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A Personal Observation

s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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7/24/2014 12:07:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

Most people just deal with this as well "I" have a conscious state. There is a self and that self has the capacity to be consciousnesses.

But maybe you are getting at it seems as though the two become a bit separate, there is this body person that others would call you, and then there is that observer/consciousness state, and you identify with the consciousness state.

All in all probably another trick in the brain that will sort it's self out, the brain does many tricks you know, and will probably go back to giving an impression of one whole self.

Then again maybe you will get stuck in this mode of feeling as though you are watching yourself could lead to insanity, I dunno, have a nice day.
"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
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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7/24/2014 8:24:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/24/2014 12:07:19 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

Most people just deal with this as well "I" have a conscious state. There is a self and that self has the capacity to be consciousnesses.

But maybe you are getting at it seems as though the two become a bit separate, there is this body person that others would call you, and then there is that observer/consciousness state, and you identify with the consciousness state.

All in all probably another trick in the brain that will sort it's self out, the brain does many tricks you know, and will probably go back to giving an impression of one whole self.

Then again maybe you will get stuck in this mode of feeling as though you are watching yourself could lead to insanity, I dunno, have a nice day.

In order for there to be a me, there must be something that's not me. Something greater than that which is being defined must determine that which is me and that which is not or all things would be me. All things being me would make no sense; for, then, there would be no relationships.
slo1
Posts: 4,361
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7/24/2014 10:13:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

I don't fully understand the observer or observed bit. Obviously your physical molecules are separate and distinct, recycled for the past billions of years, but distinct.

Your consciousness allows you to observe and experience other things which are also made of recycled bits.

Let me ask you this. If you had no relationship to the other bits including people around you, do you feel your consciousness and ability to think of intangibles would exist?

You wouldn't be able to think about a peanut butter sandwich. You wouldn't be able to think about love.

None of these things would exist in your consciousness because you couldn't experience them or learn of them.

Maybe your consciousness is just an observer state, which is talented using knowledge it observes and rearranging and associating it in new ways.

Maybe the only thing making you unique is your bits, what your consciousness has absorbed/learned over the years, and its capability to use those learning in novel ways.
sdavio
Posts: 1,801
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7/24/2014 11:20:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

'Self' is just like any other word, it is useful as a device to point to an area of ideas with a 'family resemblance', but the existence of the word as a consistent tool does not necessitate that the thing it refers to is some self-contained object with a perfect correlation between the word and the referent.

When we're looking at the statement that 'the self is sure to exist', or, that 'anything is sure to exist', we should first analyze what we mean by 'exist', and what a proof of that would look like. When I say something exists, does that mean I have 'experienced' it? Because then, to say 'the fact that I experience X is proof that X exists' would be redundant; it would just be saying 'I experienced X' twice.

And then, what am I talking about when I say 'self'? Surely that is a general term which applies to any of my experiences, before I have abstracted away from them to what we call 'objective' (which just refers to the consistent aspects of experience). So, when I say "The fact that I experience myself proves that I exist", we can now see that, if 'myself' means my experience, and 'proof' is experience, then I am simply saying, "The fact that I experience, means that I experience experience", which is an extremely redundant version of the statement "There is experience".

But then what is 'experience'? Just the most broad possible term, which must apply to anything which could ever possibly occur. So we can see that there's really no 'proof' going on here, and people are just abstracting from nothing. What are we 'certain' of? That if we make a term vague and wide-ranging enough, it will apply to any given instance of anything.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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7/24/2014 12:47:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/24/2014 10:13:01 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

I don't fully understand the observer or observed bit. Obviously your physical molecules are separate and distinct, recycled for the past billions of years, but distinct.

Your consciousness allows you to observe and experience other things which are also made of recycled bits.

Let me ask you this. If you had no relationship to the other bits including people around you, do you feel your consciousness and ability to think of intangibles would exist?

