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Thoughts on Consciousness

FREEDO
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5/28/2013 4:49:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Where does consciousness come from? The scientist will answer "the brain". Yet, all I see the brain doing is defining consciousness, not creating it. My brains makes me feel cold. My brain makes me feel happy. My brain makes me feel sleepy. But does my brain make simply feel? We can see the nerves in our bodies. We can see the neurons in our brains. We can see how it all reads stimuli and produces a complex reaction. But why doesn't it do these things without anyone behind the face to really perceive it? What purpose does the perceiver have? Why doesn't it just all go on "in the dark"?

There could be a lot of answers to this mind-wrenching question. This answer is just my own. Or, it's at least an idea I love to play around with.

It's occurred to me that consciousness is a lot like a movie being cast by a projector. We look at the screen and we all get very involved in the colors and shapes displayed on it. But it's merely a projection. And the source is merely a white light within the projector. The light passes through the film, giving it form, bringing that form to the screen. The white light is our actual capacity for perception. And the film is our brains, giving the light it's shape and color.

Psychology explains the film but not the light; the sensation but not the perception. Much like physics explains form but can place no finger on substance. This leaves me to think that perception is of the same nature as substance. It is completely fundamental and yet nowhere to be found.
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fnord
AlbinoBunny
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5/28/2013 7:18:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 4:49:59 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Where does consciousness come from? The scientist will answer "the brain". Yet, all I see the brain doing is defining consciousness, not creating it. My brains makes me feel cold. My brain makes me feel happy. My brain makes me feel sleepy. But does my brain make simply feel? We can see the nerves in our bodies. We can see the neurons in our brains. We can see how it all reads stimuli and produces a complex reaction. But why doesn't it do these things without anyone behind the face to really perceive it? What purpose does the perceiver have? Why doesn't it just all go on "in the dark"?

There could be a lot of answers to this mind-wrenching question. This answer is just my own. Or, it's at least an idea I love to play around with.

It's occurred to me that consciousness is a lot like a movie being cast by a projector. We look at the screen and we all get very involved in the colors and shapes displayed on it. But it's merely a projection. And the source is merely a white light within the projector. The light passes through the film, giving it form, bringing that form to the screen. The white light is our actual capacity for perception. And the film is our brains, giving the light it's shape and color.

Psychology explains the film but not the light; the sensation but not the perception. Much like physics explains form but can place no finger on substance. This leaves me to think that perception is of the same nature as substance. It is completely fundamental and yet nowhere to be found.

Like, why do we feel alive. Why do people feel like they have souls? Do animals feel the same? If we made AI, at what point would it feel conscious, if at all?
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Rational_Thinker9119
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5/28/2013 8:51:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 4:49:59 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Where does consciousness come from? The scientist will answer "the brain". Yet, all I see the brain doing is defining consciousness, not creating it. My brains makes me feel cold. My brain makes me feel happy. My brain makes me feel sleepy. But does my brain make simply feel? We can see the nerves in our bodies. We can see the neurons in our brains. We can see how it all reads stimuli and produces a complex reaction. But why doesn't it do these things without anyone behind the face to really perceive it? What purpose does the perceiver have? Why doesn't it just all go on "in the dark"?

There could be a lot of answers to this mind-wrenching question. This answer is just my own. Or, it's at least an idea I love to play around with.

It's occurred to me that consciousness is a lot like a movie being cast by a projector. We look at the screen and we all get very involved in the colors and shapes displayed on it. But it's merely a projection. And the source is merely a white light within the projector. The light passes through the film, giving it form, bringing that form to the screen. The white light is our actual capacity for perception. And the film is our brains, giving the light it's shape and color.

Psychology explains the film but not the light; the sensation but not the perception. Much like physics explains form but can place no finger on substance. This leaves me to think that perception is of the same nature as substance. It is completely fundamental and yet nowhere to be found.

"Where does consciousness come from? The scientist will answer "the brain". Yet, all I see the brain doing is defining consciousness, not creating it."

Then you need to look better. The brain definitely creates consciousness.
Illegalcombatant
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5/28/2013 9:00:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
From what I hear the brain has like all these connections. Neuron this synapse that.

Maybe all those connections have something to do with consciousness eh ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
AlbinoBunny
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5/28/2013 2:22:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Maybe consciousness is an illusion.
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
http://www.debate.org... - Running as his vice president.

