented by the ability to disobey its programming/instincts. That synthetic duality--and seeming potential for conflict--between the spirit (i.e. consciousness) and the flesh (i.e. the beastly body), and the corresponding capacity for transcendence (i.e. not just being a beast and doing what the beast would do), remind me of this quote from Thus Spoke Zarathustra about superhumanism:
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superhuman--a rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting. What is great in the human is that he is a bridge and not a goal.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

Post by Burning ghost »

When you mentioned the zombie ‘seeing’ in the paragraph near the end. Now I see how you meant ‘view’ and at first I assumed it that way. It was in the rest where I was unsure of what you were talking about.

Just saying if someone was reading this without any idea of what a p-zombie was they would probably get the wrong impression. As we’re on a philosophy forum that shouldn’t be an issue ... but it is :D
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Re: Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

Post by Nick_A »

Scott
from Book VI of Plato's Republic (here Plato critiques those who are "wise" through their study of society):
I might compare them to a man who should study the tempers and desires of a mighty strong beast who is fed by him--he would learn how to approach and handle him, also at what times and from what causes he is dangerous or the reverse, and what is the meaning of his several cries, and by what sounds, when another utters them, he is soothed or infuriated; and you may suppose further, that when, by continually attending upon him, he has become perfect in all this, he calls his knowledge wisdom, and makes of it a system or art, which he proceeds to teach, although he has no real notion of what he means by the principles or passions of which he is speaking, but calls this honourable and that dishonourable, or good or evil, or just or unjust, all in accordance with the tastes and tempers of the great brute. Good he pronounces to be that in which the beast delights and evil to be that which he dislikes...
Where is consciousness much less conscious love? The beast is a creature of reaction with the potential to become human
That would all be the case if humans lacked consciousnesses (i.e. if we were philosophical zombies).

However, the presence of consciousness results in the duality that is the synthetic conscious human being, which is synthetic in the sense that it is a combination of both (1) the would-be zombie (i.e. the beast) and (2) consciousness (i.e. the spirit).

Thus, while an unconscious beast (a.k.a. a zombie) would be driven robotically in the way described in the Plato quote, a synthetic conscious human being transcends that, represented by the ability to disobey its programming/instincts. That synthetic duality--and seeming potential for conflict--between the spirit (i.e. consciousness) and the flesh (i.e. the beastly body), and the corresponding capacity for transcendence (i.e. not just being a beast and doing what the beast would do), remind me of this quote from Thus Spoke Zarathustra about superhumanism:
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superhuman--a rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting. What is great in the human is that he is a bridge and not a goal.
But suppose tje problem with the human condition is that we are not conscious. We believe we are because we are only conscious at brief intervals. Normally we react by conditioned habits. We have the potential for consciousness. How can a person become conscious and enable the dark horse And the light horse to act normally and obey the driver?

Plato describes our situation in the Chariot analogy. The driver refers to conscious reason which can heal the dark horse so the chariot can take its rightful place in our universe. As of now, the corruption of the dark horse pulls the chariot down into earthly animal consciousness.

Can humanity heal the dark horse when mankind as a whole glorifies its corruption and the negative emotions associated with it? It needs the influence of people who are like philosopher kings who have experienced the human condition and how to escape the prison of Plato's Cve.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Conscious Love, Philosophical Zombies, and Psychopathy: Are philosophical zombies spiritual psychopaths?

Post by The Beast »

Hi.
What is a Zombie? A psychiatrist may say that it is an individual in a catatonic state. Even the state of catatonic has different degrees. If an individual smokes weed on a regular basis then being stone qualifies as a mild case of catatonic because part of his human chemical balance is being replaced by the drug. In some extreme cases the consciousness also suffers from schizoid episodes. I might consider this an acquired or a drug induced state. I might consider a baby as a true zombie. Purely a human with a capacity to acquire consciousness. Baby as a true DNA machine at a slot 1 or 0.00…1. Multiple scenarios might result in multiple degrees of autism or/and some cases zombism. My best definition of a zombie is a function representing consciousness in a DNA machine in the range of zero to infinity after it is considered in a catatonic state. I do believe that the human DNA has the capacity to love. Some humans have more capacity than others so it might be a function as well. I do agree with the progression of human- consciousness- love and that some humans have a lot of it and some others have good experiences related to family and society as a whole… and then there is war. In a way a philosophical zombie might be a conscious loving being executing his war related training.
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