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Feb 12 2012

Another, “I just can’t believe what my brain can do”

Kind of the same stuff. If consciousness, then afterlife. But this person wants to know what atheists think, and asserts nobody has offered a satisfactory answer. I will fully admit I may be pleasantly surprised, but up to now what this usually translates to is “I don’t understand/accept the findings of neuro scientists, and potentially have some misconceptions regarding things I’ve read about popular physics.” Genuinely hoping I’m wrong, I leave you with this…

 

Dear atheists,

I have a question for you on some of your world views that I cannot find good answer from any atheist. First I would introduce myself if its any matter of interest to you. Im 28 years old guy from Scandinavia, I used to be a believer to age 18 or something but never went to church or anything and constantly doubted my faith along the way because the lack of evidence. To some point I stopped believing when I realized there just isnt enough evidence to continue belief but still maintained some kind of agnostic view on world but I wont bore you to death on the matter why I became agnostic and not full atheist. I have academic, financial and technical background. I have always been somehow interested to find “truth” about this reality and spent alot of time in my freetime to find at least some answers. Last two years I have been really active in this matter and when I actually took true, dedicated dive in this world Ill have to say that everything is even more confusing to rational mind that I could have ever thought. Now I finally know truly that I know nothing.

In this journey I have found a philosofical and mathematical problem on life ending after death. As some hardcore atheists claim to “know” or at least to some degree as certainty that life ends when our physical body dies I beg to differ solely based on probability. Ok, heres the problem that you have been waiting for if ever read it this far.

1. Lets say we have one life in this universe and our consciousness dies permanently, what is the probablity you living right at this moment in an universe that has sustained life at least last few billion years your appr. 75 year long lasting life?

1.1 Ill add more to this. When something is, the potential of it has to be and at least the potential of it cant be destroyd, so lets say matter comes quantum fluctuation, it has been always this way and will be so there have been infinite number of universes before this and still exists. In an infinite amount of time you living your only life at this very moment is practicly 0 when you divide 75/infinite. Ok, there is a probability this isnt true, but its the most likely theory that you cannot destroy a potential of what can be proven to exist.

2. You say you have no spirit or I would call this consciousness if you will since its something that is not our physical body. Spirit as a term can be misleading here because I understand you point of view but try to go beoynd it. You can prove to yourself that you exist at this very moment since you can experience, vision, smell, touch, thought etc.. You probably have no clue how you can even exist “to yourself” and still you are. So at least you have to exist as a potential in this infinite universe even if your consciousness stops experiencing or shuts down as your physical body dies. I dont think consciousness cannot be in a state of not experiencing but that would go extremely deep to philosofical matters so I wont bore you with that at this moment.

2.2. You might think you are “illusion” to yourself but that is the most ridiculous explanation I have heard by atheists (or theists doesnt matter what you believe if you can do this) and requires very cunning trick of mind to do that since you can only prove that you exist at some form this moment. You might not be anything more than just an observer but go figure it out. Just wanted to point this out that you dont give me lazy ass asnwer to this question but think it through.

2.3 Defining consciousness as your body is extremely hard since your body changes every single cell many times in its lifetime and still you dont cease to exist as an “observer”. If you go deep enough you would need to define yourself as electricity since you cannot find consciousness in matter. Electricity is movement of electrons so you are experiencing movement of electrons and nothing more. There are many, many problems theorising that you are the atoms and/or electricity in your body but wont go to details here. Basicly this theory would suggest that any electric movement would experience something, no matter if it can recognize itself or have any “intellect”, this doesnt matter. Intelligence is just subproduct of our physical manifestation, perhaps.

3. Nothing can exist outside consciousness. There cannot be anything without consciousness since it doesnt exist to anyone. This is a philosofical matter at least at this point but there is truth to it. You have universe that exists to no-one can we say it exists? If it even exists in our mind in any way we can already say it exists. This goes really deep in to philosofical thinking but is a sort of a conclusion I have come to. Everything is consciousness, nothing “real” can exist beoynd it and everything that exists to consciousness is in a way real. Theres no laws that govern what is real or not but the law of consciouss observer that defines it.

I recognize I could be wrong in every single statement I have made above and this can be extremely hard to rationalize with our monkey brains but also there is deep logic to every single statement there is.

Since Iv been watching your show for entertaining purposes mostly Iv seen that you are rather intelligent but step to the same traps as religious people do like in this matter, what happens after we die, making assumptions without going beoynd them. Im hoping to get feedback from you guys as these are matters that not many want to go in to or give only lazy thoughtless answers. Also I would like to hear more insightful arguments why you believe we cease to exist after physical death. Im always glad to hear opposing arguments.

As last words I want to say these thought are anything but calming to me and are not wishfull thinking but more of a rationalizing with open mind and accepting the “truth” as it reveals itself. Consciousness seems to me seems to be indestructible and we have come infinite way to this point and continue to exist. There are lots of topics to be discussed in this matter but I dont expect them to discussed with you. I only want the answers to these few claims that you make and present in your show.

Best regards,

Another pseudorationalizing Stardust Space Monkey

236 comments

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  1. 1
    Lolo

    Taking concepts from physics and neuroscience too literally/out of context.

  2. 2
    Jay

    Damn, these people need to learn to summarize.

  3. 3
    Theodoric

    “what is the probablity you living right at this moment in an universe that has sustained life at least last few billion years your appr. 75 year long lasting life?”
    One, I’d say. But even in a non-deterministic universe, human life (even my life) is more of a byproduct of the universe existing than the Greater Goal of All Existence. This type of human-centrism is rampant; as if people can’t live with the fact that they’re not ‘special’. And it all goes downhill from there.

    1. 3.1
      SpaceMonkey

      Ok I had no idea this email was going to come here but ok since it did Ill answer to this since this is the answer I have gotten before. Its mind boggling how you missed the point or you are intentionally misdirecting it, I dont in any way point humans to be any way special or trying to centrify it, in fact I dont think so at all.

      First of all yes, you are right, since you exist theres no probability to it anymore or its 100%. The problem is that you might arrogantly state that everything that exists as reality started 13,6 billion years ago, but if we play a game that we believe this to be true it is much more likely that your only life would have ended a long time ago before this in a form or another since theres no rule in your belief system that would govern what are the principles that makes your consciousness appear to beeing. I dont in anyway think nor there is any theory that would suggest that everything mysticly started 13,6 billion years ago or the singularity first time just started to expand to our percieved universe. Only our current state of how it became to this point suggest that it happened in this time and I find it is more than plausible. Before that there could have not be nothing since something doesnt come out of nothing, there have to be at least potential. Since potential always existed there has to have been infinite number or time and realities before this and might be that at this very moment there is infinite number or universes with different laws governing them and you as a beeing is one of the laws of potential that come to be.

      1. unbound

        To be honest SpaceMonkey, it is a bit hard to follow you, and I think many people are having difficulty following your line of thought…which may be why you think Theodoric missed your point or was redirecting.

        I’m not sure you really got his point on the other hand. You speak in terms of probabilities which makes absolutely no sense. You are trying to assign probability to the chance that you came into existence, but that is an exercise of making up an equation just to arrive at your answer.

        You are asking a fundamental question of “Why me?”. But why do you assume that you were intended at all? What is wrong with the answer that you are simply a random product of this universe? It isn’t particularly comforting, but it is likely to be the actual truth. Do you really think if you had 4 ears, 6 fingers on each hand, and a 2nd nose that you’d feel any different?

        In regards to part 2 (and 2.2 and 2.3), you do realize that you are assuming that spirit, as we humans define it, is absolutely true. My pets certainly seem to be very aware of themselves and how the experience and react to the world around them. Do they have souls? It really seems a matter of arrogance that humans think they have something more than is readily apparent.

        In regards to part 3, I have always thought that view of the universe to be nothing short of human-centric claptrap. You are basically asking if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to witness it, does it actually make a noise? Of course it does.

        On to the larger question of what happens when we die? The answer is that we don’t know for certain. As far as we are able to tell, it is simply the end of ourselves. We could certainly be wrong (such is the nature of science and rational thought), but there is no indication that we are at this point.

        You should understand, however, that this is a very different point of view than that of religion who just makes up answers. Science and rational thought has the capability to change their answer once new evidence is provided. Religion maintains no such capability.

        This is my best attempt to answer what I am able to decode in what you’ve written. It may not satisfy you, but before you respond that I don’t get it, please take some time to understand the assumptions you make and how others may not accept those same assumptions.

        1. spacemonkey

          I totally understand how it can be hard to follow my arguments and I dont expect you all to do it in short time from my experience. From what I read here I see many misinterpret me in many matters and even make assumptions on things that I have no not pointed out in any way like you did.

          First of all I talk about probabilities because to me they are the only things that we can lean on to since we have no knowledge and we shouldnt just discredit them because of this if we can achieve truth.

          You are asking a fundamental question of “Why me?”.
          No Im not asking that, how did I ever make you believe this? I dont think there was ever an intention but what we make to be our intention. But in first place there was no meaning.

          My pets certainly seem to be very aware of themselves and how the experience and react to the world around them.
          Yes I think that your pets do experience as consciousness like we do and this doesnt require any realization of self only experience. Theres no limit to it and yet again I dont feel we are special because we have intellect.

          You are basically asking if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to witness it, does it actually make a noise? Of course it does.
          Now heres a problem that you make assumption based on faulse evidence that seems rational. Yes we do have universe with laws and I dont think we yet know what lies beoynd them but I also agree with you that the tree will make noise though I recognize I could be totally wrong. Its not a matter of “of course” even though you would be arrogant enough to claim it for certainty.

          The answer is that we don’t know for certain. As far as we are able to tell, it is simply the end of ourselves
          Good thing you at least acknowledge we are not able to tell but as a probability I can say that as potential is infinite, it always is and always will be, its what governs what can come to be and we cannot ever know if theres anything beoynd it. This law has made you to come to this world so in the law of universe you exist in it as you are the proof to yourself you exist. As a potential you can come to be so theres no point of arguing that you just happened to come here from infinity to be alive this very moment to live your 75 year olf life. Its mathematical near impossibility, its almost infinitely more likely that you have lived your only life before.

          nature of science and rational thought
          Actually even with science and rational thought you can come to conclusion that there is high probablity that we arent living our only life. Science doesnt even try to answer this question it can only state that there is no evidence that it wants to take seriously that would indicate this. They only want evidence of such happening but there cannot exist any at this point. Dont lay your hope on greatest scientists to provide you any evidence since they are not even trying to look for it. This is a fact.

          1. Monimonika

            Your question was:

            what is the probablity you living right at this moment in an universe that has sustained life at least last few billion years your appr. 75 year long lasting life?

            Your given reason for asking:

            I talk about probabilities because to me they are the only things that we can lean on to since we have no knowledge and we shouldnt just discredit them because of this if we can achieve truth.

            …your reason does not clarify what you meant by the question at all. It seems to be you want to mention probabilities but have no idea how to relate it to your actual topic about consciousness, so it’s just thrown in there. If you insist that’s not what you meant, actually put something down that does explain how consciousness ties into probabilities instead of asserting that it’s important somehow.

          2. sebastian

            Bro, you’re not Scandinavian. Sincerely, a Swede.

      2. moralnihilist

        When you were conceived, a single sperm cell in hundreds of millions just happened to be the one that fertilized the egg cell. Had it not been that particular sperm cell, another would have done the fertilizing. Someone would exist in your place, but they would not be you. You literally had a 1 in 200,000,000 or so chance of being you. The same goes for your parents, and their parents, and so on. The odds are so astronomically against you being you, yet here you are. And it’s not a mystery or hard to explain. It’s sort of like how the odds of winning a lottery are quite often 1 in 300,000,000. Despite the astronomical odds, people tend to win routinely. Why? Because even though the chances of any individual winning the lottery are 1 in 10^8, the chances of SOMEONE winning it get higher the more people play. That’s the problem when you try to argue this stuff with probabilities. The people who do always fall into this assumption that the “game” is only being played once, at a single point in time. In reality, the “game” is constantly being played, by billions of “players” and they have the whole universe to play it in.
        To bring probability into this is to display a lack of understanding over how probability actually works. The chances that you’d have lived in the past instead of now are not greater because who you are depends on the genetic line of people who lived in the past. Your particular combination of genes did not exist in the past, so you could not possibly have existed.

  4. 4
    Greg

    Many deep philosophical and religious convictions that can’t be verbalised. i.e. Mescaline abuse.

  5. 5
    robertacurso

    I agree with Lolo. He really Chopra’ed his arguments. (That’s right. Chopra is a verb now, says me.) Obviously the language barrier is a major issue in his relating his thoughts, plus his train of thought is all over the place. And just when you think he’s making a solid point he backs off of it and gets all wishy washy which makes it really hard to determine what exactly he’s trying to say.

    I started to tackle this point-by-point but that got really tedious, really fast. The bottom line is that a lot of his suppositions are just that. A lot of philosophy, metaphysics, and pseudoscience all mushed together into one quasitheory. And consciousness is totally destructable. That really stood out as I just watched a video of Sam Harris the other day explaining just how consciousness can be literally taken apart and altered piece by piece.

    I say if this guy wants to be taken seriously he needs to resubmit his argument in a finalized form, not some stream-of-consciousness rough draft.

    1. 5.1
      sebastian

      Yeah, about that language barrier. I’m Swedish and all his language errors doesn’t seem to be Scandinavian. For example, omitting the article in “I cannot find good answer” in the first paragraph makes no sense if you’re Scandinavian since we also use articles in sentences like that. Same thing with “Im 28 years old guy from Scandinavia” we’re we’d use an article in all the Scandinavian languages too. These little errors are also too basic for any Scandinavian to make, especially if you “have academic, financial and technical background”, apart from making no sense from a Scandinavian language perspective. So why is he lying about his origin or background? I guess to play the part as the “atheist” Scandinavian who still found some sort of “insight”.

  6. 6
    Johnny

    You start to lose me at 1.1. You start to draw conclusions that make little sense and are not grounded in fact. Potential =/= reality. “Ok, there is a probability this isnt true, but its the most likely theory that you cannot destroy a potential of what can be proven to exist.” Most likely by what criteria?

  7. 7
    SpaceMonkey

    Yes I admit that summirizing this is extremely hard and would need at least like 20 pages to explain everything to be understood correctly. Perhaps I overestimated that readers would understand the main issues that I tried to point out at least in some level. I have decent skills in english but theres also challenges to use the right terms to make my points clear obviously. Sorry for that but Im more than glad to explain myself further if you can grasp anything there.

    1. 7.1
      Johnny

      “Perhaps I overestimated that readers would understand the main issues that I tried to point out at least in some level.”

      I know this is a trollish attempt to make it sound like it’s somehow our fault that your assumptions aren’t logically sound, but I’m going to address it anyway. Perhaps a.) the problem is with your explanations and b.) we understand but we don’t agree.

      1. Nick

        Amen!

      2. spacemonkey

        Sorry once again for not being specific when commenting. What I in fact ment was that I should have obviously started from scrach not from the conclusions with very weak explanations. This whole discussion went from top to bottom as it should have gone from bottom to top and not the other way around. I can pin point many things that you did misinterpret and thats why I said that. Not like it was your fault but mine.
        The email I first sent was just for curiousity because Iv seen that most of people that label themselves atheists seem to have this “once in an infinity life” world view and make assumptions about conscioussness like they had some answers.. So I expected to get short easy answer what made you believe it actually is that way that you can present them. To broaden up my perspective or to possibly find the errors in my reasoning.

