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Author Topic: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?  (Read 307321 times)

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1650 on: 06/01/2014 21:58:33 »
Reminds me of an Arab Muslim I used to know. His father owned a vast amount of Gulf oil and this son of his thought the world revolved around himself and every thing he touched. Don reminds me a lot of that spoiled brat, makes me wonder what allegiances Don might secretly have ..........just wondering???
No comment...
 

Offline Ethos_

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1651 on: 06/01/2014 22:07:29 »
Reminds me of an Arab Muslim I used to know. His father owned a vast amount of Gulf oil and this son of his thought the world revolved around himself and every thing he touched. Don reminds me a lot of that spoiled brat, makes me wonder what allegiances Don might secretly have ..........just wondering???
No comment...
Yeah, I suppose drawing any parallels between Don and my former acquaintance would be as unscientific as Don declaring the supremacy of his theory of the immaterial nature of reality over our contemporary understanding.

I stand corrected.......But I did say; "just wondering" didn't I.

Not nearly as offensive as calling dlorde a swine or calling me a monkey!!

« Last Edit: 07/01/2014 00:57:17 by Ethos_ »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1652 on: 06/01/2014 22:23:26 »
.. where does that free will you were talking about come from then ,within the framework of materialism ?
How can free will rise from the classically materialist mechanical determinist conception of the physical reality or of  the physical  brain then ?
Read what I posted (reposted below). If you don't understand what I mean by any of it, just say what part(s) you don't understand and I'll explain. If you could have a stab at answering the question at the end, I'd be interested to hear your answer.
Personally, I see my free will as the freedom to act as determined by what makes me uniquely 'me' - my state of mind at the time of the decision, which in turn, is determined by the genetic inheritance my parents gave me, and a lifetime of development and growth, interaction with my environment and experiences; what I've been taught, and what I've learnt, and what I've thought about. That's what makes me uniquely 'me'; what else do the advocates of causal transcendence think should be involved?
« Last Edit: 06/01/2014 23:12:03 by dlorde »
 

Offline Ethos_

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1653 on: 07/01/2014 04:04:28 »
dlorde :

You're a lousy reader and a lousy scientist
And you're a lousy debater and by no means, any kind of scientist!
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1654 on: 07/01/2014 10:37:01 »
Quote
Not nearly as offensive as calling dlorde a swine or calling me a monkey!!

Why is that offensive? AFAIK neither species gets involved with religion, philosophy, or discussions about a subject they refuse to define, which makes them more intelligent and rational  than most humans.
« Last Edit: 07/01/2014 10:39:14 by alancalverd »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1655 on: 07/01/2014 12:26:39 »
Quote
Not nearly as offensive as calling dlorde a swine or calling me a monkey!!

Why is that offensive? AFAIK neither species gets involved with religion, philosophy, or discussions about a subject they refuse to define, which makes them more intelligent and rational  than most humans.
How true!
 

Offline Ethos_

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1656 on: 07/01/2014 17:20:09 »
I have allowed this discussion to become way too personal, and for that, I apologize to everyone participating in it. For that reason, I will withdraw myself from it. I'm sure Don will applaud this action but I leave him with one piece of sincere advice:

Sir Don;

Please try to examine honestly the issues raised by your fellow contributors like; delorde, Cheryl, and alancalverd. If you're wise and honest, you have a chance to learn something of value. If you continue to insist that it's your way or the high way, the remaining participants here may decide to depart as well leaving you alone with your thoughts and your theory.

Regards to all....................................Ethos



 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1657 on: 07/01/2014 17:20:45 »
Folks :

In short :

The objective reality  out there is way beyond our reach , and beyond  that of science as well ,
And beyond Stapp and DonQuichotte as well if we are to accept these preposterous immaterial assertions. In final analysis, nothing can be known, nothing we see is really there, nothing we measure is valid, even the sound we hear is only illusion, so I might as well quit listening to your crab Don because you're not real either nor will you ever be!..........................right?

You obviously did not understand those statements of mine who were corroborated and supported by Stapp, by post-modernists , as well as by the pragmatic science that's not about the truth : try to read that relevant excerpt of Stapp on the subject regarding materialist neuroscientist Gazzaniga's ethical brain then ,instead of making such a fool of yourself through these sort of empty rhetorics of yours .

