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Author Topic: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?  (Read 307640 times)

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #100 on: 10/09/2013 17:51:06 »
A hall mark of consciousness is not just being self aware, but knowing that others are also aware, and being able to imagine or see something from the perspective of another conscious being.

That isn't a hallmark of consciousness (regardless of this label that is usually attached to it), but an indication that a certain level of intelligence has been reached. A machine can be programmed to recognise other machines and to judge that they have a different perspective on things, but with no consciousness being involved. It's important not to be misled by the labels where someone has incorrectly attached the word "consciousness" to something. "Self aware" does not require consciousness, but a lot of people assume that consciousness is tied up in the idea of awareness. A security lamp that switches on when a cat walks past at night is "aware" of the cat, but there is no concsiousness involved. Consciousness is not awareness, but a feeling of awareness; a feeling of understanding something; a feeling of some kind or other. It is always a feeling.

I don't know if the cat and lamp post is the best analogy. Even if the lamp post is set up to turn on all the other lamp posts in the yard that do not sense the cat, they essentially become parts of the same machine. Not to mention the fact that the lamp post is not really "aware" of a cat, or the significance of cats, it's detecting something like movement and is as likely to be set off by rustling leaves. In the chimp experiment, the threat was someone dressed as a veterinarian with a large needle, that all the chimps were afraid of because of past painful vaccinations. 

I suspect whatever experiment is offered up, someone will claim they can replicate the details of it with computers, or that the experiment cannot prove what the chimp is actually "feeling," therefore it cannot tell us anything about true consciousness, whose definition, like the word "feeling," remains elusive and constantly changing.

As flawed as these experiments may be, I still feel they contribute something to the bulk of evidence supporting a biological basis of consciousness. And certainly the explanations are more reasonable than claiming the consciousness springs from nothing at all, which reminds me of the spontaneous generation arguments hundreds of years ago.

Recently there was news about the first brain to brain interface, in which a researcher at the University of Washington was able to move another scientist's hand across campus. That isn't exactly a Vulcan mind meld, but it's pretty cool, and it does make you wonder if these methods will become sophisticated enough to allow someone to experience another person's consciousness. But I am also afraid that if you were able to do that and hooked a person up to a chimp, DonQuixote would claim they were only experiencing the "illusion" of the chimp's consciousness.

Nevertheless, experiments can invalidate certain claims. DonQuixote asserted earlier that his consciousness or cognitive understanding informs his emotional responses, but fMRI imaging has shown that is not the actual sequence of events, make of that what you will. And you are probably also aware of FMRI imaging that demonstrates the brain deciding to act before the subject is aware that he has decided to do something. Until we can do mind melds, we may be limited in explaining the qualitative aspects of feelings, but we can certainly find out what happens when inside the brain.

But again, no matter what research methodology or evidence is offered up, no matter how much science progresses towards understanding phenomena which were once thought to be not only unmeasurable, but untraceable and undefinable, it's never enough for those who cannot or do not want to believe that we are physical beings and mortal.

I am gonna respond only to what you said about me , to some extent at least :
First of all , I cannot say i understand what consciousness is or how it operates ,let alone that i can do just that in relation to awareness ...I just said things in that regard without really thinking about what i was saying .

Second : i am well aware of those experiments that show that one can predict the potential "decisions " of a subject , 6 secs before he/she  can do that himself/herself : but , those experiments were just conducted at the level of the brain only = our decisions do involve sub-conscious as well as conscious elements though : so , just studying the brain only in that regard would only give us incomplete and non-conclusive results on the subject at hand .

But then again, our Cooper or dlorde here would say that mechanical systems or programmed machines can make "decisions" also ,even though they cannot be conscious ...But , i think that our decision -making process is in a way different than those of machines, in the sense that our mind did not "emerge " from our evolved brain = our mind has some degree of independence= our mind is not mechanical  ...I dunno ...The notion of human free will is a very nasty elusive deceptive one  humanity has been struggling with for so long now that there seems to be no end in sight to it,so... We cannot pretend to solve that human free will issue .....for the time being at least though .

Which brings us back to square zero again ,regarding the issue of the brain and consciousness :

I assume that they are both different "systems " which do correlate and interact with each other ,materialists mainly do confuse with ..causation though .
« Last Edit: 10/09/2013 18:00:44 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #101 on: 10/09/2013 18:10:42 »
How can you consider the following as a scientific approach , and not as a materialistic view point :

Our alleged evolved ability to  rebel against our genes ,via our evolved brain , and therefore to be independent in that regard at least : how can our mechanical brain accomplish such a performance   then ? How can a mechanical system such as our brain generate such independence ?

How can that alleged independence "emerge " from our complex evolved so-called mechanical brain then ?

