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Author Topic: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?  (Read 309790 times)

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #225 on: 19/09/2013 19:43:10 »

When the human brain is damaged at the level of  some specific areas ,due to some disease , handicap, accident , genetic defect ...disorders like Alzheimer or dementia, ...even the sense of the self is altered radically indeed , and many aspects of consciousness in those cases are also radically altered,to say just that  : but that does not mean that the brain  is the "home "  or is the creator of consciousness as a kindda magical "emergence " trick popping out suddenly from the evolved complexity of the human brain :

 I see the human brain as just some kindda receiver its own biological way that cannot be compared to any mechanical manufactured-by-man device  :

when the brain  gets damaged in some specific areas , the corresponding elements or aspects of consciousness that get apparently altered as a result , are still there , they are just disconnected from the brain as a receiver , they do not get through, as a result, i dunno  :

The question now is : do those people who do suffer from Alzheimer dementia ....still have levels of consciousness within we cannot detect ?
Or is there a way to find out about that and how ? 




Thomas Nagel, a philosopher you might like, who is also a critic of reductionism and materialism, says "Science can tell us everything about a bat except what it's like to be a bat."

Well, he has a point.

My response to that is: I had surgery once and received a general anesthetic. The experience, if I can even call it that, was nothing like sleeping. Nothing happened. I did not even have a sense of time having passed as when one sleeps, from the moment I lost consciousness until I regained it.

One might argue, "but you could have experienced something and the anesthetic simply erased your memory of the experience." However, if a bat is the only authority on what it is like to be a bat, I should likewise be the ultimate authority on my own subjective experiences, and I will testify that while under general anesthesia, there was none. For all intents and purposes "I" did not exist at that time, inside my brain or via the magical consciousness transmitter in outer space. Your results may vary.
« Last Edit: 19/09/2013 20:58:44 by cheryl j »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #226 on: 19/09/2013 20:58:51 »

When the human brain is damaged at the level of  some specific areas ,due to some disease , handicap, accident , genetic defect ...disorders like Alzheimer or dementia, ...even the sense of the self is altered radically indeed , and many aspects of consciousness in those cases are also radically altered,to say just that  : but that does not mean that the brain  is the "home "  or is the creator of consciousness as a kindda magical "emergence " trick popping out suddenly from the evolved complexity of the human brain :

 I see the human brain as just some kindda receiver its own biological way that cannot be compared to any mechanical manufactured-by-man device  :

when the brain  gets damaged in some specific areas , the corresponding elements or aspects of consciousness that get apparently altered as a result , are still there , they are just disconnected from the brain as a receiver , they do not get through, as a result, i dunno  :

The question now is : do those people who do suffer from Alzheimer dementia ....still have levels of consciousness within we cannot detect ?
Or is there a way to find out about that and how ? 




Thomas Nagel, a philosopher you might like, who is also a critic of reductionism and materialism, says "Science can tell us everything about a bat except what it's like to be a bat."

Well, he has a point.

My response to that is: I had surgery once and received a general anesthetic. The experience, if I can even call it that, was nothing like sleeping. Nothing happened. I did not even have a sense of time having passed as when one sleeps, from the moment I lost consciousness until I regained it.

One might argue, "but you could have experienced something and the anesthetic simply erased your memory of the experience." However, if a bat is the only authority on what it is like to be a bat, I should likewise be the ultimate authority on my own subjective experiences, and I will testify that while under general anesthesia, there was none. For all intents and purposes "I" did not exist at that time, inside my brain or via the magical transmitter in outer space. Your results may vary.

I will check that philosopher you mentioned ,thanks .
I had a day off today,so :
The same happened to me when i went under the knife after a stupid group of drunks 'fight  haha  once,during my foolish period  : total black out after general aneasthetics: it happened to me just once i do not wish to go through  again,as i do not wish it for anybodyelse for that matter  .

Well, almost the same happens to all of us during deep sleep also ,science is still trying to figure out .

These things + Alzheimer dementia ,their repercussions and those of damaged brain areas  resulting in those corresponding loss of the sense of self , the loss of the capacity to recognize faces ,.....and much more ,as talked about in those videos i provided you with earlier do puzzle me a lot indeed.

So, i can only speculate about consciousness and all that ,and how that might happen : i might be as in the dark in that regard as you might be ,so .