 

Offline yor_on

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1658 on: 07/01/2014 17:31:57 »
Folks :

In short :

The objective reality  out there is way beyond our reach , and beyond  that of science as well , since science is just a human activity , and since the observed objective reality out there gets distorted by the minds of the observers through their a-priori held beliefs or world views that do shape their minds , and hence their thoughts , behaviours , ethics , actions ,views , opinions ....

Major proof ,once again ? : the materialist false belief or false world view that's been equated with science for so long now .
Objectivity is thus a myth , together with the so-called metaphysically -neutral science .

May I jump into this discussion?

I don't think it is impossible to define, what may be impossible is to agree on whether we have a shaper of it, or if it's just a 'fluke'. Myself I don't know, sometimes I think of the universe as something shaped to consciousness, possibly by consciousness? therefore I will not argue with people of faith, as long as I can recognize my humanity in their thoughts. There's a big difference to me, between someone having a personally felt faith, and a organization telling you what 'it is'.

also I like us all here, we don't need to agree, as long as we allow each other the opportunity to think.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1659 on: 07/01/2014 18:00:58 »
I have allowed this discussion to become way too personal

I am afraid , you haven't done anything different here so far: irrelevant though : i do not see myself reflected  in any way   whatsoever in your personal 'attacks " ,so, don't worry about just that : you might have been  just projecting ,who knows   .
Or as a great poet said : "....And i say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So, the wicked and the weak cannot fall below the lowest which  is  in you also ..."

Your confessions do not belong on a science forum either  ,go to the church for that then .

Quote
, and for that, I apologize to everyone participating in it.

No need to .Go see a priest then for that, or a therapist  .I am not one .


Quote
For that reason, I will withdraw myself from it. I'm sure Don will applaud this action but I leave him with one piece of sincere advice:

You're leaving this thread , just because you have been too personal ? What kind of "reason " is that then ?
This is not the first time you say you're leaving though : you're starting to sound like me in this regard at least  , i guess .  haha
You are starting to sound  more  like Dostoyevsky in fact who used to enjoy his repetitive confessions,after committing his 'sins " over and over again  : Nietzsche could not but despise that .


Quote
Sir Don;

Please try to examine honestly the issues raised by your fellow contributors like; delorde, Cheryl, and alancalverd. If you're wise and honest, you have a chance to learn something of value. If you continue to insist that it's your way or the high way, the remaining participants here may decide to depart as well leaving you alone with your thoughts and your theory.

I have been learning a lot from these and other materialists,you have no idea ,  who have been reflecting the beauty of my dualism ,once again, but i have never noticed or seen the hypothetical beauty of materialism .


In fact , you are the ones who do not want to listen to what some great scientists and philosophers have been saying such as T.Nagel , Sheldrake, Stapp, Chalmers , and the rest whose excerpts i have been extensively quoting all along, by violating copyright issues , just to provide you with that food for the mind  i have been 'stealing " just for you , guys  ,since you all do seem to be so starving  .
You just stick to your own materialist outdated superseded and false beliefs you have been confusing with science .

You , Ethos , do even believe in 2 mutually exclusive world views on top of that , so : you are the one that's of urgent need of that advice of yours .Thanks anyway .

Quote
Regards to all....................................Ethos

Likewise .
Take care, paradoxical Ethos : even this nick of yours is paradoxical in relation to your own mutually exclusive beliefs  .
My own nick  has been just a form of irony or sarcasm though .

You are also a very moody person through your paradoxical personality , i guess .

Ironically enough , you, Ethos , of all people here should have been agreeing with me  all along  in relation to materialism, simply because you are "a man of faith " , as you put it once .

But , i have not been religiously motivated in attacking materialism  though  ,as i said many times on the occasion : i just want you, guys , to realise the fact that materialism is no science , even though science has been materialist for so long now : i just would love to see science getting liberated from its own false materialist world view , simply because materialism is false , mainly because it cannot account for ...consciousness .

P.S.: I have just started reading " Angels and Demons " ( I do not want to watch the movie before reading the book ) By Dan Brown (Quite a fictitious  ,inspiring ,entertaining and educational based -on- the- Eurocentric -history thriller , via religious symbolism and more  ) , regarding mainly the old-new conflict between christianity and science ; such conflict that explains how when and why science has been materialist and much more , while Islam has not only never been hostile to science , but was also the creator of science ,the latter that originated from the very fertile womb, so to speak, of my own faith thus .

All the best .


