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Author Topic: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?  (Read 307386 times)

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #250 on: 21/09/2013 00:12:56 »
Ok, do you have other hypotheses concerning consciousness, other than that materialistic magical  "emergence " trick   then ?
The only plausible hypothesis I am aware of for consciousness is that it is a function of brain processes.

Quote
And how do you explain what you experience during meditation ...?
I think the main benefits are the result of training the focus of attention in various non-stressful ways. I could probably be more specific given a more specific question.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #251 on: 21/09/2013 00:39:11 »
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 ?
I expect most people with an interest have considered the basis of consciousness; everything else we know about the universe exists and functions within the laws of physics, and as has been said here repeatedly, there's no good reason to make an exception for consciousness, and all the evidence suggests that it isn't an exception.

The evidence suggests it is a process, a function of the brain, which means it is physically localised to the brain. In the sense of it's perceptual or experiential domain, it extends to the sensory limits of our bodies, and can be considered to extend beyond that in various ways. The virtual location of the experiential self is generally felt to be 'behind the eyes', but that feeling can be distorted or dislocated in various ways (an indication that it is a construct of a mapping process).

Quote
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 ... [/b]
Why do you think it's a paradox? it's logical to assume that those traits are rooted in optimising our chances of survival. Why should we question them any more than our hands and feet or our eyes? In evolutionary terms, they are tools that aid survival. No guarantees for the future though - what is beneficial in one context may not necessarily be in another.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #252 on: 21/09/2013 00:46:19 »


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.

I don't think there is such a thing as non-sentient life. That's part of the definition of a living thing - can reproduce itself, has a metabolism, maintains homeostasis, and responds to stimuli. Microbes have chemotaxis and move towards an increase in concentrations of nutrients and away from decreases in concentration. And there are unicellular organisms with photosensitive organelles as well.

Some biologists think the brains and nervous systems evolved in order to facilitate processing or responding to the information from the sensing systems, despite the fact that we tend to think of the senses "serving" the brain. Some jelly fish have well developed eyes but no brain. Their eyes transmit signals directly to the muscles. Anyway,  if sentience is defined as being able to sense something in the outside world and react to it in a way that increases survival, that was there from the get go.
« Last Edit: 21/09/2013 00:50:19 by cheryl j »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #253 on: 21/09/2013 00:59:30 »
I'm sorry I misquoted you dlorde, it was careless and rude of me.
OK, no offence taken - I tend to be sensitive about it, as your own words are all you have online, and some people like to misrepresent and misquote what you say to make straw-man arguments.

Quote
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?
Why should it be a question of what the universe gains? are you suggesting there is some kind of universal judgement of benefit? by whom, or what?
As I said, it's just a statistical likelihood if some interactions can have more complex results than others. If the more complex results happen to be as stable or more stable than the less complex ones, they are likely to persist. If not, they are likely to break down to less complex ones. Dynamical complex systems, like life, manage to maintain different complex equilibria in the short term (individual lifetime) and the long term (population or species lifetime), leveraging an entropy gradient.   
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #254 on: 21/09/2013 01:04:26 »
Anyway,  if sentience is defined as being able to sense something in the outside world and react to it in a way that increases survival, that was there from the get go.
True, although sentience is often defined as conscious awareness.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #255 on: 21/09/2013 01:15:02 »
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 ...?


There are tons of studies about what goes on in the brain during meditation if you are really interested. They are hooking up Buddhists monks all the time to imaging instruments. The Dalai Lama, incidentally doesn't see any conflict between his spiritual practice and science, and says “In the Buddhist investigation of reality we traditionally employ four principles of reasoning: dependence, function, nature and evidence. Both approaches [science and Buddhism]  seem to work in parallel." He has invited many physicists and neuroscientists to speak at his conferences. “Bringing science to Buddhist monks does not mean bending the belief system,” he insists, “they are parallel, there is no attempt to harmonize the two."
« Last Edit: 21/09/2013 01:17:46 by cheryl j »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #256 on: 21/09/2013 01:18:50 »
@ dlorde : your reductionist magical neo-Darwinian views spring to the face of common sense as obviously false:

I do not understand in fact how can such a relatively intelligent guy such as yourself believe in that materialistic reductionist obvious non-sense :

See this introduction to this interesting book of philosopher Thomas Nagel i have been reading , i will post a link regarding a site where one can download almost all ebooks of Nagel for free , as i did :

The book's title i am talking about here is : "Mind and Cosmos : Why the materialist reductionist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false :