But , art , meditation, spirituality , creative work ....music ....love...do make me get in touch , sometimes , with incredible states of consciousness , awareness, self-awareness ...that are , per definition, uncommunicable as the mystics say , science can never be able to give me .

Words cannot describe those states of consciousness i do experience sometimes , and i can tell you with relative confidence= i am not really sure , who can be in that context ?,  that i developed a sort of a sophisticated radar or 6th sense , so to speak, that make me able to detect the real thing from fraud or illusions,delusions ... : only me can tell what's it like to be a bat , as you said , what is it like to be me during those circumstances .

My own belief also warns me against illusions, delusions ....as well, so , in that regard .

Rumi, for example, just happens to touch and move the right "buttons " in me and in other people ,so, i do not rely much on authority in the strict sense , i just try to learn from the experiences and wisdom of others , so , while trying to figure all that out for myself and what it might mean for me , as a human being , and for the people around me as well ...:

I also do not agree with some aspects of Rumi's philosophy ,wisdom ...and he can try to sing all night about his alleged fact that he succeeded in reaching the so-called beyond thought pure consciousness and all that , but , as long as i cannot pretend to be able to do or reach just that myself , whatever that might be , that would mean nothing to me , personally .

He also tried to use some explicit coarse vulgar sexual stories to convey his so-called esoterics neither me or my faith that also happens to be his would agree with .

Some even call his Mathnawi the Qur'an in Persian: unacceptable pretentious bullshit  .

I read thus a study about those  unethical and perplexing vulgar coarse sexual stories of Rumi in order to convey some of his alleged esoteric messages i was outraged by : the guy might have lost it , i guess .

That study tried to apply Lacan'psychology to Rumi's eroticism ,and came up with disturbing conclusions .

I think that Rumi might have lost it to the point where he "killed " God that Nietzshean way ,via being deceived by his 'enlightened " ego to the point where he could say that God speaks through him , or stuff like that ....

The greatest mystic of them all , Ibn Arabi whose teachings influenced Rumi himself and all other Sufis made some lethal erros  as well .........

Another big shot sufi also made a huge mistake by saying : "I am the Truth= I am God " : he maybe thought he was God , or that he has become God haha  , or maybe he was misunderstood as some say , in the sense that he reached high levels of consciousness ...He was put to death , unfortunately enough , some 11 centuries ago .

This is thus a real minefield ,this risky field of consciousness we must be alert of ...


In fact , nobody teaches us anything , we do : you can take people to the fountain, but you cannot make them drink from it .

Let's just hope some genius would be able , some day , to discover some breakthroughts regarding all that ,so, we can benefit from it as human beings ,because i see nothing more important to human development ,self-development,  progress, enlightenment , evolution, health,peace , love  ...than unveiling at least some secrets of the mysteries surrounding human consciousness .

I must add that science alone cannot do just the latter : only a revolutionary holistic approach can, i dunno .

I do also believe in the fact that we , as individuals , must take that endless restless dynamic journey regarding our own consciousness and destiny : i do not rely much on science to do just that for me  it cannot do , per definition.

It's really amazing that  man can be able to send missions to Mars , conduct experiments about the Big Bang ...and all that , but cannot say almost anything intelligent about human consciousness, the latter , i see , as THE key to almost everything within and without : THE key to relatively trying to understand ourselves and the universe ...

Good night , best wishes , and thanks for sharing all those interesting insights of yours with me , i do appreciate very much indeed .I mean it .

Take care .





« Last Edit: 19/09/2013 21:36:49 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #227 on: 19/09/2013 21:09:16 »


But , you forgot to mention that an artist knows that he / she tries to "reflect reality " in his / her own creative work his / her own subjective way , he / she does not pretend to copy  "reality proper " : if an artist would try to copy "reality " as it is ,

I don't think science tries to "duplicate" reality either. There are many pictures of molecules and cells in my textbook, and some of them are quite different, and exclude or include different information. No diagram or model of a molecule will include or represent everything that is known about a molecule or atoms. That said, some representations or models could be completely inaccurate, with no features that correspond to any of it's properties.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #228 on: 19/09/2013 21:20:59 »
The tv set proper ,  and the images of the tv set created by those tv signals the tv receives are 2 different separate things or processes  , while brain and consciousness are 2 different things or processes in 1 , mind and body as being 1 in any given human person   : a kindda combination between dualism and monism .
A combination of dualism and monism? Really? how is claiming mutually exclusive options not special pleading?

