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Determinism and consciousness

phantom
Posts: 6,774
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9/21/2012 9:18:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is only a partially formed thought so bare with me.

(Assuming hard determinism)

Is our consciousness really necessary? It seems we are almost like robots acting according to causal nature of the universe. The only difference between us and robots is that we are conscious. After-all robots simply act according to how they are programmed and we only act as to the physical laws of the universe and our physical and character set-up. So is our consciousness a necessary part of existence. Could we act without it? Even more interestingly, if we could act without it and sense it is a phenomenon we don't know much about, could there be some humans who have existed that didn't gain the quality of self-awareness? (I don't think so personally) But if determinism is true, it would seem our consciousness is irrelevant to our actions. For example, imagine a world in which each agent is a robot acting according to its set-up. Now say some of these robots possess consciousness. Would the ones with consciousness act any different to the ones without it? How could they when their physical setup is what determines their actions? In fact I am not conscious of many of the actions of my body. My heart and other organs perform their functions regardless of whether I am conscious of them. Is my consciousness merely like a passive observer existing in the determined body but having no control over it, just the illusion of control?
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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9/21/2012 9:18:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Actually I think some of this lends credibility to the libertarian or compatibilist, maybe, view.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)