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Consciousness is non-physical, and self-aware.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/31/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,585 times Debate No: 31955
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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The debate here is whether consciousness is to be believed as physical or non-physical. The argument assumes no science is required to prove it and that consciousness is real and has a non-physical "self" of it's own - it's an "a priori" argument. I want to win votes on my belief that consciousness is non-physical, and therefore does not require a brain or other matter to be self-aware. It is a philosophical argument, not in the science category.

Define "mind"... a brain? My understanding is that mind is the seat of consciousness (intangible) and not the tangible matter of a brain. A mind would use a brain's functions to process consciousness and make itself observable or reflective. Mind is a tool of consciousness, and consciousness itself intangible and not physical. Consciousness in the seat of the mind exists non-physically. Expressions observed or defined are elements of consciousness, which are manifest physically. The information that consciousness allows for matter to exist, is confirmed only by observation or being defined. Nothingness, when defined or expressed is a word written or spoken audibly. Nothingness by definition is an idea of consciousness that is real. Nothingness in itself is zero-point or non-expression, or unknown blackness and not light. Consciousness is information that is non-physical until vocalized or written or transmitted, or in the electromagnetic spectrum of light. Those are all only physical transmissions of consciousness utilizing matter, which itself is physical. Consciousness is an example of what is non-physical. If matter is required for consciousness to exist as we observe it, then consciousness is, will be, and always has been non-existent as a non-physical nothingness. Without a brain, there is still consciousness, and mind. How otherwise did we evolve into being if consciousness is not non-physical and self-aware?


I am well acquainted with a psycologist. Consciousness is the product of electrical impulses firing away inside your brain. Without the brain, there would be no impulses, without the impulses, there would be no thoughts, without thoughts, there would be no mind. The brain is divided into a subconsious and a conscience mind. The subconsious acts without you knowing it and tells you things by giving you thoughts and dreams or even creating feelings of anxiety. However, this is just an interior function of the brain. It functions off of memories that you do not directly remember. Again, without the electricity, the physical part, the mind is nonexistent.
Debate Round No. 1


I suppose one could hook up an electroencephalogram to a plant seed and say it has no life, nor have the information in it to grow and become an ancient Yew tree that lives a thousand years. That would conclude a scientific experiment that the seed contained no information in it because electrical impulses were not firing in it at the time of hook up.

This is a philosophical argument and not in the science category. I think the Con is speaking about a scientific device that measures only the electrical impulses of a brain, not consciousness itself. I'm speaking about Epistemology and the scope of knowledge and where it may or may not exist, in an ether or other non-existence, so far as we can fathom it.

Think of wireless technology as an analogy for information that travels across space. Information is traveling wireless from one device to another. Our brains are only receivers and transmitters that can process information like a wireless device, say a "smart phone". A mind could be that phone and a brain it's battery and electrical components, but the information traveling across space and time is only riding on wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum of light as we know it. That information is consciousness in the seat of the mind. All of knowledge would contain what consciousness experiences traveling through space transparently and as well through mind and within a body (brain).

Information from knowledge formed over billions of years culminating in life as we know it. That information formed into the first elements constituting DNA and RNA, if one were to look at it in a biological sense or scientifically. Knowledge obviously does not go about the universe entropic ally in disorder, because there is clearly the formation of order in our universe and we reflect upon that order observing it. I'm also arguing that consciousness still exists without my brain firing electrical impulses and long after humans are extinct. Knowledge can utilize a mind and a heart and exist within the reactions one feels with more electrical impulses in their gut than in their brain, where we think more than we feel. We're merely sentient beings, like transmitters senders and receivers of consciousness from a bank of knowledge using a mind and a brain. I argue with all my heart that it as well can receive and send information as well as my other senses in it's own way.