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So, when science tries to take a closer look at telepathy, for example , it misses the fact that telepathy cannot be generated on demand ...
Except, of course, that the individuals claiming telepathic skills that get tested believe that they can do it on demand. There's no point testing them otherwise.  The better run tests have them satisfy themselves that their abilities are working in the test environment before putting controls in place. You may not be able to use your claimed telepathic abilities on demand, but can you legitimately contradict those who say they can?

 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #229 on: 19/09/2013 21:49:54 »
The tv set proper ,  and the images of the tv set created by those tv signals the tv receives are 2 different separate things or processes  , while brain and consciousness are 2 different things or processes in 1 , mind and body as being 1 in any given human person   : a kindda combination between dualism and monism .
A combination of dualism and monism? Really? how is claiming mutually exclusive options not special pleading?

Quote
So, when science tries to take a closer look at telepathy, for example , it misses the fact that telepathy cannot be generated on demand ...
Except, of course, that the individuals claiming telepathic skills that get tested believe that they can do it on demand. There's no point testing them otherwise.  The better run tests have them satisfy themselves that their abilities are working in the test environment before putting controls in place. You may not be able to use your claimed telepathic abilities on demand, but can you legitimately contradict those who say they can?

I can't seem to be able to hold a grudge against anyone long enough ,i see .

Later , alligator : Time up, sorry : I will just say this , for the time being at least :

consciousness is really a highly risky deceptive elusive ...business ,even the greatest mystics of them all happened to have made lethal errors on the subject , by subjecting themselves to delusions they took for real, so .

See above .

I forgive you , my son, even though i am still young ...


 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #230 on: 19/09/2013 22:27:20 »
Sorry, mate, but accepting someone else's absurd statement without question, isn't science.

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Only real true mystics can experience the relatively full scale of human consciousness or pure consciousness and beyond

If you think that its true, how do you know it is true? What do you think "the relatively full scale of human consciousness" means? How do you know that (a) "true mystics" (whatever they are) experience it, and nobody else does? A categorical statement is open to demonstration and test. Have you seen it demonstrated, or tested it? 
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #231 on: 20/09/2013 15:55:05 »


But , you forgot to mention that an artist knows that he / she tries to "reflect reality " in his / her own creative work his / her own subjective way , he / she does not pretend to copy  "reality proper " : if an artist would try to copy "reality " as it is ,

I don't think science tries to "duplicate" reality either. There are many pictures of molecules and cells in my textbook, and some of them are quite different, and exclude or include different information. No diagram or model of a molecule will include or represent everything that is known about a molecule or atoms. That said, some representations or models could be completely inaccurate, with no features that correspond to any of it's properties.

Indeed :
 who can say that what we see under the microscope as a cell ,bacteria,molecules, virusses, ...are in fact the way we see them through a microscope .
Quantum mechanics had shown that man's thought or consciousness do change the course or activity of atoms, neutrons ...when the observer looks at them .
If that can happen at that micro level,i see no reason why it cannot happen on the macro level .
I did not say that science does try to "duplicate reality " either : even science itself just give us a representation of reality through our senses ;science that's practiced by humans ,the latter fact we seem to forget about.
We talk about science as if it is some sort of an idependent totally objective tool out there ,it is not .
There  is in fact no such a thing as ...science : there is just a scientific method ,as an effective human instrument or tool to apprehend reality which were /are developed and practiced by humans scientists : science does not have an independent existence of its own ,even in the metaphoric sense .
Even the technology developed by man in order to extend the scope and reach of his /her faculties like seeing via microscopes , brain scans ...are just human manufactured tools to help man extend  the natural limits  of man's limited faculties .