« Last Edit: 07/01/2014 18:18:45 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1660 on: 07/01/2014 18:15:41 »
Sorry, that reads as trolling for me? Allowing each other to have a view without insulting is important. It's not the game, it is how it is played that matter to me. Then again, it's no good getting too emotionally involved, even though it may touch ones faith of how life is.
==

Spelling sux :)
==

Better give you the highlights of life huh :)

You're born in sh** and P**
You die in sh** and P**

Between you just try to get along, to survive.
And if you're lucky, find something that you think worthwhile.

Now prove me wrong :)
« Last Edit: 07/01/2014 18:24:02 by yor_on »
 

Offline Grimbo1

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1661 on: 07/01/2014 18:22:59 »
Still arguing guys lol.
To people with faith, there faith is all they need, faith = fact, evidence and truth.
anything else anyone might propose is all lies. You may not doubt or question the faith.

The fact that Don wants to make this part of science, just shows he does not understand
the scientific method. And he never will.
By his posts you can tell he thinks science should change to match his mystical world view.   
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1662 on: 07/01/2014 18:28:03 »
Folks :

In short :

The objective reality  out there is way beyond our reach , and beyond  that of science as well , since science is just a human activity , and since the observed objective reality out there gets distorted by the minds of the observers through their a-priori held beliefs or world views that do shape their minds , and hence their thoughts , behaviours , ethics , actions ,views , opinions ....

Major proof ,once again ? : the materialist false belief or false world view that's been equated with science for so long now .
Objectivity is thus a myth , together with the so-called metaphysically -neutral science .

May I jump into this discussion?

I don't think it is impossible to define, what may be impossible is to agree on whether we have a shaper of it, or if it's just a 'fluke'. Myself I don't know, sometimes I think of the universe as something shaped to consciousness, possibly by consciousness? therefore I will not argue with people of faith, as long as I can recognize my humanity in their thoughts. There's a big difference to me, between someone having a personally felt faith, and a organization telling you what 'it is'.

also I like us all here, we don't need to agree, as long as we allow each other the opportunity to think.

You are welcome :
Don't forget the fact that the materialist secular religion has been equated with science , for so long now , while you are at it .
QT has even proved the fact that the "truth " is mind -dependent: a-priori held world views or beliefs do shape our minds in relation to the objective reality out there , the latter that gets distorted by our own a -priori held beliefs or world views which do shape our minds , thoughts , behaviours , ethics, opinions, views ....

The separation between mind and matter is a scientific myth thus , together with objectivity and the so-called metaphysically- neutral science .

That's 1 of the reasons why science has been pragmatic , and has not been about the truth ...
That's why science has been materialist , for so long now .

That's why a lots of scientists today,together with other great minds ,  have been equating and confusing the  19th century  false materialist belief , world view , philosophy , ideology ,secular religion with no less than ...science , no wonder thus .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1663 on: 07/01/2014 18:31:09 »
Still arguing guys lol.
To people with faith, there faith is all they need, faith = fact, evidence and truth.
anything else anyone might propose is all lies. You may not doubt or question the faith.

The fact that Don wants to make this part of science, just shows he does not understand
the scientific method. And he never will.
By his posts you can tell he thinks science should change to match his mystical world view.

You cannot be more ...wrong and totally incorrect about all that : see my posts on the subject .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1664 on: 07/01/2014 18:32:50 »
dlorde :

You're a lousy reader and a lousy scientist
And you're a lousy debater and by no means, any kind of scientist!

Well, it is  a matter of opinion or rather ...(mis)interpretation thus .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1665 on: 07/01/2014 18:35:01 »
Reminds me of an Arab Muslim I used to know. His father owned a vast amount of Gulf oil and this son of his thought the world revolved around himself and every thing he touched. Don reminds me a lot of that spoiled brat, makes me wonder what allegiances Don might secretly have ..........just wondering???
No comment...

No comment ...
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1666 on: 07/01/2014 18:36:40 »
Well, when you dead you're dead?
Or will you argue against that one?

As long as your alive. you think, and those thoughts you will argue, as you're not alone in this universe.
Will you argue that one?

What life is, will be a matter of conviction, logic, faith, and unreasonableness :)
That one might be arguable.

