God does exist.

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God does exist.

Matter cannot perceive because it is purely mechanical (assumption).   Lifeforms can do more than just exist, lifeforms can perceive as they think and react.  You can say that the behavior of life form corresponds directly to the transfer of energies in the mind but where exactly (which molecule) corresponds to the time when the observer observes?

Even if you could find the energy transfer that matches up to the nanosecond that you perceive, what good would that do?  You would only have found a single atomic particle that corresponds to you perceiving.

 

As a thought experiment, lets take a human mind, and trim it down as much as possible. 

 

This perceiving mind:

1.  Cannot reproduce (reproduction is unnecessary for consciousness)

2.  Cannot think logically (problem solving abilities is not necessary for consciousness).

3.  Cannot react to any action (The action-reaction model is not necessary for consciousness).

 

This perceiving entity has been trimmed down from a capable complex box of nodes and wires (a sentient being) to a single perceiving node, one atom or molecule without a connecting wire.  It does nothing but the thing responsible for humans observing their own machinery.

 

So our trimmed down sentient being (single atom)  is sent a signal! The scientist brings another atomic particle nearby to the perceiving molecule (or atom), the molecule observes the neighbor molecule, registers the proximity, and promptly does nothing about it. 

 

I observe the transfers of energy in my mind, I watch the energies travel along wires, I watch them come and go, surge and deminish,

 

Where am I in my mind?  It's the problem of consciousness, and until you guys can educate me about where conscious is, I will believe that an entity beyond our understanding is responsible for preserving my consciousness in this medium of matter.

 

*runs*

The idea that we should believe something because its true does not come naturally to all people. People don't believe in things because they are true, they believe in them because they are useful. Holding a belief that runs contrary to reality can be a marker that binds you to the loyalty of a tribe. Belief=Belonging=Protection. We must take heed to well informed hostility lest the situation degrades to the point of war and we are mowed down by a force greater than ourselves.


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Fallacy of

The argument seems to be one very long fallacy of composition.

Quote:

Where am I in my mind?

Just asking the question commits the Homunculus fallacy

Quote:

It's the problem of consciousness, and until you guys can educate me about where conscious is, I will believe that an entity beyond our understanding is responsible for preserving my consciousness in this medium of matter.

This is a stolen concept fallacy. You are supposing here that consciousness is maintained by...a conscious being beyond our understanding?

Not that it matters, there are so many problems with your model that it took me two essays to outline them:

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Science certainly does not

Science certainly does not conceive of mind or any aspect of mind residing in a single place, or a single neurone, let alone anything more  elemental like a single molecule or atom.

Mind is an emergent attribute of the whole assembly of interacting cells in the brain - it is not a 'thing' that you can point to, it is what the brain is 'doing'.

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You have just been PWNED by

You have just been PWNED by Deludedgod. Sorry you don't win and you don't even get a home version of the game. Thank you, drive through.

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  Quote: You are supposing

 

 

Quote:
You are supposing here that consciousness is maintained by...a conscious being beyond our understanding?

I suppose I am assuming something magical, but there seems to be no other way out because you can't solve the problem by defining exactly how the wires and nodes cooperate to form my behavior.  Sure you explain precisely why I typed my keyboard exactly as I did, but why must I be bothered to watch MY fingers, and not everybody else's?

 

And what about the humans 1000 years ago, and 1000 years from now, "I" won't be around to watch any of that.  How come I only get to see my fingers, on this keyboard, in this narrow band of time.  Boggles my mind and nobody has come up with an answer.  I don't think we are smart enough to conceive of an answer.

 

With the atheist world, consciousness seems to mockingly out of bounds.  With the theist world, at least you can invent candidate solutions and maybe speculate on what the ghost behind the machine is. 

 

The atheist would do well to prove that my notion of consciousness doesn't really exist and that I'm describing something imaginary.  But in doing that you make the problem worse because you have to invoke my perception of your argument to convince me that I'm not really see what I'm seeing.

 

Your Homunculus fallacy was enlightening, if I attribute consciousness to a little man in my mind, then who's the little man in the little man's mind?  So that doesn't work.  So we are back to the age old problem, what is matter, and how come I'm placed here to watch THIS set of molecules bounce around as if it was a big production brought into existence specifically for me to watch it?

 

Existence doesn't bother me, it's the fact that I was sat down somewhere nearby to participate in that which I cannot control at all.

 

 

The idea that we should believe something because its true does not come naturally to all people. People don't believe in things because they are true, they believe in them because they are useful. Holding a belief that runs contrary to reality can be a marker that binds you to the loyalty of a tribe. Belief=Belonging=Protection. We must take heed to well informed hostility lest the situation degrades to the point of war and we are mowed down by a force greater than ourselves.


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Quote:I suppose I am

Quote:

I suppose I am assuming something magical,

It's not magical, merely internally contradictory. If you suppose that consiousness must be maintained by a conscious being, then you must relinquish your claim that consciousness must be maintained by a conscious being, so, um, well, you see where I'm going with this.

That stolen concept fallacy aside, it is tremendously problematic to suppose that it is even possible for such a being to exist without any material constitution, as I went on to show quite precisely.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Quote:You have just been

Quote:
You have just been PWNED by Deludedgod. Sorry you don't win and you don't even get a home version of the game. Thank you, drive through.

 

hahah, "I" don't win?  Your not helping your position by ignoring my arguments and then (within your own words) invoking a powerful version of the self.

 

By setting yourself up as judge against who wins and loses, it seems like your having an existential delusional crisis, somehow you believe that you control the molecules that makeup your consciousness.

 

News flash, you don't, so you don't get credit for anything.  Only God

 

Sticking out tongue

 

The idea that we should believe something because its true does not come naturally to all people. People don't believe in things because they are true, they believe in them because they are useful. Holding a belief that runs contrary to reality can be a marker that binds you to the loyalty of a tribe. Belief=Belonging=Protection. We must take heed to well informed hostility lest the situation degrades to the point of war and we are mowed down by a force greater than ourselves.


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Quote: If you suppose that

Quote:
If you suppose that consiousness must be maintained by a conscious being, then you must relinquish your claim that consciousness must be maintained by a conscious being, so, um, well, you see where I'm going with this.

 

Ah yes, so using consciousness to explain the origin of consciousness does not solve the problem of where consciousness comes from. 

 

And yet, as MattShizzle has made clear, he actually believes he is conscious and aware, he thinks that his judgments have substance.  MattShizzle observed my behavior, it manipulated his consciousness, and he attempted to invoke humor for whatever reason.  His molecules were attempting to bring about a certain state to another conscious being.  His declaration of "winning" and "losing" is a remarkable usage of self awareness, the very thing I'm trying to get at.

The idea that we should believe something because its true does not come naturally to all people. People don't believe in things because they are true, they believe in them because they are useful. Holding a belief that runs contrary to reality can be a marker that binds you to the loyalty of a tribe. Belief=Belonging=Protection. We must take heed to well informed hostility lest the situation degrades to the point of war and we are mowed down by a force greater than ourselves.


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Quote: Mind is an emergent

Quote:
Mind is an emergent attribute of the whole assembly of interacting cells in the brain - it is not a 'thing' that you can point to, it is what the brain is 'doing'.

 

So the consciousness IS what the mind is doing.  But you've hung yourself by using the word "doing" as if the doing causes the perceiving.

 

My mind does things.  And you say it causes consciousness.  Well by that logic, a rock falls through the air is DOING something, therefore it must cause perception too.  But the rock does not perceive itself (maybe it does, it just doesn't let us know).  The mind is "doing" the same thing the rock is "doing".  and yet one is blessed with me watching it, and the other might not be.....

 

If perception is what the mind does, then can you describe which system creates the perception that is burdening me tonight to watch it?  It's 12:11 AM, and I'm still here.   Why am I given the task of watching my molecules, and WHO gave me that task?  Does the inner perception go away when you disassemble the mind?

 

I don't think it does, I think the perception bit stays, and the control of the molecules goes away.  Traditional "soul" stuff in the holy books.

 

The idea that we should believe something because its true does not come naturally to all people. People don't believe in things because they are true, they believe in them because they are useful. Holding a belief that runs contrary to reality can be a marker that binds you to the loyalty of a tribe. Belief=Belonging=Protection. We must take heed to well informed hostility lest the situation degrades to the point of war and we are mowed down by a force greater than ourselves.


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Quote:I don't think it does,

Quote:

I don't think it does, I think the perception bit stays, and the control of the molecules goes away

That's quite simply impossible. You ever read a neuroscience textboox? You should. They are enlightening. Perception cannot exist without sensory equipment. It is not possible for the mechanism of perception to exist as a free-floating non-material entity. To say would be a stolen concept fallacy.

I am trained in this field so I suggest you read what I provided. You seem to cling to the notion of a mental control room, a notion which is far more illusory than you would like to think.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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sentientmachine wrote:Quote:

sentientmachine wrote:

Quote:
Mind is an emergent attribute of the whole assembly of interacting cells in the brain - it is not a 'thing' that you can point to, it is what the brain is 'doing'.

So the consciousness IS what the mind is doing.  But you've hung yourself by using the word "doing" as if the doing causes the perceiving.

My mind does things.  And you say it causes consciousness.  Well by that logic, a rock falls through the air is DOING something, therefore it must cause perception too.

But the rock does not perceive itself (maybe it does, it just doesn't let us know).  The mind is "doing" the same thing the rock is "doing".  and yet one is blessed with me watching it, and the other might not be.....

No, I said the brain, not the mind, "causes consciousness". Consciousness is an aspect of mind, not something the mind "causes".

Logic? What the hell is similar in a rock falling thru the air and billions of neurones interacting in a human brain? They are 'doing' VERY different things, so they have very different effects.

Quote:

If perception is what the mind does, then can you describe which system creates the perception that is burdening me tonight to watch it?  It's 12:11 AM, and I'm still here.   Why am I given the task of watching my molecules, and WHO gave me that task?  Does the inner perception go away when you disassemble the mind?

I don't think it does, I think the perception bit stays, and the control of the molecules goes away.  Traditional "soul" stuff in the holy books.

The neuronal processes in the brain generate the phenomenon of consciousness, perceptions, etc. You are NOT "given the task of watching your molecules" - what is that supposed to mean? Your awareness just emerges from that process. Many studies show that your inner perceptions of your own inner processes is somewhat limited and very easily mislead by the sub-conscious processes.

We have actually identified a set of neurones which seem to be at the core of generating self-awareness, which seems to have evolved because it allows higher animals, (including us), to better anticipate the actions and reactions of  other members of our social group, therefore assisting the productive interactions between individuals, which advance the interests of the group, and the individuals.

