Re: Defining Human - pt. 1

Mark Grant (
Tue, 10 Mar 1998 09:38:52 +0000

Reilly Jones [] wrote:
>The digital stands in for the succession of indivisible Planck moments,
>the passage of time. The analog stands in for the infinitely
> divisible atemporal microcausality leading up to the selection of
> the next Planck moment, the formation of continuous space. >Consciousness is made up of both parts.

That's merely an assertion, as yet unsupported (but not disproved) by
research. I'd agree that *if* consciousness requires QM effects then a
pure digital computer with no QM interaction cannot be conscious, but
I'm still waiting to see whether this is a requirement; as we learn more
about the brain, more and more of human behaviour can be explained in a
purely macroscopic fashion.

>I did get it right. They were constitutionally less than fully human.
>Then, after the Civil War, they were constitutionally, hey presto! >fully
>human. Purely a matter of defining human, just as the abortion matter >is.

Oh nonsense. Let's actually read the Constitution, shall we?

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the
several States which may be included within this Union, according to
their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the
whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a
Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all
other Persons."

Now, where does that specifically mention slaves, or say that they're
less than human? All it says is that the number of representatives and
the apportioning of taxes will be calculated by taking the number of
voters/tax-payers and a fraction of the number of non-voters. "Other
persons" couldn't vote, so there's absolutely no point in counting them
the same way as voters; this discourages states from acquiring more
representatives by bringing in thousands of slaves.