You wouldn't be able to think about a peanut butter sandwich. You wouldn't be able to think about love.

None of these things would exist in your consciousness because you couldn't experience them or learn of them.

Maybe your consciousness is just an observer state, which is talented using knowledge it observes and rearranging and associating it in new ways.

Maybe the only thing making you unique is your bits, what your consciousness has absorbed/learned over the years, and its capability to use those learning in novel ways.

If we were to look at it from a completely neurological perspective, in which ideation is merely neural complexes, as images or sensations are made conscious, to what are they being made conscious? It's easy to say ideation is merely neural firings, in the brain, but as ideas, what is witnessing those ideas?
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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7/24/2014 1:13:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/24/2014 11:20:19 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

'Self' is just like any other word, it is useful as a device to point to an area of ideas with a 'family resemblance', but the existence of the word as a consistent tool does not necessitate that the thing it refers to is some self-contained object with a perfect correlation between the word and the referent.

However relevant the correlation, the correlation still exists.


When we're looking at the statement that 'the self is sure to exist', or, that 'anything is sure to exist', we should first analyze what we mean by 'exist', and what a proof of that would look like. When I say something exists, does that mean I have 'experienced' it? Because then, to say 'the fact that I experience X is proof that X exists' would be redundant; it would just be saying 'I experienced X' twice.

It is only in experiencing something, in its nonexistence, does its existence begin to make sense.


And then, what am I talking about when I say 'self'? Surely that is a general term which applies to any of my experiences, before I have abstracted away from them to what we call 'objective' (which just refers to the consistent aspects of experience). So, when I say "The fact that I experience myself proves that I exist", we can now see that, if 'myself' means my experience, and 'proof' is experience, then I am simply saying, "The fact that I experience, means that I experience experience", which is an extremely redundant version of the statement "There is experience".

There must be experience and inexperience, of any one thing, for an experience of it to make sense.


But then what is 'experience'? Just the most broad possible term, which must apply to anything which could ever possibly occur. So we can see that there's really no 'proof' going on here, and people are just abstracting from nothing. What are we 'certain' of? That if we make a term vague and wide-ranging enough, it will apply to any given instance of anything.

Yes. We are abstracting something from nothing, but something must necessarily exist, in order for there to be nothing.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/24/2014 8:32:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

I totally disagree. Why couldn't you define yourself internally? I see no reason why something would have to be outside of you for you to be defined.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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7/24/2014 11:59:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/24/2014 8:32:27 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

I totally disagree. Why couldn't you define yourself internally? I see no reason why something would have to be outside of you for you to be defined.

Can you experience anything beyond your experience? If not, how would you know there is anything beyond you?
slo1
Posts: 4,361
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7/25/2014 9:52:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/24/2014 12:47:56 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 7/24/2014 10:13:01 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

I don't fully understand the observer or observed bit. Obviously your physical molecules are separate and distinct, recycled for the past billions of years, but distinct.

Your consciousness allows you to observe and experience other things which are also made of recycled bits.

Let me ask you this. If you had no relationship to the other bits including people around you, do you feel your consciousness and ability to think of intangibles would exist?

You wouldn't be able to think about a peanut butter sandwich. You wouldn't be able to think about love.

None of these things would exist in your consciousness because you couldn't experience them or learn of them.

Maybe your consciousness is just an observer state, which is talented using knowledge it observes and rearranging and associating it in new ways.

Maybe the only thing making you unique is your bits, what your consciousness has absorbed/learned over the years, and its capability to use those learning in novel ways.

If we were to look at it from a completely neurological perspective, in which ideation is merely neural complexes, as images or sensations are made conscious, to what are they being made conscious? It's easy to say ideation is merely neural firings, in the brain, but as ideas, what is witnessing those ideas?

I don't think my points even matter whether it is or isn't completely neurological. Either consciousness needs interaction with the physical world to form or it is pre-loaded with knowledge. If it is the former, there is no need to have anything watching it, it grows from its own experience.

