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What are the conditions required for a body of matter to be conscious? watch

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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    I don't think possessing a brain is enough of an explanation really. I don't see why something can't be conscious in other dimensions or using other chemicals or reactions.

    Sometimes I like to thing trees, the Sun and even non-physical entities like footpaths have their own consciousness.

    What do you think?
    I think they do, in their own way. I'm a pantheist, and I believe Mother Nature has his/her own consciousness. People think it's wacky, but no more wacky than religion, tbh. Just less widely conventional.
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    (Original post by pjm600)
    Exactly, I don't know whether you do or you don't. You might be a fully fledged professor of quantum theory for all I know.

    No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm not aware of any evidence that suggests the existence of any 'spiritual' entity/'dimension', and therefore I believe one would be foolish to assume its existence.

    People may try to separate themselves from material possessions, but this doesn't provide us with evidence of any 'spiritual' thing.
    Haha no im not and neither do i wish to be! And im afraid i cannot give you the answer to that, i have my ideas, as of course so do you. You are questioning me when really you should be questioning yourself. Ideas are constantly evolving, and this subject is very fluid. Science is also dynamic. I could debate this all day with you but its difficult to have this discussion with someone who is not willing to open their mind. I havent even finished school yet, however i am becoming aware of a new age generation where i know many people of my age group who have similar beliefs to mine. There is so much that science has yet to discover, whether it uses its reductionist method or not. As i said above i am still figuring this all out. I am still evolving and for me this is what makes life worth living.
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    (Original post by Hypocrism)
    To be "spiritual" you have to prove that anything exists outside the physical realm. You're going to have a LOT of trouble with that.



    You sound like a hippy idiot. "one divine intelligence"? "common spiritual bond"? Get out of your ass!
    Nope because being spiritual comes from within. And you make it sound as if being a hippy is a bad thing
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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    I don't think possessing a brain is enough of an explanation really. I don't see why something can't be conscious in other dimensions or using other chemicals or reactions.
    Sometimes I like to thing trees, the Sun and even non-physical entities like footpaths have their own consciousness.
    What do you think?
    I don't think there is a common universally agreed definition of 'consciousness' but IMO a brain, or a nervous system, is a prerequisite. And as for 'other dimensions', I see no reason to go beyond 3D space plus time - it's hard enough agreeing definitions using standard science.
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    would it be correct to say that starfish are conscious ? they do not have brains
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    I have not yet seen any evidence at all to provide any kind of support for spirituality, therefore, I do not consider it a valid scientific claim. If I were to 'open my mind' to accept unsupported theories I would be acting irrationally.

    I very much hope you're wrong about your age group. Quack pseudoscience such as clairvoyance, mediums and telepathy have no place in modern society. Especially mediums that 'contact' dead relatives, they are absolute scum.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    It's pretty compelling anecdotal evidence that our sense of 'self' feels like it is located somewhere in our head - where our brain is.
    While it's true that consciousness is housed in the brain, this is not evidence for that; before medicine, people thought consciousness was housed in the heart.
    (Original post by lilytheblue)
    Yes I do believe in dualism.
    How do you explain brain damage leading to messed up consciousness, then?
    (Original post by lilytheblue)
    no phenomena is unexplainable.
    A theory that can explain literally any outcome is no use at all; this is a misunderstanding of probability theory. http://lesswrong.com/lw/ip/fake_explanations/ A theory is not any use unless it can make useful predictions, and if it can make useful predictions then there exists evidence that contributes to the falsification of the theory (because otherwise the predictions would be useless; they wouldn't tell you what was going to happen unless they also told you what would not happen).
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    (Original post by Pastaferian)
    I don't think there is a common universally agreed definition of 'consciousness' but IMO a brain, or a nervous system, is a prerequisite.
    How loose is your definition of "brain"? Does a computer count?
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    (Original post by The_Last_Melon)
    I don't think possessing a brain is enough of an explanation really. I don't see why something can't be conscious in other dimensions or using other chemicals or reactions.

    Sometimes I like to thing trees, the Sun and even non-physical entities like footpaths have their own consciousness.

    What do you think?
    I would certainly agree consciousness is possible without a brain, as other thinking processes may be possible. We know of at least one other (computers).

    It may be possible that other entities exist which can compute, and potentially be self-aware that use systems (either biologically or otherwise) that we have not considered.