The interactions of the cells (it really happens a bit above the level of molecules) IS your mind thinking. It is all a matter of the viewpoint - from one perspective, it is thoughts interacting and leading you to conclusions, from another angle there are a complex series of neurones interacting, but here it would be hard to map particular interactions to particular thoughts. Each 'thought' would correspond to a whole bunch of neuronal interactions. Its like explaining how a computer program works by the flow of logic thru the statements encoded into the program code loaded onto the machine, compared to explaining it as the sequence of interacting circuits which actually run it.

IOW comparing the higher level logic of "if A = B then set c = 2" as against the sequence of AND, OR, NOT gates in the integrated circuits inside the machine. If you try to understand a higher level concept by looking too closely at the details, you tend to be in the classic position of "not seeing the forest because of all these leaves and branches obstructing your view".

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Interesting exmple of the

Interesting exmple of the way sentientmachine argues.

First, reasonably accurately repeat what I say" "So the consciousness IS what the mind is doing.".

Then draw the erroneous conclusions from a different statement which can seem superficially a bit like what I said, with the same or similar terms, but rearranged into a quite different assertion: "My mind does things.  And you say it causes consciousness. " Which definitely does not correspond to the previous statement.

This is either a deliberate, dishonest attempt to misrepresent my argument, or may actually reflect genuinely sloppy thinking.

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BobSpence1 wrote:Interesting

BobSpence1 wrote:

Interesting exmple of the way sentientmachine argues.

First, reasonably accurately repeat what I say" "So the consciousness IS what the mind is doing.".

Then draw the erroneous conclusions from a different statement which can seem superficially a bit like what I said, with the same or similar terms, but rearranged into a quite different assertion: "My mind does things.  And you say it causes consciousness. " Which definitely does not correspond to the previous statement.

This is either a deliberate, dishonest attempt to misrepresent my argument, or may actually reflect genuinely sloppy thinking.

I don't think he's dishonest, just fundamentally confused and hung up on the idea of 'matter'.

This is a very common misconception, and it is solved by showing the distinction between materialism and physicalism. I've brought it up before, and I'm surprised so few others have picked it up and used it. It's very useful. Perhaps I haven't explained its usefulness clearly enough. Oh well. I try. I'll try again here.

sentientmachine, given your chosen username, I'm surprised you posted a topic like this. You start off, right from the very beginning with a complete misunderstanding of the universe:

Quote:
Matter cannot perceive because it is purely mechanical (assumption).

Why do you say 'matter' cannot perceive? Do you think the universe is made of only matter? What about energy? Probably, you've heard of the matter/energy equivalency.

But what about space and time? Don't they exist as well? In the study of physics, which is the best science we have for this, space and time not only exist, but are two aspects of the same thing, called spacetime. I'm sure you've heard of this, but perhaps you haven't considered that spacetime is something that *really exists*.

What about forces? Does gravity exist? Of course it does. So do the nuclear and electromagnetic forces.

So, already, we have a bunch more things that exist that could account for consciousness rather than just pure matter.

I'm going to propose one last one that is crucial to the understanding of consciousness, and that is information. According to physics, information is something that exists as well. It exists as things such as state, structure, arrangement, etc. Another important form of information are processes. Processes are stable transformations of information. Consciousness, for example, is a process. *You*, your identity, is information that is transformed through the process of consciousness.

Now, as we all know from our experiences with computer files and books and whatnot, information doesn't just exist mysteriously 'out there'. Information is always some relationship between matter/energy within spacetime. For example, the information in a book is stored by the arrangement of ink molecules on the paper molecules. If you disrupt that arrangement, for example by burning the book and scattering the ashes, then that information is lost, destroyed. The same thing is true of computer files. If your harddrive gets zapped by lightning, and all the magnetic arrangments of molecules on the disk get randomized, all the files on your harddrive will be destroyed.

Likewise, if your brain gets disrupted, for example by getting smashed with a sledgehammer (okay, that's a little graphic, but hey, even dying and decaying works), then all the information in your brain, all your memories, all your hopes and fears, all your quirks and habits, the entire 'you' gets destroyed as well. You are information in your brain.

Now, your consciousness is a process that occurs in your brain. As your neurons receive signals from your sensory organs, as those signals get processed, and as the neurons adapt in response, both by adjusting their wiring, and also by producing output signals to your muscles, this whole process is your consciousness.

Now, actually, you are only truly 'conscious' of a certain portion of this process. You are not, for example, directly aware of which neurons do exactly what. We might call that instead your 'subconscious', which I'm sure you've heard about.

See, 'consciousness' is just an extension of the simpler phenomenon of 'awareness'. I call consciousness as 'awareness of your own awareness'. of course, it cannot be completely circular. You cannot be completely aware of all of your awareness. That would cause an infinite regress. You are only aware of your higher levels of awareness, and even then, only imperfectly. And sometimes you're not even aware of those! When you're drunk, or tired, or asleep, your awareness of your awareness is affected. The process of your brain has been weakened or suppressed. Where do you go when you are put under anaesthetic? 'You' don't go anywhere, but your higher levels of consciousness are suppressed/interrupted.

Quote:
Where am I in my mind?

Two things. First, your concept of 'I' is an artificial one. There is no *complete* concept of who or even where 'you' are. At best, you can draw an arbitrary boundary around some matter/energy within spacetime and label that as 'I'.

Second, although the concept is incomplete, it is still *useful*. And that answers your question. 'You' are your concept of yourself. And where is that? In your brain. A concept is, again, information. Concepts are encoded in our neurons as interconnections between the neurons (synapses), and the character of those interconnections. In this way, concepts are connected to each other, in a kind of 'internet' of concepts in your brain. One of those concepts is dedicated to yourself. That is 'you' to the best approximation.

Likewise, 'I' am a concept in my brain. My consciousness focuses around this concept, known as the ego, and evolves it over time, as I experience and learn new things. Your concsiousness does the same for your ego.

The reason why I cannot perceive what you perceive (directly anyway), is because I am in my brain, and not yours. I see *my* hands in front of me (as opposed to your hands), because those hands are infront of the eyes that are attached to the brain which contains 'me'.

Likewise, you see your hands, because they are in front of the brain that contains 'you'. You are where you are, and I am where I am.

If we had some sort of telepathy device, perhpas I could perceive what you perceive, but it would only be because the *information* of your perceptions were transmitted to my telepathy device. There are technological ways to accomplish this, but not magical ways.

Since we don't have telepathy devices, I cannot get the signals of your eyes, because my brain is not attached to your optic neurons.

It's as simple as that. No magic. No god. Just matter/energy in a stable transformation of arrangment within spacetime.

By the way, your original concept of the universe is what I call 'naive materialsim', the idea that the only thing that exists is matter. The concept that I've explained here, the idea that what exists is what we've discovered through physics (matter/energy, spacetime, forces, information, etc.), is called physicalism.

Hence, the confusion of naive materialism is dispelled with the more modern concept of physicalism.

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MattShizzle wrote:You have

MattShizzle wrote:

You have just been PWNED by Deludedgod. Sorry you don't win and you don't even get a home version of the game. Thank you, drive through.

Don Pardo please tell our contestant about their wonderfull consolation prize.

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sentientmachine wrote:Matter

sentientmachine wrote:

Matter cannot perceive because it is purely mechanical (assumption).   Lifeforms can do more than just exist, lifeforms can perceive as they think and react.  You can say that the behavior of life form corresponds directly to the transfer of energies in the mind but where exactly (which molecule) corresponds to the time when the observer observes?

Even if you could find the energy transfer that matches up to the nanosecond that you perceive, what good would that do?  You would only have found a single atomic particle that corresponds to you perceiving.

 

As a thought experiment, lets take a human mind, and trim it down as much as possible. 

 

This perceiving mind:

1.  Cannot reproduce (reproduction is unnecessary for consciousness)

2.  Cannot think logically (problem solving abilities is not necessary for consciousness).

3.  Cannot react to any action (The action-reaction model is not necessary for consciousness).

 

This perceiving entity has been trimmed down from a capable complex box of nodes and wires (a sentient being) to a single perceiving node, one atom or molecule without a connecting wire.  It does nothing but the thing responsible for humans observing their own machinery.

 

So our trimmed down sentient being (single atom)  is sent a signal! The scientist brings another atomic particle nearby to the perceiving molecule (or atom), the molecule observes the neighbor molecule, registers the proximity, and promptly does nothing about it. 

 

I observe the transfers of energy in my mind, I watch the energies travel along wires, I watch them come and go, surge and deminish,

 

Where am I in my mind?  It's the problem of consciousness, and until you guys can educate me about where conscious is, I will believe that an entity beyond our understanding is responsible for preserving my consciousness in this medium of matter.

 

*runs*

 

And where is the atom of computing in your computer ?

Hint there is non you are simply a composition of action and reactions of multiple atoms like a car engine there is non central atom of combustion the properties and structure of the atoms of the engines create the combustion.

 

Yes I can , there are people who have a damage in their memory part of their brain that prohibits them from developing long term memory. Its fascinating because thus people can not develop further memories and re start after a while and they give the same answers the same questions every single time. Free will and your argument got disproved.

 

To make it simple chat bots exist , chat bots are arguably “conscious” therefore poorly mechanistic mechanism can create “conscious”. Go talk to a chat bots it’s a program with allows you to have a conversation and it’s a program.

 

Warning I’m not a native English speaker.

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Quote: When you're drunk, or

Quote:
When you're drunk, or tired, or asleep, your awareness of your awareness is affected.



Very interesting, I hadn't thought of that, so the internal observer I am after can be modified with natural changes to the system of molecules within my brain cells. If I was a non material spirit entity attached to my material molecule body, then in getting drunk I would notice that my body is not behaving correctly.


But that is not the case, my internal observer participates in the malfunctioning that occurs when getting drunk.  So it would seem that drinking alcohol will also modifies my spirit entity listening in on the brain cells.  That's a powerful argument that the internal observer IS the brain cells.  However to be fair, it's possible that the observer entity is just getting mis-information and is not participating in the malfunction, it just receives the malfunctional information.


I have woke up some mornings after calorie restriction feeling "more aware" and "more present" than other days, so it seems that the internal observer I am after can be strengthened and weakened by changing the state of brain cells.  That is a strong argument that there is no observer, only the cold constant standard mathamatical behavior of particles, forces and energy.


Quote:

Quote:

    I don't think it does, I think the perception bit stays, and the control of the molecules goes away

That's quite simply impossible. You ever read a neuroscience textboox? You should. They are enlightening. Perception cannot exist without sensory equipment. It is not possible for the mechanism of perception to exist as a free-floating non-material entity. To say would be a stolen concept fallacy.


