Free «One Minute Arguments» Essay Sample

Answering the question about the epistemological problem it is important to mention the existence of mind. I support the views of dualism according to which consciousness and body are two separate substances. Therefore, if the brains and body can be doubled, the consciousness can not as it is not materialistic. In case the double is like a twin - an equal – not a clone, he still would have another consciousness, different from mine, as a result I would consider him another person, and I would be able to perceive the world only from my point of view, not from both simultaneously. The main human part is a conscious one which has ability to think and understand, not the body. Moreover, the one who is real, not a twin, could have seen how he was doubled, as in the episode “Eat Me” the hero was not surprised to see his double as if he knew about his existence. Even if the memories and behavior of a twin is almost the same, earlier or later their life experience will get some differences as they will live different lives and it will be obvious that these are two different persons; it will become apparent that these are two different people with different consciousness. Therefore, it will be better to start another life for a new person.

I believe that a human consists of two parts: a physical one and the soul, as the dualists stated. It is important to mention that among these two part the soul or consciousness is more important. The proof of it can be that if asking anyone who a person is, the answer would be that a person is identified with the personality, the soul, the self part. Consequently, to regard a cloned person on a Mars it would be necessary to make it possible to move the person’s soul and consciousness there, otherwise it will another person, who will just look similar, a clone. The idea of Parfit’s teleporter acknowledges again that the mind of a person can not be divided and can finally belong only to one body. I believe that if the clone would be the one who sees the “PadA” and appears after the teleporter would scan the atoms, and rebuilt them in a different place after “PadA” looses consciousness “PadB” then it is me.

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To answer the question it is important to find out who a person is. The answer is that a person can be identified with mind, consciousness, soul. Along life a soul inherits its beliefs, memories, preferences, new experience. Another evidence is a person’s thoughts which are connected with mind and soul and the last one is the appearance. Paying attention to existence of clones, twins, doubles proves the appearance is not the distinction criteria of the same person. Therefore, it is important to mention both consciousness and memories when identifying the same person through time. If only the sameness of soul was the criterion which makes a person the same person over the time, a person’s experience and memories would not influence his views and behavior in future. For instance, if John had amnesia and could not remember himself, he could become a different person with different life views afterwards. But it is not true as he would have the same mind and soul. Here’s why he would be considered as the same person. Consequently, the same soul is the main criteria to identify a person through the time. The continuing memories and experience is what helps a person identify him/herself through time.

Regarding Babylon 5: Passing through Gethsemane (1995) episode it is obvious that Brother Edward has become a different person after “mindwipe”, if he was a cruel murder before, he became a kind and supportive person afterwards. It is obvious when Brother Edward is sorry for what he has done and can not understand what could make him kill people, while he did not regret when he was Charly. This situation shows that the person’s personality is in serious dependence with the environment and consequently the memories. This view meets with John Locke’s one, which tells that personal identity is a matter of psychological continuity. Human’s mind as well as human psychology formation is influenced not only by physical factors, but the environment and consequently the memories. Therefore, the consciousness of a person whose mind was wiped (Brother Edward’s) was different from the initial one’s (the murderer’s).

To my mind, Searle is right saying that cognition is not computation, and a machine can not have mind or intelligence, it can only be imitated in some situations. The programme created by human reflects the human knowledge, but the essence of the symbols and word is clear only a person, not a machine. If some unpredicted situation happens, human’s intelligence is quite flexible to solve it using some extra-knowledge or skills. The machine is only a reflection, a double of some human knowledge and can not deviate from the programme without a demand. Therefore, it will possibly solve only that problem, which was predicted by the human beforehand. It is possible to create a programme which would differentiate the causative-consecutive connections, but it is impossible to equip it with all brain’s characteristics, especially operating with semantics, essence, not just with syntax or visually.

The Turing Test proves that the machine can imitate the person’s intelligence according to the samples, but not possess mind or intelligence. As it was stated above, the machine can work only according the programme created by human. Therefore, it works as a copy of some part or human’s knowledge. Even if all knowledge, set of rules was input into the programme, and the causative-consecutive connections were input either, it is the copy which can not understand the essence of the information. The most common phrases, problems and the situations which can be calculated or predicted are those, which the machine can solve. The machine does not have the possibility to think and to perceive. Consequently, I consider the test sufficient to test whether the machine is programmed enough well to imitate the intelligence, but it can not show that it has it because it do not.

I support Hilary Putnam’s view about the pain, which explains that it is a functional state, it is caused by influence of three factors: mental states, sensory inputs, and behavioral outputs. According to behavioristic theory pain is the state of being in pain, but the behavior and the pain are not always in correlation, even animals can exhibit the same behavior when in pain and when not in pain, the connection between pain and behavior can be variable. I do not support the brain state theory either as it would mean that each mental state coincides with the brain state. In such case is only physical properties are assumed and those which are non-physical ones are unintelligible. Moreover that would mean that the physical state of animals’ and humans’ brain is identical when felling the pain, which can not be true. Consequently, I think that the functional theory explaining the pain as reaction of all three human parts.


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