  8. 8
    Jasper of Maine

    I have a question for you on some of your world views that I cannot find good answer from any atheist.

    First sentence – shifting burden of proof

    I became agnostic and not full atheist.

    If you don’t actively believe in a god, you’re an atheist. But labels aside…

    1. Lets say we have one life in this universe and our consciousness dies permanently, what is the probablity you living right at this moment in an universe that has sustained life at least last few billion years your appr. 75 year long lasting life?

    I don’t know. We don’t know enough about the universe to “calculate” anything. Although, the more we learn, the more it seems the universe should be teeming with life.

    It’s an argument from scary sounding numbers. If there’s a 1:100000000000000000 change of life existing on a planet, and there is 100000000000000000 planets, then the probability is basically 1.

    It’s also looking at it backwards. I am experiencing life now because this is when this biological life form came into existence. It’s not like I was a free floating mind that plunged into physical existence just happened to land into a body.

    When something is, the potential of it has to be and at least the potential of it cant be destroyd, so lets say matter comes quantum fluctuation, it has been always this way and will be so there have been infinite number of universes before this and still exists.

    What? I do not grant your word salad.

    Keep in mind that quantum physics is still being worked on. It’s one of the edges of our knowledge. What you’re doing is the same problem many make with Kalam cosmological argument – making claims about things we don’t know well. We have ideas and maybe some understanding, but you’re trying to build a house out of bricks that you don’t actually have.

    You really should try to build arguments from non-fringe science.

    You say you have no spirit or I would call this consciousness if you will since its something that is not our physical body.

    Then computers have spirits/consciousness. The programs they run aren’t part of their physical bodies. They’re rooted in physical structures.

    All indicators show that our consciousness is rooted in the brain.

    To borrow from Tracie – do you have examples of minds that do not stem from a physical brain (or brain-like mechanism)?

    You can prove to yourself that you exist at this very moment since you can experience, vision, smell, touch, thought etc.. You probably have no clue how you can even exist “to yourself” and still you are.

    I can prove that I exist to me by thinking. Of course I have a clue. I am a sophisticated computer program contemplating existential issues. You’re the one who’s asserting that there’s some magical above and beyond component.

    So at least you have to exist as a potential in this infinite universe even if your consciousness stops experiencing or shuts down as your physical body dies.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t grant that the universe is infinite (how do you propose to demonstrate that?).

    Wait, is this one of those “in an infinite universe all things are possible and you will exist over and over and over as time goes on infinitely” type arguments?

    You might think you are “illusion” to yourself but that is the most ridiculous explanation I have heard by atheists (or theists doesnt matter what you believe if you can do this)

    I have literally never heard anything like this from any atheist ever. Actually, I’ve never heard that assertion at all, ever.

    You may want to address arguments that aren’t strawmen. I’m not even sure what this is in response to.

    Defining consciousness as your body is extremely hard since your body changes every single cell many times in its lifetime and still you dont cease to exist as an “observer”.

    This may be over your head, depending on your background…

    The computer program analogy is fine here. A RAID drive (in computers) is basically a redundant set of hard drives. If one of the drives fail, you can swap it out with a new one, sync it up, and continue with unchanged data in the RAID.

    You can do this 100 times, having swapped out ALL the individual hard drives multiple times, and still have the same original data/programs on the RAID drive.

    As long as the cells are replaced/synced individually over time, the program can be maintained, even if you’ve swapped out every last cell.

    This isn’t a problem.

    If you go deep enough you would need to define yourself as electricity since you cannot find consciousness in matter. Electricity is movement of electrons so you are experiencing movement of electrons and nothing more.

    My mind operates as a program on a framework of electrons. It’s not the electrons itself, though, as much as relationships.

    Neural nets (our brains are neural nets) store information and processes by the relationships between neurons. It’s not a physical thing, but rather a representational thing. The human mind program loads from that. If you are unconscious, the computer program is shut down with the mind program stored in those relationships, until it’s booted back up again.

    There are many, many problems theorising that you are the atoms and/or electricity in your body but wont go to details here.

    It’d help if anyone were saying that. It’s the interactions that formulate the basis of conciousness.

    Basicly this theory would suggest that any electric movement would experience something, no matter if it can recognize itself or have any “intellect”, this doesnt matter.

    Oh my god – no it wouldn’t. How do you even get from A to B?

    Your argument is basically: “You say computer programs are electrons. But that’d mean that any time that electrons move in a computer that each electron is a program

    Me: …

    Intelligence is just subproduct of our physical manifestation, perhaps.

    Yes!

    Nothing can exist outside consciousness. There cannot be anything without consciousness since it doesnt exist to anyone.

    That’s absurd. Are you solipsistic? There’s an objective reality that exists whether there’s anyone around to think about it or not.

    You could make that argument about something like sound, as sound is a mental perception, so without minds, sound doesn’t exist. The aerial vibrations that we would perceive as sound, however, do continue to exist.


    You have universe that exists to no-one can we say it exists?

    Yes. I mean, no would would technically “say” it exists, because no one would be around to do that.

    So basically this is an argument from philosophical masturbation.

    I’m sorry, but you don’t get to philosophize reality away.

    If it even exists in our mind in any way we can already say it exists. This goes really deep in to philosofical thinking but is a sort of a conclusion I have come to.

    I don’t suppose you have some way to validate your “conclusion”?
    I don’t suppose you have a way to actually demonstrate that there’s anything more to conciseness?

    Again, are you a solipsist?

    Everything is consciousness, nothing “real” can exist beoynd it and everything that exists to consciousness is in a way real. Theres no laws that govern what is real or not but the law of consciouss observer that defines it.

    Wow. We no longer have a basis for coherent communication.

    Go ahead and stop eating/drinking. If there’s no real reality and the laws are what you define it, then you should be able to stop eating/drinking without consequence.

    Put up or shut up (or “put up or concede”).

    I recognize I could be wrong in every single statement I have made above and this can be extremely hard to rationalize with our monkey brains but also there is deep logic to every single statement there is.

    Evidence would be a really good start.

    Logic alone can’t prove anything. There’s two aspects to logic:

    1) Soundness (the structure is fine)
    2) Validity (the input data is fine)

    You’re having massive issues with both.

    Also I would like to hear more insightful arguments why you believe we cease to exist after physical death. Im always glad to hear opposing arguments.

    Back to the shifting of the burden of proof. We can directly observe people stop functioning, and never re-function.

    You are the one who is asserting that there’s something above and beyond that. It’s your burden to actually demonstrate that.

    For being so heavily into philosophy, you seem to have skipped the whole “epistemology” part.

    1. 8.1
      Nate

      Thank you for breaking that down step by step, you have much more patience than me.

      “philosophical masturbation” Love this phrase, it’s a more specific version of “mental masturbation” and I’m going to start using it on my friends.

  9. 9
    michaeld

    ok let me just hit a couple points.

    When you say if it was electricity that causes consciousness thus any electrical circuit would be conscious you’re making a logical fallacy. If i whip up an electric circuit to make an electric motor run I can’t say then that all electric circuits would make motors run. Like the motor the brain is a consciousness creating machine to most of us atheists here.

    Second you should really go read more into the observer affect in physics preferably as written by a physicist. Real physicists don’t take the effect to mean that you need an observer for everything that exists. This is more of a common misconception by non physicists trying to understand their counter intuitive work.

    1. 9.1
      Jasper of Maine

      Real physicists don’t take the effect to mean that you need an observer for everything that exists.

      Ah, that’s where that was coming from. I didn’t pick up on that from his language.

      It’s the ridiculous “physicists say that when you observe something it changes reality” bullshit.

      The “act of observation” is done with scientific instruments which interfere with the experiment. Physics doesn’t care if we’re looking at it or not.

      (that’s not directed at you, btw)

      1. Brian Utterback

        @JT Actually, physics does care, maybe. The problem is that physics doesn’t define what observation actually is. But the uncertainty principle isn’t just about observation “knocking” the observed quantity, it maintains that the quantity did not even exist in a determinate form until the observation is made. That is what the two slit experiment is all about.

        One interpretation (the so-called Copenhagen interpretation) is that reality is described by “wave-functions” which are essentialy probability clouds and the act of observation “collapses the wave-function” reducing the entity to single quantity.

        Another interpretation is the “Many Worlds interpretation” which holds that there are many parallel universes, with a new one coming into existence for every possible choice in the wave-function. This allows the quantity to behave as a probability cloud from the point of view of a single one of these universes, but still be deterministic when taken as a whole. This is kind of a heavy weight solution to the problem, since we have to posit an infinite number of universes to account for it.

        One problem with all of this is that nowhere is there a definition of “observation”. Anthropomorphically, we tend to think of an observation as requiring an observer, hence the Chopra class of misunderstandings. But the physics doesn’t say this at all, and it presents an chicken and egg problem to be sure.

        But clearly, none of this would be required if uncertainty was only about observing a quantity changing it.

        1. michaeld

          Bah chicken and the egg is overrated egg predates chicken by millions of years :P I know what people mean when they say it but in the light of evolution chicken and the egg becomes a trivial problem. Don’t take this personally just a little pet peeve of mine.

    2. 9.2
      SpaceMonkey

      What my point is to this matter is that you claim that electricity have no sense of feeling, yet you neuroscientific theory chopped to the basic level does suggest that we actually do feel the relationships of electricity currents. Like the commenter above (which I will answer later) said relationships are important part and I totally agree because relationships multiply the experiences that can be. Let me put this in analogy that is very simplified, if we have 2 neurons we have only one (or two) “experience” of electricity flowing from A to B and B to A but when we have 10^11 neurons depending how they are connected to each other, I think to several thousands of neurons in different ways we have consciousness of relational electronical currents. Electronic currents can also vary between neurons depending on chemical compound and lenght of the wire.

      So we experience billions of variations of electricity but that must be it since or you have to state that we also experience matter somehow which have no scientific basis nor would it add to anything to make my points invalid. So in a way you would have to state that everything that has electronic current flowing to it in any relational network it would need to have an experience. Perhaps it is even so but it is still experiencing it to someone that is you as on observer, observing the electronic current since you dont cease to exist when that electronic current faces its inevitable, quite fast death against resistance that converts it to heat.

      1. michaeld

        Why don’t you go a step further and say that the rock sitting on my desk experiences the gravity pulling on it the normal force pushing it and perhaps even the magnetic fields on it? Its in a relational network with the earth the desk and maybe this electromagnet I’m running over here but its not in a circuit and there is no current flowing.

        Again if the observer experiencing something is enough to say that the something is experiencing it why not ads rocks to your list for example. You seem to be equivocating the word experience between a person experiencing an electrical shock and a tungsten wire experiencing an electrical current. It doesn’t seem useful to me to compare the 2 events as the person can analyse understand the event etc and the wire just experiences heat and the release of light.

        1. michaeld

          haha >.> ok no more attempting to block quote something …

    3. 9.3
      Jasper of Maine

      What my point is to this matter is that you claim that electricity have no sense of feeling, yet you neuroscientific theory chopped to the basic level does suggest that we actually do feel the relationships of electricity currents.

      No, it doesn’t. We don’t “feel the relationships of electricity currents” any more than Firefox can detect the electron flow from transistor to transistor in the CPU.

      I have no idea where you’re getting this stuff.

      Like the commenter above (which I will answer later) said relationships are important part and I totally agree because relationships multiply the experiences that can be.

      What the hell? By “relationships” I’m not talking about friends getting together in a pub.

      The relationships between patterns of magnetic fields on a hard drive establish a patter that can be read as binary data, and be interpreted as the letter “Q”.

      That’s the kind of relationship I’m talking about.

      Let me put this in analogy that is very simplified, if we have 2 neurons we have only one (or two) “experience” of electricity flowing from A to B and B to A but when we have 10^11 neurons depending how they are connected to each other,

      Could you please drop this “electrons are experience” thing? You are the only one who is suggesting any such thing.

      Do you know what an “emergent” property is?

      I think to several thousands of neurons in different ways we have consciousness of relational electronical currents. Electronic currents can also vary between neurons depending on chemical compound and lenght of the wire.

      Yes, that’s the foundation of “relationship” between neurons, among other things.

      So we experience billions of variations of electricity but that must be it since or you have to state that we also experience matter somehow which have no scientific basis nor would it add to anything to make my points invalid.

      We don’t “experience” electrons OR matter (matter as in – “feeling our iron atoms”, similar to the electron analogy).

      Most of your arguments are these bizarre tangents based on faulty understanding of the science, amplified by arguments that people aren’t making.

      Perhaps it is even so but it is still experiencing it to someone that is you as on observer, observing the electronic current since you dont cease to exist when that electronic current faces its inevitable, quite fast death against resistance that converts it to heat.

      You’re grossly misapplying quantum physics. Our consciousness is based on the relationships between electrons, not the exact electrons themselves.

      If the electrons scatter and diffuse into the environment, we cease to “exist”, even if the electrons continue, because the relationship pattern that defined our “program” was broken.

      1. michaeld

        Hey! Leave something for me to play with! :P Kidding, very well put.

      2. Jasper of Maine

        Sorry, I can’t help it. I tend to all terminator on people.

        1. Jasper of Maine

          “to go all terminator”

      3. spacemonkey

        No, it doesn’t. We don’t “feel the relationships of electricity currents” any more than Firefox can detect the electron flow from transistor to transistor in the CPU.

        Actually I did mess up something here according to your theory, we are not experiencing it but we are it. My point of view is that we infact are observers (or creators to some extent) and we do feel the currents.

        What the hell? By “relationships” I’m not talking about friends getting together in a pub.

        Sorry for you once again misinterpreting me, I did infact speak of relationships between neurons and Im baffled how you didnt realize this by your own but later on point exactly with an example what I ment.

        Could you please drop this “electrons are experience” thing? You are the only one who is suggesting any such thing.

        You all the time say I am getting something wrong here yet you do nothing to contribute or correct my so called “errors” how you seem to percieve them. Or are you saying you dont have the burdain of “proof” but yet I give you something tangible that you just deny and come back with nothing.

        Most of your arguments are these bizarre tangents based on faulty understanding of the science, amplified by arguments that people aren’t making.

        So you define what is faulty and what is not faulty? I think you havent made your homework fully if you claim what you did.

        You’re grossly misapplying quantum physics. Our consciousness is based on the relationships between electrons, not the exact electrons themselves.

        Ok so you suggest that we either are or experience the relationships between electrons, then what is the relationship between these electrons? But heres the deal: I 100% agree with you in this matter. We do experience the whole package of relationships, the field as I might say. So what you are suggesting is exactly the same as I but yet you say this field that is you experiencing yourself as a reflection of your environment is something that will just vanish to nothingness like to came out of nothing. Even in infinity this could be the case but it seems highly inprobable that you havent lived your only life in this infinity than that you are living it right at this moment before it happened. And if something can be permanently destroyd it would mean that there would exist nothing sooner or later in this pool of possibilities and in infinity of time this would have happened but monkey brains cannot comprehend infinity so we think its something we can put a timeline to it.

        Lets do some research on a term nothing. It itself defines is something that isnt. Some that isnt cannot come to be so a potential of something that is must have been. You cannot destroy ever potential of beeing. You are always been a potential and will remain as one. Theres no alfa or omega as you would like to think.