I do not rely on science much when it comes to human consciousness ,love ,spirituality ...
Science just covers a tiny piece of "reality" : just the apparent material side of reality ,so.
I do pity those who do rely on science only though ,simply because they reduce themselves and their whole beings as a result to just that .
I think that the apparent material side of reality , or the natural reality as covered by science are just elaborate illusions, in the sense that that there is much more to them than science can reveal = the underlying reality behind that illusion is somethingelse we should try to approach via ...spirituality .
I see this natural reality as just a veil that deprives us from seeing  the underlying true real reality ,the latter we can only try to approach via spirituality,once again  .
I am gonna even go further by saying that the ultimate reality is...spiritual ,simply because there is no such a thing such as ...matter ,as we understand it to be at least : quantum physics had already shown to us that matter is not really what we think it is ...


But then again, you would argue that this is no science what i was saying : exactly, simply because science can only cover a limited area of "reality " = the illusionary side of reality .
I dunno.

But then again, you would say : there is nothing more tricky deceptive and elusive than spirituality ,i would say : that's the beaurty of it : we gotta try to figure it out for ourselves = an endless restless dynamic journey = a journey far more exciting and challenging difficult ..than science can ever be ,even thou science can help us somehow on that spiritual path we gotta take as well  ...
Spirituality is in fact putting ourselves, our whole beings , our destiny...our future in this life and beyond ..on the line ,while science is just a means to decode some secrets of this temporary apparent side of reality .
Science does not care about the truth or existence of things or beings ,their potential destiny ... it just tries to describe their apparent material processes ....
So, i need much more than just science to live my life and beyond , while trying to figure out what the meaning of life itself would mean to me , what lays ahead after death ........science cannot deliver any answers to, per definition.

« Last Edit: 20/09/2013 16:33:27 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #232 on: 20/09/2013 16:44:58 »
Sorry, mate, but accepting someone else's absurd statement without question, isn't science.

You're extending the scope of science beyond its natural reach , buddy .
See what i said to Cheryl here above in that regard at least .
Critical thinking might be a better word to approach what people claim to experience , but then again, critical thinking fails short at the level of "pure " consciousness  "beyond thought "
This might seem to you as just semantics , but i see no better way to put it to you , since "pure 'consciousness via meditation and via other spiritual means is , per definition, uncommunicable = words fail short to describe it .

Quote
Quote
Only real true mystics can experience the relatively full scale of human consciousness or pure consciousness and beyond
If you think that its true, how do you know it is true? What do you think "the relatively full scale of human consciousness" means? How do you know that (a) "true mystics" (whatever they are) experience it, and nobody else does? A categorical statement is open to demonstration and test. Have you seen it demonstrated, or tested it?
[/quote]

See above : the only way to figure that out for yourself is by trying to experience those states of consciousnsess, via meditation and via other spiritual means = that's beyond the territory of conventional science and thought .
« Last Edit: 20/09/2013 16:48:07 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #233 on: 20/09/2013 16:56:40 »
The tv set proper ,  and the images of the tv set created by those tv signals the tv receives are 2 different separate things or processes  , while brain and consciousness are 2 different things or processes in 1 , mind and body as being 1 in any given human person   : a kindda combination between dualism and monism .
A combination of dualism and monism? Really? how is claiming mutually exclusive options not special pleading?

Quote
So, when science tries to take a closer look at telepathy, for example , it misses the fact that telepathy cannot be generated on demand ...
Except, of course, that the individuals claiming telepathic skills that get tested believe that they can do it on demand. There's no point testing them otherwise.  The better run tests have them satisfy themselves that their abilities are working in the test environment before putting controls in place. You may not be able to use your claimed telepathic abilities on demand, but can you legitimately contradict those who say they can?
[/quote]

See above concerning what i said to our friends here above  .

The only way to figure out all that for yourself in that regard is by trying to experience those states of consciousness yourself via meditation or via other spiritual means : science or critical thinking alone cannot help you in that regard ,since "pure " consciousness is beyond thought , science ..
Have you ever done some meditation ,Yoga , or some other spiritual exercises ?
Do not reduce yourself to just ..science .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #234 on: 20/09/2013 17:13:52 »
P.S.: I thought i said what i thought of those mystics and their alleged "pure consciousness beyond thought " claimed experiences ...
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #235 on: 20/09/2013 17:49:54 »
I forgive you , my son, even though i am still young ...
For what - trying to reason with you?