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FREEDO
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5/28/2013 2:50:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't think people are getting it. Consciousness is separate from bodily function. There's no reason it should be there. The body can do whatever it does without anyone actually feeling it. We can study the brain all we want, but it's only going to tell us how we react to stimuli. Theoretically, it should make no sense. Unconscious matter assembles itself and magically produces consciousness. This tells us that there's something fundamentally wrong with the way we're thinking about it. There is absolutely no scientific test to find out if someone is truly conscious. Only tests to see if their body reacts to stimuli. When a person says they are conscious, we simply take it on faith. Unless we can show that consciousness itself is something more than neurons.
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fnord
medv4380
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5/28/2013 3:08:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 2:50:12 PM, FREEDO wrote:
edited for brevity
We can study the brain all we want, but it's only going to tell us how we react to stimuli.
Theoretically, it should make no sense.
Under which theory? Are you advocating not doing research into the brain out of fear it may prove you wrong?

Consciousnesses is currently a black box due to our lack of understanding. This is partially due to Alan Turning and assumptions he made that people adopted too quickly, and due to us not have a map of the brain to do work from.

It's my belief that Turnings logic is incomplete, and there are missing logic statements that would show where consciousness is. Probably logic that will be exposed with quantum computing. Kind-of like the "memory resistor" that we believed could be made but had no idea of how until HP made one. Too many people took the idea of the turning machine and tried to say that was what our brains are, but we know now that they are not.
FREEDO
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5/28/2013 3:25:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 3:08:37 PM, medv4380 wrote:

Under which theory? Are you advocating not doing research into the brain out of fear it may prove you wrong?

No....?

It isn't a physical issue, it's a logical issue. Our psychophysics can explain the "form" of our consciousness but not the "substance" of our consciousness.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
GeoLaureate8
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5/28/2013 3:31:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Let's be absolutely clear here, what Freedo is saying is verifiably correct.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
medv4380
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5/28/2013 3:40:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 3:25:54 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 5/28/2013 3:08:37 PM, medv4380 wrote:

Under which theory? Are you advocating not doing research into the brain out of fear it may prove you wrong?

No....?

It isn't a physical issue, it's a logical issue. Our psychophysics can explain the "form" of our consciousness but not the "substance" of our consciousness.

I don't believe they can even explain the "form" until the NIH actually starts and finishes their brain mapping project. At this point it's really dumbed down to singles go into the brain as stimuli, and the best that we can assume is signals come out assumed to be responses to that stimuli. Until we have a viable map of the brain you can't describe what the brain is doing with the signals in or where the signals out are coming from. Other than leaving it at "the brain did it".
tBoonePickens
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5/28/2013 4:09:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 4:49:59 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Thoughts on Consciousness
ie Thoughts on thoughts...

Where does consciousness come from?
It is a state of mind.

The scientist will answer "the brain".
That is correct: "the brain" can give rise to the mind which in turn can give rise to the consciousness.

Yet, all I see the brain doing is defining consciousness, not creating it.
Perhaps you are not looking very well. Maybe you've got a problem with yer peepers.

My brains makes me feel cold.
The weather makes me feel cold.

My brain makes me feel happy.
Situations make me feel happy.

My brain makes me feel sleepy.
My body let's my brain know that I am tired or sleepy.

But does my brain make simply feel?
Huh? Is there a "me" missing or are you trying to express something else altogether? You are your brain, your brain is you.

We can see the nerves in our bodies.
With a microscope.

We can see the neurons in our brains. We can see how it all reads stimuli and produces a complex reaction.
And one of those complex reactions is "feeling."

But why doesn't it do these things without anyone behind the face to really perceive it?
I don't understand the question, because it seems you are asking for "perceiverless perception"...which is of course quite silly.

What purpose does the perceiver have?
The perceiver determines his own purpose.

Why doesn't it just all go on "in the dark"?
Again, I don't understand the question, because it seems you are asking for "perceiverless perception"...which is of course quite silly.

There could be a lot of answers to this mind-wrenching question. This answer is just my own. Or, it's at least an idea I love to play around with.