Consciousness, Love, and other forces in the universe manifest life as we observe it and in many ways for which we cannot measure or observe infinitesimally and incalculably minute. We do observe that forces in nature behave differently in different environments. Our rules of matter in this 3rd dimension do not observe the same rules of matter in the subatomic reality. This is far more complex than the difference between gravity on the Moon as opposed to on Earth. We would be vain to think that we're the only ones to hold consciousness in our brains independently from all things, including our dependence on the Sun, for not only warmth and light, but in that light from the Sun is the information granted for a plant to have information for growth through photosynthesis. And without that plant we cannot process our expelled carbon dioxide back into oxygen.

Consciousness is an invisible life force on it's own self-aware in any form it manifests itself as. It exists in plants and other matter that does not have a brain. That life force always exist before there was matter and after all matter. Consciousness forms life as we know it. Without it, our brains would not have the fuel to fire those electrical impulses my contender's psychologist measures. Consciousness is free energy, like free electricity for your Leaf electric car. Our brains process the free energy and create more ideas to put back into consciousness and the bank of knowledge while life continues to evolve in different forms. Consciousness itself has no vehicle of it's own, nor needs a vehicle. It can form matter or become transparent. Consciousness is shared, and built upon and forms beings and matter, but is in itself formless and non-physical. One can only touch or observe brain matter, but one cannot touch or see thoughts. They have no weight or material substance to them and cause no friction. Only one's neurons and dendrites are physical matter that can be observed firing. Therefore, consciousness is non-physical, and self-aware, on it's own, independently from humans or other evolved creatures with brains. Consciousness to evolved in many forms before brains came into being.

It's like a vast storage and retrieval system or "psi bank" of knowledge. We breathe oxygen and live in an atmosphere. We also think - and our fuel, like oxygen, is also a formless consciousness, but it is non-physical, whereas oxygen is a molecular substance.

I hope to win the hearts and minds of those voting on this. Vote Pro that Consciousness is non-physical, and self-aware.


Yes, I have taken a more scientific approach. I do believe that there is a spirit that goes to heaven or hell when you die. I do not believe that your mind remains active after death. I may not be fully understanding what you are saying.
But I may. Without the spirit, there is nothing that makes the mind work.
Debate Round No. 2


A idea of an individual spirit either going to heaven or hell is in the arena of religion, and perhaps that idea is suited to that category, more so than the initial scientific approach taken; which regarded using an apparatus to observe and define the electrical firing of the brain to determine when it is active and alive, indicating merely that it is "conscious" and able to think. Science is limited by observation to define what is real. Religion is based largely on the power of faith and uses ritual to find truth. Philosophy similarly is based in belief, yet uses reason and logic to determine truth in knowledge. I'm limited to a language as a tool to express an understanding of where ultimately consciousness or mind rests in the known universe. Mind in this argument is not brain. Mind is the seat of consciousness. My theory is that there is only one mind and one consciousness that we all share, but our individual minds and bodies have brains and other organs that are porous to all of consciousness. We are a part of this universe, not apart from, and different from it. We are all basically one in the same. Consciousness though is in all places at all times, not just inside our skull, as it has no weight nor cause any friction inside our brain. We are like brushes, paint is consciousness, and the universe is a canvass. The paint is the consciousness we get to express with, imagine, create and discover. By eventual discovery with our individual minds of what we've imagined, porous to consciousness, we use or senses to project and paint, thus we manifest and create. Physically in our 3rd dimension of a space and time continuum we make observable changes, yet without humankind, or other life as we know it, evolution and change continues, chaotically and as well following an orderliness. We only construct what exist before us in our mind. Time in the mind does not really exist as we know it. Time is an abstract idea we create based on observation of the patterned movements of our solar system. We know time by aging and observing change, especially new life and death. Consciousness in the mind is aware and permeates all living and non-living things but is itself not material or think about time. We do, because we see change. All things are unique, not just humans. Consciousness in and of itself has no weight nor mass and is transparent, therefore it is non-physical.

