Hello, and sorry for my delayed reply! I want to express my appreciation of your replies, Deepak and Aurora, and I also enjoyed reading your story, Lili. This is indeed a “hard problem” of consciousness, and while I am still not sure whether computers may or may not become “conscious” someday, I am amused to hear that Deepak is friends with Ray Kurzweil even though you two “don’t agree on anything.” 🙂
I am very interested in this “hard problem” of consciousness and will be reading and learning more. I’m particularly interested in the question of “free will,” which is also central to the computer issue. I was hoping to find more in Chapter 9 about the consciousness of nonhuman living things as well, such as primates, rodents, c.elegans, other model organisms studied today in the physical brain science framework, though could only find examples on humans. From growing up with a dog and being around other animals, I can say they certainly experience “moods” and sometimes behave rather randomly. Do living organisms in bodies have “free will” independent of the field of consciousness we all live in? It seems to be a precondition of being “conscious.”
I am particularly interested in this question remembering, with deep sadness, that today is the 18th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine high school. I am reminded of how much work needs to be done to increase consciousness on a national and global level, and if everything comes from the same “consciousness,” how do we handle the imbalance that feeds into these tragedies, and how do we hold individuals accountable for their actions in this regard, after determining that they do have “free will”?