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Consciousness is a product of a biology

markom
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5/9/2012 11:54:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Consciousness is an individual product of a biological organism

This is the place to give a definition to consciousness first of all. Conscious means a state of being aware, which comes from the Latin base word scire meaning "to know" or "knowledge". Other derived words from scire are science and conscience. On the other side Greek counterpart for the verb "to know" is gnosis http://en.wikipedia.org..., which has a very probable root on Sanskrit word jnana. I'm lifting this up to show that traced meaning of the word we use here has a pretty mystical background. And perhaps by this reason, we give consciousness a very mysterious meaning, like a magic soup that is flowing in us, our brains or in the world around us. I'd like to take a different point and view the mystery of the word coming partly from the "everlasting and doomed" efforts to define something that has no clear objective by limited and mixed words AND stubborn way we want to maintain the mystery for the word. Mystery itself is kept because of three reasons:

- 1st we experience ourselves as a self-conscious persons (strong)
- 2nd religious and cultural teachings coming from the environment where we live in (medium)
- 3rd philosophical discussions about definitions that becomes pointless by the nature of logic based on language (weak)

I will go little deeper only to the first point. 2nd is the burden we get away pretty easily by education and 3rd is not so important thou it could raise a whole new topic to explain and prove what I mean with it.

First case relates to mind, soul, Spirit and awareness topic. Until it is empirically proved that conscious exists outside of the person (brains) itself, there are no reasons assume otherwise. Its true there are a lot of stories in west (miracles, clairvoyance, OBE, near death experiences and so forth) and east (sadhus and yogis, meditation and monks) that gives interesting material for research, plus modern theories on quantum field gives new dimensions, but we still stick on open questions. No definite proofs has been provided that soul, spirit, mind or consciousness exists but in our body only.

I say in our body, because I cannot deny that we experience consciousness, being aware of self (I am) nevertheless. Explanation for this comes from purely biological perspective. Sensory (five senses) system attached to a complicated electro-chemical neural network memory called brains gives an illusion of self-awareness by recursive and predictive signal transmission.

Inner talk, imagining, day and night dreams, all are reflections of memory signaling back and forward on brain and sensory system interface. This is nicely explained on Jeff Hawking's "On Intelligence" book, chapter 7 "Consciousness and Creativity": http://www.onintelligence.org... Topic is blogged on: http://brianandrewsauthor.com... for example. In a way western and eastern mystics, that say the world and (some dare even to say) also the very self itself is Maya (illusion), are correct. They may add some other extensions to the fact, like oneness and bliss that can be experienced in spite of Maya. But they are not really proof of conscious being other than single mind product in a single person body.

Now from this point of view the characteristics of consciousness are subjective, memory dependant, temporal and changing, illusive, yet developing to some extend we don't really know yet.

And yes, the word consciousness is very fundamental and practical to discuss on topic like this. It would be almost impossible to replace it with other descriptive word and still maintain focus and be understandable.
Panta rhei - Herakleitos
CosmicAlfonzo
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5/10/2012 1:08:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Yeah, but that means we are basically fleshy robots, which isn't very marketable to the New Ager demographic.
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markom
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5/10/2012 2:11:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/10/2012 1:08:09 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Yeah, but that means we are basically fleshy robots, which isn't very marketable to the New Ager demographic.

No it isn't, I'd recommend to use better marketing skills, find out something sexy, something like intergalactic crystal cybots from seventh ray ready to turn earth to habitants of peaceful light warriors. ;)
Panta rhei - Herakleitos
tarkovsky
Posts: 212
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5/11/2012 8:56:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I gather, the real argument here is that since we haven't observed consciousness outside of a human body, we should assume the body is the cause of consciousness.

I see a few problems here. First of all, you haven't really given us a reason to believe this argument. That is, the argument doesn't 'speak for itself' since, after all, this is essentially a conditional statement ('Since' this, then that). Why is the antecedent a reason to believe that the consequent is true? The antecedent here speaks about where we have observed consciousness to exist and the consequent speaks about what causes consciousness.

Also, you seem led on by a sort of strange notion:

markom wrote:
Until it is empirically proved that conscious exists outside of the person (brains) itself, there are no reasons assume otherwise.

Is there empirical evidence that consciousness exists "inside" brains? Even if the brain was the material cause of consciousness, does that, by necessity, mean that consciousness must occur "inside" the brain?

