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I don't know what's wrong with you, and I don't know what's wrong with me, but what's wrong with Lanier is that he holds the belief that consciousness can't be understood, and he's so certain of this that, in his mind, anyone who doesn't agree with him must be a religious extremist. Furthermore, for him this ontological specialness of human beings is the basis of humanism.

Asking why he didn't move on that point is asking why he won't change his entire worldview. The answer is, because it would hurt too much.


Eliezer occasionally looked like he was having trouble following Lanier's reasoning. I certainly did. My guess is that this is because, on those occasions, Lanier didn't have a reasoning.

Also, it seems to me that despite his protestations (in his one half a manifesto), Lanier really does believe that consciousness is unexplainable/irreducible/magical.