No I have not read anything on neuroscience.  I will put it on my todo list.  The problem is I've heard the conclusion:  "The observer IS in the brain cells and after it is disassembled the observer no longer observes."  But what if you disassemble my brain cells and store it for 5 years, then reassemble it, will my observer get a temporary break (I will no longer be burdened with the task of watching my body for 5 years) then re-emerge (be brought BACK and be re-burdened with the task of watching).  Or will there be a different observer be burdened with the task of gluing that mind together to a sentient whole.

The problem I describe is one of the central pillars of why Religion is adopted.  Christianity answers my question the way I want it answered:  "You have a spirit body that outlives the cellular body".  This is fabulous news to me, so great that I want to believe it.  So I guess you guys at rationalresponders have taken the task of spreading around some VERY shitty news for every evolved sentient life.

Quote:
Logic? What the hell is similar in a rock falling thru the air and billions of neurones interacting in a human brain? They are 'doing' VERY different things, so they have very different effects.


Yes of course they are different, but on an atomic level the brain and the rock are EXACTLY the same thing, so similar that you would not be able to distinguish between one and the other if you did not have a macro-view.  In the rock, at the quantum level, you see swarms of energies pulsing, arriving, disappearing, coming and going, manipulating the neighbor atoms.  With the mind you see precisely the same thing at the atomic level.  The only difference between the rock and the brain is that one has elaborate systems to preserve it's own complexity, and the other does not.  A trivial difference to me.

Quote:
Then draw the erroneous conclusions from a different statement which can seem superficially a bit like what I said, with the same or similar terms, but rearranged into a quite different assertion: "My mind does things.  And you say it causes consciousness. " Which definitely does not correspond to the previous statement.


I stand corrected, but this subject almost demands that the observers adopt irrationality.  The internal observer wants things to make sense, and the problem of consciousness makes none, so to answer the question, irrationality is adopted.  It seems I've penetrated to the very core of RationalResponder's mission which is to force people to use rationality even when it hurts and makes the pain inside my brain much worse, it forces me to work harder.

Quote:
So, already, we have a bunch more things that exist that could account for consciousness rather than just pure matter.


Yes yes it's possible the forces that act on matter could be as instrumental to consciousness as the atomic particle itself.  I see little difference between the internal rules that govern how the atom acts on it's own, and the external rules that govern how atoms act when they are brought near to eachother.

Quote:
Since we don't have telepathy devices, I cannot get the signals of your eyes, because my brain is not attached to your optic neurons.


I agree, now what would stop a mad scientist from attempting for you and me to switch consciousnesses?  Ok here is what we do, I attach a network device inside my brain that transmits a signal of what I see into your brain as well as from you to me.  You see what I see, and I see what you see.  but no write access.
 

It's like an annoying brother glued to you that won't stop talking.  I'm sure it's very annoying, but it's in the name of Science.

So now I give you write access to my brain, and I likewise have write access to your brain, you can use my brain to do work you specify and I can have your brain do work I specify.  Do we share consciousness now?  yes. 

Now complete the switch, we make an agreement that I only use your brain, and you only use my brain.  After a few years of practice, we are able to do this, and not talk to eachother.

Now the scientist cuts the read/write access.  I am now in your body, and you are in mine.  The observer moved.  But the particles of the brain cell did not.

This stuff hurts my brain.  I'm just wasting everyone's time trying to understand this better.  This is the cause of Religion, Religion is the sweet escape from this annoying question.




 

The idea that we should believe something because its true does not come naturally to all people. People don't believe in things because they are true, they believe in them because they are useful. Holding a belief that runs contrary to reality can be a marker that binds you to the loyalty of a tribe. Belief=Belonging=Protection. We must take heed to well informed hostility lest the situation degrades to the point of war and we are mowed down by a force greater than ourselves.


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sentientmachine wrote:The

sentientmachine wrote:

The problem I describe is one of the central pillars of why Religion is adopted.  Christianity answers my question the way I want it answered:  "You have a spirit body that outlives the cellular body".  This is fabulous news to me, so great that I want to believe it.  So I guess you guys at rationalresponders have taken the task of spreading around some VERY shitty news for every evolved sentient life.

Yeah. Sucks, doesn't it? Reality is a harsh mistress.

However, once you've adapted to the idea that this life is all you have, that there is no "self" that will survive physical destruction of your brain, then you may come to the realization that this life is our one shot at happiness. Like a patient with a terminal diagnosis, you realize you only have a few short years to accomplish your dreams.

And, we all have a terminal diagnosis. Every one of us.

It only seems like shitty news. In truth, it is liberating news.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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" With the atheist world,

" With the atheist world, consciousness seems to mockingly out of bounds.  With the theist world, at least you can invent candidate solutions and maybe speculate on what the ghost behind the machine is. "

 

Keyword there is invent.

 

"I stand corrected, but this subject almost demands that the observers adopt irrationality.  The internal observer wants things to make sense, and the problem of consciousness makes none, so to answer the question, irrationality is adopted.  It seems I've penetrated to the very core of RationalResponder's mission which is to force people to use rationality even when it hurts and makes the pain inside my brain much worse, it forces me to work harder."

 

 

 It only demands irrationality from someone who buys into a fantasy world where they never die and live happily ever after

Eden had a 25% murder rate and incest was rampant.


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sentientmachine wrote:Quote:

sentientmachine wrote:
Quote:
So, already, we have a bunch more things that exist that could account for consciousness rather than just pure matter.



Yes yes it's possible the forces that act on matter could be as instrumental to consciousness as the atomic particle itself.  I see little difference between the internal rules that govern how the atom acts on it's own, and the external rules that govern how atoms act when they are brought near to eachother.

Sentientmachine, you should go back and re-read my previous post. Clearly you did not read it thoroughly. You completely missed the most important concept: Information. Even though I emphasized it explicitly.

The mind is not matter, the mind is not forces, it is information. If you only responded to physicalism by acknowledging 'forces', then you did not understand what I wrote.

Quote:


Quote:
Since we don't have telepathy devices, I cannot get the signals of your eyes, because my brain is not attached to your optic neurons.


I agree, now what would stop a mad scientist from attempting for you and me to switch consciousnesses?  Ok here is what we do, I attach a network device inside my brain that transmits a signal of what I see into your brain as well as from you to me.  You see what I see, and I see what you see.  but no write access.
 

It's like an annoying brother glued to you that won't stop talking.  I'm sure it's very annoying, but it's in the name of Science.

So now I give you write access to my brain, and I likewise have write access to your brain, you can use my brain to do work you specify and I can have your brain do work I specify.  Do we share consciousness now?  yes. 

Now complete the switch, we make an agreement that I only use your brain, and you only use my brain.  After a few years of practice, we are able to do this, and not talk to eachother.

Now the scientist cuts the read/write access.  I am now in your body, and you are in mine.  The observer moved.  But the particles of the brain cell did not.

You are still hung up on matter. You need to re-read my previous post, as I've said already.

"The observer moved."

Correct.

"But the particles of the brain cell did not."

Non-sequitur. Why do you keep going back to particles. The mind is not particles. It is not matter. It is information. Consider this analogy:

I have my resume (identity) on my computer, stored as a file on the hard drive. My friend has his resume on his computer, stored as a file. He sends me his resume in an email (telepathy device). I send him my resume in an email. Now, I saved his resume overtop my resume, destroying my resume on my computer, and replacing it with his. He does the same, saving my resume overtop his resume.

Now, the resumes have moved. Correct. But the atoms that make up the hard drive have not moved! Correct, but this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the resume is. The resume is not the atoms that it is stored on. It is the information that just happens to be stored on those particular atoms. The same information can be stored in countless ways, on countless different media. I could print out my resume, for instance,  and now it wouldn't even be a file on a disk, it would be printed letters on a piece of paper. But it's still the same resume.

You are like the resume. When you transfer minds with your friend, yes your minds got transferred. The information that makes up your mind got copied into your friend's mind, and vice versa. No particles need to be transported, because particles are matter, not information. Information can be transferred via interactions. Interactions, such as when a signal is sent through a wire. The electrons in the wire don't actually travel the whole distance of the wire. They just vibrate back and forth, and the vibration interacts with nearby electrons, causing them to vibrate, etc., and the pattern of vibration gets carried along the wire, independent of which electrons happen to be carrying the vibration.

You are not matter, you are information. Get it yet?

Quote:
This stuff hurts my brain.  I'm just wasting everyone's time trying to understand this better.  This is the cause of Religion, Religion is the sweet escape from this annoying question.

Religion escapes from a great many questions. That's the big problem with it. It does not seek real answers to questions. It tries to stop people from asking questions. It tries to force them to accept false answers. That is what dogma is. It is no surprise that consciousness is one of those big questions that religion tries to fake an answer to. Religion fakes answers to all sorts of questions. That is NOT something in favour of religion. It is in fact religion's greatest flaw.

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Quote:Yes of course they are

Quote:

Yes of course they are different, but on an atomic level the brain and the rock are EXACTLY the same thing

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life. Even if were true, it would still constitute a fallacy of composition. What is it with you and fallacies of composition? You draw these meaningless conclusions about "matter" and then move toward asserting properties that material structures cannot have on the basis of the fact that their constituents cannot have them then you propose these equally ridiculous thought experiments which serve nothing but to demonstrate that these individual constituents cannot have these properties (which has no relevance whatsoever). Anyway, If you were to examine a rock on an atomic level, you'd find these giant covalent structures arrayed in a solid lattice. If you examined the brain on the atomic level, you would effectively be examining the contents of individual molecules within cells, and you would find these very precise interlocking reaction pathways within intracellular regions. If you were to examine the synaptic vesicles on an atomic level, you would be able to identify the logic gates (in the form of post-synaptic potentials). So please, do not try and get away with saying that on the atomic level, they are the same.

Let me describe the principle of computational logic gates in the brain and see if that helps you understand the process which is occuring. It took me a while to put this little presentation together, so, if you would be so kind...

The fundamental principle behind all signals between neurons in the brain is that of ion channels. These channels are gated. The cell membrane does not normally admit ions. The channels are shut unless they receive the proper signal. There are a variety of signals which will open the channels. Certain voltage differences across the membrane will open channels. Such channels are called voltage gated ion channels. VGIC are the most common types of channels in the logic gates in the brain, but they are not the only ones. There are, in addition, channels which open in response to the presence of ligands called neurotransmitters. These are called transmitter gated ion channels (TGIC). The other extremely important feature of these channels is that they are nearly always ion selective. Thus, we can separate the ion concentration gradients and voltage gradients that result from the charges of ions and the concentration of individual ions. This ability to differentiate between the concentration gradient and electric field is extremely important for the ability of neurons to transmit signals.