Chapter 1
Introduction
The aim of this book is to argue that the mind-body problem is not just a local problem, having to do
with the relation between mind, brain, and behavior in living animal organisms, but that it invades our
understanding of the entire cosmos and its history. The physical sciences and evolutionary biology
cannot be kept insulated from it, and I believe a true appreciation of the difficulty of the problem
must eventually change our conception of the place of the physical sciences in describing the natural
order.
One of the legitimate tasks of philosophy is to investigate the limits of even the best developed
and most successful forms of contemporary scientific knowledge. It may be frustrating to
acknowledge, but we are simply at the point in the history of human thought at which we find
ourselves, and our successors will make discoveries and develop forms of understanding of which we
have not dreamt. Humans are addicted to the hope for a final reckoning, but intellectual humility
requires that we resist the temptation to assume that tools of the kind we now have are in principle
sufficient to understand the universe as a whole. Pointing out their limits is a philosophical task,
whoever engages in it, rather than part of the internal pursuit of science—though we can hope that if
the limits are recognized, that may eventually lead to the discovery of new forms of scientific
understanding. Scientists are well aware of how much they don’t know, but this is a different kind of
problem—not just of acknowledging the limits of what is actually understood but of trying to
recognize what can and cannot in principle be understood by certain existing methods.
My target is a comprehensive, speculative world picture that is reached by extrapolation from
some of the discoveries of biology, chemistry, and physics—a particular naturalistic Weltanschauung
that postulates a hierarchical relation among the subjects of those sciences, and the completeness in
principle of an explanation of everything in the universe through their unification. Such a world view
is not a necessary condition of the practice of any of those sciences, and its acceptance or
nonacceptance would have no effect on most scientific research. For all I know, most practicing
scientists may have no opinion about the overarching cosmological questions to which this materialist
reductionism provides an answer. Their detailed research and substantive findings do not in general
depend on or imply either that or any other answer to such questions. But among the scientists and
philosophers who do express views about the natural order as a whole, reductive materialism is widely
assumed to be the only serious possibility.1
The starting point for the argument is the failure of psychophysical reductionism, a position in the
philosophy of mind that is largely motivated by the hope of showing how the physical sciences could
in principle provide a theory of everything. If that hope is unrealizable, the question arises whether
any other more or less unified understanding could take in the entire cosmos as we know it. Among
the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical
world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some form of neutral monism over the traditional
alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. What I would like to do is to explore the
possibilities that are compatible with what we know—in particular what we know about how mind and
everything connected with it depends on the appearance and development of living organisms, as a
result of the universe’s physical, chemical, and then biological evolution. I will contend that these
processes must be reconceived in light of what they have produced, if psychophysical reductionism is
false.
The argument from the failure of psychophysical reductionism is a philosophical one, but I
believe there are independent empirical reasons to be skeptical about the truth of reductionism in
biology. Physico-chemical reductionism in biology is the orthodox view, and any resistance to it is
regarded as not only scientifically but politically incorrect. But for a long time I have found the
materialist account of how we and our fellow organisms came to exist hard to believe, including the
standard version of how the evolutionary process works. The more details we learn about the chemical
basis of life and the intricacy of the genetic code, the more unbelievable the standard historical
account becomes.2 This is just the opinion of a layman who reads widely in the literature that explains
contemporary science to the nonspecialist. Perhaps that literature presents the situation with a
simplicity and confidence that does not reflect the most sophisticated scientific thought in these areas.
But it seems to me that, as it is usually presented, the current orthodoxy about the cosmic order is the
product of governing assumptions that are unsupported, and that it flies in the face of common sense.
I would like to defend the untutored reaction of incredulity to the reductionist neo-Darwinian
account of the origin and evolution of life.3 It is prima facie highly implausible that life as we know it
is the result of a sequence of physical accidents together with the mechanism of natural selection. We
are expected to abandon this naïve response, not in favor of a fully worked out physical/chemical
explanation but in favor of an alternative that is really a schema for explanation, supported by some
examples. What is lacking, to my knowledge, is a credible argument that the story has a nonnegligible
probability of being true. There are two questions. First, given what is known about the chemical basis
of biology and genetics, what is the likelihood that self-reproducing life forms should have come into
existence spontaneously on the early earth, solely through the operation of the laws of physics and
chemistry? The second question is about the sources of variation in the evolutionary process that was
set in motion once life began: In the available geological time since the first life forms appeared on
earth, what is the likelihood that, as a result of physical accident, a sequence of viable genetic
mutations should have occurred that was sufficient to permit natural selection to produce the
organisms that actually exist?
There is much more uncertainty in the scientific community about the first question than about the
second. Many people think it will be very difficult to come up with a reductionist explanation of the
origin of life, but most people have no doubt that accidental genetic variation is enough to support the
actual history of evolution by natural selection, once reproducing organisms have come into
existence. However, since the questions concern highly specific events over a long historical period in
the distant past, the available evidence is very indirect, and general assumptions have to play an
important part. My skepticism is not based on religious belief, or on a belief in any definite
alternative. It is just a belief that the available scientific evidence, in spite of the consensus of
scientific opinion, does not in this matter rationally require us to subordinate the incredulity of
common sense. That is especially true with regard to the origin of life.
The world is an astonishing place, and the idea that we have in our possession the basic tools
needed to understand it is no more credible now than it was in Aristotle’s day. That it has produced
you, and me, and the rest of us is the most astonishing thing about it. If contemporary research in
molecular biology leaves open the possibility of legitimate doubts about a fully mechanistic account
of the origin and evolution of life, dependent only on the laws of chemistry and physics, this can
combine with the failure of psychophysical reductionism to suggest that principles of a different kind
are also at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form
teleological rather than mechanistic. I realize that such doubts will strike many people as outrageous,
but that is because almost everyone in our secular culture has been browbeaten into regarding the
reductive research program as sacrosanct, on the ground that anything else would not be science.
My project has the familiar form of trying to meet a set of conditions that seem jointly
impossible. In addition to antireductionism, two further constraints are important: first, an assumption
that certain things are so remarkable that they have to be explained as non-accidental if we are to
pretend to a real understanding of the world; second, the ideal of discovering a single natural order
that unifies everything on the basis of a set of common elements and principles—an ideal toward
which the inevitably very incomplete forms of our actual understanding should nevertheless aspire.
Cartesian dualism rejects this second aspiration, and the reductive programs of both materialism and
idealism are failed attempts to realize it. The unifying conception is also incompatible with the kind
of theism that explains certain features of the natural world by divine intervention, which is not part
of the natural order.
The great advances in the physical and biological sciences were made possible by excluding the
mind from the physical world. This has permitted a quantitative understanding of that world,
expressed in timeless, mathematically formulated physical laws. But at some point it will be
necessary to make a new start on a more comprehensive understanding that includes the mind. It
seems inevitable that such an understanding will have a historical dimension as well as a timeless one.
The idea that historical understanding is part of science has become familiar through the
transformation of biology by evolutionary theory. But more recently, with the acceptance of the big
bang, cosmology has also become a historical science. Mind, as a development of life, must be
included as the most recent stage of this long cosmological history, and its appearance, I believe, casts
its shadow back over the entire process and the constituents and principles on which the process
depends.
The question is whether we can integrate this perspective with that of the physical sciences as they
have been developed for a mindless universe. The understanding of mind cannot be contained within
the personal point of view, since mind is the product of a partly physical process; but by the same
token, the separateness of physical science, and its claim to completeness, has to end in the long run.
And that poses the question: To what extent will the reductive form that is so central to contemporary
physical science survive this transformation? If physics and chemistry cannot fully account for life
and consciousness, how will their immense body of truth be combined with other elements in an
expanded conception of the natural order that can accommodate those things?
As I have said, doubts about the reductionist account of life go against the dominant scientific
consensus, but that consensus faces problems of probability that I believe are not taken seriously
enough, both with respect to the evolution of life forms through accidental mutation and natural
selection and with respect to the formation from dead matter of physical systems capable of such
evolution. The more we learn about the intricacy of the genetic code and its control of the chemical
processes of life, the harder those problems seem.
Again: with regard to evolution, the process of natural selection cannot account for the actual
history without an adequate supply of viable mutations, and I believe it remains an open question
whether this could have been provided in geological time merely as a result of chemical accident,
without the operation of some other factors determining and restricting the forms of genetic variation.
It is no longer legitimate simply to imagine a sequence of gradually evolving phenotypes, as if their
appearance through mutations in the DNA were unproblematic—as Richard Dawkins does for the
evolution of the eye.4 With regard to the origin of life, the problem is much harder, since the option of
natural selection as an explanation is not available. And the coming into existence of the genetic code
—an arbitrary mapping of nucleotide sequences into amino acids, together with mechanisms that can
read the code and carry out its instructions—seems particularly resistant to being revealed as probable
given physical law alone.5
In thinking about these questions I have been stimulated by criticisms of the prevailing scientific
world picture from a very different direction: the attack on Darwinism mounted in recent years from a
religious perspective by the defenders of intelligent design. Even though writers like Michael Behe
and Stephen Meyer are motivated at least in part by their religious beliefs, the empirical arguments
they offer against the likelihood that the origin of life and its evolutionary history can be fully
explained by physics and chemistry are of great interest in themselves.6 Another skeptic, David
Berlinski, has brought out these problems vividly without reference to the design inference.7 Even if
one is not drawn to the alternative of an explanation by the actions of a designer, the problems that
these iconoclasts pose for the orthodox scientific consensus should be taken seriously.8 They do not
deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met. It is manifestly unfair.
Those who have seriously criticized these arguments have certainly shown that there are ways to
resist the design conclusion; but the general force of the negative part of the intelligent design
position—skepticism about the likelihood of the orthodox reductive view, given the available
evidence—does not appear to me to have been destroyed in these exchanges.9 At least, the question
should be regarded as open. To anyone interested in the basis of this judgment, I can only recommend
a careful reading of some of the leading advocates on both sides of the issue—with special attention
to what has been established by the critics of intelligent design. Whatever one may think about the
possibility of a designer, the prevailing doctrine—that the appearance of life from dead matter and its
evolution through accidental mutation and natural selection to its present forms has involved nothing
but the operation of physical law—cannot be regarded as unassailable. It is an assumption governing
the scientific project rather than a well-confirmed scientific hypothesis.
I confess to an ungrounded assumption of my own, in not finding it possible to regard the design
alternative as a real option. I lack the sensus divinitatis that enables—indeed compels—so many
people to see in the world the expression of divine purpose as naturally as they see in a smiling face
the expression of human feeling.10 So my speculations about an alternative to physics as a theory of
everything do not invoke a transcendent being but tend toward complications to the immanent
character of the natural order. That would also be a more unifying explanation than the design
hypothesis. I disagree with the defenders of intelligent design in their assumption, one which they
share with their opponents, that the only naturalistic alternative is a reductionist theory based on
physical laws of the type with which we are familiar. Nevertheless, I believe the defenders of
intelligent design deserve our gratitude for challenging a scientific world view that owes some of the
passion displayed by its adherents precisely to the fact that it is thought to liberate us from religion.
That world view is ripe for displacement, in spite of the great achievements of reductive
materialism, which will presumably continue for a long time to be our main source for concrete
understanding and control of the world around us. To argue, as I will, that there is a lot it can’t explain
is not to offer an alternative. But the recognition of those limits is a precondition of looking for
alternatives, or at least of being open to their possibility. And it may mean that some directions of
pursuit of the materialist form of explanation will come to be seen as dead ends. If the appearance of
conscious organisms in the world is due to principles of development that are not derived from the
timeless laws of physics, that may be a reason for pessimism about purely chemical explanations of
the origin of life as well.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #257 on: 21/09/2013 01:35:46 »
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 ...?