It might be more correct to say that the genes aren't overridden - they program for a system which is capable of calculating intelligently, so the genes are still winning out. It's only the simpler systems which aren't able to calculate intelligently that are being overridden by the newer system involving complex thinking. When you look at it like that, it's not so very different from two competing instincts, one which tries to make an animal run away from a possible danger while another instinct makes it stay where it is in order to continue feeding on some good fruit that's growing on a bush. If the fear outweighs the desire to eat, the animal will run away. When you add some decent calculation into the equation and make it a person feeding from a bush covered in fruit while a lion is approaching, that person can override the fear based on the knowledge that there is a hidden ravine between him and the lion which it won't be able to cross. Knowledge and understanding overrides the fear and may even remove the fear altogether. This could happen in many animals too, their knowledge of things unseen being used to override/modify their feelings. It's a small step from there to more complex thoughts also being able to override instinctive behaviours, so it isn't such a jump to get to the point where we can reject our instinct to be violent and suppress those desires deliberately in order to live in a more peaceful, safe society.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #102 on: 10/09/2013 18:11:00 »
I think we are approaching DQ's definition of consciousness as "that which is unique to humans".

Problem is that we can trace a continuum of evolution that suggests a common ancestor with some nonhuman species - gorillas, orangutans, etc., so he needs to tell us whether this mysterious attribute occurred at the moment of divergence or some time later in the hominid line, and why, if it is so closely associated with a purely genetic origin, it is itself not genetic and therefore mechanistic in origin.

It's also slightly odd that although we exploit various animals, the only ones that fully and willingly integrate into human society as partners are dogs, which are very different from the apes we resemble. Can it be that they share our consciousness, whatever that means? 
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #103 on: 10/09/2013 18:35:27 »
How can you consider the following as a scientific approach , and not as a materialistic view point :

Our alleged evolved ability to  rebel against our genes ,via our evolved brain , and therefore to be independent in that regard at least : how can our mechanical brain accomplish such a performance   then ? How can a mechanical system such as our brain generate such independence ?

How can that alleged independence "emerge " from our complex evolved so-called mechanical brain then ?

It might be more correct to say that the genes aren't overridden - they program for a system which is capable of calculating intelligently, so the genes are still winning out. It's only the simpler systems which aren't able to calculate intelligently that are being overridden by the newer system involving complex thinking. When you look at it like that, it's not so very different from two competing instincts, one which tries to make an animal run away from a possible danger while another instinct makes it stay where it is in order to continue feeding on some good fruit that's growing on a bush. If the fear outweighs the desire to eat, the animal will run away. When you add some decent calculation into the equation and make it a person feeding from a bush covered in fruit while a lion is approaching, that person can override the fear based on the knowledge that there is a hidden ravine between him and the lion which it won't be able to cross. Knowledge and understanding overrides the fear and may even remove the fear altogether. This could happen in many animals too, their knowledge of things unseen being used to override/modify their feelings. It's a small step from there to more complex thoughts also being able to override instinctive behaviours, so it isn't such a jump to get to the point where we can reject our instinct to be violent and suppress those desires deliberately in order to live in a more peaceful, safe society.

That might be relatively true ,if we eliminate the hard problem of human consciousness from the "equation " ,but we can't ...

The human mind or the human consciousness are no mechanical processes : no one has been able to prove just that = makes no sense whatsoever either , unless we confine ourselves within the narrow exclusive boundaries key holes or tunnel visions of the mechanical materialism on the subject .

Our consciousness or mind might be just sophisticated built -in in our evolutionary alleged mechanical systems illusions survival strategies , but then again , that would imply that all our knowledge , including the scientific one, including that concerning evolution itself ...to mention just that ...that would imply explicitly that they are all just illusions = a paradox .

At the other hand , If consciousness is real , you cannot "build " it in mechanical systems it cannot rise from = i do not see how one can do just that in fact , no matter how you try to "incorporate or integrate " consciousness in mechanical systems ,via trying to find out how the mechanical data gets translated or converted to consciousness, as you put it at least  : maybe our consciousness just gets informed somehow ,don't tell me how, i dunno, via our sensory "inputs " about some data it acts upon as a result by triggering the response to that data generated by our senses, to action , i dunno - I am as in the dark in this as we all are : we are stuck in this, for the time being at least .


 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #104 on: 10/09/2013 18:58:38 »
The human mind or the human consciousness are no mechanical processes : no one has been able to prove just that = makes no sense whatsoever either , unless we confine ourselves within the narrow exclusive boundaries key holes or tunnel visions of the mechanical materialism on the subject .

The problem is that we have a mechanical biological machine that acts mechanically without appearing to need consciousness. A simple example is with pain where an input signalling potential damage feeds into some part of the brain where pain is perhaps experienced, then a signal goes on from there to trigger an action to respond to it, but the part of that model where pain is experienced is superfluous as the input signal might as well just become the output signal without any pain being generated in the middle. That doesn't mean that pain isn't generated somewhere along the way, but with humans at least there is also data generated which asserts that there was some pain generated. If that is really happening (i.e. pain is being felt and the information is being informed of that), then there has to be a mechanism of some kind which generates that information, so putting consciousness into the model requires it to tie into the whole system mechanically.

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At the other hand , If consciousness is real , you cannot "build " it in mechanical systems it cannot rise from = i do not see how one can do just that in fact , no matter how you try to "incorporate or integrate " consciousness in mechanical systems ,via trying to find out how the mechanical data gets translated or converted to consciousness, as you put it at least  : maybe our consciousness just gets informed somehow ,don't tell me how, i dunno, via our sensory "inputs " about some data it acts upon as a result by triggering the response to that data generated by our senses, to action , i dunno - I am as in the dark in this as we all are : we are stuck in this, for the time being at least .

