The Instigator
Troy_the_Destroyer
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MagicAintReal
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Consciousness created the universe

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MagicAintReal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/16/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 605 times Debate No: 78718
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)

 

Troy_the_Destroyer

Pro

Burdern of proof is on me to prove it is more reasonable than not to believe consciousness created all matter and energy. Opponent should be a deligent anti-new-age-spiritualist with good arguments against consciousness being non-local.

Consciousness: (definition) awareness of existence on any level.

First round is for acceptance.

No forfeiting


MagicAintReal

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Troy_the_Destroyer

Pro

Thanks Con

I'd like to dedicate this debate to all the starfish out there.

Awareness of one's existence does not mean to contemplate one's own existence. One can merely feel that they exist. Therefore, a computer is not aware of it's own existence; A Camel is aware of it's own existence along with awareness of pleasure, pain and other things. This is what seperates simple life from sophisticated non-life.

My first step to prove that consciousness created the universe is to disprove the notion that consciousness is exclusive to the brain

1) consciousness is independent of the brain

If consciousness is exclusive to the brain then that means that starfish are not conscious. Which means even though a starfish hunts for food it is NOT aware that is actually eating or satiated. It's simply a mechanical thing which operates by triggers; like a clock. Which means any damage I inflict upon a starfish is not actually felt by the starfish. The starfish is merely reacting as it is programmed to. The same as if I were to abuse a computer and the computer would try to desperately repair itself. The computer is not aware of it's destruction it is merely operating as to how it was programmed. This means that I could slice the limbs off of a starfish or burn it alive and even though it struggles to free itself, it is not actually aware of the pain or torture it is enduring i.e it is not conscious because it has no brain. I could bath the starfish in hyrdoclauric acid and that would be fine. It would be like bathing my Xbox in hydroclauric acid.

This does not make sense. There is no reason to believe that a thing goes from "mechanical" to "living" at the presence of a brain. It makes more sense that a creature that acts fundementally as humans do - it avoids pain and pursues pleasure - shares the same fundamental attribute; awareness. Clocks and computers do not share this fundamental attribute. This is what seperates living from non-living. To say that Starfish, contrary to their obvious behaviour, are not aware of any damage being inlficted upon them goes against common sense. This is an extraordinary claim. And extraordinary claims require extarordinary evidence.

It makes more sense to believe that starfish on a very basic level have awarenesss. If they are aware they are conscious. If they are conscious without a brain then consciousness is not exclusive to the brain.


2) Manipulation of consciousness

One may assert that science is able to manipulate consciousness by manipulating the brain therefore it must be an exclusive property of the brain. My first argument against this is that by manipulating the brain one is not manipulating consciousness they are merely manipulating what one is conscious of.

If one wants to use this argument that brain manipulation is consciousness manipulation then one must use the same form of reasoning to deduct that brainless life forms are also conscious. For example, if a process is taken out which reduces my awareness of pain (anesthetics) and we know the awareness of pain is non-existent because I illicit no response to any stimuli then we have to conclude that when one does illicit a response to stimuli that it is aware of something. Therefore, if a starfish reacts to pain, that is, it struggles as I torture it then it logically follows that the starfish is aware. If the starfish is aware then the starfish is conscious. If a starfish is conscious then consciousness is not exclusive to the brain

In order for a theory to considered more likely to be true than other theories it must demonstrate evidence that gives it partial reasoning. One must demonstrate why it is more reasonable to believe conscious is the brain rather than the brain is conscious of.

3) Meditation

If conscious is measured by ones sensory of stimuli then one must assert that a buddhist monk in deep meditation is in a lower state of consciousness than someone eating a hamburger. An anxiety sufferer eating a hamburger is highly sensitive to external stimuli as opposed to that same person being in a state of meditation.

However, it is common knowledge that this is the opposite effect of meditation. Meditation brings one into higher state of consciousness not lower.

Buddhist monks have been know to subject themselves to all sorts of pain inflicting behviour whilst in a state of meditation without feeling pain. If meditation does increase level of consciousness and the brain's sensory of stimuli is directly related to consciousness then one must explain how a person in deep meditation said to be at a higher state of conscious is simultaenously subjecting themselves to a higher degree of pain without demonstrating such behviour.

One who believes that conscious is related to sensory asserts that to remove ones senses of their external environment is to remove their consciousness. If this is the case, then how are meditation practicioners such as the Yogi Coudex able to lower their sense of their external environment whilst simultaneaously being in a higher state of consciousness? (see video below)

There must be flaw in the reasoning here

4) Dreams

Lacking awareness of one's external environment does not equate to being unconscious. One can be in a deep sleep -- said to be unconscious -- yet still show great signs of physical simulation through dreams. In a dream, one can fall in love or panic. Wakeup with heartache or sweating profusely. A bad dream can wake someone up more effectively than an alarm clock. A dream can feel just as real as reality.

If lowering someone's consciousness is said to be the same as removing someone's senses, such as anaesthesia, then we must explain how a lack of sensory can result in the powerful effects felt in a dream state

Now I will give arguments as to why consciousness should be considered non-local.

