Reply To: Entertaining doubts about rebirth

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Jared K. Jones

Dear Sarah,

Please do use it. It was originally intended as an organisational tool for my own thoughts; it is a reflection of my inner debate about the status of consciousness. That said, I have subsequently taken each of these positions and tested them in public debates. So, these stand up to most of the modern challenges we face in rationally accepting (what, as non-cultural Buddhists) are counter-intuitive notions.

I am so interested in the idea of the idea of the conscious and unconscious observer, interpretation and meaning. All the links you provide to further reading and works are brilliant, I am busy following them now and reflecting on them.

I hear you. I go back and forth on this myself. Personally speaking now, I think ‘unconscious’ observaters in the QM sense only appear to be so. These come about when consciousness is not bracketed into the analysis, as explained in the article that talks about ‘are the rocks part of the mountain or not?’

AI in the classic Lycan idea of robots and minds

AI is another interesting subject. I didn’t include it in the essay because it was slightly off the subject, by my estimation. However, there is no reason to think that even robots that convincingly pass a Turing Test have a mind. ‘The Chinese (sp) Room’ argument seems to debunk actually intelligent (knowing, luminous, clear) artificial intelligence. The way that the programmers of the future intend to get around this is by integrating actual intelligence (using brain materials already instantiated with a non-physical mind) in concert with microchips and software. These kinds of ‘hardware-soft mind’ interfaces are likely to produce some very interesting results.