In neurons, this principle allows the propagation of an electrical signal from a transiently induced change in voltage to propagate along the neuron. Neurons are cells with long and spindly fibers that reach out from them. These long portions can be very long indeed, some of them extend almost 1.5m in length, from head to foot. These are called axons and they always propagate electrical signals away from the main body of a neuron. The neuron also has shorter outreaching arms that receive signals from other axons, called dendrites. Between an axon and a dendrite, a junction called a synapse forms and there is a gap, called a synaptic cleft, between the axon of one neuron and the dendrite of another. In this way, the two are electrically isolated.

If the electrical signal is conducted passively, it will get weaker at a rate directly proportional to distance travelled from its transiently induced signal. The signal needs to be propagated, or amplified at nodes along the axon in order for the maintenance of an appreciable signal.

Suppose that a transiently induced signal causes a slight depolarization of the membrane, raising the charge slightly (because the resting potential is negative). Because there is such a large induced change in voltage per cubic centimeter, this change will open channels that respond to it, in this case, Na+ channels. Because Na+ is maintained with a very high concentration outside the cell membrane, the influx of more Na+ down its electrochemical gradient will move naturally towards the Na+ equilibrium potential, since the cell is electrically excitable. This potential is roughly 50mV. The transient signal that allows for the movement of more Sodium into the membrane causes a greater depolarization which causes more sodium channels to open at an exponentially amplifying rate. That is, the flow rate of sodium ions into the neuron is a positive feedback loop which abruptly halts when the electric field induced blocks any more from entering. When the level of Sodium reaches a critical threshold, the nueron is said to fire and an electrical signal is propagated down the axon. However, this system is not enough to generate a proper action potential. If the exponential depolarization of the membrane simply occurred by the high concentration of VGNaC, then the membrane would repeatedly be subject to induced spasms, since the membrane would depolarize, and repeated adduction of Na+ into the cell membrane would cause the cell to stop at the Na+ equilibrium potential, and all of the Na+ channels would remain open. So, the neuron would simply sit there as the Na+ reached its equilibrium, freely moving through the open channels.

The cell is saved from these electrical spasms by two mechanisms. The first is Voltage gated Na+ channel inactivation and the second is Voltage gated K+ channels. These help to rapidly depolarize the membrane to bring it back to its normal potential in preparation for the membrane to fire again, which helps to rapidly close the Na+ channels.

The VGIC can exist in three states, open, closed and inactive. In the inactive state, the Na+ VGIC enters a refractory period where it cannot admit Na+, but also cannot close again for a small period of time, until the membrane is fully repolarized. There exists a mechanism on the Na+ VGIC that allows the blocking of the influx of Na+ while the channel is still open. This block is sensitive to membrane depolarization. There exists a similar mechanism on K+ VGIC which allows for their inactivation. The inactivation of Na+ VGIC also stops the action potential from spreading backwards, and ensures the signal is propagated unidirectionally along the axon.

If the inactivation of Na+ channels was the only mechanism to ensure that the membrane was fully repolarized quickly, then it would be a long time before the inactive Na+ channel was restored to its closed state, since the membrane will decay towards its resting potential only slowly. Another mechanism ensures that the membrane is rapidly restored to its polarized state. These are the K+ VGIC. Like Na+ VGIC, the K+ VGIC can exist in three states, and a short peptide "leash" on the VGIC will respond to membrane depolarization and blocks the efflux of K+. This is necessary to maintain the K+ gradient for rapid restoration by the Na/K pump (potassium tends to move out of the cell due to its concentration gradient. The pump must maintain this or the gradients will be destroyed as the ions come to equilibrium across the membrane). The rapid efflux of K+ overwhelms the transient influx of Na+ and thus brings the cell back to resting potential more quickly.

The efflux of K+ through the membrane allows for the rapid repolarization (charge becomes more negative) of the membrane, and brings the cell back to its resting potential, which allows for the inactive Na+ channels to rapidly close in response to the firing of action potential. Now that we know how the signals are propagated, we should learn how they are translated once they reach the end of a neuron.

At the synapse there is a gap between the axon and the dendrite called the synaptic cleft which separates the two cells and keeps them electrically isolated. When the signal reaches the end of an axon, it signals the influx of Ca2+ through the VGIC that allow for it to enter. This in turn signals the release of neurotransmitters through synaptic vesicles into the synaptic cleft. These transmitters then bind to transmitter-gated ion channels and allow for the influx of Sodium into the post-synaptic neuron, which allows for the continued propagation of the signal. There are two ways, in general, that transmitters work. They can either be excitatory or inhibitory. The former will bind to ion channels that allow for the influx of Na+ hence depolarizing the membrane. The latter will bind to ion channels that allow for Cl- influx of K+ efflux for the repolarization of the membrane hence inhibiting the sending of signals throughout the membrane. The neurotransmitters are varied and can serve to do either, but they are usually confined to one role. Acetylcholine, serotonin and adrenaline are the principle excitatory neurotransmitters, while GABA, dopamine and glycine are usually inhibitors.

So, once a signal is propagated through the gap between two neurons, how does the other neuron respond? Additionally, how does the neuron integrate all the signals it receives from all the other neurons it is synapsed with? Neurons ultimately act as integrating computational devices by virtue of two principles: temporal summation and spatial summation. The cell body of a neuron and the dendrites are coated with the terminal of axons. There are numerous axon terminals that coat the cell body. There are two types of membrane potentials that the axons can transmit. They can transmit inhibitory posy synaptic potentials and excitatory post-synaptic potentials. Each potential will either help to depolarize or hyperpolarize the membrane therefore determining if it will fire or not. But the important principles is that firing is all or nothing. Below a certain threshold, the cell cannot start the positive feedback loop. Once the threshold is reached, the rate of depolarization is self-accelerating and so it acts like a very abrupt switch has been thrown. Overall, the sum of the potentials that are received by the cell body will determine whether or not the post-synaptic action potential is generated. Overall, the membrane gradient is uniform, but the overall potentials will determine the membrane potential. This is called spatial summation, and it is a principle method of computation by neurons.

Another key principle relates to the frequency of signals received by a single pre-synaptic membrane that forms a cleft with a pos-synaptic cell . This is called temporal summation. The frequency of action potentials will determine the signal that a pre-synaptic cell sends. If action potentials rapidly follow each other, they can superimpose to form larger potentials which have a greater influence on the signal it sends. This translates frequency into magnitude of PSP.

 

Yet this appears to be problematic since the firing of Action potentials is all or nothing. It would appear that a continuously graded variable is integrated over the surface of the neuron to produce an on/off response. If this were the case, then tremendous amounts of information would be lost in the signalling process and the whole exercise would be a huge waste. There must be some way that the neuron encodes the on-off response (fire or don't fire) in the form of a continuously graded variable. It does such a thing, in the form of firing frequency. 

Together, temporal and spatial summation provide the post-synaptic membrane with a compuational integration to form the total post-synaptic potential, the magnitude which is a continuously graded variable. This then needs to be encoded in a method that can be integrated for computation. The frequency of firing of an action potential by a post-synaptic membrane is directly proportional to the post-synaptic potential. This encoding is done at the base of the junction between the axon and the main cell body called the axon hillock. This is the basis for every logical operation performed in the brain.

This provides you with a sound basis of the universal principles of logic gates in neurons, but it doesn’t fully address the higher functions of these processors. One of particular interest is memory. A crucial function of the nervous systems in higher vertebrae is the ability to learn and remember. A key effect of this is Long term potentiation which occurs in neurons which mediates memory. A principle effect of this occurs in cells inside the hippocampus, and if the cells inside are destroyed, the organism seems to lose the ability to form long term memories. Although their ability to recall preexisting memories seems unhindered.

LTP, or long term potentiating is a remarkable ability of neurons in the hippocampus. It refers to a strongly enhanced response of a post-synaptic membrane to a pre-synaptic action potential that results from repeated rapid firing from the pre-synaptic membrane. This can last for days, weeks, etc. depending on intensity. When I say a strongly enhanced response I mean that the magnitude of the post-synaptic potential increases. LTP will occur on a post-synaptic neuron which is already strongly depolarized and that receives a signal from pre-synaptic neuron. If any other synapses are contacting the Post-synaptic membrane that are firing at the same time, those particular synapses will also undergo LTP at the surface of the post-synaptic membrane, even if those pre-synaptic membranes were only firing single action potentials. LTP works by the following steps:

The post-synaptic membrane has glutamate gated Na+ channels and NMDA gated channels which are Ca2+ permeable. The first are only transmitter gated, and therefore are opened when a pre-synaptic potential causes the release of glutamate into the cleft. The latter are a rare TVGIC (transmitter and voltage gated ion channel) that therefore integrate two signals. First, NMDA must be bound, or the channel won't open. Second, the channel has a plug in the form of an Mg2+ ion which can only be removed when the NMDA is bound and the membrane is depolarized. The influx of Ca2+ induces a signal whereby more glutamate TGIC are inserted into the membrane. As such, whenever that synapse fires again, the response of the Post-synaptic membrane is greatly enhanced. The loss or destruction of these cells blocks the formation of long term memories but does not impede recollection of pre-existing memories.

In conclusion, I hope you understand now that the object we are discussing is a highly integrated processer which has the capacity for functional dynamism. It’s ability to alter wiring and input-output sequences on the basis of its input values (the sense data it receives) as well as internal signals during embryonic development allow for a highly plastic processor. Surely you must understand now why all of your thought experiments utterly fail. The processes that the brain runs demands a fully integrated network of massively parallel processors. In all of your thought experiments, you attempt to draw conclusions about the nature of consciousness by examining individual processors (and even there, you fail to understand the nature of these processors).

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Will this be the part of the

Will this be the part of the story where our hero is accused of copying and pasting?

 

 

Let's keep watching to find out....


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Quote:Will this be the part

Quote:

Will this be the part of the story where our hero is accused of copying and pasting?

Part of it was copied and pasted...from something that I already wrote.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Thanks for all your hard

Thanks for all your hard work, I'm still processing the mountain of interesting ideas on the subject provided here.

It would probably help if we could unify all the mysterious things in the universe like (time, inertia, gravity, magnetism, x-y-z coordinate plane, object permanence) before "I" am satisfied of where I emerge from the collection of molecules under me.

What bugs me is that your not attaching consciousness to any particular technology in my mind, it "emerges" from what is here. So what I want is the specifications on how complex a device needs to be before a consciousness emerges.