5) Something cannot come from nothing

To assert that consciousness emerges and operates exclusively from organic material is to assert that it ceases to be once that material ceases to be. This is an extraordinary claim which requires extraordinary evidence to believe because there's absolutely ZERO evidence of this occuring any where in nature. Everything that exists is the combination of things that already exist and will remain to exist - mainly atoms.

Therefore, if consciousness did not exist prior to organic life forms then what is it? Why should it come into being? How can it just be created out of thin air? It requires less assumptions to believe that consciousness already existed and organisms merely tap into it. Like a radio taps into a radiosignal. If one wants to assert that consciousness never existed prior to lifeforms then one must supply evidence that consciousness is created by organic material.



5) Consciousness and space.

Consciousness and space share a unique trait that no other form of existence shares. They're the only two things which can be completely absent of everything other than themselves.

Empty Space: The complete absence of everything other than itself. Complete empty stillness

Pure consciousness: The complete absence of everything other than itself. Complete stillness

If we were to remove all matter and energy from the universe then we'd be left with only empty space. A state absent of everything other than itself.

The same can be said if we were to remove everything except consciousness. There would only be a state of awareness and nothing else.

This cannot be said for anything else. For example, the strings of string theory. Said to be the most smallest forms matter and therefore the most fundamental. But a string consists of 2 things; Itself and a single material - string. Yet space spaces consists of literally nothing yet it still is. It still consists of itself. Nothingness can be said to consist ofnothing even itself. Nothingness is completely non-existent.

Nothingness: complete absence of everything. Non-existence

Empty space: Absence of everything other than itself. Existence consisting of nothing.

Everything else: Existence comprised of something.

Pure Consciousness: Absence of everything other than itself. Existing as awareness but consisting of nothing.

As you can see, this is evidence that supports the notion that empty space and conscious could very likely be one in the same thing. However, whereas empty space exists on the outter most regions of the universe consciousness exists in the inner most regions of the universe. Which is extremely coincidental considering how much quantum physics is being correlated with consciousness yet no one correlated Einsteins theory of general relativety with consciousness


It is logical to assume that prior to the big bang there was only empty space. Or prior to all matter and energy existing there was only empty space. We come to this conclusion because it is self-evident. Without empty space to exist in nothing can exist. Therefore, empty space must exist prior to anything else.

If empty space and consciousness exclusively share this unique trait then it's reasonable to believe that they co-existed prior to the universe. Considering there is no logical explanation as to how the birth of the universe can be caused by nothing then it's only logical to place the blame on the only culprit in the room -- consciousness. Therefore, conscious created the universe.

https://youtu.be...;


http://animals.mom.me...
MagicAintReal

Con

Thanks Pro for the debate.

I'd like to dedicate this debate to all the neurons out there.

I reject the resolution that it is reasonable to believe that consciousness created all matter and energy.

Pro says:
1. "Consciousness is independent of the brain."

My response:
I agree. Starfish, though brain-less, have neurons and are conscious.
No need to argue anything here.

Pro continues:
2. "One may assert that science is able to manipulate consciousness by manipulating the brain therefore it must be an exclusive property of the brain."

My response:
I agree that consciousness is not exclusive to the brain. I argue that consciousness is exclusive to neurons, which do not require a brain. Whether or not science manipulates consciousness seems irrelevant to me.

Pro posits:
3. "How are meditation [practitioners] such as the Yogi Coudex able to lower their sense of their external environment whilst [simultaneously] being in a higher state of consciousness?

My response:
The idea of a "higher state of consciousness" just kinda whirls around in my head.
Consciousness is an absolute state not subject to gradation...one is either aware, or one is not.
Higher or lower awareness is conversationally how we refer to being aware of more or fewer things.
It is the amount of things that is higher or lower, not the awareness itself; one is either aware or not aware of each stimulus.

Think about it this way:
You have a new car and three of your friends are aware of it.
Which one of your friends is most aware of your new car?

Maybe one of your friends knows a lot about your car, and maybe one of your friends can detect your car quicker than the others, but on awareness alone, no one is more or less aware of the car. They're simply aware of it.
The idea of being more/most aware is nonsensical, because either your friends are aware of the car or they aren't.

Furthermore, if someone were to be unaware of your car, are they less aware of your car than your friends?
No, the unaware person is simply not aware in comparison to your friends, because they have no awareness of the car and thus cannot be less or more aware of the car...they are simply unaware; unawareness is also an absolute state not subject to gradation.

It's like calling someone more pregnant...while we use this expression conversationally, what it really means is that someone is further along in their pregnancy than someone else.
So saying "more pregnant," like "more conscious,", is actually nonsensical.
You are either pregnant or you're not.
Once a fertilized egg attaches to the uterus, someone who is 1 second pregnant is just as pregnant as someone who is 8 months pregnant.
Pregnancy like consciousness is an absolute state.

Within being aware/conscious, one's sensitivity to stimuli may increase or decrease, but this is not one's awareness "reaching a higher level;" this higher level is just an increase in sensitivity allowed in the absolute state of awareness/consciousness.