There are tons of studies about what goes on in the brain during meditation if you are really interested. They are hooking up Buddhists monks all the time to imaging instruments. The Dalai Lama, incidentally doesn't see any conflict between his spiritual practice and science, and says “In the Buddhist investigation of reality we traditionally employ four principles of reasoning: dependence, function, nature and evidence. Both approaches [science and Buddhism]  seem to work in parallel." He has invited many physicists and neuroscientists to speak at his conferences. “Bringing science to Buddhist monks does not mean bending the belief system,” he insists, “they are parallel, there is no attempt to harmonize the two."
[/quote]

First of all , thanks a lot for telling me about philosopher Thomas Nagel : he seems to be my kindda guy ,so to speak : i have been reading his introduction as displayed here above for our hopeless reductionist dlorde , an introduction to his "Mind and cosmos : why the materialist reductionist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false " .I did download most of the man's books for free .

Second : You seem to have missed my thread : "What is the real origin of the scientific method ? " ,concerning the islamic origin of the scientific method : check it , if you haven't done so already .

Third : Thomas Nagel tries in that book of his to debunk that materialistic neo-Darwinian reductionism in science , he tries to show the obvious limits of man's knowledge , the obvious limits of science ....

Fourth and last :
Science is certainly very welcome in trying to shed some light on spirituality , religious spiritual or mystic experiences , consciousness ...via studying their corresponding links with the corresponding specific brain activity , but , those materialistic reductionist mechanical magical neo-Darwinian interpretations of those scientific studies concerning those activities of the brain corresponding to the above mentioned processes are just that : interpretations = have nothing to do with science proper .