Being an alive and aware conscious individual being, or animal is one thing, and consciousness "throughout" all other matter is another. Take this as an analogy - the electromagnetic spectrum of light as we know it as the vehicle for consciousness to travel - is the idea I'm arguing. Our mind and bodies are the vehicles - which use air, water, food, and consciousness to survive. Radio waves and other spectrum of light in the electromagnetic field carry information in ways that are material with subatomic particles, photons and neutrons, or even neutrinos (electrically neutral). If all living mammals, animals, and other plant life as we know it are seemingly dead because there is no observed electrical firing or growth happening we can sense, this does not exclude consciousness from permeating all things transparently and being in and of itself non-physically. This universe is evolving chaotically, yet in order.

Supernatural phenomenon, superstitions, and incredulous belief in faith combined with ritual are the powers of religions. I don't deny the truths of religions. Philosophy may be akin to religion in some sense of belief, but follows an evolution of reasoning over time that sets precedent ideas for the foundation of knowledge. Those ideas that stand the test of time as we know it remain true. Science itself, by definition, defines truths based on empirical evidence we observe, as well as following rules of mathematics. The universe is as chaotic as it is orderly, so all truth is not based in analogous problem solving. Probability and Statistics are the only mathematics applicable to philosophy perhaps. One age old reliable truth of reasoning in philosophy states, "The only thing that is constant is change" - Heraclitus.

With hope, I've not just persuaded anyone reading this that consciousness is ever present self-aware, seamlessly transparent, and non-physical in our Universe, but they are able to sense that to be true themselves undeniably.

I suppose the idea of going to heaven or hell is open to another debate in the religious category or metaphysical one. For the sake of your religious argument and believing in the theory of a heaven and hell, it sounds like a fearsome tale. Religare means to bind up the broken off parts that have fallen off. In the sense of religion, to bind the broken off parts of society gone astray or lost. The fearsome tale of going to hell unless one believes in the herd, is interesting.
I think to myself, might as well believe, just to spare myself the chance of ending up in Dante's inferno with all that pain and suffering. The only pain and suffering I know of is not being honest with oneself and to believe in oneself, as well as others. It's difficult to honestly know how to have compassion for others unless one has been through some form of hardship and came out of it by learning to have compassion for their own self. Either people are of the nature to get the better of others or to do well toward others. Those that do well toward others seem to be happier, more conscientious, healthier themselves, and continue with good intention. Heaven and hell both exist in the eternal ring of fire, as they do here on Earth. If suffering and fear were non-existent, we would not know the validity of being alive and that love it is real to us, so that is a gift in itself.


Personally, I do not believe that this will be a productive debate in general because these are not subjects in which someone changes his or her mind. If someone is Christian, they will continue what they believe regardless of the victor of this debate. Same for someone who agrees with this philosophy
I will state one thing. You claim that one mind is shared between everyone in the world. This philosophy says that my consiousness is shared with someone else. This would support a claim stating that everyone knows the difference between right and wrong or knows what is good and bad. However, there are people in the world who have completely different ideas of right and wrong. Many with mental illnesses have different concepts of these things. Yet, you claim that everyone shares one conscience.
I believe that everyone has a conscience of their own and it is based on what a person has learned to be socially acceptable. I believe that the spirit plays a role in the actions of the person as well as the development of the conscience.
No, known of this can be proved and if it can, I will not prove it anyway.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Reni-1_3 3 years ago
Hmm a free psychology lesson in less than ten minutes.
Posted by jdpeterson007 3 years ago
Concluding this debate, I don't see what relevance it has to a Christian thinking one way or the other about the question of consciousness being non-physical. My understanding and belief is that "conscience" is defined as an individuals personal thoughts about something good, bad or neutral.
Consciousness is simply an entity existing non-physical or physically, on it's own accord outside of our brains, yet our brains tap into it to have their own personal thoughts. It may be that consciousness does exist physically in particles of light or some other spectrum of the electromagnetic field. My argument is that it is non-physical in it's own formless being, completely unto itself. If and individual person wanted to give it a higher ground and wanted to label it with a capital for religious purposes of some sort, so be "It", as "He" or "She" as, "Consciousness".
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