But, I'm a science guy, so I'll play into Pro's conundrum that these yogis can lower their sense of the external environment yet simultaneously reach a higher level of consciousness (increased sensitivity).

Well vertebrates, which I assume all yogis are, have two main parts to their nervous system. They have the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS).
https://en.wikipedia.org...

The CNS has the brain and the spinal chord, while the PNS sends signals to those entities; both the CNS and the PNS require neurons.
It could be that these yogis are decreasing their PNS sensitivity (fewer signals sent), by meditating, while maintaining or increasing CNS (brain and spinal chord) sensitivity.
While the yogi's PNS sensitivity is muddled, the CNS sensitivity can still be heightened. This shows how vertebrates, yogis included, can have lowered sensitivity to the external environment, yet increased sensitivity in their consciousness.

Pro also says:
"One who believes that conscious is related to sensory asserts that to remove ones senses of their external environment is to remove their consciousness."

My response:
Nope.
I believe consciousness is dependent on neurons (sensory), but that removing one's sense of the external environment (PNS) does not necessarily remove one's consciousness if one is in fact a vertebrate, because the PNS could be compromised, and the CNS could still allow for consciousness.

Pro states:
4. "We must explain how a lack of sensory can result in the powerful effects felt in a dream state."

My response:
So, when you are sleeping, your brain is still functioning and producing acetylcholine (helps you dream) with the help of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which is actually a division of the PNS.
https://www.google.com...

So while the senses of the other parts of the nervous systems are lacking, the ANS is causing "the powerful effects felt in a dream state."

Pro asserts:
5. "Something cannot come from nothing."

My response:
False.
"Something" is a physical concept that is best explained by physical sciences. Physically speaking, to be something, at the most basic level, something must have particles/atoms/wavelengths/energy/matter/radiation.

The absence of all of these basic characteristics of "something" leaves us with "nothing."
The absence of all of these physical properties, nothing, is a matter of particle physics.

Particle physics has been observing and testing nothing for a while. The very science used to explain what something is, has discovered that nothing is a vacuum of empty space with no matter, no energy, no radiation, no particles, and no atoms, BUT there is a detectable physical field; its existence is ubiquitous.
http://aether.lbl.gov...

You might be thinking...Hold on! A physical field would be something! A physical field can't be nothing...
I know...I know it sounds contradictory, but this physical field isn't a steady state of something at all. It's empty, it's void of matter or energy, it doesn't radiate, it has no atoms or full particles, it doesn't have any wavelengths of light...nothing.

What's interesting, but demonstrably true, is that this faint physical field in nothing is created by constant subatomic particles and their counter parts, antiparticles, popping into existence from nothing and just as quickly popping out of existence by annihilating each other constantly. This is called quantum fluctuation.
https://www.youtube.com...

The above video is from a legit particle physicist, Lawrence Krauss, who explains the demonstrated concept very well.

In this nothing state, these subatomic particles exist and don't exist at the same time...doesn't sound like something to me.
Particle physicists are correct in calling this state nothing.

This state of nothingness is actually unstable; it can't remain nothing for long, such that with the many subatomic particles and antiparticles popping in and out of existence all of the time, energy is inevitably expressed.

Energy is just the other side of the coin to matter, and this means that if subatomic particles appearing from quantum fluctuations eventually lead to an expression, not a creation, of energy, then matter can originate from this unstable quantum nothingness.

Our universe's total energy is exactly zero: its amount of positive energy in the form of (+) matter is exactly canceled out by its negative energy in the form of (-) gravity.

Our universe is a zero-energy universe, and this is an understood principle in modern physics.
http://www.livescience.com...

From the big bang, we start at a potentially energy dense state the size of a subatomic particle in the quantum fluctuations.
There is no (+) matter/energy or (-) gravity.

I like to express matter and gravity as a set:
[ (+) matter, (-) gravity]

In quantum fluctuations, which is an unstable state of nothing, the set would be expressed as [+0, -0] which of course equals 0 total energy. No energy or gravity to speak of...nothing.

But at the big bang, a dense state the size of a fluctuating subatomic particle in these quantum fluctuations, (+) matter/energy were expressed, not created, and so was (-) gravity.

The total energy set of expressed matter and gravity as the universe expands could have looked like:
[ +1, -1] = 0 and then
[ +2, -2] = 0 and then
[ +3, -3] = 0 and so on as the universe expands...
[ +10, -10] = 0 and then
[ +1000, -1000] = 0.
Still 0 total energy, but we have some expressed (+) matter, which is positive energy, and its exact counterbalance of expressed (-) gravity, which is negative energy.

[+0,-0]-->[+1, -1] demonstrates something from nothing.

This also demonstrates how matter and energy (positive energy) were expressed, not created as Pro puts it.

Our universe is something from nothing.

Pro concludes:
6. "Consciousness and space...are the only two things which can be completely absent of everything other than themselves."

My response:
False.
Consciousness requires neurons, which are integral nerve cells in all nervous systems. Pro needs to demonstrate that consciousness can exist without neurons.

