09 February 2011

Intelligence and rain

Consider this implication that the human brain is composed mainly of water and that thoughts are electrical transmissions. These are scientific facts. Also fact that the brain requires oxygen to remain functional. Heck let's toss in that it is a complex structure. And we will take the final step and say that we are explicitly discussing a fruit fly brain.

Now, remove religion. I am not saying that a deity of sorts does not exist or anything like that. This is just a simple extension of Sartre's statement in Being and Nothingness that he did not deny god existed but he questioned should god not exist man would create himself. Arguing Sartre's theory is an entirely different post. And while I am removing religion, remove qualia, that mythical "essence" that Searle and others desperately cling to in their argument against computers and artificial intelligence.

Referencing the opening paragraph, I have to wonder if rain could have sentience? Let me define sentience as having the quality of being able to compose and transmit thoughts independently of outside manipulations. Rain is composed mostly of water, conducts electrical transmissions, has access to unlimited amounts of oxygen and is a complex structure. To say that rain is not a complex structure, snow is a type of frozen rain.

Is it possible to prove that rain is not capable of sentience? Not that rain is sentient, but that it is impossible for rain to be sentient. Having disqualified religion and qualia, how can the argument against be made? Is this a perversion of Pascal's wager?

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