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The Contender
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Consciousness is non-local

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/10/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 568 times Debate No: 78567
Debate Rounds (4)
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Burden of proof is upon me.

I will attempt to prove that consciousness is non-local. That is, it exists outside of the brain, and in doing so I will also prove that consciousness created the universe.

Conciousness: (definition) Awareness of any level.

First round is for acceptance
Debate Round No. 1


That definition should have read Awareness on any level.

I'll keep this brief because it's pretty much common sense.

1) Consciousness is independent of the brain

If consciousness is exclusive to the brain then Star fish are not conscious. Which means, even though a starfish "hunts" for food it has NO awareness that it is eating or satiated. It's simply a mechanical thing operating by triggers. Like a clock. Which means, any damage one inflicts upon a starfish is not felt by the starfish. Even if the starfish squirms and struggles as I slice it's limbs off or burn it alive it isn't actually aware of the pain and is merely operating by mechanical reaction. The same as if I destroyed a computer as it desperately tried to repair itself. The computer isn't actually "feeling" anything, it's simply responding to my actions as it was programmed to. I am the only one who interprets these repsonses as "pain" because it is reacting in a way I would react if I were to be aware of pain. However, the computer isn't aware of the pain it's simply reacting in a way it is programmed to.

This does not make sense - That an organism goes from "mechanical" to "organic" at the presence of brain. It makes more sense that an organism that is fundamentally similar to ourselves has the same fundamental attributes. Awareness is a fundamental attribute. Clocks and computers are not fundamentally like humans in that they are a combination of inanimate objects forced into a mechanical sequence. They are not life forms. To say that Starfish, contrary to their obvious reaction, are not aware of damage being inflicted upon themselves due to not having a brain is an extraordinary claim against common sense. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

It makes more sense to believe that starfish, on some very basic level, have an awareness of the damage being inflicted upon themselves. If there is awareness there is consciousness. If there is consciousness without a brain then consciousness is not exclusive to the brain.

2) 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.

3) The 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.

4) 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 then 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 brains 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 remove 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

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.

In support of my assertion that consciousness shares strong correlations with quantam mechanics I will list some notable physicists who share this same theory.

Max Planck: German theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918

"I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness."

Fred Alan Wolf: an American theoretical physicist specializing in quantum physics and the relationship between physics and consciousness

Eugene Wigner: a Hungarian American theoretical physicist and mathematician.

John Hagelin:
an American particle physicist

Robert Lanza:
is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Ocata Therapeutics (formerly Advanced Cell Technology), and Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He was also voted the 3rd most important scientist alive by the NY Times

Christoff Koch: Christof Koch is an American neuroscientist best known for his work on the neural bases of consciousness. He is the President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle

-Although Christoff Koch doesn't claim that consciousness is non-local he does claim it is not exclusive to the brain and is present in all forms of life.

These are just a few notable scienitific authorities I have discovered in my recent study of consciousness. If Con has any notable scientific figures that object to consciousness being non-local I'd like to hear it.

In summary, i have demonstrated that it requires less assumptions to believe consciousness is non-local;


ScrinTech forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Extend all arguments


ScrinTech forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


ScrinTech forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by planck 1 year ago
Inasmuch as your opponent appears to have opted out, I'd be happy to debate this topic with you.
Posted by planck 1 year ago
The word "process" describes a series of actions that lead to some kind of end state. Since each of those actions can be broken down into smaller actions, they too could be called processes. Consciousness, in my opinion, is a process that leads to the end state of awareness. That raises the question of who, or what, is that which is "aware".
Posted by Troy_the_Destroyer 1 year ago
How is consciousness an action? I think you mean "process". Running is simply a type of movement. Running in itself doesn't exist. It's a label we give to a type of movement. And movement must exist for anything to exist. Existence IS movement.

My entire premise is that consciousness is not a process it is a thing like a radio signal which organisms tap into.
Posted by planck 1 year ago
"Consciousness" needs to be better defined. The word, as commonly understood, describes an action, not a "thing". It's kind of like saying "running" exists independently of any physical beings.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Valkrin 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: ff from Con.