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Awesomelyglorious
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14 Jun 2010, 7:28 pm

Ok, we're all here on an autism forum, so we should all have some concept of neurodiversity. My question is then a question about the depths of neurological differences. Obviously, we all probably have some concept that our differences are still slight enough to make us still "essentially" human. But, that question just begs the question of why are we still "essentially" human, and where are the limits of "essential" humanness? Is "humanness" a matter of underlying structure, as in structures that are more similar to the basic human structure, are also themselves more human? Or is it a matter of outcomes, as in structures that result in outcomes that are more like "human" outcomes are more human?

Could an AI be a person? If not, then why not? Isn't an AI just a being with a different neurology, correct? So, when could we accept one of them? Could a genetically engineered being be a person? Another case of a different neurology, correct?

So, what really would we want to govern this sense that something is a "person", and how could it be governed, even further, if we cannot find a clear answer, what does it say about the existing entities labeled to be persons?



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14 Jun 2010, 7:56 pm

Only members of the species Homo sapiens are human.

As for "persons" - a sufficiently self-aware robot could be person, as could a sufficiently self-aware genetically engineered being.

NOTE: OOPS. I put "robot" twice.



Last edited by Master_Pedant on 14 Jun 2010, 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Awesomelyglorious
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14 Jun 2010, 8:09 pm

Master_Pedant wrote:
Only members of the species Homo sapiens are human.

As for "persons" - a sufficiently self-aware robot could be person, as could a sufficiently self-aware robot.

Oh, whatever. I hardly care, given that species is itself an ad hoc label without solid lines, only a matter of efficient organization than a real ontological line. (That being said, if we could breed with Neanderthals, something that some researchers have recently claimed there was evidence of, are they humans? How much "homo sapiens" descent is needed vs homo neanderthalensis descent? Is there a one drop of blood rule?) I mean, surely you've read Dan Dennett's comments in Darwin's Dangerous Idea on the matter.

As for "self-aware", I think you are just punting back to some simple term rather than grappling with the real problem about the term. I mean, "self-aware" is itself a problem to define given that "selves" are fictional centers of gravity for humans, and that the entire notion of self-awareness seems to bring up issues of "what is necessary for a self"? There is no reason why the human notion of self should be taken as this basic Platonic thing.



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14 Jun 2010, 8:57 pm

Master_Pedant wrote:
Only members of the species Homo sapiens are human.

As for "persons" - a sufficiently self-aware robot could be person, as could a sufficiently self-aware robot.


I'd rather more sufficiently self-aware humans first.


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14 Jun 2010, 9:59 pm

If human behavior can be predictable to the point of being able to be expressed algorithmically (this doesn't mean every AI would have the same algorithms governing it) and be expressed as boolean logic, which I believe it can, then yes.



Master_Pedant
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14 Jun 2010, 10:03 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Master_Pedant wrote:
Only members of the species Homo sapiens are human.

As for "persons" - a sufficiently self-aware robot could be person, as could a sufficiently self-aware robot.

Oh, whatever. I hardly care, given that species is itself an ad hoc label without solid lines, only a matter of efficient organization than a real ontological line. (That being said, if we could breed with Neanderthals, something that some researchers have recently claimed there was evidence of, are they humans? How much "homo sapiens" descent is needed vs homo neanderthalensis descent? Is there a one drop of blood rule?) I mean, surely you've read Dan Dennett's comments in Darwin's Dangerous Idea on the matter.

As for "self-aware", I think you are just punting back to some simple term rather than grappling with the real problem about the term. I mean, "self-aware" is itself a problem to define given that "selves" are fictional centers of gravity for humans, and that the entire notion of self-awareness seems to bring up issues of "what is necessary for a self"? There is no reason why the human notion of self should be taken as this basic Platonic thing.


My main point was to differentiate between the biologically (loosely) defined "human" and the morally defined "person".



Awesomelyglorious
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14 Jun 2010, 10:49 pm

Master_Pedant wrote:
My main point was to differentiate between the biologically (loosely) defined "human" and the morally defined "person".

The difference isn't that important. Often the terms are used in somewhat overlapping ways anyway. For instance, "Learning about John's love of trains made him seem more human." is not a biological statement.



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15 Jun 2010, 1:33 pm

I smell humans! topic

There is a human genome project that has mapped out such human data. I think there is one for dogs as well. Chimps share about 98% of our chromosomal material, but they are not human.

The Essence of being human, as far as I know, is the potential to reach beyond the surly bonds of earth, either via mind, body, or both. So far the evidence is that we are the only creatures on this planet to do so. This statement is woefully inadquate but it is the best one I can think of so far. It might get the ball rolling. What say you, AG?


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Awesomelyglorious
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15 Jun 2010, 1:53 pm

sartresue wrote:
I smell humans! topic

There is a human genome project that has mapped out such human data. I think there is one for dogs as well. Chimps share about 98% of our chromosomal material, but they are not human.

The Essence of being human, as far as I know, is the potential to reach beyond the surly bonds of earth, either via mind, body, or both. So far the evidence is that we are the only creatures on this planet to do so. This statement is woefully inadquate but it is the best one I can think of so far. It might get the ball rolling. What say you, AG?

It might get the ball going. The biggest problem with it is that humans didn't have the capability in the 17th century, but were still "human", and some humans likely couldn't cause something like this to happen, but we still consider them human.

I will probably try to avoid some elements of this topic due to things I said in another thread: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt128890.html As they might be part of the issue here as well, but I don't think that I should force this thread to come to that conclusion.



