Journal 09-17-03

A classmate wrote on the discussion list:

The biggest flaw with Kurzweil is that he uses the term spiritual .  I think he did this more for shock value than anything else.  He doesn’t equate spiritual with any sort of what I would consider spiritual, but rather use it as a synonym for conscience.  That is certainly not the connotation that one associates with spiritual.

I had this thought too, though more vaguely.  One of Kurzweil’s critic’s arguments focused, sort of, on this aspect.  Basically, this critic was saying that to use the word spiritual is to give it a lesser meaning or a watered down version of what spirituality means.  But, I tend to agree with my classmate’s more concrete statement that the word spiritual should be thrown out altogether.  It is simply the incorrect term to use and perhaps he DID use it for the controversial effect.

A funny conversation on what makes humans human.  My friend was wondering what it is that causes us to be bored. Do computers become bored?  Is boredom a chemical state of the brain?  I thought this was an interestingly depressing case for humanity.

Although, another case I’ve heard before is the idea of memory.  I think this one Kurzweil would be more enthusiastic about making a case for (that it is memory where computers exceed humanity).  But  how do you determine why my version or memory of something varies from another, though it is the same event being remembered?

**reminds me of a THIS AMERICAN LIFE episode clip**

What frustrates me (among the MANY things that do) is that [my attempt to defend humanity] seems to all amount to distinctions that really can’t be defined, at least not by science.   I believe it is quite clear by faith.  However, a scientific faith is sort of implied and one of Kurzweil’s critics points out this “promissory evidence’ as a weakness.  This is similar to allowing that because Kurzweil’s theory makes sense (to him) and he may have some to it from a theory that is actually credible, this does not make the result credible or the promissory result credible.

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