It's occurred to me that consciousness is a lot like a movie being cast by a projector. We look at the screen and we all get very involved in the colors and shapes displayed on it. But it's merely a projection. And the source is merely a white light within the projector. The light passes through the film, giving it form, bringing that form to the screen. The white light is our actual capacity for perception. And the film is our brains, giving the light it's shape and color.
I thought analogies were supposed to make things simpler? All this needlessly complicates things; instead, think of it like this: our brains are like a quantum computer that gives us the ability to have consciousness. Voila!

Psychology explains the film but not the light; the sensation but not the perception. Much like physics explains form but can place no finger on substance.
More complicated analogies: what exactly is your qualm with physics? Are you saying that it explains the "how" and not the "why"? If so, that's fine as it is not meant to explain the "why x"; remember, one can always ask "why not x"...well almost always. Actually, physics CAN answer any "why x" who's "why not x" is an impossibility.

This leaves me to think that perception is of the same nature as substance. It is completely fundamental and yet nowhere to be found.
No eye deer what you are talking about. What do you mean by "substance"? Is this another abstract concept that you are trying to materialize?
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
SarcasticIndeed
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5/28/2013 4:56:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Agree with FREEDO, I really can't get around how consciousness arises. If every of your neurons, one at a time, were replaced with synthetic metal ones that do the exact same function, when would you stop being conscious?

Besides, I clearly have a self, a conscious one. I can hear my thoughts, think of stuff, somehow I don't see how a bunch of complex neural networks can manage to pull that off.
<SIGNATURE CENSORED> nac
tBoonePickens
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5/28/2013 5:01:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 4:56:48 PM, SarcasticIndeed wrote:
Agree with FREEDO, I really can't get around how consciousness arises. If every of your neurons, one at a time, were replaced with synthetic metal ones that do the exact same function, when would you stop being conscious?
You wouldn't.

Besides, I clearly have a self, a conscious one. I can hear my thoughts, think of stuff, somehow I don't see how a bunch of complex neural networks can manage to pull that off.
Then perhaps you do not "see" very well.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
medv4380
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5/28/2013 5:34:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 4:56:48 PM, SarcasticIndeed wrote:
Agree with FREEDO, I really can't get around how consciousness arises. If every of your neurons, one at a time, were replaced with synthetic metal ones that do the exact same function, when would you stop being conscious?

Depends on what you mean by exact same function. By today's standards we don't know all the functions the neuron does to replicate it. There is a possibility there could be something that couldn't be copied, and thus you'd never be able to make a perfect replacement. However, if everything could be replicated perfectly then you'd still be you.
StevenDixon
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5/28/2013 5:46:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 4:56:48 PM, SarcasticIndeed wrote:
Agree with FREEDO, I really can't get around how consciousness arises. If every of your neurons, one at a time, were replaced with synthetic metal ones that do the exact same function, when would you stop being conscious?

Besides, I clearly have a self, a conscious one. I can hear my thoughts, think of stuff, somehow I don't see how a bunch of complex neural networks can manage to pull that off.

Cut your corpus collasum in half and then there will be two of you.
SarcasticIndeed
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5/28/2013 6:41:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Thinking about it, the power of nature to create a mind that can think about its own conscience is purely amazing.
<SIGNATURE CENSORED> nac
StevenDixon
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5/28/2013 7:13:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 6:41:11 PM, SarcasticIndeed wrote:
Thinking about it, the power of nature to create a mind that can think about its own conscience is purely amazing.

Yep, it is amazing.
Skepsikyma
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5/28/2013 7:19:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
A plant is just a collection of cells. Those cells cannot flower, reproduce, or grow in the way that the plant does. And each cell is simply composed of molecules, which cannot undergo mitotic division, or produce proteins. The forest is only composed of trees, which cannot differentiate genetically on an individual basis. But the forest is nothing but the atoms which make up the rocks, soil, trees, and animals. There is nothing else there to look at. This is made possible due to a phenomenon known as supervenience, where a lower level of existence, by interacting with itself, gives rise to a higher level. The same is true of the brain. It's in the interactions of the various neurons that consciousness exists, just as it is in the interaction between various cells that a plant exists. You aren't going to find a thing called consciousness just by looking at the neurons themselves for the same reason that you won't find any flowers just by looking at the cells of a petal. A flower is the name which we give to a collection of cells and their myriad interactions with one another. And consciousness is the name which we give to our collective brains, and the interactions of our neurons with one another.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Illegalcombatant
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5/28/2013 8:25:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The universe is filled with physical phenomena that appear devoid of consciousness. From the birth of stars and planets, to the early stages of cell division in a human embryo, the structures and processes we find in Nature seem to lack an inner life. At some point in the development of certain complex organisms, however, consciousness emerges. This miracle does not depend on a change of materials"for you and I are built of the same atoms as a fern or a ham sandwich. Rather, it must be a matter of organization. Arranging atoms in a certain way appears to bring consciousness into being. And this fact is among the deepest mysteries given to us to contemplate.