Before matter and energy were expressed in quantum fluctuations, space was merely a variable that fluctuated alongside subatomic particles popping in and out of existence. Thus, for space to continually exist requires the expression of positive and negative energy .
Space is either the position of matter or the difference between positions of matter. Either way without any matter, space can't remain.

Conclusion:
*If Pro can demonstrate that quantum fluctuations, which "created" the universe, have consciousness, then I will concede the debate.
*So far, Pro has separated consciousness and the brain, but not consciousness and neurons.
*I maintain my rejection of the resolution.
Debate Round No. 2
Troy_the_Destroyer

Pro

"I'd like to dedicate this debate to all the neurons out there."

My response:
False.


Con be like: I agree. Starfish, though brain-less, have neurons and are conscious.
No need to argue anything here.

I'm all:
Ok, so we agree that Consciousness is not an emergent property of the brain

Con be like: I argue that consciousness is exclusive to neurons

I'm all:
What evidence does Con have that consciousness is exlcusive to neurons? Organisms that do not have neurons also react to external stimuli such as pain in a similiar fashions as conscious oranisms that do. Plants will excrete chemicals when they think they are being attacked. And because plants are considered life forms then we must conclude that they are aware they are under attack. Not only that but they can be fooled by playing a tape recording of an insect eating leaves and the plant will interpret this as an attack upon themselves and react accordingly. This implies that some plants are also aware of sound.

They have also exhibited other signs of conscious behviour such as memorizing events. http://www.pri.org...

Also, sponges are animals without neurons yet they exhibit conscious behaviour such as feeding and reproduction.


Con be like: The idea of a "higher state of consciousness" just kinda whirls around in my head.
Consciousness is an absolute state not subject to gradation

I'm all: I agree. Either there is awareness or there is not. But if there are lifeforms without neurons which exhibit signs of consciousness then what evidence do we have to claim they are not conscious on some extremely basic level?

Con be like: It could be that these yogis are decreasing their PNS sensitivity (fewer signals sent), by meditating, while maintaining or increasing CNS (brain and spinal chord) sensitivity.
While the yogi's PNS sensitivity is muddled, the CNS sensitivity can still be heightened. This shows how vertebrates, yogis included, can have lowered sensitivity to the external environment, yet increased sensitivity in their consciousness.

I'm all: Let's analyze what the Yogi did step by step:

He compacted himself into the box - In a mindless state (this is what meditation is)

He slowed his heartbeat down - Willfully yet without self-awareness

And remained encapsulated underwater for 7 minutes - demonstrating signs of a complete lack of his external environment.

Then when he came out of this state he claimed he was re-entering his body. Can Con give good reason for us to believe the Yogi's state of awareness never left his body and he misinterpreted what was happening to himself? Has the Yogi really been deluding himself for so long to the point where he can slow his heartbeat down, be compacted into a tiny box and be submerged underwater for 7 minutes? The Yogi demonstarted integrity by completing this amazing feat, is there reason without evidence to doubt his own understanding of the process which allowed him to do so?


CON BE LIKE: I believe consciousness is dependent on neurons (sensory), but that removing one's sense of the external environment (PNS) does not necessarily remove one's consciousness if one is in fact a vertebrate, because the PNS could be compromised, and the CNS could still allow for consciousness.


I'm all: Con must give good evidence to believe living things that lack neurons are absent of awareness even though they exhibit behaviour demonstrating awareness


CON BE LIKE: "Something" is a physical concept that is best explained by physical sciences. Physically speaking, to be something, at the most basic level, something must have particles/atoms/wavelengths/energy/matter/radiation.
The absence of all of these basic characteristics of "something" leaves us with "nothing."


I'm all: If we were to remove everything from existence including all quantum particles and just leave empty space we wouldn't be left with nothing. So the absence of particles/atoms/wavelenghts/energy/matter/radiation isn't nothing, it's an empty area primed for existence. Therefore, empty space devoid of EVERYTHING other than itself is still something. Anything that exists is something. Empty space void of everything exists therefore it is something. The opposite of something is nothing which just so happens to mean non-existence also.


Con be like: Particle physics has been observing and testing nothing for a while. The very science used to explain what something is, has discovered that nothing is a vacuum of empty space with no matter, no energy, no radiation, no particles, and no atoms, BUT there is a detectable physical field; its existence is ubiquitous.

I'm all: Unfortunately this is not a state of nothingness. When discussing the conception of the universe we must analyze things in their absolute nature not what is just convenient for humans. Absolute nothingness is the absence of empty space.

Con be like: You might be thinking...Hold on! A physical field would be something! A physical field can't be nothing...
I know...I know it sounds contradictory, but this physical field isn't a steady state of something at all. It's empty, it's void of matter or energy, it doesn't radiate, it has no atoms or full particles, it doesn't have any wavelengths of light...nothing

I'm all: That's because it is contradictory. It's like calling someone more pregnant. Either they are pregnant or they are not. Either there is nothing or there is something.

Con supplies are video of Krauss discussing the Universe coming from empty space filled with quantum particles as coming from nothing. We obviously know what is wrong with this statement Bbut one thing I would like Con to explain in this video is how Dr Krauss says "empty space can just appear where there was no empty space". Can he supply evidence of this being observed?