It is not beyond possibility that consciousness is not found within the biological machines that we see. They could be more like books. You read a book and get caught up in the story and feel for the characters in it. This universe might be a virtual realm that holds interactive stories, and consciousnesses on the outside (the real us) get tied into it such that they can feel for the machines which they are in control of. But the key thing here is that controlling aspect. If our feelings are causing those machines to behave differently depending on how we feel, there must be a causation mechanism involved by which those feelings lead to the machines being steered in their behaviour. You can try to replace mechanism with magic, but in doing so you can only hide mechanism - there must still be a mechanism by which any magic operates, so it is not a good answer to anything.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2013 19:00:49 by David Cooper »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #105 on: 10/09/2013 19:43:20 »
The human mind or the human consciousness are no mechanical processes : no one has been able to prove just that = makes no sense whatsoever either , unless we confine ourselves within the narrow exclusive boundaries key holes or tunnel visions of the mechanical materialism on the subject .

The problem is that we have a mechanical biological machine that acts mechanically without appearing to need consciousness. A simple example is with pain where an input signalling potential damage feeds into some part of the brain where pain is perhaps experienced, then a signal goes on from there to trigger an action to respond to it, but the part of that model where pain is experienced is superfluous as the input signal might as well just become the output signal without any pain being generated in the middle. That doesn't mean that pain isn't generated somewhere along the way, but with humans at least there is also data generated which asserts that there was some pain generated. If that is really happening (i.e. pain is being felt and the information is being informed of that), then there has to be a mechanism of some kind which generates that information, so putting consciousness into the model requires it to tie into the whole system mechanically.

Pain is real ,not an illusion,  dude :

You cannot build the human real feeling of pain in a machine either ,no matter how hard you try to do just that, you can just make it simulate that = you cannot make any mechanical system generate a totally different process than his ,no way  .

Consciousness is immaterial = you cannot decide to turn it into a mechanical process , by somehow changing its immaterial nature via some magical trick , just in order to make it fit into your world view ...no way .

what if consciousness is primordial ? What if consciousness is the real boss  that 's in charge of our whole system ,and our biology is just its executive power ,relatively speaking ,so to speak ?
What if brain and mind are 2 different systems in relation to their entirely different natures that  do interact with each other , but do not cause each other ?
How they might correlate with each other is still a mystery indeed .

But i cannot see how one can integrate the immaterial consciousness or the mind in any mechanical system for that matter , no way : you cannot include consciosness which is immaterial within a mechanical system .

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At the other hand , If consciousness is real , you cannot "build " it in mechanical systems it cannot rise from = i do not see how one can do just that in fact , no matter how you try to "incorporate or integrate " consciousness in mechanical systems ,via trying to find out how the mechanical data gets translated or converted to consciousness, as you put it at least  : maybe our consciousness just gets informed somehow ,don't tell me how, i dunno, via our sensory "inputs " about some data it acts upon as a result by triggering the response to that data generated by our senses, to action , i dunno - I am as in the dark in this as we all are : we are stuck in this, for the time being at least .

It is not beyond possibility that consciousness is not found within the biological machines that we see. They could be more like books. You read a book and get caught up in the story and feel for the characters in it. This universe might be a virtual realm that holds interactive stories, and consciousnesses on the outside (the real us) get tied into it such that they can feel for the machines which they are in control of. But the key thing here is that controlling aspect. If our feelings are causing those machines to behave differently depending on how we feel, there must be a causation mechanism involved by which those feelings lead to the machines being steered in their behaviour. You can try to replace mechanism with magic, but in doing so you can only hide mechanism - there must still be a mechanism by which any magic operates, so it is not a good answer to anything.

Do not confuse the ordinary "magical" tricks (That's no magic in fact : that can be explained by certain corresponding mechanisms indeed )   conducted by illusionists, no matter how sophisticated they might ever be,  with the hard problem of consciousness .

You do not realise the fact that you are the one who's trying to introduce magic into a mechanical system , by trying to make consciousness fit into it .

It would take an act of magic indeed haha to do just that = cannot be done in fact .


What if consciousness is immaterial and therefore it behaves via non-mechanical processes then ?

How the alleged mechanical brain interacts with the non-mechanical consciousness is yet another mystery we cannot explain either .

We cannot prove all the above  to be the case either , as we cannot try to explain how the different systems : consciousness and brain , do interact with each other , without causing each other = the executive power does not get caused by the legislative one = the legislative power does not create the executive power , so to speak , physically , or vice versa = the ordinary executive power is made of already existing people and vice versa  = this is just an analogy , no comparison though .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #106 on: 10/09/2013 19:52:55 »
Many scientific studies have come  across that mysterious healing power of the mind in relation to the body they cannot explain :

See just this scientific study on the subject concerning :

Placebo-Cracking the Code = They have cracked no code in fact :

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/placebo-cracking-code/

P.S.: Humanity today still cannot seem to be able to find its way concerning its attempts to figure out what ,on earth, the nature or function of human consciousness are :

We are all stuck in this dead-end street = cul de sac , as the French say .
« Last Edit: 10/09/2013 19:57:41 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #107 on: 10/09/2013 20:11:58 »
How can you consider the following as a scientific approach , and not as a materialistic view point :
I've no idea - did someone say that?