 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #258 on: 21/09/2013 02:05:16 »
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?
[/quote]

Can you prove any of these romantic Cinderella stories of yours ?
What , on earth , are you talking about ?
You have just landed , Mr. magical Eagle , so , you have missed a lot here :
See the previous posts where we talked about damaged brains, the magical "emergence " trick ...........

You haven't answered any of my questions regarding your reductionist magical claims that have nothing to do with science whatsoever , just with materialism  as a world view  in science .
See above : concerning that interesting book of philosopher Thomas Nagel also : you can read his displayed introduction to that interesting book of his .
I certainly cannot understand the fact that relatively intelligent people such as yourselves can  believe in that materialistic reductionist neo-Darwinian magical "emergence " trick obvious non-sense , come on : amazing : see that book .
« Last Edit: 21/09/2013 02:15:53 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #259 on: 21/09/2013 02:29:17 »
For those reductionists here who might happen to use their critical minds  regarding their reductionist magical non-sense , the following ,concerning Thomas Nagel 's books for free :

http://bookos.org/g/Thomas%20Nagel

 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #260 on: 21/09/2013 03:23:58 »


First of all , thanks a lot for telling me about philosopher Thomas Nagel : he seems to be my kindda guy ,so to speak :



I was afraid you'd say that.
« Last Edit: 21/09/2013 03:29:46 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #261 on: 21/09/2013 03:27:16 »
Anyway,  if sentience is defined as being able to sense something in the outside world and react to it in a way that increases survival, that was there from the get go.
True, although sentience is often defined as conscious awareness.

Yeah, Merriam Webster, I notice, includes both definitions. They probably had a big argument about it while writing the dictionary.

So at what point, I wonder, does an animal sense that it senses?
« Last Edit: 21/09/2013 04:23:05 by cheryl j »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #262 on: 21/09/2013 03:48:41 »


First of all , thanks a lot for telling me about philosopher Thomas Nagel : he seems to be my kindda guy ,so to speak :



I was afraid you'd say that.
[/quote]

I was  also afraid you would say this    .
What do you think about his views and analyses by the way ?
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #263 on: 21/09/2013 04:22:29 »
Quote from: DonQuichotte



I was  also afraid you would say this    .
What do you think about his views and analyses by the way ?

[/quote

I don't agree. I just read him to torture myself.

But if you are going to read Nagel, someone you already agree with, maybe you should also sample something like Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain by Antonio Damasio. Or maybe Patricia Churchland.
Before you say "There is absolutely no way you can derive A from B, you should at least be quite sure you know what B is and what it can do. I just feel you dismiss the brain as a bunch of cells and and chemical reactions in a way too nonchalant and incurious way without bothering to find out. Start with the cingulate gyrus.
« Last Edit: 21/09/2013 04:25:38 by cheryl j »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #264 on: 21/09/2013 06:11:04 »
Quote from: DonQuichotte



I was  also afraid you would say this    .
What do you think about his views and analyses by the way ?

[/quote

I don't agree. I just read him to torture myself.

But if you are going to read Nagel, someone you already agree with, maybe you should also sample something like Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain by Antonio Damasio. Or maybe Patricia Churchland.
Before you say "There is absolutely no way you can derive A from B, you should at least be quite sure you know what B is and what it can do. I just feel you dismiss the brain as a bunch of cells and and chemical reactions in a way too nonchalant and incurious way without bothering to find out. Start with the cingulate gyrus.

I can understand that you would disagree with him, but why "torture yourself " by reading him,  or was that just sarcasm  ...  : is he that bad ?
....................I know i am no easy read either haha ......He ,himself,said in his above displayed introduction to his " Mind and cosmos ..." book , that he read the scientific popularized  literature extensively , and he expressed the potential possibility that that literature he read might be too simplistic ...

............................
Well, you got that wrong ,regarding what you said about me at least , and i do have that ebook of Antonio Damasio "Self comes to mind ..." , dlorde told me about it , so, i downloaded it from the net : i will read it whenever i can .

I do value the brain , i am marvelled and perplexed by its complexity and functioning we still know so little about , despite all those breakthroughs in that regard delivered by neuroscience ...: i did give you some links regarding just that earlier ,in the form of those videos, for example

I read relatively enough about the materialistic magical mainstream reductionism in science i am deeply appaled and outraged by its deceptive ideological dishonesty and hijacking of science , as i said many times and in different forms ,to be honest = we hear mostly only about the materialistic interpretations of science , of scienctific results and approaches  that get presented to people as science proper  = science is dominated by that  ..even the meta-paradigm of science is materialistic .
And there is no reason to say that A or the brain ,or what takes place in it , do cause  B or  consciousness : there is correlation and interaction between the 2 , materialists do confuse with causation ,for obvious ideological "reasons " , in order to make those scientific results fit into their materialistic ideology :

I will just let Nagel sum all that up , via the eloquent concise conclusion of his above mentioned book : Here you go :


Chapter 6
Conclusion:
Philosophy has to proceed comparatively. The best we can do is to develop the rival alternative
conceptions in each important domain as fully and carefully as possible, depending on our antecedent
sympathies, and see how they measure up. That is a more credible form of progress than decisive
proof or refutation.
In the present climate of a dominant scientific naturalism, heavily dependent on speculative
Darwinian explanations of practically everything, and armed to the teeth against attacks from religion,
I have thought it useful to speculate about possible alternatives. Above all, I would like to extend the
boundaries of what is not regarded as unthinkable, in light of how little we really understand about the
world. It would be an advance if the secular theoretical establishment, and the contemporary
enlightened culture which it dominates, could wean itself of the materialism and Darwinism of the
gaps—to adapt one of its own pejorative tags. I have tried to show that this approach is incapable of
providing an adequate account, either constitutive or historical, of our universe.
However, I am certain that my own attempt to explore alternatives is far too unimaginative. An
understanding of the universe as basically prone to generate life and mind will probably require a
much more radical departure from the familiar forms of naturalistic explanation than I am at present
able to conceive. Specifically, in attempting to understand consciousness as a biological phenomenon,
it is too easy to forget how radical is the difference between the subjective and the objective, and to
fall into the error of thinking about the mental in terms taken from our ideas of physical events and
processes. Wittgenstein was sensitive to this error, though his way of avoiding it through an
exploration of the grammar of mental language seems to me plainly insufficient.
It is perfectly possible that the truth is beyond our reach, in virtue of our intrinsic cognitive
limitations, and not merely beyond our grasp in humanity’s present stage of intellectual development.
But I believe that we cannot know this, and that it makes sense to go on seeking a systematic
understanding of how we and other living things fit into the world. In this process, the ability to
generate and reject false hypotheses plays an essential role. I have argued patiently against the
prevailing form of naturalism, a reductive materialism that purports to capture life and mind through
its neo-Darwinian extension.