Or perhaps just early signs of messiah complex... ;)

Quantum mechanics had shown that man's thought or consciousness do change the course or activity of atoms, neutrons ...when the observer looks at them .
Ah, no. The idea that consciousness could collapse the wave function is, and always was, that of a fringe minority of physicists. It clings on outside physics in pseudoscience partly due to a misinterpretation of 'observer' and 'observation'. An observation or measurement in QM is any particle interaction, and an 'observer' can be any measurement device (even a particle). By the time a conscious observer becomes aware of an observation, the wave function collapse is ancient history at QM timescales.

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If that can happen at that micro level,i see no reason why it cannot happen on the macro level .
In a word, decoherence.

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... there is no such a thing such as ...matter ,as we understand it to be at least : quantum physics had already shown to us that matter is not really what we think it is ...
An oddly backward-looking way to phrase it; quantum physics shows us that matter isn't what we thought it was. We now have a much better understanding of it than we had before.

 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #236 on: 20/09/2013 18:12:09 »
Have you ever done some meditation ,Yoga , or some other spiritual exercises ?
Do not reduce yourself to just ..science .
I meditate, and spent some years practicing Yang Family Tajiquan (T'ai Chi). If physical & mental exercise, relaxation, mood elevation, and emotional balancing are spiritual, then they're spiritual exercises.

As you might expect, I take the mystical, paranormal side of it with a pinch of salt (e.g. I see the popular concept of 'chi' as the understandable result of an holistic rather than reductionist approach to physical & mental performance, coupled with a lack of detailed knowledge of human biology, especially physiology - with the more absurd paranormal aspects driven by fakes & frauds and their coteries of hangers-on).
 

Offline Skyli

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #237 on: 20/09/2013 18:20:05 »
There seem to be three different topics: conciousness, sentience and a thing called The Self. I'll have a go at the first two; my views on The Self are not entirely scientific and have no place here.

Back to our trusty old computer. It is not self-aware like me. I can "create" the value 2 in my head, double it, and "create" the value 4 - all on my lonesome! I don't need any prompting, any codes, my consciousness provides me with both the task and the goal and the means to effect both "in my head". The computer, on the other hand, needs to be told what to do and what to do it with - we are matched in the intellectual aspect of number-crunching only. Furthermore, I can decide whether I want to add 2 and 2, the computer cannot. I base the decision on stored data - there were dozens of examples I could have used, I "chose" this one effectively "unconsciously" while my "conciousness" was dealing with the problem "how to get my idea across?". To me, as the author, the example is of little significance; I know what I want to say. It seems to me that consciousness is no more than data handling. Data arrives through a set of senses; the five "physical" ones plus a "mental" one that allows us to be "aware" of our thoughts - working consciousness (is this the sense responsible for "imagination"?). We handle this data incredibly fast, so fast that the distinction between "conscious" thought - getting the view across   - and unconscious thought - the tool will be adding 2 and 2 - becomes blurred, but it is data handling none the less.

Sentience is another issue; it represents a new phase of Evolution which gives a species a drive to classify and a drive to aesthetics (we die for our art, animals die for the mate that the art should win). Put another way, sentience leaves us dissatisfied with merely having "enough" - the grass in the next field may appear greener to the cow so it wanders; we want to measure the field whether it has grass in it or not so we wander too. Life, an evolutionary milestone without doubt, put constructions into the universe that could change that universe to suit their needs - build nests, burrow holes. Sentience, the next milestone in Evolution, developed constructions that could, and do, change the universe whether they need it or not - just for the satisfaction of knowing. Sentience is, in this case, just another evolutionary drive like reproduction or finding a niche, but a strangely anti-evolutionary drive since, with our highly developed data-handling capabilities, we are capable of stopping the universe altogether. It is no wonder that Evolution saw fit to develop sentience and the highly-developed consciousness that we possess together; morality is certainly a sub-routine that I would have included.

To clarify, I see Evolution as a process that has been going on for the entire life of the universe; the "basic law" of Creation, if you like. The first "phase" was a foundation phase (from our perspective) where habitats eventually evolved, the second phase was Life, products that can change their environment to suit their needs, and the third phase is sentience.
« Last Edit: 20/09/2013 18:24:03 by Skyli »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #238 on: 20/09/2013 18:44:20 »
It seems to me that consciousness is no more than data handling. Data arrives through a set of senses; the five "physical" ones plus a "mental" one that allows us to be "aware" of our thoughts - working consciousness (is this the sense responsible for "imagination"?). We handle this data incredibly fast, so fast that the distinction between "conscious" thought - getting the view across   - and unconscious thought - the tool will be adding 2 and 2 - becomes blurred, but it is data handling none the less.
I wouldn't argue with that. Except that there are many more than five physical senses (up to about 21, depending on what you want to include); I also suspect the mental one is composed of multiple facets of awareness.