So, what does it make us?
Human.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1667 on: 07/01/2014 18:48:04 »
No, QT is the one that's subjective ( The founders of QT saw it as such ,remember ) : mind -dependent = a matter of interpretation , that's why there are a lots of interpretations of the Copenhagen interpretation of QT , the latter depends largely on the a -priori held beliefs or world views of the scientists thinkers in question,as we see that reflected in this very thread through Stapp's and through the materialists ' interpretations of QT  such as those of yourselves   .
Oh dear; no, QM is emphatically not subjective, the 'founders' of QM didn't think so either. Yes, there are a number of interpretations of QM, and which interpretation you subscribe to is (obviously) subjective, but they're just interpretations - ways to visualise what is happening; they make no difference whatsoever to the QM calculations. The maths tells you precisely what to expect if you do any given experiment.

Equally obviously, every observer has a subjective view of any event - in relativity, two observers in relative motion will see each other's clocks run slow. This is a real effect, and by understanding the physics behind it, the two observers can agree on a common view of the situation.

Quote
The observed objective reality out there  in general , either at the microscopic or macroscopic levels , gets distorted by the mind of the observer through the a-priori held beliefs or world views of the observer which do shape his /her mind and hence his thoughts ,behaviours , ethics , actions ....
??? Nobody is denying that reality has a distorted representation in mind of the observer, that's why the scientific method was developed. That has nothing to do with the subjective nature of context-dependent observations or quantum decoherence.

If you want a full discussion of the relationship between QM and consciousness, you'll find it here:

Is Consciousness Involved in Wave Function Collapse?

You'll need to understand the difference between a 'pure' and a 'mixed' state, between 'unitary' and 'non-unitary' processes, and between 'decoherence' and the 'collapse of the wave function'. Be very careful not to jump to conclusions & to be sure you understand exactly what they're saying.

Then you can see the difference between saying 'QM is subjective' and the measurement problem (i.e. it takes a conscious observer to perceive a single outcome).

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy gives the background to the measurement problem.

You might be interested in a recent paper that shows how standard quantum statistical mechanics is sufficient to explain the unique result of a measurement and provides compatibility with classical mechanics: Solution To Quantum Problem (full article here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0370157312004085).

To make a long story short , the following :
You clearly do not understand what i have been saying :
The separation between matter and mind ,between the observed physical reality and the mind of the observer ,  between the mind of the observer and the observed thus is a scientific ...myth = the mind intervenes in the observed physical reality ,as QT has been showing all along , as Stapp has been explaining .

You still cannot realise the fact that our own a-priori held world views or beliefs do shape our minds , in the sense that you were trying to refute Stapp's arguments just through the extensions of your materialist world view   which you have been equating and confusing with science , by (mis) interpreting the available scientific data as to make it fit into your own materialist world view, the latter which you have been taking for granted as science or as the 'scientific world view "  .

You should in fact try to refute Stapp's dualist world view that's been supported by the dualist nature of QT and thus by science   ,not through your false materialist world view , but through science : if you would try to do just the latter , by first eliminating materialism from the equation thus , you will find out that you will find yourself in a peculiar situation .

Good luck .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1668 on: 07/01/2014 18:58:12 »
.. where does that free will you were talking about come from then ,within the framework of materialism ?
How can free will rise from the classically materialist mechanical determinist conception of the physical reality or of  the physical  brain then ?
Read what I posted (reposted below). If you don't understand what I mean by any of it, just say what part(s) you don't understand and I'll explain. If you could have a stab at answering the question at the end, I'd be interested to hear your answer.
Personally, I see my free will as the freedom to act as determined by what makes me uniquely 'me' - my state of mind at the time of the decision, which in turn, is determined by the genetic inheritance my parents gave me, and a lifetime of development and growth, interaction with my environment and experiences; what I've been taught, and what I've learnt, and what I've thought about. That's what makes me uniquely 'me'; what else do the advocates of causal transcendence think should be involved?

Try to re-read Stapp's refutation (Through QM ) of materialist neuroscientist Gazzaniga's ethical brain i did post yesterday .

P.S.: I have not been having  time today to look for those Stapp's excerpts you were asking for , later , alligator .
 

Offline Grimbo1

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1669 on: 07/01/2014 19:07:34 »
science does not have to refute any ones view.
I said you did not understand science. and I was correct.
You have not explained how your theory works ie how is consciousness separate from brain.
And despite all your cut and pasting of similar views to yours. You have provided no evidence
either.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1670 on: 07/01/2014 19:34:02 »
Quote
Not nearly as offensive as calling dlorde a swine or calling me a monkey!!

