Thursday, January 31, 2008

Transparent Sophistry

I appreciate his sincerity, but still...

Scientists, by and large, are extreme lunkheads when it comes to philosophy. Here is how the article ends:

I may shock you by what may seem the naivety of my conclusion (I've shocked myself): I think the plain and simple fact is that consciousness—on various levels—makes life more worth living.

We like being phenomenally conscious. We like the world in which we're phenomenally conscious. We like ourselves for being phenomenally conscious. And the resulting joie de vivre, the enchantment with the world we live in, and the enhanced sense of our own metaphysical importance have, in the course of evolutionary history, turned our lives around.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the question of whether life is more worth living only pertinent to beings that are already conscious? To say that adding consciousness makes life more worth living is akin to saying "Playing tennis just makes playing tennis a lot more fun!" Well yes. I suppose it would. Profound.

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