Let's do a little experiment.

What do you think about the mizathadawic?
What do you think of the big nosed yellow bellied wudget?

I assume the first thing is meaningless to you. In my consciousness I pictured something and gave it a name, can you even picture it? The second thing still fictional, has body parts and colors. I'm sure your consciousness can even possibly form a picture of what the big nosed yellow bellied wudget looks like. It can at least take a stab at it. The only reason your consciousness can do something with it is because your past history with colors and body parts.

Now lets move to something that is the peice de resistance of consciousness, you know that you are thinking about something. I'm thinking about thinking. That is tougher to proclaim arises from experience, but simply put we don't know a person who was raised without any interaction what so ever would even develop that level of thought on such abstract matters.

Is thinking self evident? Maybe not, if one does not have the previous history to be taught that the internal process of though is something.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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7/25/2014 10:45:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/25/2014 9:52:24 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/24/2014 12:47:56 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 7/24/2014 10:13:01 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

I don't fully understand the observer or observed bit. Obviously your physical molecules are separate and distinct, recycled for the past billions of years, but distinct.

Your consciousness allows you to observe and experience other things which are also made of recycled bits.

Let me ask you this. If you had no relationship to the other bits including people around you, do you feel your consciousness and ability to think of intangibles would exist?

You wouldn't be able to think about a peanut butter sandwich. You wouldn't be able to think about love.

None of these things would exist in your consciousness because you couldn't experience them or learn of them.

Maybe your consciousness is just an observer state, which is talented using knowledge it observes and rearranging and associating it in new ways.

Maybe the only thing making you unique is your bits, what your consciousness has absorbed/learned over the years, and its capability to use those learning in novel ways.

If we were to look at it from a completely neurological perspective, in which ideation is merely neural complexes, as images or sensations are made conscious, to what are they being made conscious? It's easy to say ideation is merely neural firings, in the brain, but as ideas, what is witnessing those ideas?

I don't think my points even matter whether it is or isn't completely neurological. Either consciousness needs interaction with the physical world to form or it is pre-loaded with knowledge. If it is the former, there is no need to have anything watching it, it grows from its own experience.

I believe consciousness is an interaction, between stimuli and neurological responses; and, being an interaction, it is a new conception, or marrying of the outside world to that which is on the inside. However, this does not answer the problem of reflection. Is an idea or sensation witnessing itself? And, if so, how can it perceive beyond its own parameters?


Let's do a little experiment.

What do you think about the mizathadawic?
What do you think of the big nosed yellow bellied wudget?


I assume the first thing is meaningless to you. In my consciousness I pictured something and gave it a name, can you even picture it? The second thing still fictional, has body parts and colors. I'm sure your consciousness can even possibly form a picture of what the big nosed yellow bellied wudget looks like. It can at least take a stab at it. The only reason your consciousness can do something with it is because your past history with colors and body parts.

Now lets move to something that is the peice de resistance of consciousness, you know that you are thinking about something. I'm thinking about thinking. That is tougher to proclaim arises from experience, but simply put we don't know a person who was raised without any interaction what so ever would even develop that level of thought on such abstract matters.

Is thinking self evident? Maybe not, if one does not have the previous history to be taught that the internal process of though is something.

I agree thought is created by the individual's interaction with the outside world. However, what is evaluating and judging thought?
slo1
Posts: 4,361
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7/25/2014 11:13:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/25/2014 10:45:52 AM, s-anthony wrote:
At 7/25/2014 9:52:24 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/24/2014 12:47:56 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 7/24/2014 10:13:01 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/23/2014 11:39:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I use to believe nothing could be proven to exist beyond one's self. However, in thinking about my self, I see there is something greater that defines me. For, how could I define myself, or draw the limits of who I am? I would need to be greater than myself, or outside myself, in time and space, to create who I am.