        1. michaeld

          Also about living through infinity I just did it a second ago. You can divide the spance of a second of 0-1 into an infinite amount of smaller and smaller fractions of a second. Ok lets wait another infinite second.Now at the end of that second I can permanently delete all the data on your hard drive (waves some strong magnets over it).

          All the constituent parts in your computer remain but all that made it your computer (your data, your programs, your porn even!!!) is gone and it will never exist again if I do the same to your backups (runs magnets over all the servers, drives and disks on earth).

          This is how we are viewing death that while all the matter and energy of the body(computer) remain this change in state has cause death or a change in state where the computer no longer does its computations and your brain stops analyzing experiences and comparing them to recorded events etc etc.

          Given this I fail to see why a human can’t die and experience no afterlife.

          You might also benefit from reading up on the observer effect for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_(physics) which isn’t about observing causing events so much as the method of observing interfering with how something might have otherwise occurred.

          1. spacemonkey

            Im very familiar with the Observer effect in physics and really intriguid about it. This is one evidence of consciousness beeing something else than “illusion” in the universe and can affect the causality which is pretty mind boggling. I wont theorise what it is or if its just misinterpetion since I dont understand its nature at all but it sure does break down many foundations of the presented mainstream science we are being taught. I think this is one of the main problem why people are so short sighted, because we jump to conclusions with not much of knowledge.

          2. Jasper of Maine

            This is one evidence of consciousness beeing something else than “illusion”

            In the name of the Lloyd! You’re the only person saying that.

            My consciousness isn’t an illusion any more than Internet Explorer is an illusion.

            It’s quality may be, though.

          3. spacemonkey

            My consciousness isn’t an illusion any more than Internet Explorer is an illusion.
            Im more than satisfied that no one here hasnt come up with that argument but trust me.. there are many who have presented to me this because science has a huge problem with “real” consciousness. Science would like more of a theory where there would be seemingly consciouss people only. They would be like us but there would be no true experiencer.

          4. Jasper of Maine

            Alright, could you stick to what we’re saying to you then, and not some mysterious other “scientists” who say stupid things?

            . there are many who have presented to me this because science has a huge problem with “real” consciousness. Science would like more of a theory where there would be seemingly consciouss people only. They would be like us but there would be no true experiencer.,/b>

            What “problem” does science have with it? Keep in mind that scientific theories are collections of all the facts we know about a topic.

            I’m willing to bet that you understood their points about as well as you’ve understood ours.

          5. Jasper of Maine

            Sigh… gotta make sure to preview these things

        2. Aquaria

          You’re a tedious douchebag.

          Nobody misinterpreted you. You don’t express yourself clearly, you idiot. That is the problem.

          Work on your abominable communication skills and your own abysmal reading comprehension skills before you criticize the reading comprehension skills of others, or fuck off.

      4. Jasper of Maine

        Actually I did mess up something here according to your theory, we are not experiencing it but we are it. My point of view is that we infact are observers (or creators to some extent) and we do feel the currents.

        Using Scrabble tiles, spell out the sentence “Bears smell us”. What you’re saying (that we’re saying) is that the sentence is scabble letters. It’s not. The setence emerges from the scrabble letters being placed in a particular relationship to one another.

        Once you scatter those letters, the sentence is gone, even if the letter tiles continue to exist.

        How do you “feel the currents”? How do you know that what you think is “feeling the currents” (of I think we’re speaking of electron flow) isn’t a misinterpretation of something else psychological?

        What the hell? By “relationships” I’m not talking about friends getting together in a pub.

        Sorry for you once again misinterpreting me, I did infact speak of relationships between neurons and Im baffled how you didnt realize this by your own but later on point exactly with an example what I ment.

        Yes, I misunderstood that part.

        You all the time say I am getting something wrong here yet you do nothing to contribute or correct my so called “errors” how you seem to percieve them.

        Have you even read what I wrote? I have been doing nothing but correct your errors. Alright, at this point you’re just straight up bald face lying (or didn’t read what I wrote).

        Do “programs” or “RAID drives” ring a bell…?

        Or are you saying you dont have the burdain of “proof” but yet I give you something tangible that you just deny and come back with nothing.

        Name something tangible that you have provided. All I’ve heard is philosophical tounge twisting.

        Most of your arguments are these bizarre tangents based on faulty understanding of the science, amplified by arguments that people aren’t making.
        So you define what is faulty and what is not faulty? I think you havent made your homework fully if you claim what you did.

        No, logic does. Evidence does. Basic reading comprehension does.

        You’re grossly misapplying quantum physics. Our consciousness is based on the relationships between electrons, not the exact electrons themselves.
        Ok so you suggest that we either are or experience the relationships between electrons,

        Our “programming” emerges from the relationships between neurons, which run on electricity, just to clarify. I’m not sure at what point we got stuck on “us = electrons” point.

        then what is the relationship between these electrons?

        Switching to neurons – each neuron has a number of inputs from other neurons. Each of those connections (called “Axoms” I think), is like a wire that has more or less resistance. Meaning, some inputs from other neurons have less weight than others. When the sum total of inputs reaches a threshold, this particular neuron fires, sending an electrical charge to the neurons it’s output is connected to.

        It’s a network where the programming and information is stored in the weights between neurons.

        But heres the deal: I 100% agree with you in this matter. We do experience the whole package of relationships, the field as I might say.

        I wouldn’t agree with that, though. We don’t experience the relationships. The experience emerges from the relationships. You’ve got it sort of backwards.

        It’s like:
        * All dogs are animals that have 4 legs.
        * Therefore, any animal with 4 legs is a dog.

        It doesn’t work in reverse.

        So what you are suggesting is exactly the same as I but yet you say this field that is you experiencing yourself as a reflection of your environment is something that will just vanish to nothingness like to came out of nothing.

        No, I’m not saying that. I have no idea why you think I’m saying that.

        I experience myself internally. I can think. My environment is separate from me, which I experience separately through my senses. Whether I stop experiencing it has no other effect on that environment, other than when my lifeless body falls over into the salad bar, grossing people out.

        Even in infinity this could be the case but it seems highly inprobable that you havent lived your only life in this infinity than that you are living it right at this moment before it happened.

        God, back to the word salad. What makes you think I have more than one life? What makes you think there’s “an infinity”? How exactly do you calculate these “probabilities”? What makes you think that my existence/life is anything more than a one-time unique fluke (other than this nebulous “probability” you keep mentioning).

        You’ve got it backwards again (and I think I’m repeating myself here). There’s nothing special about the fact I exist, the fact I exist here, the fact I exist now. It’s like you’ve thrown a bunch of dice, look at the results, and wonder why THAT combination came up – because that’s the combination that happened to come up!

        For every combination of existence that arises, there’s likely an infinite of possibilities that didn’t happen, so many that it was bound that one did, and it has – and here it is!

        This is an Argument from Woah!

        I don’t suppose you’re going to get to the point of meeting your burden of proof in asserting that there’s anything after the direct observable death?

        And if something can be permanently destroyd it would mean that there would exist nothing sooner or later in this pool of possibilities and in infinity of time

        Non-sequitur at its finest. How in the world do you figure this? How do you get from A to B? And again, what makes you think there’s infinite time or whatever?

        Within this temporal universe, there was a starting point. At some point, with what looks like the probably Heath Death of the universe, possibilities will basically end. Between those two points is finite time.

        this would have happened but monkey brains cannot comprehend infinity so we think its something we can put a timeline to it.

        How can you be making any points or arguments about something that you confess you can’t understand? Doesn’t this self destruct your whole point?

        (BTW, we can know – with evidence)

        Lets do some research on a term nothing. It itself defines is something that isnt. Some that isnt cannot come to be so a potential of something that is must have been.
        You cannot destroy ever potential of beeing. You are always been a potential and will remain as one.

        Yes, actually we can. If we kill what would be the anscestors of a person down the road, we’ve destroyed those peoples’ potential for existence. It’s not like the people that could have been born from the murdered person will just suddenly pop into existence.

        Theres no alfa or omega as you would like to think.

        Feel free to stop lying about me… anytime.

        1. spacemonkey

          then what is the relationship between these electrons?
          It’s a network where the programming and information is stored in the weights between neurons.

          Heres the deal, I present to you a concept of what we are: 1. observer 2. creator but you seem to explain to me is how we are the sum of our environment. I agree with this though I dont put any certainty to it and is totally invalid point to anything what Im saying.

          But the deal is that somehow you must percieve yourself as beeing. You are as you experience something in this case multiple things. What is that what is experiencing? I say claim that we are not our bodies because if that was the case everything would or could exist without anything really having an experience. It would all look and act as same, at least almost, but no-one would really be home behind our meatsuites.

          The problem is that if you claim you arent as something behind your meatsuit you must be an illusion to yourself, you dont exist and yet you do. Theres no way to disclaim this as a fact.

          We have no idea how we are experiencing through our body but somehow you do. So is your DNA key to you living or what is the thing that separates you from other beeings. You are the same matter, electronic currents and everything and still you are separated from them. If DNA was your key you could be easily made with cloning and you should experience from two perspectives.

          What makes you think I have more than one life?
          What I said above if there isnt a “law” that puts us to not experiencing state after we die.

          How exactly do you calculate these “probabilities”?
          I calculate this probablity by stating if something and time can exist it has been there always so infinity exists. Its arrogant claim to say that everything that is started first time 13,6 billion years ago its totally illogical in infinity. In infinity 100 billion years matters as much as 1 second. Your 75 year old life in infinity would have been lived long by now.

          And if something can be permanently destroyd it would mean that there would exist nothing sooner or later in this pool of possibilities and in infinity of time
          Non-sequitur at its finest. How in the world do you figure this? How do you get from A to B? And again, what makes you think there’s infinite time or whatever?

          Like I stated above, either there is or there isnt. We percieve time so time is. You cannot say it just came out of nothing so it has always been and will always be in a form or another.
          I think you misinterpret the term “potential” earlier. As potential I mean that everything that is has always been like I earlier stated something cannot come out of nothing. The potential means here that if it hasnt been earlier been as some tangible form its potential, the source must have been there where it came to exist as our universe. It doesnt matter in infinity if something stops to be for any given time since infinity is beoynd limited time, timelines loses their purpose. In infinity everything that can be potentially comes to be eventually. You as self has a proof of existing so it will always exist as a potential as yet come to be no matter what is the governing law behind you manifesting yourself as and experience to yourself.

          I served a lot of salad for you again so I hope your an verbal vegetarian.

        2. Jasper of Maine

          It’s a network where the programming and information is stored in the weights between neurons.
          Heres the deal, I present to you a concept of what we are: 1. observer 2. creator but you seem to explain to me is how we are the sum of our environment. I agree with this though I dont put any certainty to it and is totally invalid point to anything what Im saying.

          Sure, we’re observers, but so are digital cameras. We may be smart digital cameras. Speaking of irrelevancies, I’m not sure what “observer” and “creator” have to do with the discussion.

          The relevance of the discussions about how our conciousness operate is critical to this discussion.

          Your whole point, as far as I can tell, is that our conciousness cannot be explained by how our brains work, therefore, there’s some “transcendent” (if that’s how you want to put it) element to it. If this is the case, then that could be something that remains after our biological robot bodies stop working. And then mix in some argument about how reality doesn’t exist if our conciousness doesn’t exist.

          The fact is, 100% of the evidence indicates that our conciousness is from our brains, the configuration of the nural net, that is a consequence of the history of the entity. There’s no requirement that there’s something “above and beyond” needed. There’s 0% evidence that there’s any “above and beyond” component.

          If you assert that there is, you have assumed the burden of proof to demonstrate that.

          But the deal is that somehow you must percieve yourself as beeing.

          Yes, it’s called thinking. It’s a fairly self-evident thing.

          You are as you experience something in this case multiple things. What is that what is experiencing?

          Having some difficulty on the 2nd sentence, but if I undrestand it right – “What is it that is experiencing?”. If so, what is experiencing it is my brain/concousness. Or, in computer terms, it’s the CPU and program that is processing the data.

          I say claim that we are not our bodies

          Depends on the concept of “self” I suppose. My “JT Deluxe 1.0″ program is currently running on my brain’s infrastructure.

          because if that was the case everything would or could exist without anything really having an experience.

          Yes, and no. Yes, reality can exist without people experiencing it. No, that would not be the result of “us being our bodies”. Again, not sure how to you get from A to B.

          It would all look and act as same, at least almost, but no-one would really be home behind our meatsuites.

          You’ve plain lost me at this point. Are you saying that the universe would look and act the same because people would be their bodies, but there wouldn’t be any concoiusness in control of the biological robots? That’s what I’m getting out of this conversation.

          The problem is that if you claim you arent as something behind your meatsuit

          I’m not claiming that. I’m claiming that I’m a program running on a computer that emerges from the relationships between neurons in my brain.

          you must be an illusion to yourself, you dont exist and yet you do.

          Here we go again. See, no one is claiming this but you. It’s not even a logical conclusion to anything we’ve said. It’s not even addressing anything we’ve said.

          Theres no way to disclaim this as a fact.

          Yes, by pointing out that you’re off in Lala land and we haven’t said anything like that.

          We have no idea how we are experiencing through our body but somehow you do.

          Yes, we do. Please do some basic research of neuralscience.

          For example, electromagnetic radation enters our eyes, strikes our retinas. That causes a photoelectric effect on the rod/cone cells that triggers an electrical impulse on the nerves of your retina that are tied directly into your brain. Those impules are inputs into a network of neurons, and the propigation of basic rudementary neural net functionality enganges. The overarching processing of the brain “digests” that information and is comprehended as imagery.

          To say we have “no idea”, even if we have some fuzzy areas of knowledge, is simply straight up factually incorrect.

          Stop projecting your ignorance onto everyone else, please.

          So is your DNA key to you living or what is the thing that separates you from other beeings.

          The DNA describes the protient arrangement for how my biological robot body is put together, as well as the basic infrastructure of the brain. What separates me from other beings is the conciousness I have, which is formed from the exact history I’ve had, the exact experiences I’ve had, etc.

          The only way to replicate my unique conciousness to have someone have 100% the same exact history, DNA, and events as me.

          Even if all the grains of sand on the beach look alike, each has an absolutely unique history behind it.

          You are the same matter, electronic currents and everything and still you are separated from them.

          I’ve already corrected this. This isn’t the basis of our conciousness. The unique relationships between the neurons of our brains are.

          If DNA was your key you could be easily made with cloning and you should experience from two perspectives.

          WHAT?

          No, if you closed me, you’d have an identical meat puppet, but from the moment that clone starts existing, would have a unique history apart from me, which would result in a different concoiusness. If you managed to replicate the relationships between neurons somehow, he may have the same memories and initially idential conciousness, but we’d quickly diverge as we’re two separate computer programs in two separate biological robot bodies now having separate experiences.

          What makes you think I have more than one life?
          What I said above if there isnt a “law” that puts us to not experiencing state after we die.

          No, there isn’t. The default position on any claim is disbelief until it can be suffuciently demonstrated.
          Currently, there’s no evidnece that supports the idea that our conciousness continues after we die.

          Therefore, the claim is unfounded. This is rudementary epistemology.

          How exactly do you calculate these “probabilities”?
          I calculate this probablity by stating if something and time can exist it has been there always so infinity exists.

          Non-sequitur. How do you get from A to B? It’s like you said “If the donut and time can exist, therefore the donut has always been there, so infinity exists”.