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Our alleged evolved ability to  rebel against our genes ,via our evolved brain , and therefore to be independent in that regard at least : how can our mechanical brain accomplish such a performance   then ? How can a mechanical system such as our brain generate such independence ?

How can that alleged independence "emerge " from our complex evolved so-called mechanical brain then ?

You tell me ...
In brief, the success of a more nuanced approach to behaviour drove the evolution of the neocortex in mammals. It provides an extra level of behavioural complexity and subtlety, and can modify, redirect, or suppress many of the simpler behavioural responses from the 'earlier' parts of the brain.

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See that post of yours here above ,as a reply to mine on the subject thus :

(So , you have been deceiving us , I trusted you ....learn to live with it ....things like that .... ).
'Learn to live with it' is common-sense recommendation. I don't see any irrationality there. For the rest, it was a light-hearted comment on your extraordinary "let's stop deceiving each other , let's be honest", with it's implications of deceit and dishonesty. I added a smiley specifically so you wouldn't misread it...
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #108 on: 10/09/2013 20:22:45 »
our Cooper or dlorde here would say that mechanical systems or programmed machines can make "decisions" also ,even though they cannot be conscious ...
As it happens, I wouldn't say that, and I'd appreciate you quoting what I actually do say rather than putting words in my mouth.

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.. i think that our decision -making process is in a way different than those of machines, in the sense that our mind did not "emerge " from our evolved brain = our mind has some degree of independence= our mind is not mechanical  ...I dunno
Is this an 'argument from incredulity' or a circular argument ? I have a sneaking suspicion it's both.
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #109 on: 10/09/2013 20:48:54 »
Pain is real ,not an illusion,  dude :

How can you be so sure that it's real? You could just be a machine being tricked into generating data that asserts that it's real. This possibility must be seriously considered until we can find some useful way of fitting pain into the model.

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You cannot build the human real feeling of pain in a machine either ,no matter how hard you try to do just that, you can just make it simulate that = you cannot make any mechanical system generate a totally different process than his ,no way  .

I'm using the word "mechanical" in a wider sense than normal, taking my lead in that regard from the words "mechanism" and "mechanistic". The point of using these words is to point to chains of cause and effect which make up the process by which things function. If pain is to cause a response, that is an act of causation. It is mechanistic. Mechanical. If you deny its mechanical nature, you are taking away its ability to cause anything. If pain can't cause a response, it can have no role in the response system.

[Note: in English, "it can have no role" actually means "it cannot have any role". I used the first of these phrase formulae above for stylistic reasons because that is the normal way to express things, though it may be unclear to someone whose first language is not English.]

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Consciousness is immaterial = you cannot decide to turn it into a mechanical process , by somehow changing its immaterial nature via some magical trick , just in order to make it fit into your world view ...no way .

I don't care what label you want to attach to it in the way of material/immaterial - what matters is its role as part of a mechanism.

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what if consciousness is primordial ? What if consciousness is the real boss  that 's in charge of our whole system ,and our biology is just its executive power ,relatively speaking ,so to speak ?
What if brain and mind are 2 different systems in relation to their entirely different natures that  do interact with each other , but do not cause each other ?
How they might correlate with each other is still a mystery indeed .

What if the real boss is something else and somewhere else? Well, how does it link up with the biological machine to make that machine function? How can the machine act without being caused to act by the real boss elsewhere? The chains of causation (i.e. the mechanism) cannot simply be ignored by having two systems and trying to link them by magic.

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But i cannot see how one can integrate the immaterial consciousness or the mind in any mechanical system for that matter , no way : you cannot include consciosness which is immaterial within a mechanical system .

Let me translate your words above into another form for you:-

But i cannot see how one can integrate the immaterial cause in the same system as the material effect of that cause, no way : you cannot include an immaterial cause with a mechanical effect.

In other words, consciousness cannot control a biological machine. There is no way in which your immaterial desires can make your body act on them, so if the delicious smell of that bread makes you want to eat some, your body will not respond to that drive which is thus rendered irrelevant. Qualia can have no role in the system because you have banned them from interacting with the mechanical system.

[Note: the above does not represent my view of things, but is a logical extension of your view.]

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Do not confuse the ordinary "magical" tricks (That's no magic in fact : that can be explained by certain corresponding mechanisms indeed )   conducted by illusionists, no matter how sophisticated they might ever be,  with the hard problem of consciousness .

When I talk of magic, I'm referring to the Harry Potter variety: not simple tricks, but supernatural powers. But even then, these powers if they were to be real would still have a hidden mechanism by which they operate, so the distinction is really about whether they can be explained by known laws of physics or unknown ones. Magicians act within known laws. Wizards (of the kind found in fiction) need to use laws outside of known physics.