WHY THERE IS SOMETHING RATHER THAN NOTHING:

The reasons why nothing cannot not exist is because the very definition of nothingness is non-existence. Non-existence cannot exist. If there was no universe or empty space there would be nothing but to be implies being and being is existing. Non-existence existing is a logical paradox. That's why there is something because nothingness MUST not be. However, that only explains why there should be empty space. It doesn't explain why all matter/energy/quantum particles should spawn from pure empty space. If consciousness was not exclusive to neurons and not exclusive to organisms then that would explain what caused the universe.

Con be like: Consciousness requires neurons, which are integral nerve cells in all nervous systems. Pro needs to demonstrate that consciousness can exist without neurons.


I'm all: I've demonstrated that neuronless lifeforms still exhibit conscious behaviour. Occam's razor dictates that until Con can prove Consciousness arises from neurons we must accept that it doesn't.

If consciousness were to be seperated from organisms it would be the only 1 of 2 things which are absent of everything other than themselves. This is a supicious correlation with empty space that nothing else shares.

Here's a bunch of reasons to believe consciousness is non-local

1) We have good reason to believe that consciousness is not an emergent property of neurons. We have NO reasons to believe that it is.

2) Nothing = non-existence. Something = existence. Therefore, anything that exists is something. Awareness exists. If it didn't exist then we wouldn't be experiencing all that is happening right now. We'd be like sophisticated robots just going through the motions as we were programmed with no awareness of what is taking place

3) We've witnessed nothing in nature that exists but then ceases to exist so we must conclude all forms of existence remain to exist

4) If awareness exists then it exists forever

5) Argument from desire: All innate desires exist. Water, food, Partners, existence. Commonly, no creature wants to cease to exist. Therefore, it's reasonable to believe that infinite existence is attainable. If we remain aware after death and come back as another life form this will quence our desire for existence.

6) MASS AGREEMENT: Billions of people since the dawn of humanity have theorized of a immaterial realm that effects the material and results in eternal existence. If we remove all the superificial attributes of religion and spirituality to the bare minimum we are left with a force called consciousness which created the universe and allows us to exist for eternity to explore every aspect of the universe we were conceived in and connects every living organism with the universe (oneness). Billions of people say they can sense something beyond the material so this is a good reason to chuck in the PRO box

7) Meditation practitioners have declared that consciousness is non-local and enabled them to leave their physical body. These same practioners have performed amazing feats such as the manipulation of their vital organs, unnatural endurance to pain (buddhists lighting themselves on fire), super human capabilities (see Wim Hof https://en.wikipedia.org...;), pro-longed starvation and other things. If all these individuals were misinterpreting their own states then how could they utilize this misinformation to perform such extreme feats?

8) Justice: If we are all one consciousness and we never leave this universe then any harm one does is ultimately done to oneself. If Hitler re-emerges on Earth then he has to live in an environment corrupted by his previous actions. This also encourages people to treat all life kindly because we could all remerge as the cow, plant or human that gets mistreated

9) Objective morality: It establishes an objective morality which gives reason as to why one should treat others with their best intentions

10) Everything in the universe exists in cycles why shouldn't our individual existences?


Thanks Con for your participation. You're good woman/man.
MagicAintReal

Con

Pro, I loved the "con be like...I'm all" stuff, really funny. Thanks again for this debate, it is an interesting topic.

Pro posits:
"What evidence does Con have that consciousness is [exclusive] to neurons?"

Well, all of our accumulated knowledge of neurobiology indicates that consciousness is dependent on neural substrates; neural substrates have neurons.
The University of Cambridge went as far as to make a "Declaration on Consciousness" which categorizes non-human animals as conscious, because they have neurons.

According to cognitive neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists and computational neuroscientists at Cambridge University,

"The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds...also possess these neurological substrates."
http://fcmconference.org...

So, my proof that consciousness is exclusive to organisms with neurons is supported by evidence in the field of neurobiology--thanks Cambridge--indicating that neural substrates (neurons) are necessary for consciousness.

Pro also claims that "Organisms that do not have neurons also react to external stimuli such as pain in [similar] fashions as conscious [organisms] that do. Plants will excrete chemicals when they think they are being attacked."

My response:
Well, the plants are in fact reacting; these reactions are called tropisms.
Tropisms are the movements of plants in response to stimulus.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

So plants can move in response to light, gravity, touch, and chemicals thanks to tropisms.

This might seem similar to conscious organisms reacting to things however, unlike conscious reactions,
tropic responses (plant movements) result from differential growth in the plant.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Growth, therefore reactive movement, in plants is done by cell division, and if Pro wishes to claim that cell division is done consciously, that would be awesome...and incorrect.
Plants' movements to stimuli, tropisms, are not conscious, because cell division is not conscious or consciously controlled.

Plants do not act on their senses, they simply passively react to stimulus. Their cells divide to move them closer to/further from the detected stimulus; plants cannot intend to react; they have to.

A starfish, conversely, can intentionally, with their neurons, act on received stimulus in many different ways, without unconscious cell division. A starfish could be affected by a stimulus and intend, not cell divide, to avoid it.