          Gah.

          Its arrogant claim to say that everything that is started first time 13,6 billion years ago

          We don’t say that either. What we say is that the universe as we know it started at the Big Bang. This is evidence based information. Part of our understanding of that model is that time, as we know it in this universe also started. It could be that there are “different timelines”.

          This is determined by evidence and investigation. You know, that thing you never do.

          its totally illogical in infinity. In infinity 100 billion years matters as much as 1 second. Your 75 year old life in infinity would have been lived long by now.

          This seems to be one those Arguments from Temporal Playhead – as though the timeline is a vinyl record, and there’s a playhead going from beginning to end.

          What makes you think that time “travels” or “goes” or whatever? Part of the problem of our perception of time is that we’re locked into sequential chemical reactions to think. It could be that I’m experincing “now” 10 minutes ago, 10 minutes from now, and I will always been experiencing “now” in those points in the timeline.

          Heck, our language isn’t even robust enough to discuss the concept.

          Can you make any assertions that aren’t based on evidence-less assumptions?

          Non-sequitur at its finest. How in the world do you figure this? How do you get from A to B? And again, what makes you think there’s infinite time or whatever?
          Like I stated above, either there is or there isnt.

          Yes, and do you have any evidence to determine which one it is?

          We percieve time so time is.

          Oh, so you meant whether there’s time or not, not whether it’s infinite or not? It’s either that or “We perceive time therefore it’s infinite”, which would be another non-sequitur.

          I think you misinterpret the term “potential” earlier. As potential I mean that everything that is has always been like I earlier stated something cannot come out of nothing.

          Why can’t something come out of nothing? Oh boy, do I really want to digress there? Nevermind.

          The potential means here that if it hasnt been earlier been as some tangible form its potential,

          I can make no sense of this sentence part, sorry.

          the source must have been there where it came to exist as our universe. It doesnt matter in infinity if something stops to be for any given time since infinity is beoynd limited time, timelines loses their purpose.

          That’d be like saying that because the X-dimension goes on infintely, that x=4 loses its purpose. Somehow, despite declaring the dimensions infintely in Math, it’s still very useful.

          In infinity everything that can be potentially comes to be eventually.

          All indicators show that the universe will experience a heat death. 100% entropy. No energy. The entire universe is going to go dark with only lose gas and black holes floating around. Perhaps it will go on like that for infinite time.

          If it does, and with no potential energy to do anything, how can any other possibility other than black holes floating around, exist? That’s what I meant by “finite” time, which I probably should have phrased “useful finite time”. If all energy is spent, possibilities end. If the universe started at some point, then between the start and “end”, there’s finite time.

          The fact is, my conciousness formed due to environment and circumstance. It’ll go away one day. There’s nothing particularly special about that.


          You as self has a proof of existing so it will always exist as a potential

          Shit! You just blew my Non-sequitur’ometer. You owe me a new one.

          How does something “exist as potential”? That makes no sense.

          as yet come to be no matter what is the governing law behind you manifesting yourself as and experience to yourself.

          I still have no idea why you’re asserting this.

      5. Jasper of Maine

        So what you are suggesting is exactly the same as I but yet you say this field that is you experiencing yourself as a reflection of your environment is something that will just vanish to nothingness like to came out of nothing.

        I completely read that wrong above.

        Yes, my experience will vanish, as far as we know.

        No, it didn’t come out of nothing. If you do some reading on self-forming/learning neural nets, that’s a good start.

        That’s actually one of the interesting things about neural nets versus sequential calculators (how computer typically work), is that they can start off by simple arrangement of neural matter, and grow and build more connections and become more sophisticated.

        Like my Scrabble example above, the “Bears smell you” sentence didn’t form out of nothing. It formed from the arrangement of already existing things.

        1. michaeld

          OK I think you’ve about wrung everything there is out of this I think I’ll be on my way :P

        2. Jasper of Maine

          I don’t know about that. I’m always interested to see what others think. Sometimes they seem to convey concepts with much more clarity than I.

  10. 10
    Bob Moynihan

    Spacemonkey,

    There’s a whole lot of English language words in there. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions… some of them are really big too. Oddly enough, that does not in and of itself mean their arrangement in proper grammatical order must collectively represent a coherent logical argument.

    “Perhaps I overestimated that readers would understand the main issues that I tried to point out at least in some level.”

    No, you UNDERestimated the readers’ abilities to see through semi-mystical mumbo-jumbo.

    Consciousness – as with life itself – is the result of chemical processes. For any individual they start with birth, and run for something on the order of 70-100 years if the body is maintained properly and doesn’t suffer some unfortunate accident or terminal illness. After the chemical processes stop, so does the conscious mind. Any hypotheses to the contrary are unsupported by evidence and are nothing more than, “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin,” wishful thinking.

    Maybe the data processing of the human mind is not so different from that of the computer: Given the same data, the same processing capabilities, et cetera, two minds can reproduce the same results. Maybe there’s some as-yet-undiscovered means by which particles retain “memory” of things that occurred in their presence and if enough particles happen to be reassembled in another person years later, that person’s mind might access those memories thus giving rise to, “channeling past lives.” If such a thing is ever found to exist it will be – again – the result of natural, explainable phenomena, not mysticism or magic, and it will be science that discovers the way it works… and someone will win a Nobel Prize.

    Until someone comes up with actual *evidence* to support such an idea however, i default to: birth, life, death, the end.

  11. 11
    Ron Millam

    Someone needs to take up a hobby…. try golf. You have way too much time on your hands.

    If you’re looking for the truth about something, then that “something” needs to provide you with some evidence. It must be (take your pick) experienced, or sensed, or measured, or observable, or (at the very least) available for rational analysis. So far, “afterlife” meets none of these requirements — it can ONLY be imagined.

    Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with imagination. Without it, we’d still be living (?) in caves. But imagination just provides the beginning point, not the conclusion — do not offer the product of your imagination as proof of something.

    When someone presents evidence for me to evaluate, I’ll be happy to take a look at it. Until then, I see no need to waste my real, here-and-now life worrying about (i.e., “imagining”) what happens after I’m dead.

  12. 12
    Jasper of Maine

    Let me put this in analogy that is very simplified, if we have 2 neurons we have only one (or two) “experience” of electricity flowing from A to B and B to A but when we have 10^11 neurons depending how they are connected to each other,

    Could you please drop this “electrons are experience” thing? You are the only one who is suggesting any such thing.

    Do you know what an “emergent” property is?

    Just FYI, he seems to be doing a composition fallacy.

  13. 13
    Nate

    “Now I finally know truly that I know nothing.”

    How can one know that they know nothing if they have no knowledge of anything? I almost stopped reading there but I worked my way through it.

    Other people spent a bunch of time pointing out all the flaws so I won’t go into depth. However, it was pretty much someone who has learned a little bit about some very complicated subjects then used a bunch of pseudo reasoning, shifting the burden of proof, and arguments from ignorance to try and build a case.

    1. 13.1
      spacemonkey

      And what you just did is something that religious people do. They make assumptions on their debators without actually understanding what the other has to say. You state comments yet dont point out where the faults are if there are any. Can you present me why do I give up my burden of proof when infact most of the cases I do infact provide you with evidence and proof. Theres no certainties what is the only thing I give up saying “I dont know”.

      1. Nate

        JT (Generic) already broke down your arguments very well, I don’t feel the need to rewrite what they wrote.

        But here you go, basically atheist haven’t answered some of the questions I have about something, therefore they need to give me answers on how certain things work, otherwise I’ve come up with my own hypothesis (not sure they even count as that) and until they can prove me wrong our answer my questions I’m going with my own ideas.

        “I have a question for you on some of your world views that I cannot find good answer from any atheist.”

      2. Jet

        Nothing in anything you have posted includes anything towards ‘evidence and proof’. It’s all just word salad as far as I can tell, pretending to be rational thought.

  14. 14
    Travis

    Not too hard.

    1 and 1.1 Is the kind of probability fallacy dealt with in books like Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos.

    Shake up a big can of toothpicks and then empty the toothpicks onto the ground, then attempt to calculate the odds that they would have fallen in that EXACT configuration. Those exact positions, those exact rotations.

    If you could do such a calculation, bearing in mind that they could have fallen in an almost infinite number of ways, you’d find it supremely unlikely that they would have fallen like that.

    But we haven’t just proven that the toothpicks COULDN’T fall that way, what we just calculated was the odds of one specific pattern specified in advance. If you’re talking about one of an infinite number of possibilities and you didn’t specify in advance which one then the probabilities aren’t so remarkable.

    If you’re not specifying in advance which pattern, then you have a 100% probability that one of infinitely many infinitely improbable configurations came up.

    So the question isn’t really what is the probability that YOUR consciousness came up, we’re more interested in the probability that A consciousness came up. There are an infinite number of possible consciousnesses which didn’t emerge, and quite a few that did. One of those wrote argument 1. to TAA.

    2. Is waffle. The author cannot envision consciousness ceasing to exist, so he claims that it cannot cease to exist. No evidence or arguments are supplied which justify this assumption so it seems to be a good fit with “wishful thinking”.

    Neuroscientists are still working on the problem of how a brain can create consciousness. It’s a challenging problem and scientists are not afraid to admit that we don’t know.

    However, it appears to be the case that a brain needs to reach a certain level of sophistication and have certain features for consciousness to develop, including a certain amount of certain types of interconnections between neurons. We have no reason to believe that a brain can be reduced to elemental particles and still retain some function, any more than disassembling any machine down to its basic parts still results in a machine which does the job of the whole, on some low level.

    A garage containing the remains of a car which has been broken up into components contains components, not a low-functioning car.

    3. The existence of things is a property of those things which is unaffected by perception. You can perceive existence or not perceive it, but it will exist regardless of whether it is perceived. This kind of thing may work for quasi-Zen koans, but it’s basically just bullshit.

  15. 15
    michaeld

    Ok thought I need to flesh out but I’m adding here just to share it. Life and death metaphor of the cartridge game without a battery backup. Doesn’t matter how long you play the game in one sitting as soon you hit the power switch and turn off the electrical current running through the circuit boards all the experiences of that play through all the items acquired etc are gone despite the cartridge and the electrons still existing. After life is then saying that the character continues to live on and defeat bosses and have adventures despite the game being turned off cause the energy still exists!

  16. 16
    Jasper of Maine

    Even in infinity this could be the case but it seems highly inprobable that you havent lived your only life in this infinity than that you are living it right at this moment before it happened.

    This keeps confusing me, and I think I know why.

    I think he’s presupposing that there’s some pre-defined consciousness hanging around waiting to be implanted into the correct body, and I’m foolish for thinking that, despite the VAST IMPROBABILITIES, I think that it was just coincidence that my consciousnesses happened to be in the right body.

    … or something.

    In reality, my consciousness, my personality, my experience could not have existence anywhere else than in me.

    That’s because “I” am a result of my environment, my history, my experiences, even the nuances of the biology of my brain that is the result of the DNA blending of my parents.

    “I” couldn’t exist anywhere else at any other time, because it depends on this biological robot’s existence.

    ..not the other way around. That’s one reason why he seems to keep getting it backwards.

    1. 16.1
      Jasper of Maine

      It’s like we’re taking about the differences between “Predetermined consciousness” versus “Ad Hoc consciousness”.

      1. spacemonkey

        No, I dont make any claims what is the basis how consciousness can experience to itself. Im claiming that no matter what the governing law is behind consciousness is, despite if we experience consciousness after we die or not, this mechasism that triggered you to existence can trigger you existence again and in infinity it will surely do this. My personal view is that it could be impossible for consciusness to not be in a state of not-experiencing.

        I cant even make claim that this universe is the only way we can experience ourselves. It would be extremely short sighted claim.

      2. Jasper of Maine

        I’m claiming that no matter what the governing law is behind consciousness is, despite if we experience consciousness after we die or not, this mechasism that triggered you to existence can trigger you existence again and in infinity it will surely do this.

        I addressed this above, but in short, that’s assuming that there will be potential going into infinity. If the heat death comes true, there will be no life or suns or planets or anything that could happen to spawn the same exact environmental/biological/historical circumstances that led me to being me.

        Even if that were the case, it wouldn’t be “me”. I’d be long dead.

        If you have an exactly copy of Microsoft windows, it isn’t the same program. It’s not like their transcendentally sharing the same space or something.

        They’re identical yes, but separate.

        If I drink from one of two identical cans of Pepsi, that doesn’t mean I’m drinking from both at the same time because they’re the same can.

        My personal view is that it could be impossible for consciusness to not be in a state of not-experiencing.

        And you’ve been factually wrong at every turn, pumping out a plethora of logical fallacies (your favorite seems to be the non-sequitur).

        I cant even make claim that this universe is the only way we can experience ourselves. It would be extremely short sighted claim.

        I agree.

    2. 16.2
      Jasper of Maine

      To clarify, because I can’t pull myself away yet.

      In order to get my consciousness recreated, the life of the next incarnation of me would have to be absolute 100% identical.

      That includes the sun. I love the late afternoon sun during the winter. It impacts my personality.

      Stars grow old, though. In fact, they all are. There ARE laws of the universe, such as the laws of thermodynamics and various ones in physics in general, that indicate that all the stars are going to die out.

      That means, that there will come a point where there simply won’t be any more stars like our sun is right now.

      Which means the potential for my consciousness being replicated is over. For the rest of time. No matter how long time goes on.

      That’s what I mean by “useful time” in terms of a supposedly infinite timeline.

  17. 17
    Tom

    Spacemonkey, you seem to be a dualist (conciousness attaches to a brain rather than is a product of it).

    I am not a dualist: as my conciousness is the product of the current physical state of my brain (or an emergent property of it) and the current physical state of my brain is causally dependent on the history of the universe up to now, the probability of my current conciousness existing any earlier or later than now is precisely zero.

    1. 17.1
      Jasper of Maine

      Thanks for pointing that out. I wasn’t quite attaching a term to the concept.

    2. 17.2
      spacemonkey

      Spacemonkey, you seem to be a dualist (conciousness attaches to a brain rather than is a product of it).
      Yes and no. I dont think consciousness anyhow “attaches” to brain but more like experiences it and can influence it. Like when you listen to a frequenzy in a radio where nothing come out and suddenly they build a station that broadcasts frequenzy to it you start experiencing sound from that radio. Process I would imaging could be something like this or I could be dead wrong. Anyhow in a way I dont see matter and consciousness fully separeted, in fact Im not sure even if matter exists in a form we understand it but is more like a trick of consciousness. So we could be basicly just random interpretations of ourselves but because our perception of need for external force to experience something that is external is just an illusion. That would lead us to rationalize something that we could not rationalize because we are in heavy illusion.