Humans have rights and animals do not because humans assume that only humans are conscious. (religious baggage). This must not be the case, as any reproductive organism with a brain that thanks about its environment must have consciousness. But where does the emergent consciousness end? Monkeys, dogs, bugs, bacteria, virii, computer programs, calculators, or rocks?

thanks for your effort, I'm beating a dead horse at this point and I'll keep researching the attached essays.

I still think the real answer to the problem of consciousness is going to involve something far more magical (or complex) than the agnostics or atheists make it out to be.

I think that every atomic particle in the universe IS who "I" am. The reason "I" am typing a keyboard here is because a bunch of my particles were organized. You guys are actually me. I am perceiving over here, and I am perceiving inside your brain too, I just don't know it yet.

I use the word "I" to denote the emergent consciousness that arises in certain collections of atoms. Continues to boggle my mind, I'll keep researching.

The idea that we should believe something because its true does not come naturally to all people. People don't believe in things because they are true, they believe in them because they are useful. Holding a belief that runs contrary to reality can be a marker that binds you to the loyalty of a tribe. Belief=Belonging=Protection. We must take heed to well informed hostility lest the situation degrades to the point of war and we are mowed down by a force greater than ourselves.


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 sentientmachine

 

sentientmachine wrote:

Quote:
When you're drunk, or tired, or asleep, your awareness of your awareness is affected.


Very interesting, I hadn't thought of that, so the internal observer I am after can be modified with natural changes to the system of molecules within my brain cells. If I was a non material spirit entity attached to my material molecule body, then in getting drunk I would notice that my body is not behaving correctly.


But that is not the case, my internal observer participates in the malfunctioning that occurs when getting drunk.  So it would seem that drinking alcohol will also modifies my spirit entity listening in on the brain cells.  That's a powerful argument that the internal observer IS the brain cells.  However to be fair, it's possible that the observer entity is just getting mis-information and is not participating in the malfunction, it just receives the malfunctional information.


I have woke up some mornings after calorie restriction feeling "more aware" and "more present" than other days, so it seems that the internal observer I am after can be strengthened and weakened by changing the state of brain cells.  That is a strong argument that there is no observer, only the cold constant standard mathamatical behavior of particles, forces and energy.

 

HEHE I know where you are coming from so you are a guy that needs to get it repeated and repeated

If you remove parts of the brain you can eliminate pain or free will (having a human that re starts ).

If you remove parts of the brain you can eliminate pain or free will (having a human that re starts ).

If you remove parts of the brain you can eliminate pain or free will (having a human that re starts ).

If you remove parts of the brain you can eliminate pain or free will (having a human that re starts ).

If you remove parts of the brain you can eliminate pain or free will (having a human that re starts ).

If you remove parts of the brain you can eliminate pain or free will (having a human that re starts ).

 

sentientmachine wrote:



I agree, now what would stop a mad scientist from attempting for you and me to switch consciousnesses?  Ok here is what we do, I attach a network device inside my brain that transmits a signal of what I see into your brain as well as from you to me.  You see what I see, and I see what you see.  but no write access.
  

 

HAHAHA NO you are  data on a data drive that is recording stuff  your brain is still in the brain in your original body. How are you able not know this and operate a computer at the same time ? To explain 2 computers A and B normally the A PC records on the A drive however now the impute from the A computer is linked to the B drive and vice versa. So now after I cut the link do I have the data from the B PC on the B drive ? Answer NO because the saving and deleting on the B pc haze bean don to the A drive. Do you comprehend now ?

 

sentientmachine wrote:
What bugs me is that your not attaching consciousness to any particular technology in my mind, it "emerges" from what is here. So what I want is the specifications on how complex a device needs to be before a consciousness emerges.

I love when people do not address stuff that I write

Do you consider chat bots to be conscious ? They can have a human conversation with you.
Do you consider chat bots to be conscious ? They can have a human conversation with you.
Do you consider chat bots to be conscious ? They can have a human conversation with you.
Do you consider chat bots to be conscious ? They can have a human conversation with you.

chat bots
chat bots
chat bots and chat bots ageing some people simply over look  words I tipe in *chat bots* please address the concepts of chat bots in your next response.
 

 

Warning I’m not a native English speaker.

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carx wrote: sentientmachine

carx wrote:

 

sentientmachine wrote:


I agree, now what would stop a mad scientist from attempting for you and me to switch consciousnesses?  Ok here is what we do, I attach a network device inside my brain that transmits a signal of what I see into your brain as well as from you to me.  You see what I see, and I see what you see.  but no write access.
  

 HAHAHA NO you are  data on a data drive that is recording stuff  your brain is still in the brain in your original body. How are you able not know this and operate a computer at the same time ? To explain 2 computers A and B normally the A PC records on the A drive however now the impute from the A computer is linked to the B drive and vice versa. So now after I cut the link do I have the data from the B PC on the B drive ? Answer NO because the saving and deleting on the B pc haze bean don to the A drive. Do you comprehend now ?

 

It's quite obvious in fact. If PC A was running PC B and PC B was running PC A with access to all of it's stored memory as soon as the network link was broken they would revert to their own OS. He's trying to say all of the data (memory from PC A was moved to PC B and from PC B to PC A. Then he's saying that B runs A and A runs B all the time. Though he may think this is the case background programs are what allow the link on both and the OS of each is simply taking commands from the other and never have stopped actually running themselves though they have become slaves to one another. If an OS error occurs immediately control will revert and/or the CPU reboots as the condition were illegal. The only way to change memories and control on PCs is to copy the main OS from one to the other and reboot. After reboot the OS and memories will only approximate the other unless all peripherals are exactly identical. The more likely event is both PCs will crash and have corrupted OS.

In the case of humans, the memories in each would have to be overwritten 100% in each one's mind. Though hypnosis and amnesia may suggest that this is possible memories still reside in the minds of each and have not been erased. As in the case of the PC when the link is broken they would revert or both would simply be insane.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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sentientmachine wrote:I

sentientmachine wrote:
I still think the real answer to the problem of consciousness is going to involve something far more magical (or complex) than the agnostics or atheists make it out to be.

Depends on what you mean by "complex." Conrad's "Game of Life" illustrates how very simple rules can result in extremely complex processes. The fundamental rules governing emergent consciousness may be quite simple, while the result of those rules is so complex as to be essentially indeterminate.

I suspect this is the real secret: the rules will turn out to be quite simple, to the point where we are able to artificially re-create the emergent system one day. But that's my suspicion, rather than actual knowledge.

Quote:

I think that every atomic particle in the universe IS who "I" am. The reason "I" am typing a keyboard here is because a bunch of my particles were organized. You guys are actually me. I am perceiving over here, and I am perceiving inside your brain too, I just don't know it yet.

This is an interesting thought. In fact, it absolutely requires the entire universe to result in "You." Part of the emergent pattern of intelligence is the relationship of the matter, energy, and forces within the organism that is "You." If the universe had been much different at any time in the past, "You" wouldn't exist, as that arrangement that makes up "You" would be different, or not exist. Somebody else might exist in your stead, or homo sapiens may have failed while the neanderthals succeeded, or any other infinite chain of possibilities.

Consider: if something had been different in your childhood, you wouldn't be you anyway. The temporal stream of self-awareness that makes up your consciousness would have been diverted along another path, and you wouldn't be were you are today, thinking the thoughts you think today.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:Conrad's

nigelTheBold wrote:

Conrad's "Game of Life"

Ok. I hate to pick a nit like this, Nigel, but everything else I was gonna say, you beat me to saying!

T'is Conway's game, not Conrad's. John Horton Conway.

And now I go back to grumbling in my corner about you saying everything I was gonna. Sticking out tongue

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BMcD wrote:nigelTheBold

BMcD wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

Conrad's "Game of Life"

Ok. I hate to pick a nit like this, Nigel, but everything else I was gonna say, you beat me to saying!

T'is Conway's game, not Conrad's. John Horton Conway.

And now I go back to grumbling in my corner about you saying everything I was gonna. Sticking out tongue

Damnit! I can only blame that on lack of coffee this morning. Damn it!

I stand (sit) corrected. Highly embarrassed, and very corrected.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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sentientmachine wrote:I

sentientmachine wrote:

I still think the real answer to the problem of consciousness is going to involve something far more magical (or complex) than the agnostics or atheists make it out to be. I think that every atomic particle in the universe IS who "I" am.

Not really, because that would only allow one awareness in the Universe, and if there is anything I can be pretty certain of, it is that I do not share your awareness, or that of any, let alone all other people on earth.

There is no detectable connection between particles that have never come into some physical interaction with each other.

Quote:

The reason "I" am typing a keyboard here is because a bunch of my particles were organized. You guys are actually me. I am perceiving over here, and I am perceiving inside your brain too, I just don't know it yet. I use the word "I" to denote the emergent consciousness that arises in certain collections of atoms. Continues to boggle my mind, I'll keep researching.

Consciousness does appear to emerge in certain collections of atoms, and OTHER separate consciousnesses arise in OTHER collections of atoms. You are NOT me, in any sense. We share a common biological heritage, yes.

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Quote:(or complex) than the

Quote:

(or complex) than the agnostics or atheists make it out to be.

More complex than the most complex known entity in the universe?

Quote:

I think that every atomic particle in the universe IS who "I" am. The reason "I" am typing a keyboard here is because a bunch of my particles were organized. You guys are actually me. I am perceiving over here, and I am perceiving inside your brain too, I just don't know it yet.

GAHHH! *Smashes head*. What the bloody hell is it with you and fallacies of composition!

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Put the bong down,

Put the bong down, sentientmachine.


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Hello Mr. SpenceGood to talk

Hello Mr. Spence

Good to talk with you.  I am sorry to post in this fashion but i am not sure I would like to give out my email as required for an account.

With respect sir,  if you cannot even label or number the neurons responsible for consciousness how can you say they are responsible for consciousness?  And, if you say all the neurons are responsible for consciousness and that it is something the brain does how can you prove it?  I have seen many theories and papers on the subject be it daulism vs materialism vs take your pick but have yet to see any proof.

Though it is not my intent whatsoever to create strife, I must point out that in this post and others I have seen you use the phrase "it seems" on more than one occassion.  This is a phrase that does not constitute proof.

I have been looking into the theory of emergent properties but have found only conjecture at best.  If consciousnes is a property how then do you measure it?  If as i have heard others say it is measured in behavior well......... humans change their behavior at will.   Which begs the question: do properties have a will?

I would also ask that if the brain dies how can you PROVE the consciousness disapates?