Either way, the evidence points to consciousness being exclusive to organisms (I argue only animals), and quantum fluctuations are not organisms. Therefore, quantum fluctuations are not conscious.
The universe that resulted from these fluctuations is therefore not from consciousness.

The idea that consciousness is non-local is contrary to the evidence that consciousness is exclusive to neural substrates.
I maintain my rejection of the resolution.

As for the Yogi, lowering your metabolic rate, through meditation as it were, is a conscious way to increase how long you can hold your breath. Lowering metabolic rate reduces the need for as much oxygen. Given the new techniques by free divers, who dive consciously and aware of their surroundings, a human can hold their breath up to 15 minutes.
http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org...

Meditation is not mindless, and I argue that you can't do anything mindlessly. As long as you are doing something, you are using your mind.

Flexibility, also does not require "being mindless."
I agree what the Yogi did was amazing, but it was not void of consciousness or indicative of no self-awareness.

Pro asks:
"Can Con give good reason for us to believe the Yogi's state of awareness never left his body and he misinterpreted what was happening to himself?"

My response:
Yes, state of awareness doesn't leave your body ever.
In fact, state of awareness has no agency and therefore cannot leave.
I further believe that the Yogi has been deluding himself, because he is unaware of the inner workings of his neurology, nervous system, and consciousness. He could "feel" like he is re-entering his body, but I must be blatant here...did you see him leave his body?
No?
That's because he didn't leave his body.
In fact, I argue, one would need one's body to leave; the paradox of him leaving his body should be obvious.
Yeah, the process that allowed him to do these things, lowering metabolic rate, is understood by science, and it could be that the yogi lacks this scientific understanding even though he is quite good at utilizing the ability to lower his metabolic rate..

I've been a stellar driver, no accidents, for 15 years...I don't know the first thing about my car's engine's inner workings...actually I don't really know much about any of my car's inner workings at all.

On to nothing...
Ok, so Pro misunderstood my explanation of nothing.
Let me be clear.
Space requires a particle to exist, not the other way around.
In the quantum fluctuations, pre big bang, there was no space...except for when the subatomic particles popped into existence and simultaneously were annihilated. For that quick existence of the subatomic particle, space is present, and, just like the particle on which it is contingent, then just as quickly not present.
Space and time fluctuate with the subatomic particles.
However, pre big bang, where there were no stative particles, there was no space.

When I mentioned particle physicists discovering that nothing is a vacuum of empty space, it was implied that this discovery was done post big bang.
Post big bang, we have matter, and so we can have empty space in which to detect these quantum fluctuations.

But pre big bang, there is no matter [+0, -0], and the subatomic particles that fluctuate in and out of existence are not preceded by space; space is only the position of matter or the distance between matter.
Without stative matter, there is no space or time.

Also claiming that we need to analyze things in their absolute state highlights the misunderstanding of fluctuations. They are not absolute states...they exist and don't exist at the same time, and space and time are variables that are contingent on these fluctuations as well.
Nothing about a quantum field, which tells us a lot about our universe's origins, speaks to anything absolute.

Space-time needs particles, it cannot exist on its own as Pro claims. Pre particles, there is no space.

Pro claims:
"Absolute nothingness is the absence of empty space."

My response:
Yes, the absence of empty space, pre big bang, is quantum fluctuations.
Quantum fluctuations have no space, no matter, no energy, no wavelengths, no stative particles, no light, no radiation, no gravity, no laws...nothing. The fact that these subatomic particles exist and don't exist simultaneously doesn't allow for an "absolute" view of our universe's origins or space itself.

Space needs a particle to be.

Pro's reference to my idea of "more pregnant" as a critique of particle physicists' definition of nothing ignores that while pregnancy is an absolute state, quantum fluctuations are definitely not absolute states. The subatomic particles exist and don't exist...not so absolute.

Finally, Pro requests:
"I would like Con to explain in this video is how Dr Krauss says "empty space can just appear where there was no empty space."

My response:
Again, we know quantum fluctuations are unstable and lead to the expression of positive energy, because of our discovery of them in empty space. Now, we have empty space, because we have matter.
If you have matter you have space.
Pre big bang quantum fluctuations have no matter; there is no matter anywhere, so there is no space anywhere.

What Krauss is saying is that because space is a fluctuating variable along with these quantum fluctuations, since matter can come from [+0, -0], so can space.

There is no "nothing" as Pro describes...there are ALWAYS quantum fluctuations. So when one posits absolute nothing, they can only be talking about quantum fluctuations; there is no nothing without them.

To conclude:
1. Cambridge University scientists give valid reasons for consciousness being an emergent property of neurons in animals.

2. Nothing = quantum fluctuations.
Our universe was expressed from these quantum fluctuations.
Quantum fluctuations lead to matter and space. [+0, -0]-->[+1,-1]
Quantum fluctuations lack neural substrates, and are therefore not conscious.
Therefore, our universe was not expressed by consciousness.

3. We HAVE witnessed things in the natural universe that exist and don't exist, and they are subatomic particles in quantum fluctuations.

