"Zombie"

"Zombie"

The word comes from the Hatian folklore and refers to a corpse animated by witchcraft.

In philosophy, this idea of a regular human but with no conscious experiences is known as a “philosophical zombie" or a “p-zombie". It is an argument against physicalism - the school of thought that everything that makes us human is ultimately derived from our physical characteristics.

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P-zombie as a Foundation to Dualism

If a p-zombie is logically conceivable, a physical body minus the mental, then this possibility could support dualism - an alternative view that sees the world consisting of not just the physical but also the mental. In other words, since a world of zombies is imaginable, all behaving purely at the physical level, why did evolution produce consciousness in humans?

  1. Physicalism says that everything in our world is physical.
  2. If physicalism is true, everything in out world is physical including consciousness.
  3. But we can conceive of a “zombie world", a physical world without consciousness then,
  4. Physicalism is proven false, because our world consists of both physical and mental attributes.

The existence of consciousness is a further, nonphysical fact about our world.

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Science has been trying to ignore the problem of consciousness for a long time.

  • In the 1600s, René Descartes declared that nothing is more obvious and undeniable than the fact that we are conscious. Your consciousness can't be a fantasy. At the same time, your consciousness does not obey any of the usual rules of science. It doesn't seem to be physical. It can't be observed or really described. Descartes concluded that it had been bequeathed to us by God.
  • This Cartesian dualism remained the assumption into the 18th century. But it was unacceptable to the secular scientist that took the position that only physical things exist.
  • As late as 1989, the British psychologist Stuart Sutherland declared that it is impossible to specify what consciousness is, what it does, or why it evolved.
  • In 1990 Francis Crick and Christof Kock mentioned in a paper that most of the work in both cognitive and neurosciences makes no reference to consciousness because most don't know of a useful way of approaching the problem.

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Misconceptions About Zombies

A zombie is a walking corpse, a living dead. But not all walking corpse is a zombie.

Unlike many other undead, the zombie is mindless, vacant, without purpose. The zombie was literally enslaved by magic to perform hard labor. Thus, it is a slave to its insatiable appetite, mindlessly consuming without need. It is a slave that was created by that which enslaves it.

Artificial Intelligence: Singularity and Virtual Immortality

The growth of technology and Artificial Intelligence(AI) is on track to provide us with:

  • Singularity: A merging of human intelligence and AI, resulting in Superstrong AI.
  • Virtual Immortality: Our mental selves including our memories being uploaded on the cloud computer, making us live beyond our original biological bodies.

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