  18. 18
    Sean

    Okay So a couple of questions I’d like clarification on, in this email. After reading it twice I didn’t really see where you got down to actually asking a question, just explaining your position and trying to shut down arguments which you have heard before (whether or not they were explained accurately to you or whether you understood them is impossible for this observer to discern) so this seems like more of a distraction than a helpful laying down of arguments. So my first question is:
    1) can you please clarify what your question to “atheists” is?
    (please note many different people arrive to the same conclusion for different reasons. there is no defining reason people become atheists, with the possible exception that there is no evidence to the contrary, a conclusion contested by any non-atheist. By definition almost.)
    Your understanding of statistics seems… off to me.
    2) Do you understand that statistics are by definition a set of samples arranged in patterns around similar characteristics? You cannot take a fact like 2/3′s of the world’s population is female and use that to say that if three people are in one room 2 of them must be female? Even if the *absolute* probability of “you” existing “here” and “now” is some obscenely small fraction, if you do in point of fact exist here and now, no matter how much more time has existed in the universe, the probability of you existing here and now is exactly 100%.
    3) definitions of the infinite. Infinity is not a number, its an idea. An idea which says this variable is scalable with out limits. Any number which someone suggests represents infinity can be washed away by adding +1 to it. When a mathematician says that 1/inifinity is equal to zero, they are talking about the limitations of the formula being described. It is saying basically “no matter how big a number I divide by I will get some small fraction which will get closer and closer to 0 the bigger the number i divide by, therefore the formula is LIMITED by the number zero at no point will a solution be 0 so it is an absolute which constrains the mathematics of the formula. Infinity is short hand for “all the numbers which can be thought of” at no point do you ever get to use infinity as a number. In your email you seem to not be aware of this. Do you understand this concept?
    4) if I understand your point about perception and conciousness functioning on the quantum level (and I am REALLY not sure I do) You seem to be confusing economies of scale. Conciousness is the RESULT of electromagnetic variations in neural media, not the CAUSE. If you take a castle and pull it apart brick by brick eventually you have no castle and a lot of bricks. But at no point do get to say the castle IS the bricks, and at no point do you get to say that at brick number “x” the castle ceased to be a castle and became a pile of bricks. You could define the end of “a functional castle” or a castle characteristic of a certain style (Gothic, low middle and high dark age, renaissance, neo-gothic etc). you don’t feel electricity in your brain (at least I hope not) Your perception of reality has been influenced by the onset of chemical reactions which changed the relationship of the regular electrical patterns inside your brain causing you to perceive yourself as happy or sad or whatever. Saying that the electricity feels something is akin to saying “walls are made of atoms, and atoms are mostly empty space QED walls are empty space and I can walk through them.” So my question here is, what is it that makes you think that the universe (ie you or me) operates in the manner you describe?

    so to sum up, I am interested in teasing out the differences of our opinions and would like to discuss your ideas further but require clarification:
    1) what is it about atheism that you reject and what is it you feel that atheists need to defend about their conclusion?
    2) Can you please clarify how statistics and specifically your statistics (the ones that aren’t thrown out at the onset by being divided by infinity) support the case to reject religion (as you appear to have done) but support the case of universal conciousness and the existence of souls?
    3) Can you please clarify what you mean by infinity as you are not using it in the consensus/classical definition and you are not using it in a way that I can clearly extrapolate from the consensus/classical definition. I require further explination.
    4) Why do you believe that people feel electricity in their brains and call these thoughts, and further my by what method do you derive from that, that the electricity itself is doing the perceiving/feeling?
    5) Finally: Are you a Poe? Becuase this sounds exactly like what someone trying to Poe a new-age universalist world-view. (if your legit please don’t be offended, its not my fault some people just want to cause chaos in other peoples meaningful discussions)

    As is often the case in discussing the rationale for atheism and the materialist (not materialistic, big difference) world view with non-atheists I feel like the problem is really agreeing to a definition of terms, and as is so often the case you likely will either :
    a) never actually definite your beliefs in a concrete way that can be consistently be used by either side to support or undermine a position attempting to be established. Or
    b) you will hem and haw and dance circles around the point feeling that concrete terms will destroy you case and then you will eventually concede some terms, which will in fact destroy your case at which point you will say us mean-spirited, caustic atheists are just trying to tear you down and make you miserable like us and that we didn’t understand your point nor could we until we already agree with your conclusion. (which is supremely insulting to the particular atheists who may have actually at one point agreed with your premise, but have since changed their mind.)

    So if your willing to answer my questions and clarify a few things and want meaningful dialogue on this subject ( ie won’t just do the don’t-want-to-be-wrong waltz descirbed above) I am more than willing to engage. And while I think the evidence for anything any human being has ever described to me as spiritual or enlightening is completely absent I have never stopped looking because I love being wrong… because I love to learn.

    – With regards.

  19. 19
    Panwolven

    I can’t believe what his brain can’t do. ;) I’ve watched TAE for years now and listened to almost all the available non prophets podcasts. I can’t for the life of me understand how any of his questions pertain to anything said on either shows, but I’ll have a whack at it.

    First sentence says it all, “I have a question for you on some of your world views that I cannot find good answer from any atheist”. First learn what atheism means, then ask again! Then look up what agnostic means! But really, if you’re expecting an answer about what an atheists world views are, then you’ll get as many answers as there are atheists. There’s no atheistic world view beyond godlessness. Expecting there to be one demonstrates that you have no clue what atheism means.

    1. Extremely high. In fact, 100% since that is what I’m doing right now.

    1.1. Ok, so the potential for something that factually and undeniably IS has to be real? You have an eye for the obvious there, ol’ boy! This by no means means you get to posit an infinite number of universes as fact. We simply don’t know that.

    2. Our consciousness is our physical body, or a product thereof, as far as we know. Everything we know about the mind tells us so. So fail at the getgo.

    2.2. You’ll find precious few atheists with that point of view. Most of us are materialists in one sense or another. Look up George Berkely and the reason he formulated his idiotic theory in the first place.

    2.3. Your comparing the method to the product. Without a nail hammering produces nothing but thumping sounds and possibly a sore thumb. Likewise we are not just electricity, it’s a far more complex process than that, involving chemicals, tissue, fluids, etc, all working in unison. To run with the above comparison, it involves hammer, nail, boards, glue, countless other tools, masonry, etc. Once you have all of the material and use the tools as intended, then you can start calling the product a house. You wouldn’t just grab the hammer and start calling that a house. Or take a harddrive, which is perhaps a better comparison. It stores information using magnetic fields. Magnetic fields exist in nature too, but without the structure and specific purpose of the harddrive they’re just fields of a certain type of energy, with no more coherence than static.

    3. “This is a philosofical matter at least at this point but there is truth to it.” No, there isn’t. You’re not “going deep” or being philosophical. You’re rehashing old mind-farts like “if a tree falls in the forest …” that weren’t profound to anyone but the weak of mind when they were first put forth and have gained nothing with age. It’s the equivolent to Asimov’s “Do robots dream of electric sheep?”. A fun question to discuss with friends, but ultimately meaningless.

    You are in fact wrong in every single statement, including the one about deep logic. There is no deep logic to the statement “I have magical underwear”. It’s just nonsensical. A mormon may perceive it as valid, but that doesn’t change what it is. The only sense in which it relates to logic is that logic can tell us whether or not it’s true, but that’s not the same as there being deep logic to it.

    Since when do atheists have set views on what happens after we die anyway? I think most of us agree with the words of Hitchens who said “I like surprises”, but who also stated that there was no known reason to believe that it’s true. As for consciousness being indestructible I think Sam Harris gave an excellent response to this in the following clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6iHe0ra_UM

    After reading through the whole text I think I know why you feel the responses you get are lazy. It’s because you base your ideas on unsupported assumptions. People simply don’t need to get to the questions that you find so deep and meaningful when they can discard the premise outright.

  20. 20
    Monimonika

    I’ll try to see what I can figure out and respond to:

    1)

    …what is the probablity you living right at this moment in an universe that has sustained life at least last few billion years your appr. 75 year long lasting life?”

    See Theodoric’s answer in comment#3.

    1.1) Again, see Theodoric’s comment about the need to feel ‘special’.

    2)

    You can prove to yourself that you exist at this very moment since you can experience, vision, smell, touch, thought etc.. You probably have no clue how you can even exist “to yourself” and still you are.

    I know it doesn’t really apply, but I am reminded of . If our consciousness is considered an “effective procedure”, which is a procedure that if followed to the letter on some class of problems, will:

    -) always give some answer rather than ever give no answer;
    -) always give the right answer and never give a wrong answer;
    -) always be completed in a finite number of steps, rather than in an infinite number;
    -) work for all instances of problems of the class.

    then our consciousness is incapable of demonstrating its own consistency. Given that our consciousness is certainly not up to the standards of an actual “effective procedure”, I think it is considered impossible for consciousness to prove itself by using itself.

    So at least you have to exist as a potential in this infinite universe even if your consciousness stops experiencing or shuts down as your physical body dies.

    I have no clue what is meant by “potential” here and how it relates to the previous sentence. It sure doesn’t flow logically from #1 either.

    2.2) Don’t use the word “illusion”. Okay, I got it. …I think?

    2.3) If a grocery store (building and all) were to be replaced bit by bit with new materials until none of the old material is left, is it still a grocery store? Would the grocery store still exist if the workers left, the sell items were removed, the building was torn down, and the place converted to an empty parking lot?

    “Grocery store”-ness does not reside just in the building materials, the transient sell items, or the workers. It’s something that is defined when various elements come together into a certain structure pattern that we then identify as being a grocery store.

    We know that human consciousness is very much tied to physical matter due to numerous observations of how brain injuries affect memories, personalities, and senses. But just like how the gradual replacement of workers/items/materials in a grocery store does not make the grocery store cease to exist, so doesn’t our consciousness as a whole cease to exist if a brain cell stops firing while millions of neighboring brain cells chug along. There is no point where your body cells all get replaced at once and you forget the past several years of your life.

    Sure, you may not be the same consciousness as you were before some kind of incident or even just after some period of time, but there is no rule that says that consciousness is unchanging or that “you” should stay the exact same way (memories, personality, reactions, and all) for “you” to still exist.

    3) I actually somewhat agree and it hurts my brain to think about it too much, but then I concluded that it depends on what is meant by “reality”. If “reality” is defined by what is in our minds, then what is the stuff outside our minds that comes barging by and affecting our senses, thus becoming part of our “reality”? What term could be used to label this outside stuff just before it becomes part of us? It had to “exist” for it to do something later on, but to us it did not “exist” until it affected us.

    1. 20.1
      Monimonika

      Ack, the html link to Wikipedia didn’t work! Let’s try this without the link

      For point 2) :

      I know it doesn’t really apply, but I am reminded of Godel’s incompleteness theorems.

    2. 20.2
      spacemonkey

      Im sorry not having the time repeating myself but you can find some answers from above. I will comment about the statement 3) that I eventually came up with. Its a subject that would require putting thought it much more that I think I can present here. Its a theory that there actually isnt any tangible reality as we interpret it but as observer or creator we can do things that with human mind is incomprehensible to us. To look outside the state of consciousness requires the understanding that there is consciousness that is not bound to a body but rather our body is in our current state bound to our consciousness as a state of beeing.

      Presenting a statement like this without giving all the background information here is infact very unconsidered thing to do, I admit it, since you might interpret it from your stand of view so many ways errored. It is to some extent a conclusion I came to that I dont ever present as a certaintity but as a possibility.

      1. Monimonika

        Spacemonkey,

        I understand you’re busy with the other comments that came before mine (I was typing up my comment while others were posting), so feel free to not repeat anything to me and focus on the other comments.

        To look outside the state of consciousness requires the understanding that there is consciousness that is not bound to a body but rather our body is in our current state bound to our consciousness as a state of beeing.

        Seriously, I don’t think I would come to agree with what you say even if you were to explain everything thoroughly. Unless you define consciousness as being something that has no senses, no memories, no emotions, and no worded thoughts, I don’t see how you can claim that it is not bound to the body (specifically, the brain).

        Of course, if consciousness were to have none of the features that I just listed, I wonder why we would be concerned about a so-called afterlife for our consciousness anyway, since we won’t be able to experience anything or retain any memory of something happening.

        You don’t have to reply to me. I’m just going to read everyone else’s take on your other comments instead.

  21. 21
    Tom

    Spacemonkey:

    I recognize I could be wrong in every single statement I have made above and this can be extremely hard to rationalize with our monkey brains …

    Cannot disagree with that.

    …but also there is deep logic to every single statement there is.

    Nope, just a series of well know fallacies and misconceptions.

    Sorry…

    Fail

  22. 22
    Compuholic

    Im claiming that no matter what the governing law is behind consciousness is, despite if we experience consciousness after we die or not, this mechasism that triggered you to existence can trigger you existence again and in infinity it will surely do this.

    That depends on how you define “you”. You can do the following thought experiment. If it was possible to copy you and your conciousness into an identical body, would that person be you? In a sense, yes because you would have identical memories and in a sense no, because both individuals would continue to make their own experiences.

    My personal view is that it could be impossible for consciusness to not be in a state of not-experiencing.

    How about the non-existence of that consciusness? If it doesn’t exist it can’t experience anything. Much like you didn’t experience anything in the billions of years before you were born.

    Your problem seems to be that you seem to regard consciousness as something that can exist outside of a brain. I don’t think I need to tell you that we have no evidence that this is possible and therefore we have no reason to think of it as possible.

  23. 23
    Jasper of Maine

    Alright, I need to be productive today.

    I’ll give the other piranhas have a chance.

    1. 23.1
      Jasper of Maine

      Homework for Spacemonkey:

      Please fulfill your burden of proof that the conciousness continues after death.

      Difficulty level: Don’t use any logical fallacies.

    2. 23.2
      spacemonkey

      You are as you experience something in this case multiple things. What is that what is experiencing?
      Having some difficulty on the 2nd sentence, but if I undrestand it right – “What is it that is experiencing?”. If so, what is experiencing it is my brain/concousness. Or, in computer terms, it’s the CPU and program that is processing the data.

      You dont seem to get the point Im making here. I mean that what ever you are that is experiencing is you. Now from earlier you claim that you need a perfect history of event for you to come to be. This stated you admit at least that there is a mathematical design of how you can come to be. I dont believe its so that there must be perfect circumstances for you to have an experience through something but Ill explain it later. You are claiming that you can exist only in that state that you are in right now. But if you need a perfect history of atoms moving in space then you would also die as a consciousness immediatly when the perfection of that state that matter is changed and that is less than any time measure known to human.

      Basicly you created a concept of you by saying that your beeing can be created through the most complex events of happenings but even this wouldnt stop you from being. Even a person that knows the basics of propability calculus can say that the mathematical formula for you coming to be is extremely low, so low its incomprehensible. If you think then claim that time isnt infinite and you still won that lottery is just mind numbing. If time is infinite then it doesnt matter how impropable event is, it will come to be infinite number of times. That would suggest you will live your exact life over and over and over again…

      Ok that could be the case but theres no logic to it. Theres not a single thing that would indicate that certain exact events makes a single consciousness come to have human experience. Actually it points to the other direction. Like I stated earlier our state of mind changes all the time, the electric field that our brain produces changes, our braincells are changed throughout our lifetime and it even grows a little. Still we continue experience as ourself. You said earlier that if there was a clone of you that wouldnt be you because he has a different history and different mechanisms in thinking. How is the “you” then defined from all your changing mechanisms that do actually define whos experience it is?

      I know it can be hard for you to understand when I say that someone or the observer is experiencing this because I cannot leave it out. It would suggest that I wouldnt experience then and would be fallacy since I cannot be illusion to myself. If I dont experience this then there wouldnt be me.

      I think you misinterpret the term “potential” earlier. As potential I mean that everything that is has always been like I earlier stated something cannot come out of nothing.
      Why can’t something come out of nothing? Oh boy, do I really want to digress there? Nevermind.