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15 Jun 2010, 2:41 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
sartresue wrote:
I smell humans! topic

There is a human genome project that has mapped out such human data. I think there is one for dogs as well. Chimps share about 98% of our chromosomal material, but they are not human.

The Essence of being human, as far as I know, is the potential to reach beyond the surly bonds of earth, either via mind, body, or both. So far the evidence is that we are the only creatures on this planet to do so. This statement is woefully inadquate but it is the best one I can think of so far. It might get the ball rolling. What say you, AG?

It might get the ball going. The biggest problem with it is that humans didn't have the capability in the 17th century, but were still "human", and some humans likely couldn't cause something like this to happen, but we still consider them human.

I will probably try to avoid some elements of this topic due to things I said in another thread: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt128890.html As they might be part of the issue here as well, but I don't think that I should force this thread to come to that conclusion.


In which direction is the ball rolling? :lol: topic

My bold moves above.

But humans have always had the ability to dream and look outside the box, uh, earth. I also italicized the word potential. Each of us has different abilities and I know I could not design or build an airplane/space shuttle. But some of us have, and so we can all now slip those surly bonds, including those who have special needs, with assistance. Plus those chimps! :lol:


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Awesomelyglorious
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15 Jun 2010, 2:46 pm

sartresue wrote:
In which direction is the ball rolling? :lol: topic

My bold moves above.

But humans have always had the ability to dream and look outside the box, uh, earth. I also italicized the word potential. Each of us has different abilities and I know I could not design or build an airplane/space shuttle. But some of us have, and so we can all now slip those surly bonds, including those who have special needs, with assistance. Plus those chimps! :lol:

Well, ok, I might have missed the point by going back to the 17th century, but then again, how do you assess "potential".

Even further, who is "us"? I mean, maybe engineers and physicists are the only humans and non-engineers are subhumans, just like the Nazis saw the jews to be? Even further, would Neanderthals count?



sartresue
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15 Jun 2010, 3:45 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
sartresue wrote:
In which direction is the ball rolling? :lol: topic

My bold moves above.

But humans have always had the ability to dream and look outside the box, uh, earth. I also italicized the word potential. Each of us has different abilities and I know I could not design or build an airplane/space shuttle. But some of us have, and so we can all now slip those surly bonds, including those who have special needs, with assistance. Plus those chimps! :lol:

Well, ok, I might have missed the point by going back to the 17th century, but then again, how do you assess "potential".

Even further, who is "us"? I mean, maybe engineers and physicists are the only humans and non-engineers are subhumans, just like the Nazis saw the jews to be? Even further, would Neanderthals count?


Artsy-craftsy topic

For potential, I mean imagining something far above the surface of the earth, perhaps a bird, in prehistoric times, turning it into a story (or art) or an invention, or imagining air travel. Not sure if Neanderthals did, but the cave dwellers depicted their imagined hunts on cave walls. Foresight might be a better word. If neanderthals did cave art the evidence is lacking. By "us" I am referring to those who cannot design and build these slippers of the surly bonds. even if it could be imagined. Who has not pretended to fly as a child, to imagine being a bird, throughout history. And then there is Einstein, who imagined riding on a beam of light.


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Awesomelyglorious
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15 Jun 2010, 5:25 pm

sartresue wrote:
Artsy-craftsy topic

For potential, I mean imagining something far above the surface of the earth, perhaps a bird, in prehistoric times, turning it into a story (or art) or an invention, or imagining air travel. Not sure if Neanderthals did, but the cave dwellers depicted their imagined hunts on cave walls. Foresight might be a better word. If neanderthals did cave art the evidence is lacking. By "us" I am referring to those who cannot design and build these slippers of the surly bonds. even if it could be imagined. Who has not pretended to fly as a child, to imagine being a bird, throughout history. And then there is Einstein, who imagined riding on a beam of light.

Well, I just mean that I am skeptical of a species really having an essence.

I have difficulties assessing your measure. Would you call it imagination? What would a human without this trait be like? Would it be ok to slaughter them and eat them?



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15 Jun 2010, 11:17 pm

We haven't always been able to travel beyond the earth, but perhaps metaphorically, we've always been able to do this by imagining possible worlds?

Fascinating topic. I don't have an answer yet, but I'm working on it. I don't think species have essences either, so I doubt the answer will be species-based.



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16 Jun 2010, 8:00 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Ok, we're all here on an autism forum, so we should all have some concept of neurodiversity. My question is then a question about the depths of neurological differences. Obviously, we all probably have some concept that our differences are still slight enough to make us still "essentially" human. But, that question just begs the question of why are we still "essentially" human, and where are the limits of "essential" humanness? Is "humanness" a matter of underlying structure, as in structures that are more similar to the basic human structure, are also themselves more human? Or is it a matter of outcomes, as in structures that result in outcomes that are more like "human" outcomes are more human?

Could an AI be a person? If not, then why not? Isn't an AI just a being with a different neurology, correct? So, when could we accept one of them? Could a genetically engineered being be a person? Another case of a different neurology, correct?

So, what really would we want to govern this sense that something is a "person", and how could it be governed, even further, if we cannot find a clear answer, what does it say about the existing entities labeled to be persons?

I take being human to be a matter of DNA. Being a person has nothing to do with that. I might extend personhood to some other species already, so it would certainly be possible for AI to be a person.

I don't think there are any clear answers. It's the paradox of the heap: if you take away one grain of sand at a time, at what point does it stop being a heap? There isn't a clear-cut answer to this, but 'heap' remains a useful concept to have. The same is true of personhood.

.


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