    (Original post by lilytheblue)
    So the daily life that we perceive with our 5 senses is not reality. Quantum physics has shown that space and time are illusions of perception. Therefore, our bodies cannot be a reality if they occupy this space. And our true consciousness does not exist in our brains or in our bodies.
    Your misunderstanding quantum physics, and extrapolating these misunderstandings to ridiculous levels. It's no surprise though, the documentaries mentioned use quantum physics to pass off nonsense as science.

    The problem with the consciousness argument, is that you are essentially arguing the necessity for a property we are not even sure exists. We know that conscious activity does not appear without brain activity. We also know, that conscious activity arises from brain activity. The problem is, that what we define as consciousness varies, and different definitions require different explanations.

    The problem is even more complex because the perception of consciousness we feel i somewhat difficult to understand (not to explain), because subjective experience isnt something that can be explained objectively. What we can understand is the various components of our self-awarness, our memories are very much physical, as is our ability to reflect. The feeling of self-awareness is the brain being aware of itself, using the tools available to it (memory, self-reflection and so on).

    What further complicates the issue is that we cannot be entirely sure we are conscious in the way we think we are. For the most part, our memories are very good at adapting. So even if we were not 'self-aware' five minutes ago, we would not be aware of it, because our memories would tell us we were. Similar situations arise when sleeping, with the possibility of the opposite.

    The problem is, when you reduce it to what we understand and what we don't. We are left with the same problem as with the soul: if consciousness does not arise from the brain, then it has no properties.

    Which begs the question, what exactly are we trying to explain then?

    This is why as far as questions of consciousness goes, we have maybes and noes, but not yeses. We can rule out certain possibilities (like consciousness arising from something metaphysical), but we can never be sure what causes the subjective experience we feel, if we even feel it at all.
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    (Original post by lilytheblue)
    Nope because being spiritual comes from within. And you make it sound as if being a hippy is a bad thing
    From within, as in from the brain? If that's the case, it's physical and therefore NOT spiritual.

    And I stand by that sentiment about hippies.
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    (Original post by Hypocrism)
    From within, as in from the brain? If that's the case, it's physical and therefore NOT spiritual.

    And I stand by that sentiment about hippies.
    No. From within as in your higher self... why do you think people take drugs, to gain access to their higher self because they no other way of doing so. Hence the term 'being high'

    And who are you to judge? Have you ever met any hippies or are you just gonna generalise because that sort of ignorance comes from fear within. Fear of the unknown.
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    (Original post by pjm600)
    I have not yet seen any evidence at all to provide any kind of support for spirituality, therefore, I do not consider it a valid scientific claim. If I were to 'open my mind' to accept unsupported theories I would be acting irrationally.

    I very much hope you're wrong about your age group. Quack pseudoscience such as clairvoyance, mediums and telepathy have no place in modern society. Especially mediums that 'contact' dead relatives, they are absolute scum.
    What is the definition of acting rational though? And who taught you that it was quack because it seems to be deep within your belief system..unless you experience it yourself how can you judge.. I understand and appreciate your opinions, im not here to interrogate and im okay about it because i know that one day you will understand what i am saying. And the way you open your mind is to do your own research about things before you judge them. Read 'The Science Delusion' by Rupert Sheldrake, this is the new era of science.
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    (Original post by Smaug123)
    How loose is your definition of "brain"? Does a computer count?
    Interesting question... If you mean just the hardware, then no. But hardware is no use without software, so I'll assume that's what you meant. If the computer's hardware matched the brain's physical characteristics (connectivity, processing speed, etc) - and this is not true of today's computers - then it becomes a question of what software is it running. And I think we have only the haziest idea of what characteristics that software would have. And we would still have the problem of agreeing whether or not the computer had achieved consciousness, because we don't agree what consciousness is.

    Of course, it doesn't mean we couldn't do it one day, but I think we are a very, very long way off doing so.
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    (Original post by lilytheblue)
    No. From within as in your higher self... why do you think people take drugs, to gain access to their higher self because they no other way of doing so. Hence the term 'being high'

    And who are you to judge? Have you ever met any hippies or are you just gonna generalise because that sort of ignorance comes from fear within. Fear of the unknown.
    So the spiritual world is nothing more than a drugged up version of the physical world? That is still the physical world.