http://www.samharris.org...
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
yin.yang
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5/28/2013 9:07:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 7:19:14 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
A plant is just a collection of cells. Those cells cannot flower, reproduce, or grow in the way that the plant does. And each cell is simply composed of molecules, which cannot undergo mitotic division, or produce proteins. The forest is only composed of trees, which cannot differentiate genetically on an individual basis. But the forest is nothing but the atoms which make up the rocks, soil, trees, and animals. There is nothing else there to look at. This is made possible due to a phenomenon known as supervenience, where a lower level of existence, by interacting with itself, gives rise to a higher level. The same is true of the brain. It's in the interactions of the various neurons that consciousness exists, just as it is in the interaction between various cells that a plant exists. You aren't going to find a thing called consciousness just by looking at the neurons themselves for the same reason that you won't find any flowers just by looking at the cells of a petal. A flower is the name which we give to a collection of cells and their myriad interactions with one another. And consciousness is the name which we give to our collective brains, and the interactions of our neurons with one another.

Well said!
Maikuru and tulle.
FREEDO
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5/29/2013 2:29:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 8:25:15 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
The universe is filled with physical phenomena that appear devoid of consciousness. From the birth of stars and planets, to the early stages of cell division in a human embryo, the structures and processes we find in Nature seem to lack an inner life. At some point in the development of certain complex organisms, however, consciousness emerges. This miracle does not depend on a change of materials"for you and I are built of the same atoms as a fern or a ham sandwich. Rather, it must be a matter of organization. Arranging atoms in a certain way appears to bring consciousness into being. And this fact is among the deepest mysteries given to us to contemplate.

http://www.samharris.org...

As I mentioned before, there is no way to test for consciousness. Harris' observation is based only on faith. If we can look at stars and declare them unconscious, then we're certainly not basing our standard of "seeming conscious" on complexity. As stars are very complex things that perform tasks you could even call "intelligent". It seems to me that our standard has to do more with the human tendency of only sympathizing with what seems similar to us. We are sure other humans are conscious because they look and act like us. We think dogs must have a consciousness of a lower kind because they are similar to us in ways but not entirely. We feel a jellyfish must be vaguely conscious, even though it has no nervous system.

If we're really going to take the route that consciousness arises out of order, then we have to accept consciousness existing in things we wouldn't normally sympathize with, such as stars. Furthermore, we would be unable to make any distinction between where one consciousness should be begin and another ends. There's no magical boundary between your flesh and the outside world. Everything is very literally connected. We would have to accept that consciousness is along a continuum, gradually becoming more vivid in areas with increased order. We would have to accept that our conception of consciousness is only one form out of many. One "colored and shaped" by our neurons. That different forms of substance correlate with different forms of perception. That consciousness is less an attribute as it is a fundamental force, increasing with vividness along a continuum structured through degrees of complexity. That consciousness doesn't magically appear once we hit a "certain" way of organizing things. Otherwise the whole idea of a consciousness arising out of complexity would be undermined.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Sidewalker
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5/29/2013 5:53:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 8:51:43 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/28/2013 4:49:59 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Where does consciousness come from? The scientist will answer "the brain". Yet, all I see the brain doing is defining consciousness, not creating it. My brains makes me feel cold. My brain makes me feel happy. My brain makes me feel sleepy. But does my brain make simply feel? We can see the nerves in our bodies. We can see the neurons in our brains. We can see how it all reads stimuli and produces a complex reaction. But why doesn't it do these things without anyone behind the face to really perceive it? What purpose does the perceiver have? Why doesn't it just all go on "in the dark"?

There could be a lot of answers to this mind-wrenching question. This answer is just my own. Or, it's at least an idea I love to play around with.