But to go back to my introductory remarks, I find this view antecedently
unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense
.

The empirical evidence can
be interpreted to accommodate different comprehensive theories, but in this case the cost in
conceptual and probabilistic contortions is prohibitive. I would be willing to bet that the present rightthinking
consensus will come to seem laughable in a generation or two—though of course it may be
replaced by a new consensus that is just as invalid. The human will to believe is inexhaustible.

« Last Edit: 21/09/2013 06:48:11 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #265 on: 21/09/2013 07:09:21 »
Nagel was a bit merciful or too kind in fact :

 He had to say that the reductionist materialistic world view was already laughable , antecedently unbelievable ,childish , ridiculous , magical ...and even stupid , sorry , from day 1 already .
Those huge advances or "miracles " of science were the results of the scientific method , materialism had nothing to do with .
The next generations will show no intellectual mercy for materialism  ...i guess ...simply because materialists   have been deliberately deceiving so many people ,during all those more than 5 centuries up to this present date , in the name of science ...
Ignorant people ,or even ignorant religious extremists might be pardoned for their ignorance , or for their crimes in the name of God ...but, i see not how materialists can be intellectually pardoned for the fact that they have been deceiving people , in the name of science , by deliberately and knowingly presenting their materialistic  world views or materialistic approaches to the peopel as scientific facts or as scientific approaches ...

materialism in science is the biggest scam , the ultimate con and fraud in the history of mankind : worse : and even more so in science....in science most people genuinely trust as a valid source of knowledge like no other .
 

Offline Skyli

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #266 on: 21/09/2013 10:41:08 »
On meditation you won't find a much better book than "The Which Guide to Meditation". It's about 20 years old now but gives a great explanation of the "relaxation response". It is amazing. For many years I slept 4 hours per night, was never tired, and meditated - simple counting breaths until I hit the RR - for 30 minutes each morning and evening. I don't hit the relaxation response very often these days but, when I do, there is still a euphoric feeling when I return from the "poised awareness" state of the relaxation response to normal awareness. I do not know why there is a feeling of euphoria but I think the chances of it being a naturally evolved "reward" to a useful survival trait are good - it is, in some ways, like an orgasm. Mankinds tendency to assign spiritual significance to euphoria provides alternative causes.

DonQuihotte, you asked:
"Can you prove any of these romantic Cinderella stories of yours ?
What , on earth , are you talking about ?..........."

OK. To the first, no I can't - it's pure speculation, a possible explanation. The elements of this speculation - self esteem, conscience, intelligence - are observable as is Evolution. I just put 2 and 2 together and came up with 4, or near enough that I don't "need" any other explanation. Not to say that there isn't one and I'm all ears.

To the second, didn't I just ask you that? There is a reason why we say "the conscious mind". There are things going on in the mind that we are not "conscious" of. The question posed by this conversation asks what is consciousness? I just want to clarify what you mean by consciousness

But you're absolutely right, I am a newbie and, yes, I skimmed over a lot of entries; I'll go back and take a look.

In response to cheryl j, I would not define sentience like this; sensing the outside world and reacting to it is either instinct or consciousness. I would describe sentience as the ability to react, or choose to react, to stimuli in a way not conducive to survival - we don't need to know why stars explode yet we expend resources trying to find out. Such a behaviour change requires a lot more memory and reasoning ability simply because it offers such an expanded scope for choice - a bug can eat, sleep or reproduce, I can do all that or listen to some Led Zeppelin or do the washing up - no contest. Why would we want to do this and what sort of control mechanisms would be required for such a dangerous development in mental ability might be a good subject for another thread but I've referred to my own views regarding drives and reward mechanisms in a previous post. Sorry, but I think "conscious awareness" is just a symptom of sentience.

Thank you dlorde, that makes things clear, I think; The universe appears to function like a conveyor belt because it must, over time, function like a conveyor belt.

Had a glance at Nagel; I agree with some of what he has to say. However, I have a problem with people who won't see what they don't want to. His denigration of "speculative Darwinian explanation" is almost fanatical. I don't believe that science has all the answers either, but I accept the possibility that it may only be a matter of time. I also accept the possibility that science will never have all the answers because there is a supernatural element involved. It's a case of I'll go back 2 million years and show you that my ancestor was an ape just as soon as you show me God.
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #267 on: 21/09/2013 11:12:32 »
Non-sentient life could populate the planet passively, from its puddle, by variations on the theme of splashing (caused by external agencies).

So why did sentient life evolve at all?

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

The transpiration of water is common to all the things we call life forms, and the hydrogen bond is the basis of DNA mitosis and replication. Whether selfreplicating molecules first appeared in a dirty rain puddle or a vent at the bottom of the ocean is only a matter of size - it's still a puddle!
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #268 on: 21/09/2013 12:55:37 »
So why did sentient life evolve at all?
Because it gives highly complex organisms an advantage; e.g., in cooperation, creative problem-solving, forward planning, etc.