I am pressed toward the notion that these things simply cannot be identified by science or the "Scientific method"  This methodology works fine for the natural world but we are in a different place my friends.  Science simply does not have the capabilityWhy then use a hammer when a saw is required?

I would conjecture, and only conjecture, that the brain is merely a translator, of what we percieve through our senses, for the soul.  Perhaps a good analogy would be that of an airplane (brain) and inside the airplanes cockpit, but not part of it, resides the pilot who monitors his controls(senses/perception).

Again it was not my intent to offend if I have done so.  I just have honest questions.  I look forward to your rebuttle!

 

 

 


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Fearless Freep wrote:With

Fearless Freep wrote:

With respect sir,  if you cannot even label or number the neurons responsible for consciousness how can you say they are responsible for consciousness?  And, if you say all the neurons are responsible for consciousness and that it is something the brain does how can you prove it?  I have seen many theories and papers on the subject be it daulism vs materialism vs take your pick but have yet to see any proof.

There's quite a bit of proof that our perception, personality, and cognitive abilities are tied to the physical brain. From brain damage caused by physical trauma or oxygen deprivation, through targeted experiments mapping the activity of the brain during mental exercises, there is significant evidence that our "conciousness" is a function of the brain. Even the effects of drugs such as alcohol or psychedelic mushrooms have been proven to be a result of physical (chemical) changes within the brain.

In general, science has given us a good grasp on the functioning of the brain. We have a long, long way to go to figure out everything, but we have a solid foundation on which to build.

Quote:

Though it is not my intent whatsoever to create strife, I must point out that in this post and others I have seen you use the phrase "it seems" on more than one occassion.  This is a phrase that does not constitute proof.

No phrase constitutes proof. Only data gathered to support a deductive prediction constitutes "proof." And, in fact, "proof" is a slippery term when applied to science. In reality, there is no "proof;" there is only support, or disproof. An hypothesis is disproved when the data contradicts the predictions made by the hypothesis. Data that is aligned with the hypothesis merely supports that hypothesis. So, any scientist would say, "It seems..." when referring to an hypothesis or theory for which the data supports the predictions of the hypothesis or theory. This is especially so in young areas of research, such as neurobiology.

"It seems..." precedes statements about our best understanding. This is important: it is our best understanding.

Quote:

I have been looking into the theory of emergent properties but have found only conjecture at best.  If consciousnes is a property how then do you measure it?  If as i have heard others say it is measured in behavior well......... humans change their behavior at will.   Which begs the question: do properties have a will?

It suggests the question. It doesn't beg the question.

You are throwing in a lot of non-scientific terms here. "Will" is a metaphysical term, one which has little to no meaning in the real world. "Consciousness" isn't a very good term either, as you pointed out. You are attempting to apply metaphysical terms to scientific study, which simply won't work. It's like trying to smell blue, or touch sunshine.

As for the "conjecture" of emergent properties, it's a simple concept that is undergoing much study in the field of information science. Simply put, an "emergent" system is one in which a system of simple rules results in complex patterns. This isn't conjecture. It is fact. Fractals are one example. The universe is another.

Quote:

I would also ask that if the brain dies how can you PROVE the consciousness disapates?

Again, "consciousness" is a non-scientific term. It is simply your perception of yourself.

There's nothing to prove. "Consciousness" doesn't dissipate. You merely stop perceiving yourself, and everything else, as the brain dies. As for "proof" this is the case, one merely has to note that there is zero supporting evidence that consciousness endures beyond death. This is about as much proof as you can get in science.

Quote:

I am pressed toward the notion that these things simply cannot be identified by science or the "Scientific method"  This methodology works fine for the natural world but we are in a different place my friends.  Science simply does not have the capabilityWhy then use a hammer when a saw is required?

The can't be identified by science because they are not measurable quantities. Other non-measurable things: invisible purple unicorns, Frodo's desire for Sam, and the amount of scotch Santa drinks immediately before delivering presents.

You assert we are not of the natural world. Now you are begging the question. You conclude that the mind is non-natural because you begin with the assumption that it is non-natural. You start by questioning the validity of BobSpence1's statements that our mind is an emergent property of our brain, stating there is only a very little amount of evidence so far; and then you assert that the mind is super-natural, while providing no evidence at all. You rightly point that we currently are largely ignorant of the workings of the brain, but seem to dismiss what we do know.

Quote:

I would conjecture, and only conjecture, that the brain is merely a translator, of what we percieve through our senses, for the soul.  Perhaps a good analogy would be that of an airplane (brain) and inside the airplanes cockpit, but not part of it, resides the pilot who monitors his controls(senses/perception).

What is the evidence for this? What would suggest there is anything outside the natural world?

Given two explanations, one which employs only that which we have observed, and one which must posit something that is unobservable, which is more likely? Which is the more solid foundation on which to build further knowledge?

Knowledge must be built on that which is observable and measurable. Otherwise, you have nothing but wild speculation and mutable truth. In science, it is our understanding that is mutable. Science shifts understanding to match our observation of reality. As soon as you start assuming things that are unobservable, unmeasurable, and unknowable, reality becomes plastic. Knowledge becomes unattainable.

So far, science has produced results. It is the only epistemology that is consistently and predictably effective. As such, the knowledge gained through the application of the scientific method provides our best guide to reality.

Can I say authoritatively that there is no soul? No, I can't. Neither can I disprove invisible pink unicorns, or the worm in my dryer that eats only left-footed socks. (Damn him! Damn him to hell!) However, given no supporting evidence whatsoever, and given that the concept of "soul" provides no new insight and doesn't answer any existing questions in a satisfying manner, and given that the concept of "soul" requires the assumption of an entirely new and unobservable level of reality, I default to the assumption that there is no soul.

Quote:

Again it was not my intent to offend if I have done so.  I just have honest questions.  I look forward to your rebuttle! 

No offence taken at all. You've been perfectly civil, and downright polite.

Oh, and in regard to the "don't want to give your email address" issue, you might consider signing up for a Yahoo! or MSN free email account. That way, you can give out a "junk" email address, while protecting your privacy. Just a suggestion, in case you decide to stick around.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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sentientmachine wrote:Matter

sentientmachine wrote:
Matter cannot perceive because it is purely mechanical (assumption)


How does the existence of a mechanism make matter incapable of perception? That seems quite paradoxical. If I were to make an inference about the nature of perception, I would infer that it arises from a mechanism because everything I have perceived appears to behave mechanistically.

 

 

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Visual_Paradox

Visual_Paradox wrote:

sentientmachine wrote:
Matter cannot perceive because it is purely mechanical (assumption)


How does the existence of a mechanism make matter incapable of perception? That seems quite paradoxical. If I were to make an inference about the nature of perception, I would infer that it arises from a mechanism because everything I have perceived appears to behave mechanistically.

 

 

It is simple. You have to blindly believe that "POOF" and "ABRACADABRA" are the mechinism. Once you buy that load of tripe you can justify any absurdity.

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Quote:With respect sir,  if

Quote:

With respect sir,  if you cannot even label or number the neurons responsible for consciousness how can you say they are responsible for consciousness?

This tells me immediately that you do not actually understand what neurons are or how they work. Therefore, I suggest you read my second to previous post (the long one) entirely, and please pay close attention to what is indicated below.

Quote:

And, if you say all the neurons are responsible for consciousness

The brain is subdivided into regions responsible for various functions and there are over 9,000 types of nuerons present in the system. It's not so much the individual neurons that matter, than (a) their capacity to form integrated circuits and (b) their ability to overturn, which is arguably more important. We biologists (I'm a biologist) have a rule: Everything in biology is stochastic. Now, this is true of the process of evolution, of the workings of individual cells, of trends in populations, in everything in biology, and it is true of neural systems as well. To ask how many neurons are required for a conscious experience to occur is sort of like asking how many molecules of Janus kinase are required to initiate the Jak-STAT pathway.

Quote:

If consciousnes is a property how then do you measure it?

That's not necessarily an important question. In science, we usually differentiate between qualitative and quantitative analysis, but a more important question would be: How do you define it?

Quote:

I would also ask that if the brain dies how can you PROVE the consciousness disapates?

This is what you are looking for:

Problems with the notion of a non-material aspect of the conscious process

And yes, that is my writing.

Quote:

I am pressed toward the notion that these things simply cannot be identified by science or the "Scientific method"  This methodology works fine for the natural world but we are in a different place my friends.  Science simply does not have the capabilityWhy then use a hammer when a saw is required?

The last sentence here irks me greatly. You think you have some non-scientific methodology that provides you with hitherto uncovered insights that neuroscience has missed? It irks me equally when people say something like "It is the job of science to investigate the material world", implicitly stating that there is some "non-material" world which can be accessed by the methodologies of another discipline. It seems that “metaphysics” is a label applied to something until scientific investigation demonstrates a meaningful model behind it. I stress that since it is the job of science to investigate phenomenon then it appears, from an epistemological standpoint, to be problematic to say that we can conclude in a phenomenon that cannot be investigated by science (in other words, that a phenomenon is "non-material". Why is this so? Consider it. When it is through some complicated causal chain, which via deduction, we can link some model or external object to some feature of our perceptual experience, then we are performing a scientific investigation. Solely by means of using our intuitive understanding based on our immediate perceptual experience, we wouldn’t get very far, but, by means of accumulating knowledge, we can effectively link causal chains of experienced phenomenon to an external world behind the experiences. Thus, for example, we would be unable to conclude in “dark matter” on the basis of our analysis of galactic motions through telescopes if we didn’t already have an understanding of what galactic motion should look like based on Relativity, which in turn, we wouldn’t have been able to conclude in if we didn’t have a set of equations describing our intuitive basis for relative motion, called “Newtonian mechanics”, which in turn we wouldn’t be able to conclude in unless we had…You get the idea. So, in effect, by asserting that some phenomenon is beyond the realm of science (or, equivalently, isn't material), we are, in effect, asserting that such a feature has no causal relationship, however complicated it may be, that is needed to explain our perceptual experience. Obviously, there is some confusion about this. We don’t perceive, for example, “electron density”, but through a complex causal chain employing deductive experiments and prior knowledge also based on experiments, we can link electron density to some feature of perceptual experience. If there was no way whatsoever to link some phenomenon to some feature of our perceptual experience, however complex the linking chain might be, then, in effect, we are making assertions about phenomenon that, through no amount of deduction or investigation, can we make conclusions about based upon our perceptual experiences, which are the source of all our knowledge (although, as Kant pointed out, not all our knowledge is derived from perceptual experience. There is a difference). So, you are on impossible ground, epistemologically speaking. To make your assertion, you must relinquish any knowledge claims you might make about this phenomenon at all.