      I would really much want you to digress here. Simple claim that you cannot disprove in any logic: something cannot come out of nothing. Look dictionary what nothing is. What Im calling a potential might actually be what you call nothing. Potential is something that is everything that has been, is and will be. If something is it has at least had the potential of it and there isnt a single thing that can destroy information from existance. Potential is that if you have A and B you can potentially have B and A since you had both there in the first place. If you get A out you have the prove it can exist so you can put it back there as you could take it out of there unless you destroy information what I find to be impossible to do. Bad analogue but I hope you get the point.

    3. 23.3
      Jasper of Maine

      You dont seem to get the point Im making here.

      Not agreeing with you isn’t the same as “not getting it”.

      I mean that what ever you are that is experiencing is you. Now from earlier you claim that you need a perfect history of event for you to come to be. This stated you admit at least that there is a mathematical design of how you can come to be.

      I wouldn’t say mathematical, but rather the combination of events/factors of my life.

      I dont believe its so that there must be perfect circumstances for you to have an experience through something but Ill explain it later. You are claiming that you can exist only in that state that you are in right now.

      Yes, but that’s because you have it backwards again. It’s because the exact factors that led to my conciousness being what it is won’t repeat. If there had been some change in my life – say, my parents decided to watch football instead of Star Trek episodes, I’d have a different conciousness today. I’d be a different person.

      But if you need a perfect history of atoms moving in space then you would also die as a consciousness immediatly when the perfection of that state that matter is changed and that is less than any time measure known to human.

      And here we go again with the I have no idea where this came from. Who said anything about perfection? In order to replicate my conciounceness, the events would have to replay exactly as they happened, else you’d either get a different conciousness, or none (like if I wasn’t born).

      I think part of the problem is that you seem to think that a conciousness is a static thing. Programming may not change in traditional computers, but the human mind is always changing, updating, growing. If I had taken a different path with my life, like going to School A instead of School B, I’d be a different person.

      Basicly you created a concept of you by saying that your beeing can be created through the most complex events of happenings but even this wouldnt stop you from being.

      What would stop me from being is dying. When the computer shuts down, so does the program. If the computer breaks down over time, the program isn’t restarting.

      Even a person that knows the basics of propability calculus can say that the mathematical formula for you coming to be is extremely low,

      This has probably been explained about 30 times now. Roll 30 dice. A combination comes out. The probability of that combination having occured is astronomically low.

      It happened. Arguments from Numbers are not valid. Discontinue using logical fallacies.

      If you mean that life would exist on different planets, again, evidence is indicating this may be fairly common, given the laws of how the universe works.

      If you think then claim that time isnt infinite and you still won that lottery is just mind numbing.

      How? You simpely merely asserting this. You keep talking about the calculations.

      Show your work. Show your assumptions and givens. Let’s do the math.

      If time is infinite then it doesnt matter how impropable event is, it will come to be infinite number of times. That would suggest you will live your exact life over and over and over again…

      I’ve already addressed this. Based on the Laws of Physics, the stars are going to grow old and burn out. The entropy of the universe will max out. There will be no more energy to do anything.

      At that point, it doesn’t matter how long you wait around, how many octillions and octillions of years you wait. Entropy is not going to spontaneously revert so the stars un-die.

      And without those stars, the possibilities for living people being concoius have ended. Time may march on, but a functional universe won’t.

      If you think that entropy will sponenaneously reverse itself, or equivalent, you have an unimaginably large burden of proof to meet.

      Ok that could be the case but theres no logic to it. Theres not a single thing that would indicate that certain exact events makes a single consciousness come to have human experience.

      Yes there is. You’re projecting your ignorance again. Read up on neuroscience and psychology. We do experiements with this all the time.

      Maybe if you spent a wee bit less in your phisolosphical musings, and wee bit more time reading the LIBRARIES of literature on these topics, you’d know that.

      Actually it points to the other direction. Like I stated earlier our state of mind changes all the time, the electric field that our brain produces changes, our braincells are changed throughout our lifetime and it even grows a little. Still we continue experience as ourself. You said earlier that if there was a clone of you that wouldnt be you because he has a different history and different mechanisms in thinking. How is the “you” then defined from all your changing mechanisms that do actually define whos experience it is?

      “Me” is defined as the current “programming” that’s running on my brain, that includes all my memories/experiences/skills/etc up to date. Anything that happens to this biological robot, and his programming, is taken into to the programming, processed, and the programming may be updated. That is who is experiencing it.

      I know it can be hard for you to understand when I say that someone or the observer is experiencing this because I cannot leave it out.

      I agree “someone” is experiencing it. I just don’t know what relevance “observer” has on the topic… other than the fact that we as biological robots take in data from around us through our sensory organs and process it. If you call that “observer”, fine.

      It would suggest that I wouldnt experience then and would be fallacy since I cannot be illusion to myself. If I dont experience this then there wouldnt be me.

      Again with the “illusion” thing. No one is saying that other than you. My mind is not an illsion any more than the browser I’m using to read this website is an illusion.

      It’s a real program that’s running on a real computer.

      I think you misinterpret the term “potential” earlier. As potential I mean that everything that is has always been like I earlier stated something cannot come out of nothing.
      Why can’t something come out of nothing? Oh boy, do I really want to digress there? Nevermind.

      I would really much want you to digress here. Simple claim that you cannot disprove in any logic: something cannot come out of nothing. Look dictionary what nothing is. What Im calling a potential might actually be what you call nothing.

      The reason why I don’t want to digress (and waste more of my time) is because it’s not relevant to the topic. No one is saying that conciousness comes out of nothing.

      Again, with my Scrabble analogy. When you form the sentence “Bears fucking smell you”, the sentence was constructed with pre-existing letters, not out of nothing. And when you scatter the letters, the sentence will be gone, even if the letters remain.

      Potential is something that is everything that has been, is and will be.

      You’re half right. It makes no sense to say that something has potential in the past. That’s silly. What are you, a Time Lord?

      If something is it has at least had the potential of it and there isnt a single thing that can destroy information from existance. Potential is that if you have A and B you can potentially have B and A since you had both there in the first place. If you get A out you have the prove it can exist so you can put it back there as you could take it out of there unless you destroy information what I find to be impossible to do. Bad analogue but I hope you get the point.

      Yes, I get the point. Your arguments are based on weird wacky things like “potential backwards in time” that make no sense.

      1. Jasper of Maine

        It’s fine to say that something was a potential.. but the implication is that it isn’t anymore.

      2. Jasper of Maine

        Even a person that knows the basics of propability calculus can say that the mathematical formula for you coming to be is extremely low,

        To reiterate:

        The fact a particular 30-dice roll combination showed up is asronomically low.
        The fact a 30-dice roll combination showed up is 100% probable.

        The chances of the particular geography of Earth being what is it is astronomically low.
        The chances of a planet existing and having geography isn’t.

        The chances of my particular consciousness existing is astronomically low.
        The chances of consciousnesses existing isn’t. Hell, we have 6-7 billion of them (if we aren’t counting intelligent animals) running around right now.

        From direct observation we can tell it’s fairly common that people have consciousnesses. What exact configurations they have is about as special as the random 30-dice roll.

      3. spacemonkey

        I wouldn’t say mathematical, but rather the combination of events/factors of my life.
        I would need alot more specification then what are the criterias that create your consciousness if I got it wrong earlier. But its bit odd that you do lay down criterias for your consciousness to exist but imply its impossible to make them happen again.

        I’d have a different conciousness today. I’d be a different person.
        Well on this I would agree with you. I dont think theres anything that implies consciousness has personality outside the monkeysuit. It would be just understanding of everything or nothing.

        Who said anything about perfection? In order to replicate my conciounceness, the events would have to replay exactly as they happened, else you’d either get a different conciousness, or none (like if I wasn’t born).
        How do you exactly know the events would have to replicate? If theres a trigger to awaken you to experience how do you jump to conclusion that the events breed your consciousness? But what you are also referring is that you could only arrise in certain timeline like time would be something tangible instead of measure.

        What would stop me from being is dying. When the computer shuts down, so does the program. If the computer breaks down over time, the program isn’t restarting.
        You again jump to a conclusion that you have no proof or no logical concept. If/As theres infinity like I earlier explained its mathematical impossibility for you to exist at this very moment instead of lived your only life long ago. I actually think that I know your way of thinking: This is the current time and you exist so the proof is that in this very time that holds the trigger for your consciousness and since you experience now you think that is a proof of either possibility of near impossibility happening or that time is actually just 13,6 billion years when the universe suddenly for some reason expanded and you are just living your lucky few years of wonder.. I dont say its impossible, its very near it so I would go to explain it otherwise.

        Even a person that knows the basics of probability calculus can say that the mathematical formula for you coming to be is extremely low,
        This has probably been explained about 30 times now. Roll 30 dice. A combination comes out. The probability of that combination having occured is astronomically low.

        Yes like I stated earlier if something exists as a potential it will happen. If we put a timeline here only some things will happen, less the time, less events. But you forgot to put your explanation how time is a factor for your existence but I assume you are still sticking up with this.

        If you think then claim that time isnt infinite and you still won that lottery is just mind numbing.
        How? You simpely merely asserting this. You keep talking about the calculations.
        Show your work. Show your assumptions and givens. Let’s do the math.

        I cannot do the math basis of your criterias how you think your consciousness comes to experiencing state. Lets put this to a way that is the most simple. We have universe that is the only place where you can exist, theres a short timespan where you need to be born or the circumstances will never achieve you as a consciousness. This analogue made we can easily say that the probability of your existence if near to 0 but still it could happen. Its much, much more probable that if this universe just expands to infinity, theres still infinity time ahead of us and you yet find yourself in same place: you should be long gone by now never to exist anymore. Even if the “time” stops to exist we should be in that state right at this very moment.

        If you think that entropy will sponenaneously reverse itself, or equivalent, you have an unimaginably large burden of proof to meet.
        No I dont think I can state that based on any given evidence. Like stated above if entropy goes to infinity this place should be cold by now and long gone since its the last 99,999999…% (nearing to 100%) of the timeline that this universe will be in.

        Ok that could be the case but theres no logic to it. Theres not a single thing that would indicate that certain exact events makes a single consciousness come to have human experience.
        Yes there is. You’re projecting your ignorance again. Read up on neuroscience and psychology. We do experiements with this all the time.

        Actually I have read neuroscience and about brain, theres still lot be discovered and mostly there are only theories about consciousness but as I said theres no better truth than logic, no book or authotarian figure is beoynd logic and reasoning. Actually there are many neuroscientist who cant comprehend a “real” consciousness and the nature of it and think it could be something out of the traditional explanation that we have been so eager to hear.

        <“Me” is defined as the current “programming” that’s running on my brain, that includes all my memories/experiences/skills/etc up to date. Anything that happens to this biological robot, and his programming, is taken into to the programming, processed, and the programming may be updated. That is who is experiencing it.
        Yes and I dont claim it to be anything else than a program but theres still the experiencer or observer of program which you dont seem to understand even though you yourself are the experiencer. In your perception that this is the only program that you can experience. Yet your program changes, your cells change and you as an experiencer remain unchanged. The experiencer must be outside the matter, electricity and thought then, dont you agree? So you theorize that theres this field of relational thought that keeps you alive as experiencer. People clinically dead stop their brainfunction so do they swap their experiencer through this process?

        Another thing is that when you acknowledge that you are experiencer or observer it is an subject.

        I want you to consider this
        My simple analogues with the evidence we have.
        1. This universe exists so it has always existed in a form or another, or its main source has been.
        2. Time is infinite since everything has always been in a form or another.
        3. In infinite time you would have lived your only life already. You cant even put a probability wheres infinity is the divisor. It would have already be in its goal, the maximum entropy.
        4. You as an observer, experiencer exist so you can exist any given time again and probably even any given place or do you claim your consciousness is local?
        5.You can claim that it can only come to be given these right circumstances then there is a mathematical formula for you in the laws of universe.
        6. There can be infinite possibilities how universe can come to be. We have proof of its current state but thinking this is the only way matter or information can exist would add and variable to the pool with infinite other possibilities and that would make our existence almost imppossible.

      4. Jasper of Maine

        I wouldn’t say mathematical, but rather the combination of events/factors of my life.
        I would need alot more specification then what are the criterias that create your consciousness if I got it wrong earlier. But its bit odd that you do lay down criterias for your consciousness to exist but imply its impossible to make them happen again.

        The criteria for the formation of conciousness is difficult to nail down due to the sheer magnitutde. I’m not going be able to recollect every instance that I did something wrong and got punished, which changed my personality, even ever so slightly. I can’t trace down every time I met person A who I befriended and learned about different things than I would have learned from person B, if only I had arrived at the social event 5 minutes sooner.

        The reason why it’s not likely to happen again is because those events aren’t likely to ever happen again. Not all millions of them and all their possible individual options that happened to occur.

        I’d have a different conciousness today. I’d be a different person.
        Well on this I would agree with you. I dont think theres anything that implies consciousness has personality outside the monkeysuit.

        … wow, it’s like we’ve been agreeing this whole time…

        It would be just understanding of everything or nothing.

        .. and then the bizarre weirdo statement. How do you get from “nothing indicates personality outside of monkeysuit” to “understand everying or nothing”?

        Who said anything about perfection? In order to replicate my conciounceness, the events would have to replay exactly as they happened, else you’d either get a different conciousness, or none (like if I wasn’t born).
        How do you exactly know the events would have to replicate?

        Because of our knowledge of psychology and neural science. That’s how neural nets work (and, by the way, our understanding of neural nets is so good that we use them in practical applications – iPhone Siri anyone?). They recieve input from the environemnt, process, learn, update, and repeat. There’s nothing else to grow on but the environment.

        We know because of experimentation and investigation. Do you think it’s just a coincidence that abused pets are more ill tempered that well treated ones?

        If you’re going to assert that there’s more going on than the directly observable and testable environmental stimulation in the growth of a personality, you’ve assumed a burden of proof to demonstrate such a thing.

        If theres a trigger to awaken you to experience

        What? Don’t know what you’re talking about here. You may be using a different “trigger” than I’m familiar with.

        how do you jump to conclusion that the events breed your consciousness?

        It’s not a “jump” when it’s directly emprically testable and observable. This is basic science.

        When claims are made that aren’t falsifiable, there’s implied indicators that one would expect to find if it were true or false.

        If the brain was not the seat of conciousness, we’d expect that damage/manipulation to the brain would not affect the concoiusness. It does. Very much so.
        If the brain was the seat of conciousness, we’d expect that intactions with the brain would affect the conciousness. It does. Very much so.

        Again, there’s whole fields of science, and whole libraries of literature, containing the sum knowledge of everything we’ve learned about this topic available to read.

        But what you are also referring is that you could only arrise in certain timeline like time would be something tangible instead of measure.

        That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that my particular conciousness could only exist here and now, because the here and now (and history) is what created it. You’ve got it backwards.

        There’s plenty of sequences of events that are unique enough to never happen again. Take 1000 dice and throw them. That combination will likely never happen again before the heat death of the universe. We don’t have to do any bizarre twisting of temporal concepts to recognize that.

        What would stop me from being is dying. When the computer shuts down, so does the program. If the computer breaks down over time, the program isn’t restarting.
        You again jump to a conclusion that you have no proof or no logical concept.

        Yes, we do. See above. See, we have this little thing called “science” and “evidence”.