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Whether selfreplicating molecules first appeared in a dirty rain puddle or a vent at the bottom of the ocean is only a matter of size - it's still a puddle!
Puddle < ocean by definition; but yeah, whatever ;)
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #269 on: 21/09/2013 14:17:32 »
@ dlorde : your reductionist magical neo-Darwinian views spring to the face of common sense as obviously false:
Well there's your problem. Common sense can be a very poor guide to how the world works - as has been demonstrated repeatedly, and is one of the reasons critical thinking and the scientific method were developed with such success.

Quote
I do not understand in fact how can such a relatively intelligent guy such as yourself believe in that materialistic reductionist obvious non-sense :
I certainly don't expect you to agree with my position, but given that I've explained the reasons that I take the position I do, in some detail, several times on this forum, your failure to understand is telling - particularly when your counter arguments appear to be the argument from incredulity and the 'spiritual' argument of indescribable private subjective experience.

Quote
See this introduction to this interesting book of philosopher Thomas Nagel i have been reading
Surprisingly, he explicitly admits his view is based on a degree of ignorance and incredulity:
Quote from: Nagel
This is just the opinion of a layman who reads widely in the literature that explains contemporary science to the nonspecialist. Perhaps that literature presents the situation with a simplicity and confidence that does not reflect the most sophisticated scientific thought in these areas.
...
I would like to defend the untutored reaction of incredulity to the reductionist neo-Darwinian account of the origin and evolution of life.3 It is prima facie highly implausible that life as we know it is the result of a sequence of physical accidents together with the mechanism of natural selection.
I suspect that if he'd experimented with evolutionary simulators such as Tierra and it's ilk, and seen for himself the complexity and variation that can arise in simple replicators within a few hundred thousand generations; if he'd looked at the results from labs where single-celled organisms like yeasts and bacteria are gaining novel traits and even speciating in vitro, studied the number and types of speciations that have been observed in the wild, and taken some time to appreciate the significance of deep time and climate & ecosystem variation in evolution, he'd have less untutored incredulity and less difficulty with probability.

It is commendable that a philosopher admits those limitations at the outset, but less commendable that he fails to address them before expounding his opinion.

It's perfectly valid and acceptable to point to areas of uncertainty in our current knowledge, if you're familiar with those areas - he admits he isn't; and it's fine to provide plausible alternatives to mainstream hypotheses and theories - he doesn't.

If he wants to cast doubt on the current mainstream view of the origins and development of life, all he needs is to find a single item of contrary evidence, or plausible contradictory argument. When all's said and done, "I find that hard to believe" is not, of itself, an argument.

I suspect he's just found himself a philosophical doubter's niche he can use to advantage; critical of the mainstream, sympathetic to, yet unsupportive of, theist & irrational alternatives. Sitting high on this intellectual fence, perhaps he feels he can attract more attention - because he must know there is no significant or substantive content to his exposition.
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #270 on: 21/09/2013 19:12:48 »
@ dlorde : your reductionist magical neo-Darwinian views spring to the face of common sense as obviously false:
Well there's your problem. Common sense can be a very poor guide to how the world works - as has been demonstrated repeatedly, and is one of the reasons critical thinking and the scientific method were developed with such success.

Wao, your denials ,blindness ...are staggering : even though common sense is not always reliable, it is in this case ,in the sense that reductionism makes no sense whatsoever , the more when we see it as just an ideology in science ,you seem not yet to be able to differentiate from science proper .
Worse : reductionism in science interprets scientific results or empirical evidence and scientific experiments , scientific approaches its own reductionist way that has nothing to do with science ,obviously, but it has more to do with reductionistic naturalism as an ideology :
Why didn't you try to address that core point of Nagel, instead of circling around it , you're just  addressing the other more or less minor issues of Nagel's analysis = very predictable indeed : you either ignore the core issues related to magical ideological reductionism in science , or you just resort to denigrating or at least questioning your opponents' intellect : did it ever occur to you that that reductionist world view is in fact even stupid, to say the least : you pretend to possess a higher intellect than your opponents via all that fancy talk , while you do believe in the most stupid world view ever ,in the history of mankind : reductionist magical materialistic naturalist neo-Darwinian world view ,the latter as just a reductionist ideological interpretation of the empirical evidence ...
I read extensively concerning the general lines ,specualtions, hypotheises ...of reductionism in science , i think i can say i understand most of  that , relatively speaking then , as i understand your magical "emergence " tricks and their implications + their intrinsic paradoxes you do not even see yourself,to say just that  : you just continue to confuse your reductionistic naturalist religion with science proper .

Quote
Quote
I do not understand in fact how can such a relatively intelligent guy such as yourself believe in that materialistic reductionist obvious non-sense .
I certainly don't expect you to agree with my position, but given that I've explained the reasons that I take the position I do, in some detail, several times on this forum, your failure to understand is telling - particularly when your counter arguments appear to be the argument from incredulity and the 'spiritual' argument of indescribable private subjective experience.

See above :

You're confusing isues here with each other :
You did present no evidence or arguments that might support your magical claims , you just presented the mainstream ideological reductionist naturalist neo-darwinian interpretations of some empirical evidence , see the difference ? = I think you cannot , simply because you do confuse science with the reductionist  naturalist  ideology to the point where you equate between them .
So, do not change the subject or project it on your opponents , simply because the burden of proof must be addresserd by you and by the mainstream reductionist naturalism in science ,that pretends to be scientific .

Quote
Quote
See this introduction to this interesting book of philosopher Thomas Nagel i have been reading
Surprisingly, he explicitly admits his view is based on a degree of ignorance and incredulity
[/quote]

Are you using his integrity and honesty as arguments against him ?
Who can say that anyone for that matter  knows everything concerning all sciences ,let alone that one  can know all that  ? You're no exception to that rule.

