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Re: [APD] Disposing of Unwanted Fish

I think your approach tends towards the more anthropmorphic. Stimulus and response does not equate to sentience. Unless what you mean by response is "detecting pain" but that would be circular. Nor am I saying that only English folks can speak. I'm just not ready to ascribe sentience to everything that reacts to stumulus; that blade cuts too wide a swath for "sentience," "sensation," and "Pain" to be meaningful. Single-celled organisms rspond to stimuli but it would be a terribly watered-down notion of consciousness to suggest that they are responding because they feel pain, or hunger, etc.

Maybe, following something like Daniel Dennet's notion of "building" consciousness out of the dispositions of many very well and specially organized homunculi, you might be able to flesh out a workabl notion of consciousness -- but just saying it repsonds so its conscious, hell, that's awfully closes to ascribing mental states to rocks.


----- Original Message ----
From: Jerry Baker <jerry at bakerweb_biz>
To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 6:34:09 PM
Subject: Re: [APD] Disposing of Unwanted Fish

S. Hieber wrote:
>From a logical point of view, nope. Reaction to stimulus does entail sentience, let alone pain. It is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for sensing pain.

By definition, if anything alive is able to detect some immediate harm 
that is occurring and react to that harm by attempting to stop it by 
fight or flight, then that organism experiences pain. That's what pain 
is ... the signal which alerts the the necessary parts that harm has 
occurred or is occurring so that an attempt can be made to avoid further 
injury or death.

To assign any other meaning to pain is to attempt to anthropomorphise it 
and pigeon-hole the rest of the living universe into our particular 
biological injury-detection systems. It doesn't make any more sense than 
to say that Chinese-speakers do not truly speak since they do not use 

Jerry Baker
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