It's occurred to me that consciousness is a lot like a movie being cast by a projector. We look at the screen and we all get very involved in the colors and shapes displayed on it. But it's merely a projection. And the source is merely a white light within the projector. The light passes through the film, giving it form, bringing that form to the screen. The white light is our actual capacity for perception. And the film is our brains, giving the light it's shape and color.

Psychology explains the film but not the light; the sensation but not the perception. Much like physics explains form but can place no finger on substance. This leaves me to think that perception is of the same nature as substance. It is completely fundamental and yet nowhere to be found.

"Where does consciousness come from? The scientist will answer "the brain". Yet, all I see the brain doing is defining consciousness, not creating it."

Then you need to look better. The brain definitely creates consciousness.

Sounds like a creed. So what do you base it on besides faith?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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5/29/2013 6:35:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 3:40:04 PM, medv4380 wrote:
At 5/28/2013 3:25:54 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 5/28/2013 3:08:37 PM, medv4380 wrote:

Under which theory? Are you advocating not doing research into the brain out of fear it may prove you wrong?

No....?

It isn't a physical issue, it's a logical issue. Our psychophysics can explain the "form" of our consciousness but not the "substance" of our consciousness.

I don't believe they can even explain the "form" until the NIH actually starts and finishes their brain mapping project. At this point it's really dumbed down to singles go into the brain as stimuli, and the best that we can assume is signals come out assumed to be responses to that stimuli. Until we have a viable map of the brain you can't describe what the brain is doing with the signals in or where the signals out are coming from. Other than leaving it at "the brain did it".

Mapping signals in the brain will do nothing to overcome the explanatory gap between the materialist presumption that "the brain did it" and the central mystery of conscious experience. Consciousness has causal influence due to its content, not solely because of the physical aspects of its neural correlates. A conscious state includes a desire or intention, it includes the ability to envision a future state and establish a strategy for attaining that state. That makes it more than a purely physical state, it is a conscious state with reference to a future possibility, and no such reference is part of any purely physical state.

It is not logical to conclude that when we observe the neural correlates of consciousness that we are observing consciousness, that is a "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy, correlation does not imply causation.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
medv4380
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5/29/2013 8:23:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/29/2013 6:35:56 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Mapping signals in the brain will do nothing to overcome the explanatory gap between the materialist presumption that "the brain did it" and the central mystery of conscious experience. Consciousness has causal influence due to its content, not solely because of the physical aspects of its neural correlates. A conscious state includes a desire or intention, it includes the ability to envision a future state and establish a strategy for attaining that state. That makes it more than a purely physical state, it is a conscious state with reference to a future possibility, and no such reference is part of any purely physical state.

It is not logical to conclude that when we observe the neural correlates of consciousness that we are observing consciousness, that is a "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy, correlation does not imply causation.

"Due to its content" Do you even know what the "content" is? Can you even give a coherent definition?

You're advocating not even looking for the cause of consciousness in favor your opinion which is little more than a guess.

I'm not even advocating a conclusion. I'm advocating actually collecting the data before coming to any conclusion. You can't rule out neural networks until you know how it's working in order to rule it out.

If anything you're attempting to use the "Correlation does not equal Causation" in order to justify an argument with no correlation. So I call you out on a Suppressing the Evidence Fallacy. If you know what correlation is you know that if you have Causation is will also have Correlation. The phrase your abusing is supposed to mean is if you have Correlation you don't necessarily have Causation, but you can't have causation without correlation.
drafterman
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5/29/2013 8:47:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/29/2013 6:35:56 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Mapping signals in the brain will do nothing to overcome the explanatory gap between the materialist presumption that "the brain did it" and the central mystery of conscious experience. Consciousness has causal influence due to its content, not solely because of the physical aspects of its neural correlates. A conscious state includes a desire or intention, it includes the ability to envision a future state and establish a strategy for attaining that state. That makes it more than a purely physical state, it is a conscious state with reference to a future possibility, and no such reference is part of any purely physical state.

It is not logical to conclude that when we observe the neural correlates of consciousness that we are observing consciousness, that is a "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy, correlation does not imply causation.

Congratulations! You just disproved ... religion!
Sidewalker
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5/29/2013 6:55:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/29/2013 8:47:50 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/29/2013 6:35:56 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Mapping signals in the brain will do nothing to overcome the explanatory gap between the materialist presumption that "the brain did it" and the central mystery of conscious experience. Consciousness has causal influence due to its content, not solely because of the physical aspects of its neural correlates. A conscious state includes a desire or intention, it includes the ability to envision a future state and establish a strategy for attaining that state. That makes it more than a purely physical state, it is a conscious state with reference to a future possibility, and no such reference is part of any purely physical state.