Quote:

I would conjecture, and only conjecture, that the brain is merely a translator

Even if that were meaningful (it's not), it's incredibly problematic and creates a mess. It's not even worth considering as a model.

Problems with the "out of body" model of consciousness

And yes, that is my writing.

Quote:

Perhaps a good analogy would be that of an airplane (brain) and inside the airplanes cockpit, but not part of it, resides the pilot who monitors his controls(senses/perception).

This is a homunculus fallacy. Even if it wasn't, it doesn't actually answer the question. It merely sidesteps it and abdicates responsibility in favor of this "non material" phenomenon (about which we know nothing) supposedly accounting for this process. You have nothing here but a mystery of your own devising.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Deludegod the problem is

Is that you have a person with very little scientific understanding trying to prove that science is wrong and that his view of the world and his misunderstandings of science as right.


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I don't seem to have an edit

I don't seem to have an edit link available on my old post. I was going to add a retraction of one statement at the bottom of it. I was a bit hasty and didn't notice an erroneous statement. So, I'll correct it here:

nigelTheBold wrote:

There's nothing to prove. "Consciousness" doesn't dissipate. You merely stop perceiving yourself, and everything else, as the brain dies. As for "proof" this is the case, one merely has to note that there is zero supporting evidence that consciousness endures beyond death. This is about as much proof as you can get in science.

Lack of evidence does not constitute evidence of lack. You, sir, are a moron.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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latincanuck wrote:Is that

latincanuck wrote:

Is that you have a person with very little scientific understanding trying to prove that science is wrong and that his view of the world and his misunderstandings of science as right.

Here's a fantastic video I saw recently to illustrate your very point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h9XntsSEro

 

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nigelTheBold wrote:Lack of

nigelTheBold wrote:
Lack of evidence does not constitute evidence of lack. You, sir, are a moron.

A minor, but important quibble: The original phrasing of that idea was "Absence of proof is not proof of absence." But proof is not the same as evidence. As it happens, absence of evidence when evidence is expected is in fact evidence of absence.

If someone says there's an apple inside a box, and I open the box and see no evidence of an apple, then that is evidence that an apple is not in the box.

If someone claims to be psychic, and we do a double-blind study to test his claims, and we find no evidence that his claims are true, then that is evidence that he probably isn't psychic. The more such negative evidence we gather, the more confident we can be in our claim that he's not psychic.

Likewise, we can test ideas about the afterlife too. Some people claim they were floating above their bodies during surgery. But when this claim is tested by placing stickers on the tops of light shades hanging from the ceiling, no one has yet been able to report the details of these stickers (such as a number or word) from their out-of-body experience. This is evidence of absence of disembodied consciousness. Other tests add more weight to the claim that the consciousness is tied to the body.

Not proof, but evidence. They are different.

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Wow!  So many responses. 

Wow!  So many responses.  A theological mind like me has already saved a ton of time by not worrying about it.  But I suppose I should respond.  Keeping as brief as possible:

Quote:
Do you consider chat bots to be conscious ? They can have a human conversation with you.


Well, chat bots are not really coming forth and pondering the nature of self, but that isn't necessary for consciousness, so I would say yes they are conscious, just in their own silicon based way.  Of course that answer makes no sense, this is my problem.


Quote:
If you remove parts of the brain you can eliminate pain or free will (having a human that re starts ).


I would agree with the first, disagree with the second.  I can understand the elimination of pain receptors, but not the removal of the free will.  Actually I've come to disbelieve in free will, as it makes no sense in a mechanically operated determined universe.  If you want your humans to have free will, then dirt must also have free will.  If you want your brain to have a free will, than an individual particle taken from that mind must have a portion of the free will.  The whole is a sum of the dirt parts.


Quote:
HAHAHA NO you are  data on a data drive that is recording stuff  your brain is still in the brain in your original body. How are you able not know this and operate a computer at the same time ? To explain 2 computers A and B normally the A PC records on the A drive however now the impute from the A computer is linked to the B drive and vice versa. So now after I cut the link do I have the data from the B PC on the B drive ? Answer NO because the saving and deleting on the B pc haze bean don to the A drive. Do you comprehend now ?


HAHAHA yes, No I still don't understand, I think nobody here truly does.  Maybe the swapping brains anology wasn't such a great idea.

Quote:
Consider: if something had been different in your childhood, you wouldn't be you anyway. The temporal stream of self-awareness that makes up your consciousness would have been diverted along another path, and you wouldn't be were you are today, thinking the thoughts you think today.


excellent observation, so it would seem my consciousness changes every single moment a hamburger chunk goes into my head to fuel my brain, because my brain runs on energy, the burger particle is the energy, and without energy my consciousness is nothing.  So my consciousness is becoming a totally unique brand new consciousness every nanosecond.  BUT it sure seems like I'm the same entity forced to perceive my body now as was 10 years ago.  I still see myself, and if this were a mechanical universe I should not be here to see it.  It should operate in a way where nobody is bothered about its current state.


Quote:
Consciousness does appear to emerge in certain collections of atoms, and OTHER separate consciousnesses arise in OTHER collections of atoms. You are NOT me, in any sense. We share a common biological heritage, yes.


I'm talking about atomically.  Somewhere inside your brain is a hydrogen atom, it's performing a function critical for you typing your message.  Also in my brain is a hydrogen atom, it is critical for me typing my message.  If I were to get those two hydrogen atoms and compare them, I would not be able to differentiate them.  The consciousness that emerges in you uses your hydrogen atom, the consciousness in me uses my hydrogen atom.  I think it's delusional on your part to assume that we are different things.  The consciousness that emerges in you and me is not "two separate things", it is an application of the same set of laws. 

Our internal observers are "different things" just like gravity between a group of stars are "different things".  They arn't different, gravity is multiple instances of the SAME THING.  That is what prompts me to say that our internal observers are the same.  Does that make any sense? 

Quote:
GAHHH! *Smashes head*. What the bloody hell is it with you and fallacies of composition!


Ok Ok, fallacy of composition is "A fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole (or even of every proper part). "

Ok so your saying when I say "everything must be conscious because I am conscious" that it's a fallacy.  Maybe.  But then again maybe your wrong and I'm right because the Bible says so.  HA, checkmate.  But seriously I believe that my understanding of the observer inside us must be rooted in terms of what every atomic particle is at a basic level.  We can't describe consciousness in terms of "it's here but not there".  Incorrect, whatever this thing is, it's inside every atomic particle.  How am I here to observe you idoits?  Well we don't know, just that it's way cool and we arn't sure why it's here to begin with.  CHECKMATE.

Moving right along.



Quote:
Put the bong down, sentientmachine.


lol.  Narcotics are bad, the humans who make narcotics are the demon enablers of the world.  It says so right in the Bible.  If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a tool of the demon enablers, your a failure as a human being.  Jesus can save you MattShizzle, but only if you repent of your sins and Give ur heart to Jesus.   Seriously man.  He's waiting right there.


Quote:
Though it is not my intent whatsoever to create strife, I must point out that in this post and others I have seen you use the phrase "it seems" on more than one occassion.  This is a phrase that does not constitute proof.


Very true, if I create too many opinions on what things seem to be, then I run the risk of believing in ridiculous things. 

Quote:
If consciousnes is a property how then do you measure it?


Exactly, we don't measure it, it's something you have or you don't.  It's either ON or OFF. Since I can't find a reason to believe that humans are different kinds of things than the dirt around us, I believe that the emergent properties of perception are pure illusion.  Whatever we have, the dirt has it too.

Quote:
I am pressed toward the notion that these things simply cannot be identified by science or the "Scientific method" 


HA!  take that rational response squad!  A subject your holy scientific method can't identify!  All your base are belong to Jesus.  Make your time.

Quote:
I would conjecture, and only conjecture, that the brain is merely a translator, of what we percieve through our senses, for the soul.

I would conjecture, and only conjecture, that the brain is merely a translator, of what we percieve through our senses, for the soul.



Hmm, Fearless Freep, it would seem that you too believe in a little perceiver inside the mind as I did, I believe deludedgod called that a Homunculus fallacy.  As the little man inside the brain would need a little man inside the brain to explain it away.  That line of thought is be a dead end.

Quote:
Here's a fantastic video I saw recently to illustrate your very point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h9XntsSEro 


haha dam right my intuition qualifies me to override years of rigerous scientific study. 
 

The idea that we should believe something because its true does not come naturally to all people. People don't believe in things because they are true, they believe in them because they are useful. Holding a belief that runs contrary to reality can be a marker that binds you to the loyalty of a tribe. Belief=Belonging=Protection. We must take heed to well informed hostility lest the situation degrades to the point of war and we are mowed down by a force greater than ourselves.


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sentientmachine wrote:But

sentientmachine wrote:
But seriously I believe that my understanding of the observer inside us must be rooted in terms of what every atomic particle is at a basic level.

Why?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


pauljohntheskeptic
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sentientmachine wrote:Very

sentientmachine wrote:


Very true, if I create too many opinions on what things seem to be, then I run the risk of believing in ridiculous things. 

 

Perhaps a little late for you on that.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Quote: sentientmachine

Quote:

sentientmachine wrote:


Very true, if I create too many opinions on what things seem to be, then I run the risk of believing in ridiculous things. 
 

 

Perhaps a little late for you on that.

 

Prehaps your right, but doesn't everyone have some ridiculous beliefs somewhere in their brain?  You can't get rid of them all.  Even if a person is totally scientific with everything, as the scientific method has duped scientists into believing things which were found to be incorrect and ridiculous.  The only way to get rid of all ridiculousness is to not think at all.  To educate yourself you have to be bold and try to make sense of it all.  You have to crawl before you can walk.

 

According to deludedgod, I can't be held responsible for believing in ridiculous things, as my current state is absolutly determined by an elaborate system of mechanical resposes to stimulus. 

Thanks for raining on my happy parade...

 

Be careful with your ability to convince people their minds are ultimately mechanistic and worthless in the grand scheme of things.  There is an evolved trigger in the mind to off yourself when you feel worthless.   Delusions are necessary for a conscious life to feel worth when ultimately there is provibly none.  To go on and continue living knowing that the sum total of everything you could concievably create or build or destroy is as meaningless as any other energy transfer going on in the universe is a difficult truth to swallow.

 

In conclusion, you all suck.  This is my last post, have fun with it MattShizzle.

The idea that we should believe something because its true does not come naturally to all people. People don't believe in things because they are true, they believe in them because they are useful. Holding a belief that runs contrary to reality can be a marker that binds you to the loyalty of a tribe. Belief=Belonging=Protection. We must take heed to well informed hostility lest the situation degrades to the point of war and we are mowed down by a force greater than ourselves.