Why is that offensive? AFAIK neither species gets involved with religion, philosophy, or discussions about a subject they refuse to define, which makes them more intelligent and rational  than most humans.

Your above displayed "definition" of intelligence or rationality is earth-shaking haha ......amazing .
Where are those "civilizations , science , art , history , music , literature , creativity imagination, transcendent ethics, unique language  .....of  those -more-  intelligent -rational -than -some -people  species then ? " pff...

Will you find them for me ?

Which "category" of people   do you assume you belong to ?

What makes you assume that you might be  more intelligent or more rational than some people are then ?
Are the people who deliberately absurdly do eliminate their own  most important and most fundamental feature quality side of them all from reality ,are they better or more intelligent rational than those species your were talking about ?

Are certain people who do equate and confuse their own 19th century materialist irrational dogmatic outdated false and superseded beliefs with science better or more intelligent ?

Clearly , human  cognitive  intelligence is certainly not the highest form of human intelligence thus .

Consciousness does exist and is irreducible to the physical or to the material, despite the absurd fact that your false dogmatic irrational materialist belief tells you it is , science through QT has been saying quite the opposite of what your materialist beliefs on the subject have been saying .
Should we believe what science has been saying on the subject of mind and matter  , through QT, or should we just take your materialist word for it,through your false materialist world view that's been equated with science , for so long now  ? ,
your own materialist belief you have been taking for granted as science or as "the scientific world view" thus  : it's not the " fault" of consciousness that we cannot define it clearly : it clearly cannot be defined ,simply because consciousness is non-local and hence does escape any boundaries we might impose on it through our fruitless and illogical attempts to  try to  imprison it or to localize it  capture it within the boundaries of a conceptual ...definition .
Nevertheless , we can and should study consciousness ,that's not an it in fact , not an entity , but a process , the most fundamental and important process of them all out there without which there can be no science even .

Not to mention the fact that science ,through QT , has been proving the fact that the mind of the observer does intervene in the physical reality = inevitable : the separation between matter and the mind is a scientific myth , once again .
Pfff.....
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1671 on: 07/01/2014 19:53:10 »
science does not have to refute any ones view.
I said you did not understand science. and I was correct.
You have not explained how your theory works ie how is consciousness separate from brain.
And despite all your cut and pasting of similar views to yours. You have provided no evidence
either.

You're just projecting : science is faslification : call Popper in his own grave and he will tell you all about just that  ...Popper wrote a whole book "Science as refutation, or science as falsification  ...." about that and more ...

Science is not about the truth , science is not about proving some things to be true ,but all about proving some things to be false ....

So, any theory out there , any knowledge out there which pretends to be scientific must pass the falsifiability test  (That's the only way we can distinguish between science and between pseudo-science ,according to Popper ) ,must be falsifiable testable reproducible verifiable ,to be able to be raised to the scientific status .

But , no amount of unsuccessful falsifications of any scientific theory out there whatsoever , now or in the future , can declare those scientific theories to be true ,ever .

And it would have to take only 1 single successful falsification of any scientific theory to declare it as false irreversibly .

Science is thus just about approximate conjectural knowledge , not about the truth .

Science has  been thus in fact pragmatic also , in the sense that what works for us is  "true " ,thanks mainly to William James' philosophical pragmatism that was turned into a scientific one , James' philosophical pragmatism  that changed radically our  "conventional " concept of the truth,by turning the subject -object conventional conception and relationship upside down  in his book " Does consciousness exist ? "  .

James said that consciousness does not exist as such , not as an entity at least (I agree with him on this at least, but i do reject his pragmatism  ) , but as an undivided whole  process .

And since QT has proved the fact to be correct that our version of the objective reality out there is mind-dependent by proving the fact to be correct that the mind does interevene in the physical reality (=the separation between matter and mind is a scientific myth thus ) , post-modernists philosophers have been thinking that the "truth " does not exist as such , not in this life at least (since you seem to focus your attention on the latter only ) .




There is absolutely nothing  faslifiable = testable reproducible verifiable empirical  about the materialist  world view that's been equated and confused with science or with "the scientific world view " for so long now

Materialism that's just a belief = unfalsifiable = unscientific ,as  all beliefs are ,But not all beliefs are necessarily false , as materialism is .

What is so falsifiable = scientific = emprical about the materialist 'all is matter ,including the mind " mainstream "scientific world view " then ?

