gad rgyangs wrote:when computers communicate with each other over a network, does that mean they are sentient?
Well for sentient beings, everything in the Universe is relative. A Deva is more aware than an Asura, the latter more than a human, the latter more (generally speaking) than a Preta, and the latter is more aware than say a rock.
And we've speculated here that Plants are somewhere between Pretas and Animals in terms of sentience.
But I'd guess that a computer isn't much more—if any more—sentient than the atoms and molecules that it is composed of. And there have been experiments by I think physicists or quantum physicists in order to find out if atoms and/or subatomic particles are sentient. But apparently an aggregate of atoms called a 'computer' performs the functions that it is made to do by humans.
By the way....
There is a book by a Japanese geneticist on DNA, RNA, etc. with a forward written by H.H. the Dalai Lama, that looks very interesting.
It's not The Universe in a Single Atom
(which also looks interesting), but a different book that I can't seem to find with a web search....
Without clairvoyance, we cannot work for other sentient beings - Khunu Lama
Suddenly you will know the different knowledge without study - Thog-'bebs
One may now accomplish the welfare and instruction of all sentient beings, spontaneously and without effort, by simply being, that is to say, by manifesting one's enlightened nature through spontaneously emanating an infinity of Nirmanakaya manifestations - Vajranatha