Here is a very interesting, and very ancient question.
Of all the stuff humans have accomplished over the past few thousand years, is self awareness necessary?
This is an ancient philosophical question going as far back as Plato.
Another way to put it.
Suppose you could build a robot that could do everything humans could do.
A super massive quantum computer for a brain.
So any combination of inputs would elicit a human-like output.
When they have shows about robots that take over the world, they sometimes mention a “Turing test.”
This is a test where people interact with computers.
And the goal of the computer programmers is to fool people into thinking that the computer is a real human.
To “pass” a Turning test means that nobody can tell the difference between genuine computers with AI software, and computers with real people handling the questions and answers.
Nobody has been able to demonstrate that we humans NEED to have self awareness.
Sure, we like to believe it.
But there is no clear argument why “self awareness” or even more profoundly, “free will” is necessary for all the stuff we’ve done.
All of the stuff we’ve accomplished can be explained by us being biological, EXTREMELY powerful, unbelievably complex, input-output systems.
There Is Me
Sure, we HATE to believe this.
We LOVE the idea of our own agency.
It may well be an evolutionary advantage to believe in our own agency even though it doesn’t exist.
If fact, plenty of neurologists explain our self awareness as an “after the fact” storytelling device.
We receive a bunch of inputs from the world.
We respond AUTOMATICALLY.
Our self awareness WATCHES us respond.
Then, after we respond, we come up with a story that puts US as the decider.
So we can PRETEND we were the ones who decided.
This is hard to think about.
Think about this too much and it might break your brain.
But at the very least, consider that most of the time, everybody is running on auto pilot.
Most of the time, we are passive responders to things that happen in the world.
And we don’t respond randomly.
If you are daydreaming while singing along with the song on the radio, you’ll still observe all the traffic laws.
Stop at red lights, use your turn signal properly, etc.
This opens up a fantastic opportunity.
Because when you realize that we humans are very easily programmable, YOU can do the programming.
And get people to think and do whatever you want.
Mind Persuasion has plenty of books and courses to teach you how to speak hypnotically and persuasively.