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You do not realise the fact that you are the one who's trying to introduce magic into a mechanical system , by trying to make consciousness fit into it .

No, I'm trying to eliminate all the magic by aiming to identify the full chain of causation in the system. Consciousness cannot drive anything without causation, and causation = mechanism.

The model has to take the form: A causes B, B causes C, C causes D, D causes E, E causes F. To add non-mechanistic consciousness into that system you would need to add something to say: A doesn't cause X, X doesn't cause Y, Y doesn't cause Z, Z doesn't cause F, and then assert that the "X doesn't cause Y" part of it has a key role in the chain "A causes F". It clearly doesn't. It has no role in the chain "A causes F" at all.

If it is to have a role, we have to rewrite the chain as: A causes X, X causes Y, Y causes Z, Z causes F. We now have a new model for the chain "A causes F" with consciousness as part of a replacement mechanism, but we still have a mechanistic system. The problem now though is that if the chain "A causes B, B causes C, C causes D, D causes E, E causes F" still looks valid, the new chain must either override it or be overridden by it whenever they disagree. Only one of them can be valid while the other is wrong, unless they always happen to agree by chance such that it's impossible to identify which one would override the other, though in such a case it would render consciousness redundant. It would also prevent the system from reporting that it has consciousness unless the system which has no knowledge of consciousness happens to generate fictions about consciousness which happen by luck to be true.

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What if consciousness is immaterial and therefore it behaves via non-mechanical processes then ?

You would have non-mechanical causes which are unable to cause their mechanical effects.

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We cannot prove all the above  to be the case either , as we cannot try to explain how the different systems : consciousness and brain , do interact with each other , without causing each other = the executive power does not get caused by the legislative one = the legislative power does not create the executive power , so to speak , physically , or vice versa = the ordinary executive power is made of already existing people and vice versa  = this is just an analogy , no comparison though .

That might or might not make sense, depending on what it means.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2013 21:04:44 by David Cooper »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #110 on: 11/09/2013 04:51:22 »
Consciousness is immaterial = you cannot decide to turn it into a mechanical process , by somehow changing its immaterial nature via some magical trick , just in order to make it fit into your world view ...no way


....But i cannot see how one can integrate the immaterial consciousness or the mind in any mechanical system for that matter , no way : you cannot include consciosness which is immaterial within a mechanical system .

Let me translate your words above into another form for you:-

But i cannot see how one can integrate the immaterial cause in the same system as the material effect of that cause, no way : you cannot include an immaterial cause with a mechanical effect.

In other words, consciousness cannot control a biological machine. There is no way in which your immaterial desires can make your body act on them, so if the delicious smell of that bread makes you want to eat some, your body will not respond to that drive which is thus rendered irrelevant. Qualia can have no role in the system because you have banned them from interacting with the mechanical system.


It would seem that it has to work both ways. If consciousness is immaterial, truly separate, different, than there is no way it should control or affect biological or physical activities. You cannot have your metaphysical cake and eat it too.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #111 on: 11/09/2013 19:26:56 »
...if you were able to do that and hooked a person up to a chimp, DonQuixote would claim they were only experiencing the "illusion" of the chimp's consciousness.

That would be a fun experiment, though any feelings involved in the human triggered by the inputs from the chimp would depend on human feelings which might be nothing like those experienced by the chimp. It is interesting though that our friend DonQuichotte thinks chimps lack consciousness. There's a biological machine which is almost the same as us and superior intellectually to some people, and yet chimps supposedly lack consciousness while people have it. All these mechanisms which we have that are driven by likes and dislikes, by discomfort and pleasure, are unnecessary in all other creatures? They are all zombies? Why do we have them if all other creatures have no need of them?

I never said that chimps lacked consciousness : they have a lesser degree of consciousness , compared to humans , for example (There is no comparison between the 2 in fact , in that regard at least ):there are degrees and levels of consciousness we can find in all creatures , including maybe in the inorganic matter or atoms , as some might say :

There are even many levels of human consciousness as well , few people can pretend to achieve .

Man's consciousness is unique , in the sense that it is not matched by that of any other living organism or inorganic matter .

Your wicked denigrating statement that some chimps are intellectually more superior to some humans ...is worst than racism by the way :

In fact , superior or inferior judgements of value have no meaning , in evolutionary terms .





 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #112 on: 11/09/2013 19:39:38 »

I never said that chimps lacked consciousness : they have a lesser degree of consciousness , compared to humans , for example (There is no comparison between the 2 in fact , in that regard at least ):there are degrees and levels of consciousness we can find in all creatures ,......

.........In fact , superior or inferior judgements of value have no meaning , in evolutionary terms .

So, ignoring the fact that you refuse to define consciouness, (a) how do you measure it and (b) how do you reconcile your two statements above?
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #113 on: 11/09/2013 19:40:11 »
Consciousness is immaterial = you cannot decide to turn it into a mechanical process , by somehow changing its immaterial nature via some magical trick , just in order to make it fit into your world view ...no way


....But i cannot see how one can integrate the immaterial consciousness or the mind in any mechanical system for that matter , no way : you cannot include consciosness which is immaterial within a mechanical system .