What extraordinary evidence has materialism been providing for its extraordinary claims ,regarding the nature of reality then ?

Has science ever proved the materialist "fact " , or rather the materialist "all is matter " core belief assumption to be empirically correct ?

Materialism is false though , mainly because it cannot account for consciousness : see how QT has been successfully falsifying materialism .

And what do you think Stapp, Nagel, Sheldrake , Chalmers .....and the rest of those non-reductionists from whose works i have been posting extensive excerpts  were doing ? : were they just using some alien method, instead of the scientific method ?
Were they just chatting or inventing fiction ?

I think you might be just over-estimating your own capacity of judgement , that's more like it ,since you still cannot grasp or understand my simple and clear statements ,let alone those of Stapp, Nagel and the rest .

I think that you are also just confusing materialism with science ...among other possibilities ...

Ciao
« Last Edit: 07/01/2014 20:30:44 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1672 on: 07/01/2014 20:27:34 »

A Gazzaniga’s The Ethical Brain:


Michael S. Gazzaniga is a renowned cognitive neuroscientist. He was
Editor-in-Chief of the 1447 page book The Cognitive Neurosciences,
which, for the past decade, has been the fattest book in my library,
apart from ‘the unabridged’. His recent book The Ethical Brain has a
Part III entitled Free Will, Personal Responsibility, and the Law. This
part addresses, from the perspective of cognitive neuroscience, some
of the moral issues that have been dealt with in the present book.
The aim of his Part III is to reconcile the materialist idea that brain
activity is determined with the notion of moral responsibility, which
normally depends upon the idea that we human beings possess free
will.
Gazzaniga asserts:
Based on the modern understanding of neuroscience and on the
assumptions of legal concepts, I believe the following axioms:
Brains are automatic, rule-governed, determined devices, while
people are personally responsible agents, free to make their own
decisions.
One possible interpretation of these words – the quantum-theoretic
interpretation – would be that a person has both a mind (his stream of
conscious thoughts, ideas, and feelings) and a brain (made of neurons,
glia, etc), and that his decisions (his conscious moral choices) are free
(not determined by any known law), and that, moreover, the rules
that govern his brain determine the activity of his brain jointly from
the physically described properties of the brain combined with these
conscious decisions. That interpretation is essentially what orthodox
(von Neumann) quantum mechanics – and also common sense intuition
– asserts.
If this interpretation is what Gazzaniga means, then there is no
problem. But I believe that this is not what Gazzaniga means. Earlier
on he said:
The brain determines the mind, and the brain is a physical
entity subject to all the rules of the physical world. The physical
world is determined, so our brains must also be determined.
This seems to be suggesting that by ‘determined’ he means determined
solely by physically described properties, as would be the case if the
concepts of classical physics were applicable. However, what he actually
said was that “the brain is a physical entity subject to all the rules
of the physical world”. The rules of the physical world, as specified by
contemporary (orthodox quantum) theory, explain how the brain is
governed in part by the brain and in part by our conscious choices,
which themselves are not governed by any known laws. If this physicsbased
understanding of ‘determined’ is what Gazzaniga means then
there is no difficulty in reconciling the fact that an agent’s brain is
‘determined’ with the fact that this agent’s person is ‘free’: the agent’s
brain is determined partly by his brain and partly by his conscious
free choices, and hence the person whose actions this brain controls is
likewise jointly controlled by these two factors, neither of which alone
suffices.
If this contemporary-physics-based interpretation is what Gazzaniga
meant, then he could have stopped his book right there: that
interpretation is in complete accord with common sense, with normal
ethical theory, and with contemporary physics. Thus the fact that he
did not stop, but went on to write his book, including Part III, suggests
that he is using not the quantum mechanical meaning of ‘determined’;
but rather the meaning that would hold in the classical approximation,
which exorcizes all the physical effects of our conscious choices.
Indeed, he goes on to say:
If our brains are determined, then [. . . ] is the free will we seem
to experience just an illusion? And if free will is an illusion,
must we revise our concepts of what it means to be personally
responsible for our actions?
I am assuming in this appendix that Gazzaniga is adhering essentially
to nineteenth century physics, so that ‘determined’ means automatically/
mechanically determined by physically described properties
alone, like a clock, and that he is thus endeavoring to address the
question: How can one consider a person with an essentially clocklike
body-brain to be morally responsible for his actions? How can we
uphold the concept of ethical behavior within the confines of an understanding
of nature that reduces each human being to a mechanical
automaton?
Gazzaniga’s answer is built upon a proposed restructuring (redefining)
the meanings of both ‘free will’ and ‘moral responsibility’. Following
an idea of David Hume, and more recently of A.J. Ayer, the word
‘free’ is effectively defined to mean ‘unconstrained by external bonds’.
Thus a clock is ‘free’ if the movements of its hands and cogs are not
restricted by external bonds or forces. However, the ‘free will’ of traditional
ethical theory refers to a type of freedom that a mechanically
controlled clock would not enjoy, even if it had no external bonds.