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To clarify, I see Evolution as a process that has been going on for the entire life of the universe; the "basic law" of Creation, if you like. The first "phase" was a foundation phase (from our perspective) where habitats eventually evolved, the second phase was Life, products that can change their environment to suit their needs, and the third phase is sentience.
It's worth bearing in mind that the processes of natural evolution are undirected, so enumerating such phases of development is a retrospective convenience; the sequence is predictable, as each depends on the previous, but there is no evidence of (or need for) purpose or intent, and no implications for the future.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #239 on: 20/09/2013 19:05:22 »
If nonsentient life evolved before sentient life, and sentience is the root of wanting more, how did nonsentient life come to populate the planet? Wouldn't it have been satisfied with the puddle in which it first evolved? So why did sentience evolve, if the primordial puddle was so pleasant? 
 

Offline Skyli

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #240 on: 20/09/2013 19:32:20 »
In answer to the last point made by dlorde; who says that "the natural processes of Evolution are undirected."? Regardless of any spiritual connoctations the Universe is, and always has been, developing more and more complex products. In this respect it is far more like old Henrys production line than a place where matter, energy and dead cats can randomly appear, destructive and constructive in equal measure. I would have been happier with "appears to be undirected" but, given the Model T, I would still have wondered.

In respect to the primordial soup mentioned by alancalverd, there was no consciousness involved in "filling the niches"; natural selection took care of the finches and the cows still wander to the other field. Sentience may be the root of wanting "stuff that we don't need" but it is certainly not the root of "wanting more", as any Goldfish, notorious for eating themselves to death, can tell you.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #241 on: 20/09/2013 19:45:47 »
If nonsentient life evolved before sentient life, and sentience is the root of wanting more, how did nonsentient life come to populate the planet? Wouldn't it have been satisfied with the puddle in which it first evolved?
How do you define 'satisfaction' and 'want' for non-sentient life? They're generally considered sentient properties. Non-sentient life could populate the planet passively, from its puddle, by variations on the theme of splashing (caused by external agencies).

p.s. It seems unlikely that life evolved in a puddle ;)
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #242 on: 20/09/2013 19:58:02 »
In answer to the last point made by dlorde; who says that "the natural processes of Evolution are undirected."?
No, I said, "the processes of natural evolution are undirected". If you're going to quote me, please use cut & paste rather than memory.

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Regardless of any spiritual connoctations the Universe is, and always has been, developing more and more complex products.
True, but it's a statistical observation, and it goes the other way too - complex things also become simpler. If you start at a certain level of complexity, things can either get more complex, less complex, or stay at the same level of complexity. There is a lower bound on simplicity, but no (known) upper bound on complexity, so complexity will increase. This says nothing about the relative abundance of complexity vs simplicity, if it was even possible to calculate such a measure.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #243 on: 20/09/2013 21:09:20 »
Have you ever done some meditation ,Yoga , or some other spiritual exercises ?
Do not reduce yourself to just ..science .
I meditate, and spent some years practicing Yang Family Tajiquan (T'ai Chi). If physical & mental exercise, relaxation, mood elevation, and emotional balancing are spiritual, then they're spiritual exercises.

As you might expect, I take the mystical, paranormal side of it with a pinch of salt (e.g. I see the popular concept of 'chi' as the understandable result of an holistic rather than reductionist approach to physical & mental performance, coupled with a lack of detailed knowledge of human biology, especially physiology - with the more absurd paranormal aspects driven by fakes & frauds and their coteries of hangers-on).

Ok, do you have other hypotheses concerning consciousness, other than that materialistic magical  "emergence " trick   then ?
And how do you explain what you experience during meditation ...?
« Last Edit: 20/09/2013 21:11:11 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #244 on: 20/09/2013 21:16:42 »
Guys :

Did it ever occur to you that human consciousness might exist and function outside of the laws of physics ?
Otherwise , just tell me what consciousness is ,and where is it to be "found or localised " in man ?