Let me translate your words above into another form for you:-

But i cannot see how one can integrate the immaterial cause in the same system as the material effect of that cause, no way : you cannot include an immaterial cause with a mechanical effect.

In other words, consciousness cannot control a biological machine. There is no way in which your immaterial desires can make your body act on them, so if the delicious smell of that bread makes you want to eat some, your body will not respond to that drive which is thus rendered irrelevant. Qualia can have no role in the system because you have banned them from interacting with the mechanical system.


It would seem that it has to work both ways. If consciousness is immaterial, truly separate, different, than there is no way it should control or affect biological or physical activities. You cannot have your metaphysical cake and eat it too.

I am sorry to say that you all sound to me as short sighted people on the issue of consciousness at least , due to your world views on the matter , you do confuse with science proper , wihtout being able to realise that fact , unfortuantely enough .

Your reduced levels of consciousness do the rest ,as a result .

Try to listen to this very interesting interview of a quantum physicist regarding consciousness through  Higgins' field ...:


"The mind of God " expression in the video is just a metaphor though .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #114 on: 11/09/2013 19:48:16 »

I never said that chimps lacked consciousness : they have a lesser degree of consciousness , compared to humans , for example (There is no comparison between the 2 in fact , in that regard at least ):there are degrees and levels of consciousness we can find in all creatures ,......

.........In fact , superior or inferior judgements of value have no meaning , in evolutionary terms .

So, ignoring the fact that you refuse to define consciouness, (a) how do you measure it and (b) how do you reconcile your two statements above?

Humans have way too many extended levels of consciousness ,compared to the rest = no comparison , in fact , just an analogy .

There are also humans individuals who can reach more levels of consciousness , than other humans individuals, as this thread shows .= we do not all reach the same levels of human consciousness = some people are able to reach more levels of consciousness than other humans can ever be , as this thread shows , for example ,and once again  .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #115 on: 11/09/2013 20:14:26 »
Pain is real ,not an illusion,  dude :

How can you be so sure that it's real? You could just be a machine being tricked into generating data that asserts that it's real. This possibility must be seriously considered until we can find some useful way of fitting pain into the model.

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You cannot build the human real feeling of pain in a machine either ,no matter how hard you try to do just that, you can just make it simulate that = you cannot make any mechanical system generate a totally different process than his ,no way  .

I'm using the word "mechanical" in a wider sense than normal, taking my lead in that regard from the words "mechanism" and "mechanistic". The point of using these words is to point to chains of cause and effect which make up the process by which things function. If pain is to cause a response, that is an act of causation. It is mechanistic. Mechanical. If you deny its mechanical nature, you are taking away its ability to cause anything. If pain can't cause a response, it can have no role in the response system.

[Note: in English, "it can have no role" actually means "it cannot have any role". I used the first of these phrase formulae above for stylistic reasons because that is the normal way to express things, though it may be unclear to someone whose first language is not English.]

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Consciousness is immaterial = you cannot decide to turn it into a mechanical process , by somehow changing its immaterial nature via some magical trick , just in order to make it fit into your world view ...no way .

I don't care what label you want to attach to it in the way of material/immaterial - what matters is its role as part of a mechanism.

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what if consciousness is primordial ? What if consciousness is the real boss  that 's in charge of our whole system ,and our biology is just its executive power ,relatively speaking ,so to speak ?
What if brain and mind are 2 different systems in relation to their entirely different natures that  do interact with each other , but do not cause each other ?
How they might correlate with each other is still a mystery indeed .

What if the real boss is something else and somewhere else? Well, how does it link up with the biological machine to make that machine function? How can the machine act without being caused to act by the real boss elsewhere? The chains of causation (i.e. the mechanism) cannot simply be ignored by having two systems and trying to link them by magic.

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But i cannot see how one can integrate the immaterial consciousness or the mind in any mechanical system for that matter , no way : you cannot include consciosness which is immaterial within a mechanical system .

Let me translate your words above into another form for you:-

But i cannot see how one can integrate the immaterial cause in the same system as the material effect of that cause, no way : you cannot include an immaterial cause with a mechanical effect.

In other words, consciousness cannot control a biological machine. There is no way in which your immaterial desires can make your body act on them, so if the delicious smell of that bread makes you want to eat some, your body will not respond to that drive which is thus rendered irrelevant. Qualia can have no role in the system because you have banned them from interacting with the mechanical system.

[Note: the above does not represent my view of things, but is a logical extension of your view.]

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Do not confuse the ordinary "magical" tricks (That's no magic in fact : that can be explained by certain corresponding mechanisms indeed )   conducted by illusionists, no matter how sophisticated they might ever be,  with the hard problem of consciousness .

When I talk of magic, I'm referring to the Harry Potter variety: not simple tricks, but supernatural powers. But even then, these powers if they were to be real would still have a hidden mechanism by which they operate, so the distinction is really about whether they can be explained by known laws of physics or unknown ones. Magicians act within known laws. Wizards (of the kind found in fiction) need to use laws outside of known physics.

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You do not realise the fact that you are the one who's trying to introduce magic into a mechanical system , by trying to make consciousness fit into it .