        If/As theres infinity like I earlier explained its mathematical impossibility for you to exist at this very moment instead of lived your only life long ago.

        I’ve already obliterated that argument several times now, that you haven’t even attempted to refute by the way.

        If you can refute thermodynamics, you’ll will the Nobel, I’m sure. You’d better get started.

        I actually think that I know your way of thinking: This is the current time and you exist so the proof is that in this very time that holds the trigger for your consciousness

        What is this “trigger” thing you keep bringing up?

        and since you experience now you think that is a proof of either possibility of near impossibility happening or that time is actually just 13,6 billion years when the universe suddenly for some reason expanded and you are just living your lucky few years of wonder..

        Yes, because that’s what the evidence shows. Look up some cosmology.

        This has probably been explained about 30 times now. Roll 30 dice. A combination comes out. The probability of that combination having occured is astronomically low.
        Yes like I stated earlier if something exists as a potential it will happen. If we put a timeline here only some things will happen, less the time, less events. But you forgot to put your explanation how time is a factor for your existence but I assume you are still sticking up with this.

        No, it won’t. You’ve gone from a concept of “potential” that normal people think of “could happen” into a concept where it “will happen”.

        Your “infinite time” argument fails because of thermodynamics. Prove thermodynamics wrong, or concede the point.

        If you think then claim that time isnt infinite and you still won that lottery is just mind numbing.
        How? You simpely merely asserting this. You keep talking about the calculations.
        Show your work. Show your assumptions and givens. Let’s do the math.

        I cannot do the math basis of your criterias how you think your consciousness comes to experiencing state.

        Then your argument has no rational basis in reality. You’re pulling probabilities out of your ass and saying “the calculations show this”.

        Lets put this to a way that is the most simple. We have universe that is the only place where you can exist, theres a short timespan where you need to be born or the circumstances will never achieve you as a consciousness.

        You’re doing it again. You’re speaking from an assumption that there’s a pre-defined me that only has a small chance making it in. Whereas, the conciousnesses that form are the result of that universe – the output, if you will. We don’t know how many conciousnesses didn’t happen. It could be octillions upon untold octillions.

        It’s back to the 30-dice roll. you’re assuming that my conciousness is somehow special from the others.

        If I play the PowerBall (a lottery), I have almost zero chance of winning. Yet, somehow, people win. They didn’t have to transcend anything, do temporal time spins, or break any laws of physics. It’s simple numbers. While the chances of an individual winning is astronomically low, the chances of someone winning is fairly good.

        It’s the same logical fallacy over and over and over and over.

        This analogue made we can easily say that the probability of your existence if near to 0 but still it could happen.

        It could happen, and it did happen. Nothing about that implies afterlives or infinite timelines or anything. See above.


        If you think that entropy will sponenaneously reverse itself, or equivalent, you have an unimaginably large burden of proof to meet.

        No I dont think I can state that based on any given evidence.

        Like stated above if entropy goes to infinity this place should be cold by now and long gone since its the last 99,999999…% (nearing to 100%) of the timeline that this universe will be in.

        That’s only if your bald faced flies-in-the-face-of-all-evidence assertion that the universe isn’t roughtly 13.6 billion years ago is false. If it is 13.6 billion years (or whatever finite value), this isn’t even remotely a value.

        You’ve assumed the burden of proof that the universe is not about 13.6bya. You’ll probably win the Nobel for this. You’d better get started.


        Ok that could be the case but theres no logic to it. Theres not a single thing that would indicate that certain exact events makes a single consciousness come to have human experience.
        Yes there is. You’re projecting your ignorance again. Read up on neuroscience and psychology. We do experiements with this all the time.

        Actually I have read neuroscience and about brain,

        And apparently retained none of it.

        theres still lot be discovered and mostly there are only theories about consciousness

        1) Again, “theories” are models of well supported fact about a topic – not unproven ideas. You have no idea how science works. Seriously, this is science 101.
        2) “A lot to be discovered” doesn’t mean that what we have discovered is invalid.

        but as I said theres no better truth than logic,

        And, you don’t understand logic either. Not surprising. Logic is a process. It takes inputs, generates an output. The input premises must be valid, else the output is not valid.

        So far, your “inputs” have been almost unanimously incorrect.

        no book or authotarian figure is beoynd logic and reasoning.

        No one said they were. Evidence, however, is a demonstrably effective means for determining what the truth is – a thing, by the way, you’ve supplied exactly zero of.

        Actually there are many neuroscientist who cant comprehend a “real” consciousness and the nature of it and think it could be something out of the traditional explanation that we have been so eager to hear.

        There’s lot’s of people saying lots of things. What does the evidence show?

        “Me” is defined as the current “programming” that’s running on my brain, that includes all my memories/experiences/skills/etc up to date. Anything that happens to this biological robot, and his programming, is taken into to the programming, processed, and the programming may be updated. That is who is experiencing it.

        Yes and I dont claim it to be anything else than a program but theres still the experiencer or observer of program which you dont seem to understand even

        I undesrstand what an “observer” is in relation to quantum physics. That, however, has no application here.

        though you yourself are the experiencer. In your perception that this is the only program that you can experience.

        No, I don’t “experience the program”, it’s the program that’s experiencing things. You keep getting things exactly backwards. I am the program, and I experience things.

        Yet your program changes, your cells change and you as an experiencer remain unchanged.

        No, I change all the time. We all do. Maybe not be large increments, but we all grow and change as people. The whole point I was making was that our “experiencer” changes. You’re very similar to who you were 5 years ago, but you’re not the same person.

        The experiencer must be outside the matter, electricity and thought then, dont you agree?

        Like using scrabble letters in a particular relationship to form a particular word, it’s based on matter and energy, but it isn’t itself matter and energy. Don’t go down the road of a composition fallacy again. The computer program resides within the machine. Destroy the machine, and the program disappears.

        So you theorize that theres this field of relational thought that keeps you alive as experiencer.

        No, my biology keeps me alive as an experiencer. I eat/drink/sleep, and the robot keeps going, and the computer keeps going, until ultimately, one day, it dies.

        Well, I suppose if you mean that I can think of how to better get food, which keeps me alive, then sure.

        People clinically dead stop their brainfunction so do they swap their experiencer through this process?

        What are you talking about? If people are clinically dead, their “experiencer” disappears. It doesn’t “swap” anywhere.

        Another thing is that when you acknowledge that you are experiencer or observer it is an subject.

        Not sure what this sentence means, sorry.


        I want you to consider this
        My simple analogues with the evidence we have.
        1. This universe exists so it has always existed in a form or another, or its main source has been.
        2. Time is infinite since everything has always been in a form or another.
        3. In infinite time you would have lived your only life already. You cant even put a probability wheres infinity is the divisor. It would have already be in its goal, the maximum entropy.
        4. You as an observer, experiencer exist so you can exist any given time again and probably even any given place or do you claim your consciousness is local?
        5.You can claim that it can only come to be given these right circumstances then there is a mathematical formula for you in the laws of universe.
        6. There can be infinite possibilities how universe can come to be. We have proof of its current state but thinking this is the only way matter or information can exist would add and variable to the pool with infinite other possibilities and that would make our existence almost imppossible.

        1) Not necesarily. The problem with the Big Bang, is that all our concepts, including basics of casuality, are thrown into chaos (and this is where the “something can’t come from nothing” may be invalid, not to mention some topics we know of from quantum physics).
        2) Basically incorrect. Already tackled this several times. Universe had a start, it has a finite “useful” timeline.
        3) Can’t happen due to #2 – not a problem. How’s your progress on disproving the Big Bang and Thermodynamics?
        4) Non-sequitur. My concoiusness exists here (me) because that’s what spawned it. It didn’t just happen to be here from elsewhere. Got it backwards again.
        5) PLEASE reveal this “mathematical formula”
        6) Strawman argument. We say that this is the configuration of the universe that we can confirm – that this is the confirguation that happened to happen. If you’re going to assert that there’s more going on, you’ve assume a burden of proof.

        Again, you can disprove this “it’s too unlikely to have happened” by rolling that 30-dice combination over and over, knowing each time that the combination was astronomically unlikely, but happened anyway.

        Do this to your heart’s content.

        1. Jasper of Maine

          but as I said theres no better truth than logic,

          I find it ironic that he’s so gung-ho about logic, yet can’t take two steps without committing blatant standard logical fallacies.

          We’ve had:
          1) Arguments from Ignorance
          2) Many Arguments from Numbers
          3) Composition Fallacy a few times
          4) A truckload of non-sequiturs

        2. spacemonkey

          What can I say.. It seems impossible to make you see your fallacies and yet you shout like no tommorrow about me making them.

          If you read you own comments you can see yourself moving arguments between “im a program of my biological computer” and “im NOT the program of my biological computer”. Its like the whole concept of you as a consciousness is infact an illusion to you although you fail to admit this. This is the only thing you need to realize to understand what Im saying when I talk about the consciouss observer.

          You fail every time to understand what I mean with the formula of your consciousness to become aware. I mean the elements as something that makes you become you to any kind of embodyment or state what ever it is. But like stated above you change your mind on this subject from answer to another so its impossible for me to know what is your logical conclusion.

          Heres the deal, it doesnt matter how you determine yourself to be, theres always something that made you to be in your current state and so it is proven you can come to be any given time. If you dont know what is the exact things that make you how can you claim you wont come to be. Yet I present you a logical framework to work with, infinity. Yet you seem to skip everytime this and just ask how did I come up to that conclusion. I presented it to you and still you ask the same question. Yet you have no theory why time would be limited. Any limitation narrow down the probability of this universe or life coming to be unless you can somehow logically come to conclusion that there always had to be this kind of law that is our universe.

          And please, please dont twist my words all the time so you can answer them. I see how you bring them to your context of percepetion but the problem is that everytime the original meaning of argument loses its information value.

        3. Jasper of Maine

          If you read you own comments you can see yourself moving arguments between “im a program of my biological computer” and “im NOT the program of my biological computer”.

          Not even remotely. Point me to a comment I’ve said anything like the latter (that I’m not), else you’re a liar.

          Its like the whole concept of you as a consciousness is infact an illusion to you although you fail to admit this.

          I don’t even know where this retarded “illusion” thing keeps coming from. Do you even have enough of a grasp of the topic to explain how that’s the case? Do you operate with a definition of “illusion” that no one else on the face of the planet shares?

          This is the only thing you need to realize to understand what Im saying when I talk about the consciouss observer.

          Yes, and it’s either a collosal failure of the English langauge, or you’re embarrasingly factually wrong – which has been demonstrated over and over.

          You fail every time to understand what I mean with the formula of your consciousness to become aware.

          You fail every time to explain it in a way that doesn’t come across as stupid. You keep talking about “calculations” and “formulas” and yet refuse to provide the actual math.

          Do you know what math is? Or do you not know what “calculations” and “probabilities” are?

          I mean the elements as something that makes you become you to any kind of embodyment or state what ever it is. But like stated above you change your mind on this subject from answer to another so its impossible for me to know what is your logical conclusion.

          No, I don’t. I’ve repeatedly clarified, never changing my position on it.

          Heres the deal, it doesnt matter how you determine yourself to be, theres always something that made you to be in your current state and so it is proven you can come to be any given time.

          Again, a non-sequitur. The last portion of that statement makes no sense, and does not follow from the first parts. This is the “logic” you employ.

          If you dont know what is the exact things that make you how can you claim you wont come to be.

          That I won’t come to be what? I have come to be. I’m sitting here writing a response to you. I don’t have to know 100% of everythign that has ever happened to me to have an understanding of how it works. You know, evidence.

          Yet I present you a logical framework to work with, infinity.

          Infinity isn’t a logical framework. It’s a concept. It’s a concept, by the way, that the way you’re using it flies in the face of established science.

          Yet you seem to skip everytime this and just ask how did I come up to that conclusion.

          I’ve not only not skipped it, I’ve refuted it every damn time. For some reason, you’re just fine with discarding estalished scientific law when it gets in your way, though.

          I presented it to you and still you ask the same question.

          Because the answer is invalid, refuted, demolished, and I’m hoping that you’ll maybe perhaps provide an answer that’s backed up by actual evidence, doesn’t contrdict established science, and not absolutely riddled with logical fallacies.

          Yet you have no theory why time would be limited.

          I’m not asserting that time is limited. I’m asserting that time started a finite time ago, established by evidence, and that the “useful” time is finite going forward, established by evidence. That there will come a point where maximum entropy will be reached, and “potential” ends.

          But apparently you’ve somehow managed to disproved the Laws of Thermodynamics, that you will, if you have any semblance of intellectual honesty, be presenting to the scientific community so you can get your Nobel.

          Any limitation narrow down the probability of this universe or life coming to be unless you can somehow logically come to conclusion that there always had to be this kind of law that is our universe.

          What the hell is “law that is our universe”. Do you even know what scientific laws are? The boundaries of our understanding, at singularities for instance, throw our concepts of causuality out the window. All we can confirm at this point is that the universe exists, potentially is teaming with life, and with the basics of evolution and self-forming neural nets, can account for the production of conciousness.

          Except, this is all evidence based.

          And please, please dont twist my words all the time so you can answer them. I see how you bring them to your context of percepetion but the problem is that everytime the original meaning of argument loses its information value.

          I can only respond to the inane dribble you provide.

          You’d better get moving disproving Thermodynamics and the Big Bang.

        4. Jasper of Maine

          My patience has officially run out with this guy.

          At some point you just have to wonder if the person’s a troll, or just genuinely that thick.

          1. spacemonkey

            Oh I could have tell that a long time ago that you are losing your patient with me when you are getting so emotional all the time. To me your some choice of words are rather childish but I dont assume that you are since at least to some point you have come up with some good arguments. I feel your sense about your of superior logic that your ego provides to you. I cannot claim that Im not frustrated but Ill try not to let that disturb for now. And yes there is some language barriers here, my native language is not english as you might have noticed. What I think we should do is chew down a bit and try to eat the whole cake with one bite if your still up for the debate.

            For now I would like only to point to the nature of infinity. Since something cannot come out of nothing, everything that is has always been, only the forms can change from time to time as we can observe. We have proof that matter can come out of this quantum fluctuation, seemingly out of infinite potential. So this stated there havent ever been a moment where these laws would take a consciouss approach to start suddenly “spit” matter and antimatter to existence so this is a continuous process. Even if its seemingly random it will continue to do this to the end of time. So enough time given there will be more and more matter coming out of this field. Do you agree with this? There isnt a single thing that would point out that everything we see here in our universe would be the only governing thing, actually it would be quite illogical that matter or as i would call it law of forms can exist. If you limit this force to the current observable matter and logic what governed it in the first place to act like it is? I would say the simplest answer to that is seemingly infininite options of how anything can come to be must exist or nothing would exist. Theres no razorblade of laws that cut down the options to few possibilities or that would be something that you cannot rationalize with any logic.

            Given an infinite time span if there is an ending point where everything stops, that is the only infinity there can be so with the law of entropy we should be already in that point since if you make the calculus “the time everything is in a way to its final destination” divided by the infinite state it will be the answer is 0. So if we have an infinite ending point the probability that we would be there would be there already is nearing infinitely 1.

      5. Jasper of Maine

        By the way, I think your position is cornered.

        Your concept either:
        1) Is in violation of Thermodynamic law (“useful time” keeps going)

        OR

        2) You’ve managed to disprove Thermodynamic law

        If it’s #2, you seriously need to take your empirical evidence and experimentation to the scientific community and claim your Nobel.

