Does something have to be able to meaningfully communicate with humans in order to be conscious

Asked by: MasturDbtor
  • Consciousness is primarily defined by communication:

    The concept of a living conscious and aware universe and all it's parts the same is not necessarily wrong but without some form of confirmation, likely through communication since consciousness as we know it is intangible and impossible to actually measure despite being partially observable, there is no way to objectively state that the particles etc. are conscious.

    Rocks are not considered conscious beings for this reason more than likely, ignoring the fact that they lack the organs often tied to consciousness itself.

  • Many Animals and Birds are already Conscious:

    Consciousness really just means Aware, and many species of creature are Aware and some are Self aware, such as can recognize themselves in mirrors, Chimpanzees and even some Ravens and the Magpie can recognize their own reflection in a mirror. Which is the main test for Self Awareness. Which equates to Consciousness. So, definitely No, as many animals that cannot communicate meaningfully with Humans are indeed Conscious. Just ask any Zoologist or Neurologists that study animal behavior like Prof. Robert Sapolsky.

  • It could be consciousbut based on the information it perceives it does not know of us even if it is next to or within us

    I have noticed a lot of the times when a theory of consciousness (or free will as free will would imply consciousness) is raised people will think it is absurd if it implies consciousness for things that can not meaningfully communicate with us.

    For instance if quantum mechanics acting through microtubules gives rise to consciousness as some scientists have conjectured then it is often criticized that this would mean any organism with cytoplasm (so all eukaryotes) would be conscious.

    But this only seems like a problem because in our daily lives we label things conscious like humans and possibly animals if we can meaningfully communicate with them, and assume it is absent if something can't. Yet this is just a bias. Eukaryotes could easily be conscious just that within their experience they receive signals only from their own environment and not us. Likewise networks of communicating eukaryotes could create "consciousness" for a larger unit like say a person or intermediate between the individual cell and a person say one's digestive system. But then while it certainly communicates with us in some ways it might just not do so in ways that we would conventionally label as showing "consciousness" and indeed may not be conscious of us in particular but that wouldn't prove it's not itself conscious since we sometimes react to things when we don't know what they are and yet this doesn't mean we are not conscious.

    Likewise a common objection to quantum free will arguments is that if randomness is free will and the real you is the thing otherwise physically separate from the Universe causing the randomness that therefore particles like electrons have free will. But why couldn't they? There's nothing at all that shows that they don't. It seems like a weird notion because we don't usually think of electrons as conscious but that's because one does not have conversations with electrons. Once again lack of communicability with us does not mean lack of consciousness. It might just not be conscious of those things necessary to communicate with us. Something does not need to be aware of us in order to be conscious.

    In fact at its most basic and simple something could just be aware of a single sensation and its presence or absence, it may even lack any understanding of its significance that is it merely experiences the signal, and that is consciousness. Thinking about this it begs for the question "what distinguishes conscious things and nonconscious things when for a thing to exist it must interact with another thing?"

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