No, I'm trying to eliminate all the magic by aiming to identify the full chain of causation in the system. Consciousness cannot drive anything without causation, and causation = mechanism.

The model has to take the form: A causes B, B causes C, C causes D, D causes E, E causes F. To add non-mechanistic consciousness into that system you would need to add something to say: A doesn't cause X, X doesn't cause Y, Y doesn't cause Z, Z doesn't cause F, and then assert that the "X doesn't cause Y" part of it has a key role in the chain "A causes F". It clearly doesn't. It has no role in the chain "A causes F" at all.

If it is to have a role, we have to rewrite the chain as: A causes X, X causes Y, Y causes Z, Z causes F. We now have a new model for the chain "A causes F" with consciousness as part of a replacement mechanism, but we still have a mechanistic system. The problem now though is that if the chain "A causes B, B causes C, C causes D, D causes E, E causes F" still looks valid, the new chain must either override it or be overridden by it whenever they disagree. Only one of them can be valid while the other is wrong, unless they always happen to agree by chance such that it's impossible to identify which one would override the other, though in such a case it would render consciousness redundant. It would also prevent the system from reporting that it has consciousness unless the system which has no knowledge of consciousness happens to generate fictions about consciousness which happen by luck to be true.

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What if consciousness is immaterial and therefore it behaves via non-mechanical processes then ?

You would have non-mechanical causes which are unable to cause their mechanical effects.

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We cannot prove all the above  to be the case either , as we cannot try to explain how the different systems : consciousness and brain , do interact with each other , without causing each other = the executive power does not get caused by the legislative one = the legislative power does not create the executive power , so to speak , physically , or vice versa = the ordinary executive power is made of already existing people and vice versa  = this is just an analogy , no comparison though .

That might or might not make sense, depending on what it means.


The core point here , we all seem to have forgotten is :

How can a mechanical system create the mind or consciousness ,once again ?

No one has ever been able to answer just that question : so, you guys , just resort to that promissory messianic materialism alternative circle "reasoning "  or exit strategy , instead of acknowledging your obvious impotence on the subject , especially after realising the fact that materialism 's approach of consciousness was / is just a magical "emergence " trick .

What if causation is just an illusion we take for real , as David Hume tried to prove ?

What if there is no such a thing as mechanical systems , when it comes to living organisms , or even when it comes to inorganic matter ?

What if cause and effect were / are just illusions thus ?

If, say , i was experiencing some frustrations at work ...in my family life ...and i happen to meet you , as a friend , in the street : let's say you propose to take me for a drink , in order to chill out and release stress  : then , we start talking about this and that : later on, human consciousness grabs our attention and we focus on it :

As a guy who presumabely works with machines , as opposed to me as just an artist who's no expert on evolution, mechanical systems , biology ...you suddenly make a mistake of saying that some people are lower than chimps intellectually , just because they might be relatively ignorant ,as we all are regarding this or that , regarding some subjects or sciences , relatively speaking : you get a punch in the face while falling on the ground , without realising what hit you : would i have caused your potential self-defence or survival reaction ,as a result , that might have put you in more or less danger ?

Your brain would react to that feeling of pain ,via your sensory "inputs " , by triggering a potential reaction ,would i have caused that ?

Would i have caused any potential lethal threat to your life , depending on your reaction ?

....

I was once crazy about football to the point where i threw my tv set out of the window when i saw the defeat of my preferred club : the tv set almost landed on the head of an innocent pedestrian = I almost killed the guy that way : that episode of my life helped me cure myself from my football fanatism ,later on .

That destroyed tv set of mine on the street stopped functioning of course: take it as a metaphor for the human brain then : did that mean that my tv set created the tv signals it used to receive when it was functioning ?

Get real ,grow up , get  better adults'  behaviours , get  a  better life and better world views via trying to extend your level of consciousness, life experiences ...and relative knowledge ...if you wanna increase your survival and beyond that chances at least ...

Good luck .

 

« Last Edit: 11/09/2013 20:23:38 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #116 on: 11/09/2013 20:37:22 »
Action triggered by or in fact as equal to the human mind put in motion via Higgins' field that maybe , just maybe gets in its turn made in motion by a higher power that might hold everything existing together for that matter, our minds that depend on or tend to long for unity with that fundamental root capacity of that higher power or root  Self  , that action might be the core " building block element " of the  "structure "  of the universe , who knows ?
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #117 on: 11/09/2013 20:46:40 »
There is nothing racist in pointing out that people with severe learning disabilities can in many cases be on a lower intellectual level than chimps. It's a measurable fact.

Also, the "Higgins' field" is a snooker table.

And, there is a great danger of someone on this thread turning into a troll, so it's probably time it was locked by a moderator.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #118 on: 11/09/2013 21:13:20 »
There is nothing racist in pointing out that people with severe learning disabilities can in many cases be on a lower intellectual level than chimps. It's a measurable fact.

(Who's really intellectually lower than chimps here  is a matter of opinion indeed , and of  whishful thinking as well  = beware of what you might wish for ...= blindness of the heart is what you do seem to share with apparent genuises such as Stephen Hawking : heart's intelligence as the highest form of intelligence or intellect : heart as no emotions, feelings or biological organ ...)