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sentientmachine

sentientmachine wrote:

Quote:

    If you remove parts of the brain you can eliminate pain or free will (having a human that re starts ).

I would agree with the first, disagree with the second.  I can understand the elimination of pain receptors, but not the removal of the free will.  Actually I've come to disbelieve in free will, as it makes no sense in a mechanically operated determined universe.  If you want your humans to have free will, then dirt must also have free will.  If you want your brain to have a free will, than an individual particle taken from that mind must have a portion of the free will.  The whole is a sum of the dirt parts.

So you still don't accept 'emergent properties'.

Simple example: hydrogen and oxygen gas do not have any attribute that could be called 'wetness', unlike a very common substance composed of molecules made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms.

More complex example. Try browsing the internet with a simple pile of separated metal and plastic pieces, wires and silicon chips, instead of a fully assembled computer.

Open up someone's skull, insert an egg-beater and mush up the brain, Still the same atoms there, but I'm sure you wouldn't expect the person to still be conscious.

The whole is frequently more, and sometimes much, much more, than the sum of its parts.

Quote:

    Consider: if something had been different in your childhood, you wouldn't be you anyway. The temporal stream of self-awareness that makes up your consciousness would have been diverted along another path, and you wouldn't be were you are today, thinking the thoughts you think today.

excellent observation, so it would seem my consciousness changes every single moment a hamburger chunk goes into my head to fuel my brain, because my brain runs on energy, the burger particle is the energy, and without energy my consciousness is nothing.  So my consciousness is becoming a totally unique brand new consciousness every nanosecond.  BUT it sure seems like I'm the same entity forced to perceive my body now as was 10 years ago.  I still see myself, and if this were a mechanical universe I should not be here to see it.  It should operate in a way where nobody is bothered about its current state.

The energy supply to the cells in your brain does not affect your thoughts in any detailed way at all. Of course if your brain cells run low on energy, there will be general effects on your thought processes. Your food has absolutely no 'particles' or attributes of consciousness whatsoever, so your consciousness simply continues, and of course the deatils of your thoughts will be changing continually as you continue to be aware and thinking, maybe at the scale of milliseconds, not nanoseconds.

Quote:

Quote:

    Consciousness does appear to emerge in certain collections of atoms, and OTHER separate consciousnesses arise in OTHER collections of atoms. You are NOT me, in any sense. We share a common biological heritage, yes.

I'm talking about atomically.  Somewhere inside your brain is a hydrogen atom, it's performing a function critical for you typing your message.  Also in my brain is a hydrogen atom, it is critical for me typing my message.  If I were to get those two hydrogen atoms and compare them, I would not be able to differentiate them.  The consciousness that emerges in you uses your hydrogen atom, the consciousness in me uses my hydrogen atom.  I think it's delusional on your part to assume that we are different things.  The consciousness that emerges in you and me is not "two separate things", it is an application of the same set of laws.

Our internal observers are "different things" just like gravity between a group of stars are "different things".  They arn't different, gravity is multiple instances of the SAME THING.  That is what prompts me to say that our internal observers are the same.  Does that make any sense?

No, none whatever.

Our consciousnesses  are no more the one thing that our bodies are the same thing. Two separate computers running the same program can still be displaying completely different documents or images.

Quote:

Quote:

    GAHHH! *Smashes head*. What the bloody hell is it with you and fallacies of composition!

Ok Ok, fallacy of composition is "A fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole (or even of every proper part). "

Ok so your saying when I say "everything must be conscious because I am conscious" that it's a fallacy.  Maybe.  But then again maybe your wrong and I'm right because the Bible says so.  HA, checkmate.  But seriously I believe that my understanding of the observer inside us must be rooted in terms of what every atomic particle is at a basic level.  We can't describe consciousness in terms of "it's here but not there".  Incorrect, whatever this thing is, it's inside every atomic particle.  How am I here to observe you idoits?  Well we don't know, just that it's way cool and we arn't sure why it's here to begin with.  CHECKMATE.

Moving right along.

Your conception that your concept of self "must be rooted in terms of what every atomic particle is at a basic level" is fundamentally wrong.

Quote:

Quote:

    Put the bong down, sentientmachine.

lol.  Narcotics are bad, the humans who make narcotics are the demon enablers of the world.  It says so right in the Bible.  If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a tool of the demon enablers, your a failure as a human being.  Jesus can save you MattShizzle, but only if you repent of your sins and Give ur heart to Jesus.   Seriously man.  He's waiting right there.

I hope that is some sort of joke, if you mean that nonsense seriously, you are terminally deluded.

The Bible was written by people who were even more ignorant of the nature of consciousness and of the wider reality than yourself.

Quote:

Quote:

    If consciousnes is a property how then do you measure it?

Exactly, we don't measure it, it's something you have or you don't.  It's either ON or OFF. Since I can't find a reason to believe that humans are different kinds of things than the dirt around us, I believe that the emergent properties of perception are pure illusion.  Whatever we have, the dirt has it too.

We can't measure consciousness as we can a physical object, but we have a whole range of ways now to detect its presence, both by actually communicating with someone, and failing that, the activation of different parts of the brain in response to various sensory inputs (sight, sound, touch) can be strong evidence as well.

Quote:

Quote:

    I am pressed toward the notion that these things simply cannot be identified by science or the "Scientific method"

Simply wrong.

Quote:

HA!  take that rational response squad!  A subject your holy scientific method can't identify!  All your base are belong to Jesus.  Make your time.

Quote:

    I would conjecture, and only conjecture, that the brain is merely a translator, of what we percieve through our senses, for the soul.

Hmm, Fearless Freep, it would seem that you too believe in a little perceiver inside the mind as I did, I believe deludedgod called that a Homunculus fallacy.  As the little man inside the brain would need a little man inside the brain to explain it away.  That line of thought is be a dead end.

Another misguided, but polite, believer.

Quote:

Quote:

    Here's a fantastic video I saw recently to illustrate your very point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h9XntsSEro

haha dam right my intuition qualifies me to override years of rigerous scientific study.

Intuition is a very unreliable guide, especially to the truth of things which we and our evolutionary forebears have had little or no experience of.

Another point - our consciousness is driven by a very complex interplay of memories previous experiences, current perceptions, moods, emotions, to the extent that there is no practical way your next thought could be predicted from even an impossibly detailed knowledge of the earlier states of your brain.

If your next decision is not based on your accumulated memories, your current mood, desires, urges, preferences, what else would it be based on? Just what does 'free will' mean?

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Quote:There is an evolved

Quote:
There is an evolved trigger in the mind to off yourself when you feel worthless.   Delusions are necessary for a conscious life to feel worth when ultimately there is provibly none.  To go on and continue living knowing that the sum total of everything you could concievably create or build or destroy is as meaningless as any other energy transfer going on in the universe is a difficult truth to swallow.

Wow, very well stated.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

Quote:
There is an evolved trigger in the mind to off yourself when you feel worthless.   Delusions are necessary for a conscious life to feel worth when ultimately there is provibly none.  To go on and continue living knowing that the sum total of everything you could concievably create or build or destroy is as meaningless as any other energy transfer going on in the universe is a difficult truth to swallow.

Wow, very well stated.

There is a core of truth there, yes.

But it is not quite the same issue as the straw-man of reductionist materialism, which is not the position of most people here, AFAIK.

The alternative to the ridiculously simplistic 'nothing but sub-atomic particles' does not have to be some form of supernaturalism, or panentheism (in the sense that consciousness somehow resides in every material particle), as I have kept trying to explain to sentientmachine.

'Meaning' derives from interacting with society and our friends, parents, children, etc. Our actions and achievements are manifestly meaningful to us and hopefully to other members of our society.

 EDIT: The problem identified here is the tendency for people to react to a disproof of the supernatural or God or the soul, by assuming that that means we are just meaningless, purposeless 'machines'. I think that is at least partly due to the prevalence of religious teachings, which insist that only a "god" can imbue life with meaning and purpose.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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sentientmachine wrote:Quote:

sentientmachine wrote:

Quote:
Consider: if something had been different in your childhood, you wouldn't be you anyway. The temporal stream of self-awareness that makes up your consciousness would have been diverted along another path, and you wouldn't be were you are today, thinking the thoughts you think today.


excellent observation, so it would seem my consciousness changes every single moment a hamburger chunk goes into my head to fuel my brain, because my brain runs on energy, the burger particle is the energy, and without energy my consciousness is nothing.  So my consciousness is becoming a totally unique brand new consciousness every nanosecond.  BUT it sure seems like I'm the same entity forced to perceive my body now as was 10 years ago.  I still see myself, and if this were a mechanical universe I should not be here to see it.  It should operate in a way where nobody is bothered about its current state.

Not quite what I meant.

Basically, if you had been given to your grandparents to rear, instead of the childhood you had, you would be a different person today. If you had been in a horrible accident and spent two years in a coma, you would be a different person. If Suzy had kissed you in third grade instead of laughing at you, you would be a different person.

And so on.

One of the aspects of an emergent system is that its current state is an input to the transition to the next state. In many cases, this transition is so complex and so dependent upon many inputs, the result is a stochastic process. The tiniest fluctuation on input can lead to drastically different outcomes.

It isn't the hamburger that you eat. It's whether that hamburger tastes good, or makes you sick thinking about how it was once part of an animal, or whether or not it would taste better with bacon. These sorts of things change in subtle and not-so-subtle ways how your mind operates. They determine who "you" are.

 

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:One of

nigelTheBold wrote:

One of the aspects of an emergent system is that its current state is an input to the transition to the next state. In many cases, this transition is so complex and so dependent upon many inputs, the result is a stochastic process. The tiniest fluctuation on input can lead to drastically different outcomes.

It isn't the hamburger that you eat. It's whether that hamburger tastes good, or makes you sick thinking about how it was once part of an animal, or whether or not it would taste better with bacon. These sorts of things change in subtle and not-so-subtle ways how your mind operates. They determine who "you" are.

Let's not be silly. Every hamburger tastes better with bacon.


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ThorLovesYou wrote:Let's not

ThorLovesYou wrote:

Let's not be silly. Every hamburger tastes better with bacon.

Everything tastes better with bacon.

 

Mmm. Bacon cake.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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sentientmachine wrote:Our

sentientmachine wrote:
Our internal observers are "different things" just like gravity between a group of stars are "different things".  They arn't different, gravity is multiple instances of the SAME THING.  That is what prompts me to say that our internal observers are the same.  Does that make any sense?

Huh? I nominate this for the worst-analogy-ever-award. It should win, no contest.