So, in being conscious of who I am, is it me who is the observer or am I the observation? Or, am I both the observer and the thing being observed?

I don't fully understand the observer or observed bit. Obviously your physical molecules are separate and distinct, recycled for the past billions of years, but distinct.

Your consciousness allows you to observe and experience other things which are also made of recycled bits.

Let me ask you this. If you had no relationship to the other bits including people around you, do you feel your consciousness and ability to think of intangibles would exist?

You wouldn't be able to think about a peanut butter sandwich. You wouldn't be able to think about love.

None of these things would exist in your consciousness because you couldn't experience them or learn of them.

Maybe your consciousness is just an observer state, which is talented using knowledge it observes and rearranging and associating it in new ways.

Maybe the only thing making you unique is your bits, what your consciousness has absorbed/learned over the years, and its capability to use those learning in novel ways.

If we were to look at it from a completely neurological perspective, in which ideation is merely neural complexes, as images or sensations are made conscious, to what are they being made conscious? It's easy to say ideation is merely neural firings, in the brain, but as ideas, what is witnessing those ideas?

I don't think my points even matter whether it is or isn't completely neurological. Either consciousness needs interaction with the physical world to form or it is pre-loaded with knowledge. If it is the former, there is no need to have anything watching it, it grows from its own experience.

I believe consciousness is an interaction, between stimuli and neurological responses; and, being an interaction, it is a new conception, or marrying of the outside world to that which is on the inside. However, this does not answer the problem of reflection. Is an idea or sensation witnessing itself? And, if so, how can it perceive beyond its own parameters?


Let's do a little experiment.

What do you think about the mizathadawic?
What do you think of the big nosed yellow bellied wudget?


I assume the first thing is meaningless to you. In my consciousness I pictured something and gave it a name, can you even picture it? The second thing still fictional, has body parts and colors. I'm sure your consciousness can even possibly form a picture of what the big nosed yellow bellied wudget looks like. It can at least take a stab at it. The only reason your consciousness can do something with it is because your past history with colors and body parts.

Now lets move to something that is the peice de resistance of consciousness, you know that you are thinking about something. I'm thinking about thinking. That is tougher to proclaim arises from experience, but simply put we don't know a person who was raised without any interaction what so ever would even develop that level of thought on such abstract matters.

Is thinking self evident? Maybe not, if one does not have the previous history to be taught that the internal process of though is something.

I agree thought is created by the individual's interaction with the outside world. However, what is evaluating and judging thought?

That is the million $ question. Can you even judge thought without developing the experience thus intuition to realize you are having thought?

Think of it this way. How do you judge a smell? We have an underdeveloped vocabulary and have just a few words for smell, such as musty. The rest of them are similes. Smells like a skunk, smells like an orange, smells like......

Take away the "like something", how can your consciousness describe it? It really can't from a detailed perspective. You have to turn to describing it as to how it makes you feel. It smells pleasant. It makes me want to hurl.

I bet that you never even knew that you had such a gap in ability to think about how to describe a smell. Now that you just had an experience highlighting that gap you can now ponder on it, but you can't come up with a way to describe smells other than analogy, stating what it is from, describing how well you rate its pleasantness, or creating new words for it. We made words for taste, but there are too many smells to create words for.

The understanding of the thoughts of a physical smell and other things such as language, brain operation, start to allow the development of abstract thought, so again nothing is observing or judging my thoughts or forming them for me other than experience and a snowball effect to grow the tool kit that allows me to conceptualize.

If one looks at the diversity of thought and belief, it would tend to support this theory. Our similarities in thought and belief result from similar experiences. IE: Americans tend to support capitalism with lending. Fundamentalist Muslims support caps on interest for loans. Completely different experiences and both arrive to use consciousness to come to completely opposite conclusions.

What is universal is the ability to assimilate learning and reformulate them into different conceptual situations (thought)

At least this is the way I see it. I know it is very much open to debate.