You mean people who are not willing to confuse your  silly childish mechanical world view with science proper ,or rather do not share your own interpretations of science ...and who are not willing to share those silly childish mechanical word views of yours with you ...

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Also, the "Higgins' field" is a snooker table.

That quantum physicist in the above mentioned   video based his assumptions on maths and physics , assumptions i might have distorted .
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And, there is a great danger of someone on this thread turning into a troll, so it's probably time it was locked by a moderator.

Disagreeing with people and with their stupid appaling tendency to impose their world views on them, in the name of science ,are not synonymous of trolling ,dude .

Yeah, just run to mummy , and hide behind her skirt ....and do not forget to take your industrial secrets ' fantasies with you as well, while you are at it ...
« Last Edit: 11/09/2013 21:25:26 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #119 on: 11/09/2013 21:34:13 »
Mummy :

I have just discovered a brilliant fact = we are just machines: I am a genius ,and the rest are so lower than chimps intellectually  haha

You are machines indeed , how can i disagree with that fact , silly me .

What ,on earth, am i doing here talking to ...machines indeed ? haha

Why not talk to my tv set or to my dog instead = that might turn out to be more fruitfuil  and more intelligent than talking to you as self-declared and actual machines  ,who knows .

Pathetic
Sad
Tragic

 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #120 on: 11/09/2013 21:43:27 »
Final note , after that , just close this thread ,mod , if you wish to do so :
I have no objections :

This western materialistic secular atheistic civilization has been taking over  this planet and humanity for so long now that it is about time indeed to deliver both this planet and humanity from the tyranny of this so-called civilization ,despite the latter's huge material scientific and technological advances , a so-called civilization that has been turning humans into just consumptive superficial hollow machines zombies indeed , with no consciousness whatsoever ,depriving most  humans of their fundamental primary quality of them all = consciousness ,in the process  .

I have the feeling our planet have been taken over by apes, by  western mechanical  Eurocentric mainstream racist paternalistic imperialist white apes zombies , to be more precize ,ironically enough  = the planet of the mechanical white apes zombies ,mechanical white apes  zombies humanity gotta be liberated from, sooner or later= inevitable = just a matter of time thus  .

...........
Real apes  animals out there in your natural habitat : i am sorry for offending you indeed ,by calling others by your names  : i know you would understand ...



Ciao

« Last Edit: 11/09/2013 22:05:50 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #121 on: 11/09/2013 22:19:44 »
Your wicked denigrating statement that some chimps are intellectually more superior to some humans ...is worst than racism by the way :

In fact , superior or inferior judgements of value have no meaning , in evolutionary terms .
This is just nonsense - if superior or inferior value judgements have no meaning, how can they be wicked, denigrating, and worse than racism?

Nevertheless, even in healthy individuals at their peak, the average chimp is intellectually superior (i.e. can outperform) the the average human in memory tests. Of course, humans can outperform chimps in many other intellectual tasks - and, of course, plenty of other animals have better memories than we do. Nothing says human intellect is necessarily special. It's no big deal - a slime-mould can navigate a maze more efficiently than most humans; OTOH it can't write a poem.

It's nothing to do with racism. If you were going to accuse him of anything, it would be specism, but that's something else entirely.
« Last Edit: 11/09/2013 22:30:30 by dlorde »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #122 on: 11/09/2013 22:28:04 »
Mummy :

I have just discovered a brilliant fact = we are just machines: I am a genius ,and the rest are so lower than chimps intellectually  haha

You are machines indeed , how can i disagree with that fact , silly me .

What ,on earth, am i doing here talking to ...machines indeed ? haha

Why not talk to my tv set or to my dog instead = that might turn out to be more fruitfuil  and more intelligent than talking to you as self-declared and actual machines  ,who knows .

Pathetic
Sad
Tragic
I was wondering when you'd start this again...
« Last Edit: 11/09/2013 22:42:50 by dlorde »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #123 on: 11/09/2013 22:46:44 »
This western materialistic secular atheistic civilization has been taking over  this planet and humanity for so long now that it is about time indeed to deliver both this planet and humanity from the tyranny of this so-called civilization ,despite the latter's huge material scientific and technological advances , a so-called civilization that has been turning humans into just consumptive superficial hollow machines zombies indeed , with no consciousness whatsoever ,depriving most  humans of their fundamental primary quality of them all = consciousness ,in the process  .

I have the feeling our planet have been taken over by apes, by  western mechanical  Eurocentric mainstream racist paternalistic imperialist white apes zombies , to be more precize ,ironically enough  = the planet of the mechanical white apes zombies ,mechanical white apes  zombies humanity gotta be liberated from, sooner or later= inevitable = just a matter of time thus  .

...........
Real apes  animals out there in your natural habitat : i am sorry for offending you indeed ,by calling others by your names  : i know you would understand ...

So what's the plan? - or was that just more empty rhetoric?
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #124 on: 11/09/2013 23:38:35 »
Alas, the man has gone from curious eloquence to raving logorrhea. Time to move on.
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #124 on: 11/09/2013 23:38:35 »

 

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