4. Awareness is contingent on neural substrates and therefore not eternal.

5. Mediation people are lowering their metabolic rate and are becoming increasingly better at breathing techniques. This is not superhuman, it's just impressive.

*Pro has failed to meet their burden of proof that consciousness is not-local, because neural substrates are local.

*Pro has not linked this non-locality to the "creation" (expression) of our universe, quantum fluctuations, and therefore has not met the burden of proof for the resolution that "consciousness created the universe."
Debate Round No. 3
Troy_the_Destroyer

Pro

Thank you Con for appreciating my humor. I aslo thought your dedication of this debate to neurons was funny



Con's declaration on consciousness does not say anything about consciousness being limited to neurons. It just says that non-human neurological substrates also contain consciousness. But this doesn't give us evidence to believe what doesn't have consciousness it only gives us evidence of what does have consciousness. Effectively it says one can say with certainty that neurological organisms do have conscious but one cannot say with certainty that organisms without neurons have consciousness. I agree that we cannot be certain non-neurological organisms have consciousness. My argument is that until we have evidence that consciousness is exclusive to neurons then we must assume that all creatures demonstrating conscious behavior have consciousness.

Con failed to give evidence as to why consciousness should be considered to be produced by neurons.

From what I've gathered so far, the belief of the scientific community that consciousness arises from nuerons is a gut feeling more than a substantiated claim. Science has not been able to locate consciousness in itself or come up with a proven formula as to how/why consciousness should arise from neurons as opposed to being recepted by neurons. Con may supply evidence for this in the final round but unfortunately I won't be able to address it now.

On that note, if we are taking opinions in to account then there's no reason to believe the thousands of scientists over the millions of spiritualists who utilize the concept of consciousness on a daily basis as to what it's true nature is. Science has not located consciousness nor has it come up with a solid mechnanism for what causes it. The discovery of neurons has brought science no closer to what causes consciousness, it's just brought science closer to what specifically passes information through most organisms. This is no different than someone a thousand years ago saying consciousness comes from the brain. "The brain processes information therefore this is what causes consciousness". "Sorry, the neurons process sensory information, this is what causes consciousness".

Con finalizes his argument by stating his proof that neurons cause consciousness is the document of declaration. But I reiterate, this isn't evidence, this is just an appeal to an eductated opinion. And i've demonstarted why the scientific opinion isn't anymore educated than anyone elses in regards to consciousness.

CON then uses cell division as a case against plants being conscious. Con is saying that plants don't actually "react" to stimuli their reactions are just the end result of a domino effect. but this could be said for any organism. In fact, it often is, it's called the absence of free will. Everything we do is the result of cause and effect.

I'd also like to point out in Con's source: Following a series of still poorly understood events, phototropin activation leads to the formation of a gradient of the growth---

The mechanics of plant life is still poorly understood. So how can we be led to believe that plants don't contain the basic requirements for consciousness? Con has not proven consciousness is exclusive to neurons yet. Therefore, we must assume they are conscious due to their behvior.

https://youtu.be...


CON: "Plants do not act on their senses, they simply passively react to stimulus. Their cells divide to move them closer to/further from the detected stimulus; plants cannot intend to react; they have to."

ME: If plants have no influence over their own behavior then how are they able to memorize events and choose not to react? As stated in my previous source, plants that would usually react defensively to a certain stimuli (like being dropped) learned not to react after they realized the drop wasn't damaging them. Therefore, they obviosuly do have the capability not to react

Then we have intelligent slime: http://www.scientificamerican.com... has been scientifically demonstrated to be able to solve mazes even. How does con account for this behavior?

In summary of non-neurological consciousness I would propose the Orch-or theory which suggest that consciousness is quantum fluctuations encapsulated by microtubules existent in all organisms, including plants. http://www.sciencedaily.com...

CON: As for the Yogi, lowering your metabolic rate, through meditation as it were, is a conscious way to increase how long you can hold your breath.. Given the new techniques by free divers, who dive consciously and aware of their surroundings, a human can hold their breath up to 15 minutes.

Me: And doctors can give you a pill so you don't feel pain. My point is that those who use meditation to achieve such feats as what has been demonstrated should be trusted as to what is actually taking place when they do so.

CON: Meditation is not mindless, and I argue that you can't do anything mindlessly. As long as you are doing something, you are using your mind.

ME: Con is arguing that starfish have minds. I do not agree with this. I associate the mind with conscious thought seperate from mechanical processes of the brain such as organ regulation. Deep meditation is the practice of losing one's thoughts and simply being; i.e mindless

CON: I agree what the Yogi did was amazing, but it was not void of consciousness or indicative of no self-awareness.

ME: Meditation is opposite of being void of consciousness so I agree with Con's first statement however I would argue that the Yogi was absent of self-awareness because that's the point of meditation. To lose all awareness of one's self and simply be.

CON: I further believe that the Yogi has been deluding himself, because he is unaware of the inner workings of his neurology, nervous system, and consciousness. He could "feel" like he is re-entering his body, but I must be blatant here...did you see him leave his body?
No?
That's because he didn't leave his body.