    I judge people who believe in ridiculous spirituality, ESP, clairvoyance, telekinesis, and so on and so forth, because they have no evidence. If they have evidence, I therefore judge them for not taking £1 million from Randi for it.


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    (Original post by Smaug123)
    While it's true that consciousness is housed in the brain, this is not evidence for that; before medicine, people thought consciousness was housed in the heart.

    How do you explain brain damage leading to messed up consciousness, then?

    A theory that can explain literally any outcome is no use at all; this is a misunderstanding of probability theory. http://lesswrong.com/lw/ip/fake_explanations/ A theory is not any use unless it can make useful predictions, and if it can make useful predictions then there exists evidence that contributes to the falsification of the theory (because otherwise the predictions would be useless; they wouldn't tell you what was going to happen unless they also told you what would not happen).
    I believe in dualism in terms as a whole organism. The film Kymatica explains all this perfectly. And how can you possibly define 'messed up' without using your own subjective opinion and personal experience? Theories are always being updated and refined yet many are disproved. In fact, even the first law of thermodynamics is possibly not true because of the discovery of black matter. However, science tends to take a nomothetic approach as it tries to generalise. why is there no room for individual differences?
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    (Original post by lilytheblue)
    What is the definition of acting rational though?
    There is a mathematical way to codify the most rational way to behave in a situation; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_theory . Exactly what the most rational decision theory is, is still being worked on; most varieties have been shown to have flaws (Newcomb's Problem, for example, thwarts causal decision theory but not timeless decision theory, while TDT falls to counterfactual mugging), but it's pretty sure that there is an optimal decision theory. It helps to bear in mind that there *is* a best way to act, and there *is* an optimal way to assign probabilities to things (Solomonoff induction), even if we can't compute them.
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    [QUOTE=Hypocrism;42266231]So the spiritual world is nothing more than a drugged up version of the physical world? That is still the physical world.

    I judge people who believe in ridiculous spirituality, ESP, clairvoyance, telekinesis, and so on and so forth, because they have no evidence. If they have evidence, I therefore judge them for not taking £1 million from Randi for it.


    Do you love your parents? Do you love you gf/bf? If so then give me your evidence for it, can you give me evidence? The thing people are most hungry for, which is meaning, is the one thing science hasn't been able to give them
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    (Original post by lilytheblue)
    I believe in dualism in terms as a whole organism. The film Kymatica explains all this perfectly. And how can you possibly define 'messed up' without using your own subjective opinion and personal experience? Theories are always being updated and refined yet many are disproved. In fact, even the first law of thermodynamics is possibly not true because of the discovery of black matter. However, science tends to take a nomothetic approach as it tries to generalise. why is there no room for individual differences?
    For those of us who haven't watched the film Kymatica, care to summarise? And by "messed up", I mean "no longer able to function normally" - it is true that destroying certain parts of the brain causes certain mental functions to stop, and it is possible to "create" two people from one brain by removing the connections between the two halves of the brain (quick source because I'm in a rush).
    There is also a difference between updating/refining a theory, and replacing it completely. Essentially all the refinements we make are generalisations: where before we knew what happened in a specific case, we now know what happens in a more general case. (cf. Newton's laws -> Special Relativity -> General Relativity). There is ultimately no room for individual differences in science, because there is exactly one right answer (on macro scales, at least; it gets a bit fuzzy at atom-sizes), although at the moment scientists may disagree on what that right answer is.
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    (Original post by Smaug123)
    There is a mathematical way to codify the most rational way to behave in a situation; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_theory . Exactly what the most rational decision theory is, is still being worked on; most varieties have been shown to have flaws (Newcomb's Problem, for example, thwarts causal decision theory but not timeless decision theory, while TDT falls to counterfactual mugging), but it's pretty sure that there is an optimal decision theory. It helps to bear in mind that there *is* a best way to act, and there *is* an optimal way to assign probabilities to things (Solomonoff induction), even if we can't compute them.
    But what youre forgetting is that humans are unpredictable. It is not even possible to measure anything including sub-atomic particles without altering its behaviour.
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    (Original post by lilytheblue)
    Do you love your parents? Do you love you gf/bf? If so then give me your evidence for it, can you give me evidence? The thing people are most hungry for, which is meaning, is the one thing science hasn't been able to give them
    Love is very strongly correlated with certain chemicals and neural structures in the brain; it's an observable, physical effect which we are drawing closer to understanding scientifically.
 
 
 
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