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Author Topic: Consciousness  (Read 8149 times)
FirstAscent
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March 02, 2012, 06:29:27 PM
 #41

Out of the Big Bang, point to the physical laws, or the physical matter, or the processes, which allowed consciousness to arise.

1. The Big Bang happens.
2. Matter forms into various objects.
3. Physical processes allow for more complex structures.
4. Parts of the Universe become aware of the Universe. How and why would that happen?

Somewhere in the above timeline (perhaps before 1 or between 1 and 2), physical laws came into being. You could almost say it's coincidental with the existence of mathematics. I don't know whether you'd call this step 0, or 1.5, or 0 and 1.5.

Steps 2 and 3 naturally follow.

Step 1 is a bit problematic. Physicists are working on it. It's a pretty interesting problem. Step 4 is problematic as well. Again, a pretty interesting problem. Step 0 and/or 1.5 are problematic and interesting as well.

The problem that neuroscientists are working on does not qualify as one of those 'interesting' problems. Don't get me wrong - it's very interesting relative to tax law, agriculture, etc., but it's just not one of the big problems. When neuroscientists say they're trying to understand consciousness, what they're saying is they're trying to understand what physical brain processes correlate to consciousness. In other words, they're peeling back the layers to discover neural correlates.

That still leaves question 4 unanswered.
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hazek
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March 02, 2012, 07:11:37 PM
 #42

FirstAscent, have you seen this?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMrzdk_YnYY

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March 02, 2012, 07:29:03 PM
 #43

4. Parts of the Universe become aware of the Universe. How and why would that happen?

How and why indeed! Is part of the universe aware of the universe??

What if life is merely a chemical chain reaction of certain chemicals that fuels other chain reactions that fuel other chain reactions that fuel other chain reactions that fuel other chain reaction... ect., until you get from 3. where you had only the chemicals to an appearance of 4. where there are so many simultaneous chain reactions going on fueling each other that a mere bigger picture emerges while what's really going on is still just a humongous number of chain reactions fueling each other?

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March 02, 2012, 07:41:51 PM
 #44

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.

Isn't this a pointless scenario since we don't have a such a machine and we do not know if matter can even be manipulated in such a way? Isn't it like asking: "If you were super man and you were flying and suddenly a meteorite with kryptonite inside hit you midair you, would you fly to the sun at the risk of dying or would you land and try get some human to remove the kryptonite dust off of you?"

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March 02, 2012, 07:44:24 PM
 #45

What if life is merely a chemical chain reaction of certain chemicals that fuels other chain reactions that fuel other chain reactions that fuel other chain reactions that fuel other chain reaction... ect., until you get from 3. where you had only the chemicals to an appearance of 4. where there are so many simultaneous chain reactions going on fueling each other that a mere bigger picture emerges while what's really going on is still just a humongous number of chain reactions fueling each other?

If lots of X give rise to Y (lots of chain reactions give rise to conscious experience), then there must be some fundamental law present in the laws of the Universe that says X (a chain reaction) is the fundamental building block of conscious experience.

What is that particular physical process? Is it related to electricity? Structure? Shape? Oscillation? Frequency? Distance? Calcium? Zinc? Quantum entanglement? Something else?

Or is it something not within the realm of physics? Physics is a set of laws that man has used to describe his observations of the Universe. Consider that last sentence very carefully.

I'll repeat it again: Physics is a set of laws that man has used to describe his observations of the Universe.

The key point in the above sentence is that physics is the result of man explaining something. But in the process of developing physics, man forgot to include within his observations of the Universe his observations of the existence of consciousness. This is not a fault of physics - but it should point out that the science of physics never endeavored to explain everything. Rather, it endeavored to explain everything minus conscious experience.

Now, given that, does that mean that consciousness is an artifact of laws which exist in combination with physics, or within physics that isn't yet developed?
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March 02, 2012, 07:49:30 PM
 #46

Isn't this a pointless scenario since we don't have a such a machine and we do not know if matter can even be manipulated in such a way?

Absolutely not. There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another. It's an absolutely necessary thing to consider if you wish to understand the ramifications of nature. It's very much worth considering as a mental exercise.
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March 02, 2012, 07:50:16 PM
 #47

If lots of X give rise to Y

Without even reading further than that, let me stop you right there. I never said lots of x give rise to y, I said lots of x give the appearance of y while it's still just lots and lots of very complicated relationships of x.

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March 02, 2012, 07:51:21 PM
 #48

Isn't this a pointless scenario since we don't have a such a machine and we do not know if matter can even be manipulated in such a way?

Absolutely not. There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another. It's an absolutely necessary thing to consider if you wish to understand the ramifications of nature. It's very much worth considering as a mental exercise.

Then why not go with something that does exist and we know how to manipulate such as cloning?

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March 02, 2012, 07:51:25 PM
 #49

Isn't this a pointless scenario since we don't have a such a machine and we do not know if matter can even be manipulated in such a way?

Furthermore, we can do quantum teleportation in the lab.
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March 02, 2012, 07:52:15 PM
 #50

Isn't this a pointless scenario since we don't have a such a machine and we do not know if matter can even be manipulated in such a way?

Absolutely not. There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another. It's an absolutely necessary thing to consider if you wish to understand the ramifications of nature. It's very much worth considering as a mental exercise.

Then why not go with something that does exist and we know how to manipulate such as cloning?

Cloning has nothing to do with it. That's why.
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March 02, 2012, 07:54:18 PM
 #51

If lots of X give rise to Y

Without even reading further than that, let me stop you right there. I never said lots of x give rise to y, I said lots of x give the appearance of y while it's still just lots and lots of very complicated relationships of x.