Quote from: Nagel
This is just the opinion of a layman who reads widely in the literature that explains contemporary science to the nonspecialist. Perhaps that literature presents the situation with a simplicity and confidence that does not reflect the most sophisticated scientific thought in these areas.
...
I would like to defend the untutored reaction of incredulity to the reductionist neo-Darwinian account of the origin and evolution of life.3 It is prima facie highly implausible that life as we know it is the result of a sequence of physical accidents tofrom labs where single-celled organisms like yeasts and bacteria are gaining novel traits and even speciating in vitro, studied the number and types of speciations that have been observed in the wild, and taken some time to appreciate the significance of deep time and climate & ecosystem variation in evolution, he'd have less untutored incredulity and less difficulty with probability.
[/quote]

Despite your fancy talk, you are no better than he is , in the sense that you are just reflecting the opinions or interpretations of the empirical evidence by the mainstream reductionists : he's in fact in a better position than you could ever be , simply because he dares to utter his own radical bold anti-mainstream opinions,while you are just repeating those of mainstream reductionism in science : see the difference ?
Incredulity regarding the incredible unbelievable unrealistic obvious ideological reductionist naturalist non-sense in science regarding the very nature of the universe , life , evolution, man ....can be a valid argument : you do not remember saying on this thread yourself that any claims  without evidence should be dismissed without evidence , didn't you ?
I just add to that that abscence of evidence is not always evidence of abscence .
In the case of reductionist naturalism in science : i dare to say that it is certainly a false ideology , simply because the obvious abscence of evidence regarding the extraordinary unbelievable incredible obvious phony claims of reductionist naturalist world view is evidence of abscence .

Quote
It is commendable that a philosopher admits those limitations at the outset, but less commendable that he fails to address them before expounding his opinion. gether with the mechanism of natural selection.
Quote
I suspect that if he'd experimented with evolutionary simulators such as Tierra and it's ilk, and seen for himself the complexity and variation that can arise in simple replicators within a few hundred thousand generations; if he'd looked at the results
[/quote]

The scientific results , empirical evidence can be interpreted via a million ways ,sometimes ..cannot even exclude the fact that there is a higher power behind all of the universe processes and their origins as well  ...for example .
You might argue that some would say that Saint Claus might be behind all those processes as well haha , but that's a lesser serious "argument " : there might be some so-called morphic underlying fields as well underneath those universal processes , who knows ...

So, why  should one  try to reduce everything to just matter and material processes,as reductionist naturalists do indeed in  fact =  certainly without any evidence supporting that magical claim either as well ?
You tell me ..

Quote
It's perfectly valid and acceptable to point to areas of uncertainty in our current knowledge, if you're familiar with those areas - he admits he isn't; and it's fine to provide plausible alternatives to mainstream hypotheses and theories - he doesn't.

He points to more interesting facts : such as the fact that science or our human knowledge or epistemology in general have limits: we cannot know "everything " there is to know , no matter how those lunatics reductionists would try to come up with some so-called theory of everything no one can deliver ,per definition,  not yesterday, not today and not tomorrow or beyond.
Besides, he said also that reductionism in science has really no viable concurrents today ,in the sense that there is no non-materialist world view out there that can pretend to be scientific as that phony reductionist naturalistic ideology in science pretends to be at least ,and that should be no reason to assume that reductionism is true ,is there ?.
His study was comparative , he talked about the disease and its sympthoms as well, while expressing the wish that humanity might be able, in the future , to adopt non-reductionist views, but he fears  that the potential latter might turn out to be as invalid as reductionism today is ...The human will or rather urge  to believe is indeed staggering .

Quote
If he wants to cast doubt on the current mainstream view of the origins and development of life, all he needs is to find a single item of contrary evidence, or plausible contradictory argument. When all's said and done, "I find that hard to believe" is not, of itself, an argument.

Oh, man , the mainstream approach of the origin of life is so full of specualations and unbelievable fairytales that they  can be hardly taken as ...'evidence ", not even remotely close ,come on , be serious .
Even evolution itself is dominated by the mainstream reductionist interpretations of evolution, despite all the evidence regarding evolution : see how reductionist fanatic neo-darwinism of fanatic scientists such as Dawkins and co has been doing to evolution , by interpreting it its  own ideological ways , in order to make the data fit into their ideology ,or in order to  twist  the empirical evidence to the point where it can be squeezed into the reductionist key hole view of life ...as you certainly do as well .

Quote
I suspect he's just found himself a philosophical doubter's niche he can use to advantage; critical of the mainstream, sympathetic to, yet unsupportive of, theist & irrational alternatives. Sitting high on this intellectual fence, perhaps he feels he can attract more attention - because he must know there is no significant or substantive content to his exposition.

Maybe , but he makes sense : we shouldn't try to judge his possible probable intentions, motives ...we cannot know ,come on, we should address just what he says .
You were just being predictably selective in doing just the latter , by ignoring the obvious ideological nature of reductionist naturalism through its neo-darwinism extension you cannot but confuse with science or with the empirical evidence ...

Hopeless discussion .
It's almost impossible to make any believer for that matter see , recognize or acknowledge the obvious holes and paradoxes, bullshit , of his /her own belief , you are no exception to that rule ,neithet am i : the human urge , i would say , to believe is unbelievably puzzling .
When are you gonna realise the fact , if ever , that reductionist naturalism has already reached a dead-end street it cannot find any  way to avoid  ,dude ?
Well, maybe only when man will be able to replace it by a more or less valid world view, i guess, not earlier : why should you wait for just that to happen ? Why don't you use your so-called critical thinking , the scientific method itself , and your bombastic alleged higher intellect to do just that ,during your own lifetime ?,especially when we might consider the possible probable fact that that potential future or futuristic more or less valid non-reductionist world view that might replace that bankrupt false reductionism in science , might be applied when you will be dead :
You would take your reductionist lie to the grave with you , as a result , without ever realising that fact before just that ...
The only comfort or consolation that i can give you is that you will , as we all will also for that matter , know THE Truth with a big T , only after death =that only Certainty out there , in that double sense then .

Good luck indeed .

