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On the Conceivability of Artificially Created Enlightenment

On the Conceivability of Artificially Created Enlightenment ESSAYS Paul Andrew Powell University of Nebraska Pointsman can only possess the zero and the one. He cannot, like [Roger] Mexico, survive anyplace in between. . . . [H]e imagines the cortex of the brain as a mosaic of tiny on/off elements. . . . [E]ach point is allowed only the two states: . . . [o]ne or zero. . . . [B]rain mechanics assumes the presence of these bi-stable points. . . . If ever the Anti-pointsman existed, Roger Mexico is the man. . . . How can Mexico play, so at his ease, with these symbols of randomness and fright? Innocent as a child, perhaps unaware--perhaps--that in his play he wrecks the elegant rooms of history. --Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow When I first read about the Dalai Lama's remark that "if all the external conditions and the karmic action were there, a stream of consciousness might actually enter into a computer," 1 I couldn't help but wonder if a computer could then attain enlightenment. The answer, at first, seemed simple and obvious (though perhaps distasteful for some): if the machine was self-aware, sentient, and conscious, then it would be only reasonable to assume that it could http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

On the Conceivability of Artificially Created Enlightenment

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 25 (1) – Oct 10, 2005

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472
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Abstract

ESSAYS Paul Andrew Powell University of Nebraska Pointsman can only possess the zero and the one. He cannot, like [Roger] Mexico, survive anyplace in between. . . . [H]e imagines the cortex of the brain as a mosaic of tiny on/off elements. . . . [E]ach point is allowed only the two states: . . . [o]ne or zero. . . . [B]rain mechanics assumes the presence of these bi-stable points. . . . If ever the Anti-pointsman existed, Roger Mexico is the man. . . . How can Mexico play, so at his ease, with these symbols of randomness and fright? Innocent as a child, perhaps unaware--perhaps--that in his play he wrecks the elegant rooms of history. --Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow When I first read about the Dalai Lama's remark that "if all the external conditions and the karmic action were there, a stream of consciousness might actually enter into a computer," 1 I couldn't help but wonder if a computer could then attain enlightenment. The answer, at first, seemed simple and obvious (though perhaps distasteful for some): if the machine was self-aware, sentient, and conscious, then it would be only reasonable to assume that it could

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 10, 2005

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