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Author Topic: Consciousness  (Read 8146 times)
FirstAscent
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February 24, 2012, 04:03:53 AM
 #1

David Chalmers. Daniel Dennett. John Searle. Douglas Hofstadter. Roger Penrose. Stuart Hammeroff. Materialsim. Dualism. Panpsychism. The Hard Problem. The Chinese Room. The Star Trek Transporter Room.

Have a go at it...
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FirstAscent
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February 24, 2012, 04:07:59 AM
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David Chalmers' view, in a nutshell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo
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February 24, 2012, 04:28:46 AM
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Solipsist here. To me this is too metaphysical to be knowable.

The Communists say, equal labour entitles man to equal enjoyment. No, equal labour does not entitle you to it, but equal enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if you have laboured and let the enjoyment be taken from you, then – ‘it serves you right.’ If you take the enjoyment, it is your right.
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February 24, 2012, 04:35:18 AM
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Solipsist here. To me this is too metaphysical to be knowable.

Dennett largely claims it is knowable. But even so, it's the fact that it seems to be unknowable that makes it interesting.

Dennett's explanation of consciousness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48ol4sHasA8

I lean towards Chalmers.
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February 24, 2012, 04:40:17 AM
 #5

Your mental states are the only things you have access to. Even the perception of another mental state is still only within the purview of your perception. You cannot conclude the existence of anything outside of your mental states.Therefore only your mental states exist.

As for myself, I can only be a perceived entity. Nothing more. Nothing more can be proven to you.

The existence of your perception can only be proven to your perception. Mine can only be proven to mine.

The human brain, its structure and so forth can only be proven as a perception while being perceived by another perception.

Understand where I am coming from? As long as we are limited to our perceptions -- how we provably cannot be is not yet shown -- reality outside the individual perception is not yet provable. Any stability, consistency and so forth can only be reasonably explained as a perception as well.

The structure and beauty we perceive is not proof. It only is. It's all just perception. It's all just mental states.

Anyways, this is now making me depressed. I am going to bed.

The Communists say, equal labour entitles man to equal enjoyment. No, equal labour does not entitle you to it, but equal enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if you have laboured and let the enjoyment be taken from you, then – ‘it serves you right.’ If you take the enjoyment, it is your right.
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February 24, 2012, 04:52:02 AM
 #6

The existence of our perceptions can only be proven to our perceptions.

Yes, but you might want to differentiate more clearly perceptions vs. qualia. Both Dennett and Chalmers would probably agree with what you're saying, which means something is amiss with you what you're saying. Dennett and Chalmers both agree that 1 + 1 = 2, but that's generally not the subject of the discussion. When you start thinking of it in a way where you agree with one and disagree with the other, then you're on the right track.

On a different note, but related, would you (or anybody reading this) step into the Star Trek Transporter Room, assuming it has been demonstrated to work 100 percent of the time?
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February 24, 2012, 04:56:25 AM
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I've only heard Daniel Dennet speak a few times (never read any of his stuff), and I remember him being unimpressive.

My take...


God:  "I am Who am."

That is consciousness.

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February 24, 2012, 05:00:14 AM
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I've only heard Daniel Dennet speak a few times (never read any of his stuff), and I remember him being unimpressive.

Dennett does not satisfy me either. Basically, he claims that we are essentially tricked into thinking we're conscious.

Here's the deal though - if you found Dennett unsatisfying, then you must read Chalmers.
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February 24, 2012, 05:01:50 AM
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The existence of our perceptions can only be proven to our perceptions.

Yes, but you might want to differentiate more clearly perceptions vs. qualia. Both Dennett and Chalmers would probably agree with what you're saying, which means something is amiss with you what you're saying. Dennett and Chalmers both agree that 1 + 1 = 2, but that's generally not the subject of the discussion. When you start thinking of it in a way where you agree with one and disagree with the other, then you're on the right track.

On a different note, but related, would you (or anybody reading this) step into the Star Trek Transporter Room, assuming it has been demonstrated to work 100 percent of the time?

I would hope solipsism is assumed. I doubt it is. Losing faith in a god is one thing. Losing faith in reality as more than perception is another.

If a transporter was proven to exactly replicate the mind as it was, I would use it. My perceived reality has been proven to be stable thus far and I would trust it in this circumstance.

Otherwise, I don't fear death.