« Last Edit: 21/09/2013 19:46:29 by DonQuichotte »
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #271 on: 21/09/2013 19:52:53 »
On meditation you won't find a much better book than "The Which Guide to Meditation". It's about 20 years old now but gives a great explanation of the "relaxation response". It is amazing. For many years I slept 4 hours per night, was never tired, and meditated - simple counting breaths until I hit the RR - for 30 minutes each morning and evening. I don't hit the relaxation response very often these days but, when I do, there is still a euphoric feeling when I return from the "poised awareness" state of the relaxation response to normal awareness. I do not know why there is a feeling of euphoria but I think the chances of it being a naturally evolved "reward" to a useful survival trait are good - it is, in some ways, like an orgasm. Mankinds tendency to assign spiritual significance to euphoria provides alternative causes.

DonQuihotte, you asked:
"Can you prove any of these romantic Cinderella stories of yours ?
What , on earth , are you talking about ?..........."

OK. To the first, no I can't - it's pure speculation, a possible explanation. The elements of this speculation - self esteem, conscience, intelligence - are observable as is Evolution. I just put 2 and 2 together and came up with 4, or near enough that I don't "need" any other explanation. Not to say that there isn't one and I'm all ears.

To the second, didn't I just ask you that? There is a reason why we say "the conscious mind". There are things going on in the mind that we are not "conscious" of. The question posed by this conversation asks what is consciousness? I just want to clarify what you mean by consciousness

But you're absolutely right, I am a newbie and, yes, I skimmed over a lot of entries; I'll go back and take a look.

In response to cheryl j, I would not define sentience like this; sensing the outside world and reacting to it is either instinct or consciousness. I would describe sentience as the ability to react, or choose to react, to stimuli in a way not conducive to survival - we don't need to know why stars explode yet we expend resources trying to find out. Such a behaviour change requires a lot more memory and reasoning ability simply because it offers such an expanded scope for choice - a bug can eat, sleep or reproduce, I can do all that or listen to some Led Zeppelin or do the washing up - no contest. Why would we want to do this and what sort of control mechanisms would be required for such a dangerous development in mental ability might be a good subject for another thread but I've referred to my own views regarding drives and reward mechanisms in a previous post. Sorry, but I think "conscious awareness" is just a symptom of sentience.

Thank you dlorde, that makes things clear, I think; The universe appears to function like a conveyor belt because it must, over time, function like a conveyor belt.

Had a glance at Nagel; I agree with some of what he has to say. However, I have a problem with people who won't see what they don't want to. His denigration of "speculative Darwinian explanation" is almost fanatical. I don't believe that science has all the answers either, but I accept the possibility that it may only be a matter of time. I also accept the possibility that science will never have all the answers because there is a supernatural element involved. It's a case of I'll go back 2 million years and show you that my ancestor was an ape just as soon as you show me God.

Try to organize your post , please , so, we can address it .Thanks .
See what i said here above to our magical friend here dlorde on the subject :

You also happen to confuse,as all our other magical friends here also do by the way , you confuse that magical false reductionist naturalism as a world view or ideology in science , with science proper , while not being able, of course and obviously , to prove any of your magical reductionist claims on the subject as well .so .
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #272 on: 21/09/2013 21:02:21 »
The reductionist naturalist materialist neo-Darwinian world view or ideology in science , has been crippling objectiviy in science :
Congratulations, folks .
Way to go ...
We do really need a revolutionary shift of meta-paradigm in science , together with a revolutionary holistic approach of ...human consciousness, if we wanna ever be able to really know anything relatively objective regarding the secrets and mysteries surrounding the latter hard problem in science = human consciousness ...
Human consciousness as being in fact THE Key to trying to understand ourselves and the universe , to say just that ............
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #273 on: 21/09/2013 21:51:21 »
Quote from: DonQuichotte link=topic=48746.msg418872#msg418872


I can understand that you would disagree with him, but why "torture yourself " by reading him,  or was that just sarcasm  ...



Well, I was joking, in a way. I read things written by people even when I suspect I won't agree with them because it might change my views, or modify them. And because it seems to provoke more creative or clearer thinking than reading someone who just confirms what I already knew or believed.

I honestly don’t understand why you accuse anyone who doesn’t agree with you of “magical” thinking. History overwhelming contradicts your assertion  that  scientific materialism in any way appeals to or relies on   “magical” processes. Innumerable natural phenomena once attributed to acts of Gods or angry spirits have been explained, from lightening to plagues, the changing seasons, the rising of the sun, birth defects, earthquakes, comets...or do you question the magical materialist explanation of those as well? Dlorde made the comment earlier: “Everything else we know about the universe exists and functions within the laws of physics, and as has been said here repeatedly, there's no good reason to make an exception for consciousness, and all the evidence suggests that it isn't an exception.” So why do you think human consciousness is a special exception?

Utility does not prove validity, but mysticism certainly has a dismal track record. You can’t wire a house or build computers or launch rockets with mysticism, you can’t understand photosynthesis or how the kidney works with mysticism, you can’t figure out the age of fossils with mysticism.  ( I honestly don’t know what else to call the immaterial forces or processes you believe are responsible for consciousness, since you won’t identify them either. I’m sorry if mysticism is the wrong word, but it’s the definition that seems to apply.  “Mysticism: Mysticism is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Mysticism:the belief that direct knowledge of ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience such as intuition or insight ”)

This is what I think: In the end, even if it turns out there is some  mystical component of consciousness that I cannot test, identify, or understand, I suspect that I  will still know a lot more interesting and useful things about the mind/ brain, and people through materialistic science than you will through mysticism. What's more, these facts or theories can be shared, and are easily verifiable to other people, and their understanding does not depend on any special, subjective state of mystical insight in myself or them.
« Last Edit: 22/09/2013 01:58:27 by cheryl j »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #274 on: 22/09/2013 06:56:44 »
We do really need a revolutionary shift of meta-paradigm in science

I gave up on Thomas Kuhn when I came across a page of his work that used the word "paradigm" over 20 times, with apparently a different meaning each time. I thought that was the ultimate in oforgawdsake lexicolalia until I saw this! 
« Last Edit: 22/09/2013 06:59:47 by alancalverd »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #274 on: 22/09/2013 06:56:44 »

 

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