This latter – morally pertinent – kind of free will is specifically associated
with consciousness. Thus a physically determined clock that
has no consciousness is not subject to moral evaluation, even if it
is not constrained by external bonds, whereas a person possessing a
conscious ‘will’ that is physically efficacious, yet not physically determined,
is subject to moral evaluation when he is not constrained by
external bonds. Thus the morally pertinent idea of ‘possessing free
will’ is not the same as ‘unconstrained by external bonds or forces’.
The Hume/Ayer move obscures the morally pertinent idea of freedom,
which is intimately linked to consciousness, by confounding it with different
idea that does not specifically involve consciousness. This move
throws rational analysis off track by suppressing (on the basis of an
inapplicable approximation) the involvement of consciousness in the
morally relevant conception of ‘free will’.
Ethical and moral values traditionally reside in the ability of a person
to make discerning conscious judgments pertaining to moral issues,
coupled with the capacity of the person’s conscious effort to willfully
force his body to act in accordance with the standards he has consciously
judged to be higher, in the face of strong natural tendencies
to do otherwise. The whole moral battle is fought in the realm of conscious
thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Where there is no consciousness
there is no moral dimension. Moreover, if consciousness exists but is
permitted by general rules to make no physical difference – that is,
if consciousness is constrained by the general laws to be an impotent
witness to mechanically determined process – then the seeming struggle
of will becomes a meaningless charade, and the moral dimension
again disappears.
It is the imposition, by virtue of the classical approximation, of
this law-based kind of impotency that eliminates the moral dimension
within that approximation. The morally pertinent free will is eradicated
by the classical approximation even if there are no external
bounds. Calling a system ‘free’ just because it is not constrained by
external bonds does not suffice to give that system the kind of free will
that undergirds normal ethical ideas.
Gazzaniga’s attack on the problem has also a second prong. He
avers that: “Personal responsibility is a public concept.” He says of
things such as personal responsibility that:
Those aspects of our personhood are – oddly – not in our brains.
They exist only in the relationships that exist when our automatic
brains interact with other automatic brains. They are in
the ether.
This idea that these pertinent things are “in the ether” and exist “only
in the relationships” is indeed an odd thing for a materialisticallyoriented
neuroscientist to say. It seems mystical. Although ideas about
personal responsibility may indeed arise only in social contexts, one
would normally say that the resulting ideas about personal responsibility
exist in the streams of consciousness of the interacting persons,
and a materialist would be expected to say that these ideas are ‘in’ or
are ‘some part of’ the brains of those socially interacting persons. Yet
if the causes of self-controlled behavior are wholly in the brains and
bodies of the agents, and these brains and bodies are automatically
determined by the physically described body-brain alone, then it is
hard to see how these agents, as persons, can have the kind of free will
upon which our moral and ethical theories are based. Some sort of odd
or weird move is needed to endow a person with morally relevant free
will if his body and brain are mechanically determined.
But if some sort of weirdness is needed to rescue the social concept
of personal responsibility, then why not use ‘quantum weirdness’. The
quantum concepts may seem weird to the uninitiated, but they are
based on science, and they resolve the problem of moral responsibility
by endowing our conscious choices with causal influence in the selection
of our physical actions.
It is hard to see the advantage of introducing the changes described
by Gazzaniga compared to the option of simply going beyond the inprinciple-
inadequate classical approximation. Why do thinkers dedicated
to rationality resist so tenaciously the option of accepting (contemporary
orthodox quantum) physics, which says that our conscious
choices intervene, in a very special and restricted kind of way, in the
mechanically determined time development of the physically described
aspects of a system – during the process by means of which the conscious
agent acquires new knowledge about that system? Because acquiring
new knowledge about a system normally involves a probingem, it is not at all weird that the system being examined
should be affected by the extraction of knowledge from it, and hence
comes to depend upon how it was probed.
The advantages of accepting quantum mechanics in cognitive neuroscience,
and ultimately in our lives, are:
• It is compatible with basic physical theory, and thus will continue to
work in increasingly complex and miniaturized empirical situations.
• It specifies how a person’s consciously experienced intentional
choices are represented in the physically described aspects of the
theory.
• It removes the incoherency of a known-to-be-real ontological element
that contains the empirical data, yet resides in a realm that
has no law-based connection to the flow of physical events.
• It provides a foundation for understanding the co-evolution of mind
and brain, because each of these two parts contributes to the dynamics
in a way that is linked to the other by laws that are specified,
at least in part.
• It provides for a free will of the kind needed to undergird ethical
theory.
• It produces a science-based image of oneself, not as a freak-accident
out-cropping – with consciousness riding like a piece of froth on
the ocean – but rather as an active component of a deeply interconnected
world process that is responsive to value-based human
judgments.