The Communists say, equal labour entitles man to equal enjoyment. No, equal labour does not entitle you to it, but equal enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if you have laboured and let the enjoyment be taken from you, then – ‘it serves you right.’ If you take the enjoyment, it is your right.
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February 24, 2012, 05:03:25 AM
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I've only heard Daniel Dennet speak a few times (never read any of his stuff), and I remember him being unimpressive.
Basically, he claims that we are essentially tricked into thinking we're conscious.

This takes more faith than believing in a giant spaghetti monster.

The Communists say, equal labour entitles man to equal enjoyment. No, equal labour does not entitle you to it, but equal enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if you have laboured and let the enjoyment be taken from you, then – ‘it serves you right.’ If you take the enjoyment, it is your right.
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February 24, 2012, 05:12:48 AM
 #11

Some of the terms and concepts worth getting to know to enrich the discussion:

- Philosophical zombies
- The Hard Problem
- The Chinese Room
- Panpsychism
- Materialism
- Dualism
- The Explanatory Gap

And I'd like to mention again that I personally think the Star Trek problem is worth discussing as well, as it helps one think about the connection of consciousness to physical matter.
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February 24, 2012, 05:14:42 AM
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If a transporter was proven to exactly replicate the mind as it was, I would use it. My perceived reality has been proven to be stable thus far and I would trust it in this circumstance.

So you would submit yourself to being killed, and allow a replica of yourself which contains the exact memories and brain structure to be created to replace yourself?
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February 24, 2012, 05:18:47 AM
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I've only heard Daniel Dennet speak a few times (never read any of his stuff), and I remember him being unimpressive.

Dennett does not satisfy me either. Basically, he claims that we are essentially tricked into thinking we're conscious.

Here's the deal though - if you found Dennett unsatisfying, then you must read Chalmers.

Honestly, I mostly rely on myself to do the thinking when it comes to these kinds of topics (e.g consciousness, mental vs. physical reality, the Universe, etc).  I studied a ton of Buddhism and a lot of Hinduism, Taoism, and Native American philosophies.  About 8 years of that led me to realize that if I want to truly know about things like consciousness, there is no better person to turn to than my self.  I have a good friend with whom I'll share a lot of my ideas, and I find that voicing my ideas does help me to understand things better.  But, knowing something is much different than trying to represent it abstractly either through thought or through words.

You gotta feel consciousness to know what it is, and to really feel it you must calm your thoughts.  You must remove all preconceptions that you may have had about it.  You need to directly feel and experience consciousness in all it's naked glory.

This is why meditation can help a person find the answers to some of life's hardest questions.

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February 24, 2012, 05:19:23 AM
 #14

If a transporter was proven to exactly replicate the mind as it was, I would use it. My perceived reality has been proven to be stable thus far and I would trust it in this circumstance.

So you would submit yourself to being killed, and allow a replica of yourself which contains the exact memories and brain structure to be created to replace yourself?

How can you prove my perception was destroyed and not reincarnated to the replica?

How can we deduce which latter event is more probable?

The Communists say, equal labour entitles man to equal enjoyment. No, equal labour does not entitle you to it, but equal enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if you have laboured and let the enjoyment be taken from you, then – ‘it serves you right.’ If you take the enjoyment, it is your right.
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February 24, 2012, 05:24:05 AM
 #15

How can we take an "if" as a premise?

Hypotheticals form unsound arguments.

There's a reason quantum physicists don't bother with hypotheticals.  They're interested in what's observed.  "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, did it make a sound?"  Answer:  The question is pointless and fails to beget an answer.

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February 24, 2012, 05:28:01 AM
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How can we take an "if" as a premise?

Hypotheticals form unsound arguments.

There's a reason quantum physicists don't bother with hypotheticals.  They're interested in what's observed.  "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, did it make a sound?"  Answer:  The question is pointless and fails to beget an answer.

You propose only nihilism because arguments in this subject level must take faith in prior axioms. There are only some things that can be truly observed depending on the level and subject of the argument.

However the funny thing is that I am arguing for the lowest skeptical viewpoint possible: the only thing that can be proven to your perception is your own perception. Nothing else can be proved to be observable outside of the realm of self.

Anyways, we're getting very deep. I hope the arguments ahead don't stay at their current level. Let's go deeper.

The Communists say, equal labour entitles man to equal enjoyment. No, equal labour does not entitle you to it, but equal enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if you have laboured and let the enjoyment be taken from you, then – ‘it serves you right.’ If you take the enjoyment, it is your right.
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February 24, 2012, 05:36:20 AM
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How can we take an "if" as a premise?