Just try to answer the following as well, while you are at it :

If consciousness was the product of the "blind " evolution ,if the intellect is the product of the "blind " evolution ,both as some sort of pragmatic survival strategies, then it's pretty logical to question all our sense of reality , knowledge , including the scientific knowledge , including the scientific knowledge regarding  evolution itself = a paradox = try to explain this paradox to me then ...
« Last Edit: 20/09/2013 21:25:47 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline Skyli

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #245 on: 20/09/2013 21:40:19 »
I'm sorry I misquoted you dlorde, it was careless and rude of me.

While I understand the argument regarding the bounds of complexity I do not understand why this means that complexity will increase. I agree that there is more "room" for complexity to increase but why must it? What does the universe gain from increasing complexity?

In relation to the last post from DonQuihotte, consciousness is a data-processing operation that takes place in the brain. However, the mind of man is made up of many elements - consciousness, instinct, the unconscious and the previously mentioned Self for example - there may be others. Whether they all have their basis in physics or not is a question of Faith.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #246 on: 20/09/2013 21:48:31 »
Folks :

I do prefer this anti-reductionist , anti-materialist "emergence " trick, anti-neo- -Darwinian view ...represented by this philosopher , relatively speaking : Thanks ,Cheryl, for that :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Nagel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_it_Like_to_Be_a_Bat%3F
« Last Edit: 20/09/2013 21:53:01 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #247 on: 20/09/2013 21:51:27 »
I do not see how relatively intelligent people can believe in that materialistic reductionist neo-Darwinian "emergence " trick bullshit  regarding consciousness  though : Amazing .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #248 on: 20/09/2013 22:00:34 »
In relation to the last post from DonQuihotte, consciousness is a data-processing operation that takes place in the brain. However, the mind of man is made up of many elements - consciousness, instinct, the unconscious and the previously mentioned Self for example - there may be others. Whether they all have their basis in physics or not is a question of Faith.
[/quote]

Explain this magic of yours to me , please  = consciouness is a data- processing that takes place in the brain : ..takes place where in the brain exactly ? how do you know just that ? Try to prove just that then .

Thanks, appreciate indeed , and welcome, even though we do have enough magicians here already , once again .
 

Offline Skyli

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #249 on: 20/09/2013 22:39:02 »
A windmill might be useful right now.

I'm OK, you're OK. Great book. Read it many times. It occurred to me:

"Now there's an interesting thing. Values are learned initially though “instinct” and instinct in non-sentient creatures is something that helps to keep them alive and successful by controlling their behaviour – don't eat the grass by the T-Rex even if you are hungry and it looks good; eat other grass. Sentience extends this effect to include being “good” as well – alive, successful and good. Don't take the wallet that the customer before you just left on the counter even if you are pretty skint and he looks like he can afford it; it's not right. A £20 note blowing down the street is another matter, though also often difficult.
Could it be that instinct is part of the Self, that it lies very deeply rooted in the value system? Or could it be that instinct is the original, insentient version of conscience itself? This would indicate that the leap from insentience to sentience happened when this, very personal, reservoir of self-esteem got added to the Self, when the judgements of the conscience began to have a lasting effect on our “feel good” factor; guilt is cumulative and people who habitually deny their conscience are unhappy people. The doctors tell us that they are suffering from low self-esteem. If one thinks about this then would it not have been a brilliant evolutionary step in mental development? It would necessitate the development of memory so that one could look back at behaviour that didn't make them “feel good”. Furthermore better analytical ability, intelligence, would need to develop  in order to be able to “rationalise” why one chose behaviour that didn't make one “feel good” or, conversely, why one wasn't going to take the wallet.
Could Sentience be the natural bye-product of the introduction of Self-Esteem into our innermost characters, our Selfs?"

In other words, the whole development of sentience and intelligence was a natural, Darwinian, progression following the development of the psychological trait we call self-esteem, a quantity of every adult mind. Consciousness remains a purely biological function based on electrical impulses in the brain.

The proof you seek is on the trauma ward of every hospital. There are hundreds of brain damaged people who show reduced intelligence, awareness or any other measure of "consciousness".

Do you mean consciousness or do you mean the mind?
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #249 on: 20/09/2013 22:39:02 »

 

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