Henry P.Stapp

Since you are so fond of instructing everyone to "See this" and "See that," in stead of making any attempt to discuss the ideas yourself, my response is to tell you to go read  Gazzaniga's book, as well as  Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain and several other books for a more accurate understanding of his position.

Wow, that's so easy. No wonder Don likes it.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1673 on: 07/01/2014 20:45:48 »
Ok, genie haha Cheryl : your order is my command , i am Alaaddin and you are my genie who rises from my magical lamp (I can't make you appear whenever i want to, unlike the real   fictitious Alaaddin  in relation to his genie ,as that tale goes .) : i will get on board of my flying carpet to see how  Gazzaniga (weird name by the way )  has been singing in his own materialist wonderland .

But , i am afraid to say that i do know enough of those materialist views to be able to conclude that most of what they have been taking for granted as science , has been just materialist bullshit , no offense , lady ,since materialism has been equated and confused with science or with "the scientific world view " for so long now .

Stapp just confirms my own earlier views on the subject .

Thanks, appreciate indeed .

P.S. where have you been ,lady ? I have been missing your interesting contributions, really , i mean it .

You're such a charming reviving fresh air , despite the fact that you are a materialist .

Gotta go, sorry , time up , i have spent too much time here than usual already, which i can hardly afford .

Bye , lady Narcissus .

Nice to have you back .

Don't disappear again , you do know that i cannot make you re-appear on demand out of the blue , my magical lamp is ...broken ..........you know ...
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1674 on: 07/01/2014 20:47:47 »
3-It's a matter of interpretation of QT : clearly Von Neumann , Einstein, Bohr , Heseinberg and others + all the founders of QT thought , and rightly so,that QT was / is mind-dependent .
Even at the macroscopic level , it is cristal-clear that the observed is mind -dependent ( we all distort the observed objective reality through our conscious a-priori held beliefs : materialists , for example , see life , nature , man and the rest of the universe as being mechanical determined ...dualists ,idealists or otherwise  do not ) : we all view reality through our own a-priori held world views that do shape our consciousness and hence our behaviours , thoughts , feelings , emotions, ethics , actions, ....
Do you really think 'Von Neumann , Einstein, Bohr , Heseinberg and others' were talking about subjective reality?  [:o)]

No, QT is the one that's subjective ( The founders of QT saw it as such ,remember ) : mind -dependent = a matter of interpretation , that's why there are a lots of interpretations of the Copenhagen interpretation of QT , the latter depends largely on the a -priori held beliefs or world views of the scientists thinkers in question,as we see that reflected in this very thread through Stapp's and through the materialists ' interpretations of QT  such as those of yourselves   .
The observed objective reality out there  in general , either at the microscopic or macroscopic levels , gets distorted by the mind of the observer through the a-priori held beliefs or world views of the observer which do shape his /her mind and hence his thoughts ,behaviours , ethics , actions ....

You are confusing two entirely different things. Not even Stapp would suggest that misinformation, as in believing something to be true that isn't - or wishful thinking, simply wanting it to be true, actually changes physical reality. If it's -34 degrees in Canada, there is no superpositioned brain state connected to the macro level reality of my car starting in the morning.

I am afraid you did not understand my words ,as dlorde did not ,  not as i have intended them to be at least , later , i really gotta go , thanks .
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #1674 on: 07/01/2014 20:47:47 »

 

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