Really, where does my consciousness occurr? It's doesn't seem like a very 'local' phenomenon to me. I don't see that my consciousness is 'here' or 'there' because I have nothing to point to, to fill up space with. Furthermore, I don't feel as if the space behind my eyes and between my ears is 'filled with consciousness', as though my consciousness itself was innervated. What I'm getting at is, I really wouldn't have even assumed my consciousness occurred inside my brain, at all.

This is similar to me not feeling my vision occurs here or there, but rather, I only feel that vision is occurring.
markom
Posts: 29
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5/11/2012 12:10:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/11/2012 8:56:29 AM, tarkovsky wrote:
I gather, the real argument here is that since we haven't observed consciousness outside of a human body, we should assume the body is the cause of consciousness.

Yes, I think its pretty safe to assume. Assuming on the other hand doesn't mean it is closed case. Its just a stand point of view. Let's see where it leads...

I see a few problems here. First of all, you haven't really given us a reason to believe this argument. That is, the argument doesn't 'speak for itself' since, after all, this is essentially a conditional statement ('Since' this, then that). Why is the antecedent a reason to believe that the consequent is true? The antecedent here speaks about where we have observed consciousness to exist and the consequent speaks about what causes consciousness.

Thats true. I didn't give many reasons, I wanted to have a word limit on my post and mostly express my own insights. More on that next:

Also, you seem led on by a sort of strange notion:

markom wrote:
Until it is empirically proved that conscious exists outside of the person (brains) itself, there are no reasons assume otherwise.

Is there empirical evidence that consciousness exists "inside" brains? Even if the brain was the material cause of consciousness, does that, by necessity, mean that consciousness must occur "inside" the brain?

You need to realize what I mean with consciousness here. I'm not arguing what is the real consciousness, or what is it meant by others or what is the right way to use the word. To me its similar or maybe same to being aware of impulses either from outer world or inner world I call mind or memory. Inside brain it means memory and the sensory system "plugs" on peripheral brain are the whole thing that causes the feel of consciousness, being aware and live. We could arrange empirical study of this by our sides, if you want to make a test rabbit study? or we could find some research made by others from internet or we can try to stick on rational thinking process.

My reasoning starts from the fact I'm aware and conscious of certain outer life and inner mental life and no-one else is conscious exactly same phenomenons, especially if we talk about my inner life. If conscious is something outside of you, you would be aware of the thing outside of you like you are aware of your heart beat and inner talk say for example. Its true I can't say no-one, never can be aware of my world as I am, but I can say there is no indication of such phenomenon whatsoever at the moment. Inside brain means fundamentally, if someone shuts my brain or I go to sleep I cannot tell whats happening on world that I was aware earlier. And only because certain brain activity starts again after silence period, meaning layers of memory activates I become conscious again.

Really, where does my consciousness occurr? It's doesn't seem like a very 'local' phenomenon to me. I don't see that my consciousness is 'here' or 'there' because I have nothing to point to, to fill up space with. Furthermore, I don't feel as if the space behind my eyes and between my ears is 'filled with consciousness', as though my consciousness itself was innervated. What I'm getting at is, I really wouldn't have even assumed my consciousness occurred inside my brain, at all.

You seem to synonymize conscious with self here OR even more dangerously you give conscious a mysterious property of soup, which I called a great illusion. In that sense there is no conscious at all. But I rather use the word conscious to refer some mental activity. I said its a good word without having good synonyms, but other side of the story is that there are a lot of synonyms in daily practice like: semantic processing, self-awareness, mind, conceptual processing, conceptual representation, semantic encoding and retrieval, etc.

This is similar to me not feeling my vision occurs here or there, but rather, I only feel that vision is occurring.

Again "I" is refering to a concept that is very much like Maya. In fact there is just a feeling, emotional and thinking process combined with sensory experiences in biological organism which it processes and gives a stamp called I, My and Consciousness.

So if I should rephrase it, I could say: consciousness is a product of brain feedback activity with sensory interaction of the memorial inner world and actual outer world. Its not residing in some particular place because its a concept and a product of whole system rather than individual parts of the brain. When we say, we are conscious about the tickling of the toe, we are free to broaden language and say conscious in on your toe at that point and is moving to your stomach then, maybe to your thinking process after all and so forth. But thats just rhetorical expression what is happening concurrently in your body and mind.
Panta rhei - Herakleitos
tarkovsky
Posts: 212
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5/12/2012 12:25:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/11/2012 12:10:08 PM, markom wrote:

You need to realize what I mean with consciousness here. I'm not arguing what is the real consciousness, or what is it meant by others or what is the right way to use the word. To me its similar or maybe same to being aware of impulses either from outer world or inner world I call mind or memory.