ME: I cannot see that all 4 of my wives love me but I assume they do by their actions and expressions. Yes it is possible that their female brains are easily deluded but I give them the benefit of the doubt because my mate Rakiib Abdulla the 3rd can vouch for them.

Also, I don't agree with your paradox. The "self" among spiritualist is considered to be the conscious connected to the universe so when I leave my body I wouldn't need a physical body.

CON: I've been a stellar driver, no accidents, for 15 years...I don't know the first thing about my car's engine's inner workings...actually I don't really know much about any of my car's inner workings at all.

ME: But I do trust you know where you've been in your car and when you've been without it.


CON Says that space requires particles to exist not the other way around. I disagree with this. Perhaps EMPTY space requires particles to exist but not space. If anything they come into existence simultaneously. But it is common sense that particles require space, irresptecive of their chronological order of existence. Unless Con can give us an example of particles existing without space. Which is impossible. The minute a particle comes into existence space is created. But even common sense says that space MUST exist prior to the particle, even for the smallest amount of time possible. It is just not logical that a particle comes into existence THEN the space it occupies exists there after. How can the particle exist without a space to occupy?



CON then goes on to talk about nothing and the absence of space. This topic seems irrelevent to the debate at this point. Whether nothing is quantum particles or it is the absence of everything, including particles (as per the dictionary definition) doesn't change the nature of consciousness.

Con has mentioned multiple times that consciousness is not quantum fluctuations. I never thought it was but after investigating this claim and discovering the orch-or theory above that this very likely the case. As I sated in the first round, consciousness and empty space are the ONLY 2 things in existenc which share the same trait of being absent of everything other then themesleves. What this means is that IF you could separate consciousness from the body it, along with empty space, would be the only thing in the universe that consists of nothing other than itself. To put this into perspective, even a string of string theory (considered the smallest object) consists of 2 things: itself and a string. You cannot put anything inside this string because it is being occupied by a material. The same cannot be said for space and consciousness. Space can be filled with matter and consciousness with thought.

Considering that Con argues quantum particles come into existence WITH space simultaneously this is a strong case that consciousness IS quantum particles. Quantum particles are not a thing, they just are. Space is not a thing, it just is. Consciousness is not a thing, it just is. Strange correlation wouldn't you think? Not to mention, this correlation would explain the BIG 3 questions:

What caused the universe? what caused life? what caused consciousness? Quantum fluctuations. Allahakbar!!!

Con's statements about +0 -0 = 0 are irrelevant. They don't build a case against consciousness at all. I'm running out of characters so i must summarize:

1. Con has not established that consciousness should be exclusive to neurons. He's posited ZERO evidence other than an appel to an invalid opinion.

2. I have given ample evidnce to believe consciousness is indpendent of neurons until PROVEN otherwise.

3. I have demonstrated the strong correlation between quantum fluctuations, space and conscious which would all answer the 3 biggest mysteries.

4. Sir Roger Penrose, i highly respected scientists among others, agree's with me as per orch-or theory

5. If I'm correct, everything in the universe would be perfect and explanable including morality and human behavior.

THANKS CON!


MagicAintReal

Con

MagicAintReal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
@roguetech

Thank you for the vote and explanation. But I have to reluctantly defend Pro here, he put the definition for consciousness in the 1st round.

I hope this doesn't change the vote too much, but I had to mention it in fairness.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
I wasn't gonna say anything, but I was thinking that...good call
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: Canatheist// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Con (Conduct, S&G, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: I agree with Con and appreciated the arguments given

[*Reason for removal*] (1) All point allocations are unexplained. (2) The voter appears to use personal bias in their decision as they determine the points based on whom they agreed with. Merely stating agreement doesn't explain why Con's argument was superior to Pro's.
************************************************************************
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Sorry I forfeited, I have been really busy at work...I liked the quantum vibration argument, but quantum vibrations are not fluctuations...either way, good job, and I'm sorry for the forfeit.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
All good...cool video
Posted by Troy_the_Destroyer 1 year ago
Troy_the_Destroyer
Let me know if the youtube link related plant consciousness i posted in the last round is not working
Posted by Troy_the_Destroyer 1 year ago
Troy_the_Destroyer
Humor is the spice of life
Posted by Troy_the_Destroyer 1 year ago
Troy_the_Destroyer
No worries. hopefully this one works. Here's the web address if that bottom link doesn't work: https://www.youtube.com...
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
@Troy_the_Destroyer

Your youtube link in the second round is messed up...could you put the link in the comments section so that I may see the video?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by roguetech 1 year ago
roguetech
Troy_the_DestroyerMagicAintRealTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was unable to demonstrate their most basic premise, that consciousness is independent of a physical organ - rather refused to address anything other than a brain. Pro literally failed to show consciousness is a "thing", let alone it *could* have created anything, let alone that it *did* create everything. The rest was completely irrelevant, though Pro didn't fair any better. Pro didn't provide sources; Con did. I would like to point out I'm disappointed Pro did not not provide a definition for "consciousness" at the outset. Since I never saw where one was provided, I had to use Cons. If Pro could have established "something" might exist beyond the "brain", it maybe the rest of the debate would have been relevant.