You're starting to sound like Daniel Dennett. You might want to read him. A good introduction would be his book "Sweet Dreams": http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Dreams-Philosophical-Obstacles-Consciousness/dp/0262541912/

You can find him on Youtube as well.
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March 02, 2012, 07:54:48 PM
 #52

Isn't this a pointless scenario since we don't have a such a machine and we do not know if matter can even be manipulated in such a way?

Absolutely not. There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another. It's an absolutely necessary thing to consider if you wish to understand the ramifications of nature. It's very much worth considering as a mental exercise.

Then why not go with something that does exist and we know how to manipulate such as cloning?

Cloning has nothing to do with it. That's why.

What?

You said "There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another." Isn't this what we call cloning?

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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March 02, 2012, 07:55:20 PM
 #53

You said "There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another." Isn't this what we call cloning?

No.
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March 02, 2012, 07:55:39 PM
 #54

If lots of X give rise to Y

Without even reading further than that, let me stop you right there. I never said lots of x give rise to y, I said lots of x give the appearance of y while it's still just lots and lots of very complicated relationships of x.

You're starting to sound like Daniel Dennett. You might want to read him. A good introduction would be his book "Sweet Dreams": http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Dreams-Philosophical-Obstacles-Consciousness/dp/0262541912/

You can find him on Youtube as well.


No thanks. I'm just bored and am having fun poking logical holes into your statements and theories and scenarios.

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

If however you enjoyed my post: 15j781DjuJeVsZgYbDVt2NZsGrWKRWFHpp
hazek
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March 02, 2012, 07:56:11 PM
 #55

You said "There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another." Isn't this what we call cloning?

No.

Riiiiight, but some magical teleportation device does?

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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March 02, 2012, 07:57:57 PM
 #56

You said "There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another." Isn't this what we call cloning?

No.

Riiiiight, but some magical teleportation device does?

Dude, before you go on, figure out why cloning is not what you think it is.
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March 02, 2012, 08:02:40 PM
 #57

You said "There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another." Isn't this what we call cloning?

No.

Riiiiight, but some magical teleportation device does?

Dude, before you go on, figure out why cloning is not what you think it is.

I know why cloning doesn't fit your scenario. Because by itself it's not enough to complete your scenario. It lacks the "memories" of a life. But what I'm asking is surely if you're going to deal in hypotheticals, where you're imagining a scenario just to ponder it's hypothetical ramifications, shouldn't it be a lot more fruitful if you chose a scenario that starts with reality and adds something that we know how to do but is only extremely hard such as cloning an individual and then having the clone have the same exact memories and not something we don't know how to do such as teleporting life?

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

If however you enjoyed my post: 15j781DjuJeVsZgYbDVt2NZsGrWKRWFHpp
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March 02, 2012, 08:04:12 PM
 #58

You said "There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another." Isn't this what we call cloning?

No.

Riiiiight, but some magical teleportation device does?

Dude, before you go on, figure out why cloning is not what you think it is.

I know why cloning doesn't fit your scenario. Because by itself it's not enough to complete your scenario. It lacks the "memories" of a life. But what I'm asking is surely if you're going to deal in hypotheticals, where you're imagining a scenario just to ponder it's hypothetical ramifications, shouldn't it be a lot more fruitful if you chose a scenario that starts with reality and adds something that we know how to do but is only extremely hard such as cloning an individual and then having the clone have the same exact memories and not something we don't know how to do such as teleporting life?

In answer to your question as to it being more fruitful, the answer is no. Plain and simple.
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March 02, 2012, 08:09:16 PM
 #59

You said "There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another." Isn't this what we call cloning?

No.

Riiiiight, but some magical teleportation device does?

Dude, before you go on, figure out why cloning is not what you think it is.

I know why cloning doesn't fit your scenario. Because by itself it's not enough to complete your scenario. It lacks the "memories" of a life. But what I'm asking is surely if you're going to deal in hypotheticals, where you're imagining a scenario just to ponder it's hypothetical ramifications, shouldn't it be a lot more fruitful if you chose a scenario that starts with reality and adds something that we know how to do but is only extremely hard such as cloning an individual and then having the clone have the same exact memories and not something we don't know how to do such as teleporting life?

In answer to your question as to it being more fruitful, the answer is no. Plain and simple.

Care to elaborate?

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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March 02, 2012, 08:18:29 PM
 #60

You said "There is nothing pointless about pondering the ramifications of another physical structure that has the exact same molecular content as another." Isn't this what we call cloning?

No.

Riiiiight, but some magical teleportation device does?

Dude, before you go on, figure out why cloning is not what you think it is.

I know why cloning doesn't fit your scenario. Because by itself it's not enough to complete your scenario. It lacks the "memories" of a life. But what I'm asking is surely if you're going to deal in hypotheticals, where you're imagining a scenario just to ponder it's hypothetical ramifications, shouldn't it be a lot more fruitful if you chose a scenario that starts with reality and adds something that we know how to do but is only extremely hard such as cloning an individual and then having the clone have the same exact memories and not something we don't know how to do such as teleporting life?

In answer to your question as to it being more fruitful, the answer is no. Plain and simple.

Care to elaborate?

The purpose of thought experiments is to illustrate the conundrums that exist within a particular domain of study, and by doing so, those who become familiar with said thought experiments can then see the domain of study in a new light, which might allow them to think about the problem differently, and to better understand it.

Generally, the purpose of a thought experiment is not to find a way to build the gadgets in the thought experiment.

Equally important with regard to this particular matter, cloning is irrelevant, and will yield nothing. Clones not only don't have the same molecular structure and memories over time, they never have the same molecular structure from the start, as their growth is a function of the molecules they assimilate, which is different for each individual.
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