It is not logical to conclude that when we observe the neural correlates of consciousness that we are observing consciousness, that is a "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy, correlation does not imply causation.

Congratulations! You just disproved ... religion!

Yeah, sure I did....and I suppose consciousness is easily explained, "because it evolved", right?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Bullish
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5/29/2013 7:16:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 7:19:14 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
A plant is just a collection of cells. Those cells cannot flower, reproduce, or grow in the way that the plant does. And each cell is simply composed of molecules, which cannot undergo mitotic division, or produce proteins. The forest is only composed of trees, which cannot differentiate genetically on an individual basis. But the forest is nothing but the atoms which make up the rocks, soil, trees, and animals. There is nothing else there to look at. This is made possible due to a phenomenon known as supervenience, where a lower level of existence, by interacting with itself, gives rise to a higher level. The same is true of the brain. It's in the interactions of the various neurons that consciousness exists, just as it is in the interaction between various cells that a plant exists. You aren't going to find a thing called consciousness just by looking at the neurons themselves for the same reason that you won't find any flowers just by looking at the cells of a petal. A flower is the name which we give to a collection of cells and their myriad interactions with one another. And consciousness is the name which we give to our collective brains, and the interactions of our neurons with one another.

^^ This. Mind with life, life with matter. We form thoughts and consciousness to aide in survival.
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Eitan_Zohar
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5/29/2013 11:47:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 4:49:59 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Where does consciousness come from? The scientist will answer "the brain". Yet, all I see the brain doing is defining consciousness, not creating it. My brains makes me feel cold. My brain makes me feel happy. My brain makes me feel sleepy. But does my brain make simply feel? We can see the nerves in our bodies. We can see the neurons in our brains. We can see how it all reads stimuli and produces a complex reaction. But why doesn't it do these things without anyone behind the face to really perceive it? What purpose does the perceiver have? Why doesn't it just all go on "in the dark"?

There could be a lot of answers to this mind-wrenching question. This answer is just my own. Or, it's at least an idea I love to play around with.

It's occurred to me that consciousness is a lot like a movie being cast by a projector. We look at the screen and we all get very involved in the colors and shapes displayed on it. But it's merely a projection. And the source is merely a white light within the projector. The light passes through the film, giving it form, bringing that form to the screen. The white light is our actual capacity for perception. And the film is our brains, giving the light it's shape and color.

Psychology explains the film but not the light; the sensation but not the perception. Much like physics explains form but can place no finger on substance. This leaves me to think that perception is of the same nature as substance. It is completely fundamental and yet nowhere to be found.

I've had these thoughts, too. Posting to remind myself to give a reply later.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
tvellalott
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5/30/2013 12:01:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I look at myself as a purely biological machine made up of complex mechanical systems. Part of this is consciousness, which is simply the name we give to a collection of parts of the system. We're able to perceive the world around us with our senses and we're able to internalise and reflect. Consciousness is, to put it in simple terms, our ability to think and reason about anything and everything (even if the logic behind that reasoning is flawed.)

I don't see why this bothers you FREEDO, unless you want to get spiritual and even then... :/
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tvellalott
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5/30/2013 12:09:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I didn't properly respond.

Where does consciousness come from? Well, it doesn't come from anywhere. Nothing creates it. We simply develop consciousness over time. Take a children for example. A 6 month old baby has all the same systems as an adult, yet they are almost completely helpless. Why? Well, they are simply overwhelmed and unfocused most likely. Think how easily a 2 year old is distracted, but they're much more 'conscious' than a baby, able to move around, solve problems and communicate.
Once you're a fully grown adult, most people are completely aware of their own bodies . You know how far you can see, how well you can hear, what you do and don't enjoy (and a million other things that you've learnt and skills you've developed).

Now, take a cat. A cat is conscious to an extent. It knows where you keep the food and where the litter is, that it doesn't like needles or bathes and that having it's belly scratched feels nice. However, it's ability to gain knowledge and skills are heavily restricted by it's biology.

We are simply less restricted, thanks to our biology. I don't know if I'm even making sense really. I'm just going to end this rant.
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

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