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Offline @@

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self aware
« on: 27/05/2007 21:46:03 »
as i am a product of the universe, and i am self aware, should the universe itself be viewed as self aware?


 

another_someone

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« Reply #1 on: 27/05/2007 21:54:40 »
You are also the product of the food you eat - does this mean that the food you eat is self aware?

I don't think one can compare the whole to its parts (a single ant and a colony of ants are two different entities, with different behaviours; even though the colony is composed only of individual ants).

The universe is not human, and should not be attributed human characteristics.  This does not ofcourse disallow that the universe might be self aware (although you will have to clearly define what being self aware is), but you cannot assume it merely because some of its components are self aware.

I would suggest that a universe cannot be self aware unless there are other universes that exist, and the different universes intereact in some way.  This is not to say that if multiple and mutually interacting universes exist, then they must be self aware, only that I would require this to be a precondition for self awareness.  I say this because self awareness must be a way to distinguish self from other, and thus can only exist if there is an other from which self can be distinguished from.
 

Online Bored chemist

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« Reply #2 on: 28/05/2007 15:40:55 »
as  a rock is a product of the universe, and a rock is not self aware, should the universe itself be viewed as not self aware?
 

another_someone

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« Reply #3 on: 28/05/2007 15:55:15 »
as  a rock is a product of the universe, and a rock is not self aware, should the universe itself be viewed as not self aware?

That was my initial idea, but I realised that this is the converse of the question.

The question was whether if a part of the system is self aware, then the whole system must be.  This is the converse of the question as to whether, if the whole is self aware, then must all the component parts be self aware.

Not that I would argue in favour of either (since the part being aware of itself is so in a context that is different to the context of the whole, so the context of self awareness must be different, if it exists at all).
 

Offline ukmicky

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« Reply #4 on: 28/05/2007 16:46:08 »
Quote
as  a rock is a product of the universe, and a rock is not self aware, should the universe itself be viewed as not self aware?
 


A rock can interact with its surroundings in a chemical sort of way just like we interact with our surroundings chemically. ,so does that count for some form of awareness. :D
 

another_someone

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« Reply #5 on: 28/05/2007 17:09:54 »
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as  a rock is a product of the universe, and a rock is not self aware, should the universe itself be viewed as not self aware?
 


A rock can interact with its surroundings in a chemical sort of way just like we interact with our surroundings chemically. ,so does that count for some form of awareness. :D

No, I don't think it would suffice to say so (but your smiley indicates that you do not serious;y believe it either).

Awareness, whether of self or of anything else, is concept pertaining to knowledge and information, such knowledge or information being able to map a boundary between self and other.  In humans, we are aware of our own skin, and regard that as a dividing line between self and other.

If a human is divided in two, it is no longer a whole human, because the dividing line between self and other is violated (a small violation is tolerable, and merely causes to shrink the domain of self, but an equal division would not attain the same end result, since one cannot have two selves).  Ofcourse, this does lead to interesting questions regarding what the notion of self exists for a Siamese twin (i.e. what psychological problems do such twins undergo after separation), but then, Siamese twins who share two much of themselves cannot be safely separated without the loss of one of the twins.

Rocks, on the other hand, can be divided into millions of little grains of sand - does this in any way violate the sense of self for a rock.

One also has to ask, if a rock were to store information pertaining to the boundary between self and other, where would this information be stored?  The amount of information the average rock can store in minuscule in comparison even to the information storage of a simple bacteria, and would this minuscule amount of informnation be sufficient to store information pertaining to self and non-self?
 

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« Reply #6 on: 28/05/2007 20:01:07 »
The Rosetta stone carried quite a lot of information, but it didn't put the information there. I think the problem with a rock tyring to store information is that it cannot change itself. Any animal or even plant that has an immune reaction of the sort that leads to prolonged immunity as a result of a short exposure (in the way that we don't generally get mumps twice) has some sort of "memory" that is missing in a rock. I think that you need a memory to be self aware but I don't think that having some sort of memory is proof that you are self aware.
 

another_someone

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« Reply #7 on: 29/05/2007 01:41:57 »
The Rosetta stone carried quite a lot of information, but it didn't put the information there.

The amount of information that you are referring to on the rosetta stone does not even begin to compare with the amount of information stored in the DNA of a bacteria - I would doubt it even compares to the RNA of an average virus.

I think the problem with a rock tyring to store information is that it cannot change itself. Any animal or even plant that has an immune reaction of the sort that leads to prolonged immunity as a result of a short exposure (in the way that we don't generally get mumps twice) has some sort of "memory" that is missing in a rock. I think that you need a memory to be self aware but I don't think that having some sort of memory is proof that you are self aware.

The ability to read information is important, but there is no reason why the sense of self cannot be inate, and thus not require writing (although ofcourse it is not unreasonable to say that to be able to meaningfully process information one must have an ability to copy information as part of the processing of information).

But I do agree that the rock has little known information processing capability, but then, if the information is not there, then its inability to process it is somewhat moot.

Ofcourse, despite the issue of the rosetta stone, rock does carry information naturally, although we humans are still only capable of reading a small part of that information.  With ignius rock, we can read information associated with the time the rock was formed (the Earth's magnetic field, amongst other issues), and possibly issues pertaining to cosmic radiation over the life of the rock, possibly the temperture history of the roc, etc.  Sedementary rocks can provide other information.  No doubt, if we could read rocks on a crystal by crystal basis, we might be able to derive far more detailed information about the history of the rock.

 

Offline @@

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« Reply #8 on: 02/06/2007 00:11:46 »
as i eat my food, so i eat the universe.
 i dont think the hair on my head or the nails growing on my fingers are any  more aware than the rock, but, the bits of me that are what you would call alive i am certainly aware of.     
 

Offline lightarrow

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« Reply #9 on: 02/06/2007 13:54:58 »
as i eat my food, so i eat the universe.
 i dont think the hair on my head or the nails growing on my fingers are any  more aware than the rock, but, the bits of me that are what you would call alive i am certainly aware of.     
Define Awareness.
 

Offline @@

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« Reply #10 on: 02/06/2007 17:20:21 »
i think therefore i am.
 

another_someone

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« Reply #11 on: 02/06/2007 18:10:31 »
i think therefore i am.


While this is valid, what it does not say, and would be incorrect if it did say - "I am therefore I think".

Nor is it inevitable that all that thinks is self aware - or would you contend the converse?
 

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« Reply #11 on: 02/06/2007 18:10:31 »

 

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