Hypotheticals form unsound arguments.

There's a reason quantum physicists don't bother with hypotheticals.  They're interested in what's observed.  "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, did it make a sound?"  Answer:  The question is pointless and fails to beget an answer.

You propose only nihilism because arguments at this level must take faith in prior axioms.

However the funny thing is that I am arguing for the lowest skeptical viewpoint possible: the only thing that can be proven to your perception is your own perception. Nothing else can be proved to be observable outside of the realm of self.

I don't propose nihilism at all.  Truth cannot be known through thought or through words.  You cannot abstract it if you want to truly know it.  And, faith is critically important to happiness and is arguably one of the root causes of our ability to survive.  Faith basically boils down to intention.

"What one can know, he cannot prove.  What one can prove, he cannot know." 

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February 24, 2012, 05:50:29 AM
 #18

How can we take an "if" as a premise?

Hypotheticals form unsound arguments.

There's a reason quantum physicists don't bother with hypotheticals.  They're interested in what's observed.  "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, did it make a sound?"  Answer:  The question is pointless and fails to beget an answer.

You propose only nihilism because arguments at this level must take faith in prior axioms.

However the funny thing is that I am arguing for the lowest skeptical viewpoint possible: the only thing that can be proven to your perception is your own perception. Nothing else can be proved to be observable outside of the realm of self.

I don't propose nihilism at all.  Truth cannot be known through thought or through words.  You cannot abstract it if you want to truly know it.  And, faith is critically important to happiness and is arguably one of the root causes of our ability to survive.  Faith basically boils down to intention.

"What one can know, he cannot prove.  What one can prove, he cannot know."  

Truth is varying human concepts only catering to various human desires. It cannot be known universally.  Objective reality, which one can consider truth, just is. It does not have any ties to the human perception, assuming anything exists outside your individual perception.

Let me make that clear: It just is.

Ones own truth can be known to oneself through whatever medium they please, whether it be through words or cognitive means.

Intention does not have meaning to all individuals.

Anyways, I can believe some things are more probable than others but I cannot have complete faith in anything. I cannot even choose to do so. Some systems always inevitably fail even when such failure was not expected.
 
Immortality has yet to be proven in some observable systems. Even immortality as a concept, may find itself non-existent.

Now if non-existence and existence were to cease as concepts... What if the rules saying in order for they to be existence there must be nonexistence ceased?

Then what exists outside of existence? Can there be a plane of perception outside of this?

Goddamn, I am going to fucking bed.

In the end, currently, existence can only be defined within your individual perception. All else is pedantry.

The Communists say, equal labour entitles man to equal enjoyment. No, equal labour does not entitle you to it, but equal enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if you have laboured and let the enjoyment be taken from you, then – ‘it serves you right.’ If you take the enjoyment, it is your right.
FirstAscent
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February 24, 2012, 05:51:13 PM
 #19

If a transporter was proven to exactly replicate the mind as it was, I would use it. My perceived reality has been proven to be stable thus far and I would trust it in this circumstance.

So you would submit yourself to being killed, and allow a replica of yourself which contains the exact memories and brain structure to be created to replace yourself?

How can you prove my perception was destroyed and not reincarnated to the replica?

How can we deduce which latter event is more probable?

Consider the following two scenarios:

1. You step into the transporter room and your body is scanned at the molecular level and you are recreated somewhere else. Only problem is, the machine failed to actually destroy your body at this location. A service technician approaches you and says: "Sir, a minor glitch occurred. If you could come this way we'll manually finish the process..."

2. You step into the transporter room and your body is scanned at the molecular level and you are recreated not once, but three different times in three different locations. Clearly, you, the person who stepped into the transporter room, can't be all three of the newly created individuals. Granted, from their perspective, each of the three are you and fully believes in the success of the transportation process, but logically, at the very most, you are only one of them, and the other two are not. It makes further sense that you are in fact none of them, and are in fact, dead, forever, and not experiencing the world at all.
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February 24, 2012, 06:00:38 PM
 #20

In the end, currently, existence can only be defined within your individual perception. All else is pedantry.

I understand what you're saying, and it's worthy of discussion, but it's not addressing the Hard Problem (note the capitalization). Why does the structure and function of the brain give rise to qualia? By the way, another term worth coming to grips with is the Explanatory Gap.
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