Nevermind, carry on.
CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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5/12/2012 12:33:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Consciousness is a transmission of experience that is relayed to the self through a body of matter. Quantum mechanics has gone through great trouble to solve the mind/body connection and most devoted theorists claim that consciousness resides in a singular field - not on individual planes.
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts
markom
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5/12/2012 12:47:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/12/2012 12:33:52 PM, CrazyPerson wrote:
Consciousness is a transmission of experience that is relayed to the self through a body of matter. Quantum mechanics has gone through great trouble to solve the mind/body connection and most devoted theorists claim that consciousness resides in a singular field - not on individual planes.

I'd like to see and read, what they have said about the topic. Do you have any summaries or references?
Panta rhei - Herakleitos
Oryus
Posts: 8,280
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5/12/2012 12:49:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/10/2012 2:11:10 PM, markom wrote:
At 5/10/2012 1:08:09 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Yeah, but that means we are basically fleshy robots, which isn't very marketable to the New Ager demographic.

No it isn't, I'd recommend to use better marketing skills, find out something sexy, something like intergalactic crystal cybots from seventh ray ready to turn earth to habitants of peaceful light warriors. ;)

ha! or you could just not care what new agers think.
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CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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5/12/2012 12:55:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/12/2012 12:47:36 PM, markom wrote:
At 5/12/2012 12:33:52 PM, CrazyPerson wrote:
Consciousness is a transmission of experience that is relayed to the self through a body of matter. Quantum mechanics has gone through great trouble to solve the mind/body connection and most devoted theorists claim that consciousness resides in a singular field - not on individual planes.

I'd like to see and read, what they have said about the topic. Do you have any summaries or references?

Sure - Ludvic Bass depicted the facts in '71.

http://www.scribd.com...

If you don't understand physics that well, look around google for articles pertaining to these studies that attempt to rearrange the terminology.
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts
markom
Posts: 29
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5/12/2012 1:10:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/12/2012 12:55:26 PM, CrazyPerson wrote:
At 5/12/2012 12:47:36 PM, markom wrote:
At 5/12/2012 12:33:52 PM, CrazyPerson wrote:
Consciousness is a transmission of experience that is relayed to the self through a body of matter. Quantum mechanics has gone through great trouble to solve the mind/body connection and most devoted theorists claim that consciousness resides in a singular field - not on individual planes.

I'd like to see and read, what they have said about the topic. Do you have any summaries or references?

Sure - Ludvic Bass depicted the facts in '71.

http://www.scribd.com...

If you don't understand physics that well, look around google for articles pertaining to these studies that attempt to rearrange the terminology.

Bass says in summary:

"The quantum mechanical paradox of 'Wigner's friend' is interpreted as a reductio ad absurdum of the hypothesis of the plurality of conscious minds. Some presuppositions and some consequences of this interpretation are examined."

So its a paper of "presuppositions of the plurality of conscious minds" which I don't really get, how it stands in this conversation...
Panta rhei - Herakleitos
CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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5/12/2012 1:58:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/12/2012 1:10:15 PM, markom wrote:
At 5/12/2012 12:55:26 PM, CrazyPerson wrote:
At 5/12/2012 12:47:36 PM, markom wrote:
At 5/12/2012 12:33:52 PM, CrazyPerson wrote:
Consciousness is a transmission of experience that is relayed to the self through a body of matter. Quantum mechanics has gone through great trouble to solve the mind/body connection and most devoted theorists claim that consciousness resides in a singular field - not on individual planes.

I'd like to see and read, what they have said about the topic. Do you have any summaries or references?

Sure - Ludvic Bass depicted the facts in '71.

http://www.scribd.com...

If you don't understand physics that well, look around google for articles pertaining to these studies that attempt to rearrange the terminology.

Bass says in summary:

"The quantum mechanical paradox of 'Wigner's friend' is interpreted as a reductio ad absurdum of the hypothesis of the plurality of conscious minds. Some presuppositions and some consequences of this interpretation are examined."

So its a paper of "presuppositions of the plurality of conscious minds" which I don't really get, how it stands in this conversation...

In this section, he's saying that the presumptions are going to be fully explored so that the reader understands his conclusion fully. It goes on later to say:

"I propose to show, on the contrary, that these aspects of quantum mechanics may be viewed as straightforward rather than paradoxical."

It's a paper on his mathematical refutation of the idea of plural consciousnesses, not on the presumption plurality of conscious minds. (The paper is the opposite of what you're saying.)
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts