Here is a hypothetical situation: There is a robot who is self-aware. He lives in a lonely and secluded corner of the city. His only neighbor is a disabled veteran, who has lost both of his feet and an arm during the war in Afghanistan.
The veteran is unemployed, and has run out of money. Without any outside help, he would die within a month or so. The robot is running out of the energy that enables him to function. He is unemployed too, because and can not recharge his batteries. He is unemployed because he has a very primitive sort of self-awareness: one which makes him unsuitable for any kind of work that are available in a human society.
You accidentally discover both of these 'people' one day. You contact the "social security" department. But they do not cooperate with you. You set up a meeting with the head of that department. You are sitting in his office. You ask: "Why are you refusing to help those two 'people'?", and the officer says: "We follow a certain 'scientific outlook'. It says that there is nothing called consciousness. Everything is just matter, or variations of matter. That's it. There is nothing else. All these things like pain, hunger, desperation, empathy, love - these are all illusions. Man is not fundamentally any different from a stone or a piece of iron. Stones do not have feelings. If a car exhausts all its fuel it just stops. You don't say that the car has died! It just stops to function and that's it. Do you want me to help a car! Do you want me to help something like the statue of liberty?"
Either my understanding is incredibly limited, or this makes no sense whatsoever. As possible as the first one is...i have a feeling its the second.
Was there a Specific question from you that was supposed to be addressed at all? Feels like this whole hypothetical was supposed to go somewhere.
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