        If you don’t, and you don’t concede that it’s #2, then you have zero intellectual honesty.

  24. 24
    spacemonkey

    I will surely get back to you with more arguments shortly.

  25. 25
    zengaze

    Spacemonkey you have watched the matrix too many times.

    I doubt we are going to achieve a resolution for you here, because it is very apparent you reject reality at a very basic level. If you seriously believe it is arrogant to assert that a tree makes a sound when it falls without consciousness existing in the universe, then quite frankly (Stealing from Matt) you’re done!

    Sound, you existent quantum anomoly, has physical properties, it isn’t a concept, Just as your hand has physical properties and exists whether or not it is within your field of vision. To say “i cannot see my hand therefore it does not exist” makes you a solopsist (mentally ill) Get well soon.

    1. 25.1
      spacemonkey

      And you are only trying characterize me and make my arguments invalid through psychology. Im very familiar with this kind argumentation. Its attempt to take higher position against the debator without actually making any arguments on the matter. I dont think there can be any further enriching discussions with you to be made.

      Actually if I did make that claim that without consciousness observer tree wouldnt make sound theres no point argumenting “youre done” without you providing me even the slightest thing that would indicate this when infact there is the Observer effect in the physics. But no I never made that claim, I dont think its possible that theres no existence beoynd consciousness and I fully understand if you or many cant wrap your head around this idea. To me it still sounds bit crazy but that doesnt prove anything but that my belief system is stubborn. Bad thing is when thinkers who only copy theories from their authotarian figures without questioning like you present their views is that the creators of original theory dont get to back up their claims and you cant really argument really far with your half chewed theories.

      Your only basis of argument is so far “i say” and I dont take that as an argument, sorry.

      1. zengaze

        Okay lets get down to basics, i assume you are familiar with Schrodinger’s cat? If not read this:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger's_cat

        The cat in question is either alive or dead, we do not KNOW whether the cat in question is alive or dead untill we open the box and observe it. But the cat is not in a state of flux between life/death untill we observe it. IT IS either alive or dead, our observation merely provides us with this knowledge.

        What you are saying is that you observing the cat determined whether or not it was alive. Reality doesn’t work like that.

  26. 26
    Jeff

    To the writer’s credit, at least he has an understanding of billions of years and quantum fluctuations. I admit I didn’t read to the end, so maybe he turned on these concepts later on.

    I want to address the silliness in point #1:

    “Lets say we have one life in this universe and our consciousness dies permanently, what is the probablity you living right at this moment in an universe that has sustained life at least last few billion years your appr. 75 year long lasting life?”

    Choose a number between 1 and 800 trillion. I choose 257,901,384,147,003. What are the odds I’d choose precisely that number? Exactly 1 in 800 trillion. The odds against it are overwhelming. It’s a miracle!

    1. 26.1
      spacemonkey

      Yes indeed I thought eventually someone would come up with this analogue. The thing is that I agree with you. For that single number its amazing. But when you limit existence you do get quite astronomical near impossibilies that are way beoynd that example number you gave. First of all you should think that theres a pool of consciousness where somewhere there is you defined and there would be infinite number of those who can never come to be. Obviously you didnt born as bacteria and in pure scientific based view you should have probability of being a bacteria as well but you are a human consciousness. Well this brings another problem, we made subject out of the observer then it has to be something that is not your brains but rather experiencing your brain.

      For you these odds are presented as impossibility and I admit I got this whole thing started from a rather centric idea of me theorizing the amazement of me being in a consciousness that even can bother trying explain itself.

      1. Monimonika

        Well this brings another problem, we made subject out of the observer then it has to be something that is not your brains but rather experiencing your brain.

        Up until this sentence I was following what you were saying and anticipating some kind of clarification on this probability issue you keep mentioning. This sentence makes no sense whatsoever. It doesn’t flow from the preceding sentence, much less have any coherency by itself.

        If I’m interpreting it correctly, it seems that you somehow connect your idea that the improbability of (human) consciousness has something to do with consciousness being separate from the electrical patterns of the brain??? How are you even connecting these two concepts?

        Maybe I’ll find the answer in some other comment somewhere here…

        1. Jeff

          Oh, I didn’t realise I’d get a response from the writer. Thing is, dude, you’re just another in a long line of people trying to theorise their particular supernatural beliefs into existence by waving their hands around and insisting that if you think about it in just the right way, you’ll see that it is meaningful. I reject all arguments of this style. They’re meaningless if they do not show external, real evidence to back them up. Too much philosophising is bad for you, it makes you lose touch with anything real. Good luck with your tangled thoughts.

          1. spacemonkey

            Thing is, dude, you’re just another in a long line of people trying to theorise their particular supernatural beliefs into existence by waving their hands around and insisting that if you think about it in just the right way, you’ll see that it is meaningful.
            I dont know how much consideration you made to this claim but its not much of value. You label my belief as supernatural. Im not claiming any “supernatural belief” but very natural one. Its about the nature of the reality, not something outside of it or above it. I dont have any tangible evidence to present you that you could measure in laboratory, there couldnt be any. We dont see or feel the quantum fluctuation creating matter seemingly out of nothing from this pool of possibilities but yet it happened since we have the matter that we call our reality. What I did is I cut down the views of limitation that would be the thoughtless conclusion if we theorize that lack of evidence points to non existence. I on the other hand think theres a nonlimitated seemingly infinite potential of realities through consciousness interaction because it makes it possible to be in our current state as we are. Since we have only few things to work with I can only use those and cut down them to argument of possibility. We know we exist as consciousness and matter exist at least with its percieved laws, with only these two to be known is enough be make this framework that I did.

            What bothers me is your refers to science all the time as some kind of cohesive oneness of theories. No thats not the case so when you say science you will refer to multiple theories that can be in many ways contradicted to each other.
            Too much philosophising is bad for you, it makes you lose touch with anything real.
            I dont think I lose touch to “real” world with philosophy. I can still percieve it the same way and interact with it with same laws, nothing has changed but my understanding and views.

          2. Jeff

            “I dont have any tangible evidence to present you that you could measure in laboratory, there couldnt be any.”

            Meaning your ideas are useless and unfalsifiable. Thanks for coming out. I have no further interest in anything else you might have to say on the topic.

          3. spacemonkey

            So what you are actually saying that you somehow thought that this could be brought to laboratory to be measured, like infinity? No but everything doesnt need to measured to understand the nature of them. There are things that we can actually measure even in laboratories and the greatest one must be the Observer Effect if its 100% proven. That would indicate theres no way of you disregarding conscioussness even as a pure observer but rather something even more baffling.

  27. 27
    Michael Brew

    I have a crazy question for Spacemonkey which I have yet to see answered (at least so far as I can tell, given that the language barrier a definite hindrance to understanding in this case). What do you believe, Spacemonkey? I really can’t tell what it is you are trying to prove.

    Are you saying that everyone’s consciousness has always existed and always will? Are you saying that consciousnesses come into existence but then are eternal? Beyond that, do you think we still think and feel after death separate from a body? Do you think we reincarnate into different bodies? Are you just saying our “energy” still exists even if we don’t actually experience anything?

    If you can answer this clearly and concisely, then we might be able to come to an understanding. However, until then we’re all just talking past each other.

    1. 27.1
      spacemonkey

      No not at all crazy. I think its time to get this back to basics. I dont believe as a fact that everything is consciousness but its a conclusion or a theory that I finally came to that could be. Its the simplest answer that there are only infinities instead of nothing since we know nothingness doesnt exists. The term itself defines itself as something that isnt. There cannot actually exist anything beoynd consciousness, its the nature of all things. I dont know how it can do perceptions to itself or even fool itself to think its not what it is. Everything is just perception and perception can fool us quite easily. Consciousness doesnt need to be intellect, experience is enough what ever it is.

      I dont say consciousness came to exist, it always was since something cannot come out of nothing. The abstract of infinity is hard to understand but this is the logical conclusion that you must come to given that everything that is has always been in a form or another.

      I surely dont know if we “experience” right after we die but it could be that since nothingness isnt a state, it doesnt exist, we would experience something at least ourselves. If we cease to experience then we wouldnt have the perception of time after we start to experience again. Yes we might incarnate to other bodies even, I dont know how we got to this state in the first place but yet here we are and something is experiencing this. If we can only exist in a very precice conditions (which personally I dont find logical) yes we would still exist as potential or information but would not experience. I wouldnt call it energy but a potential to start experience.

  28. 28
    Steve Gerrard

    On probability: The chance of getting any particular card when you select one from a deck is just under 2%. However, the chance that it will be one of the 52 cards is 100%. So pick a card, and marvel at the fact that the chance of getting that card was less than 2%, if you like. One of those less-than-2%-chance events was bound to happen. While the chance of you in particular being born may seem small, the chance that your parents would have someone as a child are much higher. It just happened to be you.

    On consciousness: the evidence that your consciousness is a direct result of your brain chemistry is all around you. You lose consciousness every night when you go to sleep. An anesthesiologist can put you out with the turn of a knob, and bring you back with another turn. Alcohol can quickly change your consciousness in a direct chemical way (it is an easy experiment to do). Pretending that your consciousness is something other than brain chemistry is just denial of the obvious reality.

  29. 29
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Pick any random rock that weighs more than you. It has a much smaller chance of existing than you do, if you are simply talking about the probability of any specific number of any sort of atoms coming together in any particular way. By that measure, any tub of water is more unlikely than the majority of life on Earth. Probabilities are tricky things, and not for casual users to throw around without serious forethought.

  30. 30
    Mimmoth

    I’m afraid I’m having a great deal of trouble even puzzling out what Stardust Space Monkey wanted to say. There can be no doubt that Stardust Space Monkey speaks much better English than I do Scandinavian, and I honor him for it, but I think I need the services of someone who speaks Scandinavian as well as Stardust Space Monkey and English even better.

    In the meantime, if I’m following the argument at all, I think I have an answer.

    I think that the mind is a behavior of the brain. Among many other reasons to think so, I note that damaging the brain alters the mind it produces, and affecting the brain with drugs or illness also alters the mind it produces.

    So I think that, like all behaviors, the mind stops when the entity doing it dies. The uniqueness of a behavior has zero effect on that. The uniqueness of an organism also has zero effect on that. My unique voice won’t persist, my unique way of signing my name will not persist and my unique mind will also not persist.

    And that is why I think there is no afterlife.

    1. 30.1
      spacemonkey

      I think that the mind is a behavior of the brain
      Yes this could be correct, I never stated that the observer can have an effect other but rather experiences the effects that its emerged. Also the case could be that the observer has an effect to the universe observed.
      Among many other reasons to think so, I note that damaging the brain alters the mind it produces, and affecting the brain with drugs or illness also alters the mind it produces.
      This goes with the answer I gave you above, your consciousness is obviosly deeply relied on your brainfunctions.
      So I think that, like all behaviors, the mind stops when the entity doing it dies. The uniqueness of a behavior has zero effect on that.
      It could be that seemingly to other entities, the one that dies goes to in a non-experiencing state when the body dies. On the perspective of the observer that is unaware, time doesnt exist and when he comes to experiencing state what ever the circumstances for consciousness to “emerge” in to vehicle that gives experiences is, it will seem to him as continuum. I dont claim that we actually go ever to non-experiencing state. The physics of the neurons cannot prove this matter since they could still exist without consciouss observer. You are subjective entity and you yourself are the best proof of that. Theres no way to discredit unique experiencer, the experience and the physics are irrelevant to this claim. We are not the same experiencer nor do we exist in multiple places so we are unique in that way.
      And that is why I think there is no afterlife.
      Only way to prove you wont experience anything ever after this life is that you make assumption that the circumstances to emerge your consciousness is defined with complexity that infinite universe cannot ever again produce in infinite time. I dont even have to go this far, I think theres anything that would point that there had to be any exact events in the first place to make your consciousness emerge in experiencing state. Your essence of the consciousness is not the field of electricity since it changes multiple times per second in various ways. I dont either necessarily think that matter and consciousness are in any way separated. Your subjective consciousness is something that this universe would not need to happen necessarily in any way, nor does it hold any value to any happenings, all could be just the same without any real observer that you experience from first person view. Its an emergence of something totally unexpected and out of place.

  31. 31
    Jet

    I think I’ve got it. The basic problem with everything you’ve been saying, is that you are MISUNDERSTANDING the whole idea of ‘you’ as consciousness.
    You is just a label. It is a way to distinguish the part of the universe that is your consciousness, which arises from your brain tissue, from the rest of the universe. If you didn’t have any kind of consciousness, say for example you were merely a speck of dust on a sofa somewhere, ‘you’ would have no meaning. You is a term that arises from your consciousness, how you think of yourself as an entity and realize that other entities are not you.

    You are posting as if ‘you’ is a particular thing that is taken off of a shelf of an infinite number of ‘you’s that are all different from each other, and placed inside your body in effect. But instead, the ‘you’ is merely what results from the natural processes and physical laws that came together to form your body and brain, and how that brain works now is what we call ‘you’. Beyond that body, and after that body dies, there is no ‘you’ in the same term. There is still the ‘you’ that is your body, until it decays away or is burned, but the conscious ‘you’ that is thinking and experiencing no longer exists. This is what science agrees on through evidence.
    Your statement about cloning, for example. If you have two identical (genetically) twins, they are not one ‘you’ with two bodies, they are two ‘yous’ which appear identical. Since they experience different things in their lives, from day one, with different sets of physical senses, they may become radically different ‘yous’ in how they think, react, etc, even though they will always be genetically identical.
    If one gets a scar, say, that will affect only that ‘you’, because it is entirely separate from the other ‘you’, despite their similarity. They are not linked in any way past their birth. And the ‘you’ that was scarred and changed by that event, is no longer the exact same ‘you’ as it was before the event, even though it is the same consciousness.

    Does any of that make sense?

  32. 32
    piero

    @spacemonkey:

    I can sympathise with your confusion, but most of it stems from unclear thinking (in my opinion). You’ve said things like “electricity cannot think”. Well, electricity cannot work out the optimal interest rate either; but then, what is happening behind the scenes when you use an Excel worksheet? Electricity! It could be water, it could be glass marbles, it could be musical notes; it just so happens that electricity is faster, and hence more pratical.

    So the substrate of our minds does not really matter. It just so happened that evolution selected electricity as the preferred underlying mechanism (and an incredibly inefficient one at that, using ions and osmosis instead of a straightforward conductor). What really matters is the information content that can be delivered using that substrate.

    You seem to think that consciousness is something of a miracle, totally unexplainable by science. I contend this is not the case. Think of vision: can you explain to a blind person what “yellow” is? Of course not. Yet we do not think of “yellow” as a mysterious concept. It’s just what we choose to call the effect of one particular interaction between our eyes, our optical nerves and the processing carried out by some specialized brain neurons. Similarly, you cannot explain to a toad what consciousness is. Does that make consciusness a mysterious (or indeed, mystic) concept? Of course not: consciousness is just what we choose to call the effect of our brain processing its own internal inputs.

    Obviously, if a computer is working on an Excel sheet calculation and we unplug it, the calculation, the worksheet and anything else the computer might have been processing at that moment go to cyberlimbo: i.e. they cease to exist. Why should our consciousness be any different? Have you ever talked to a mind separated from a brain? Have you ever seen the brain of a dead person suddenly becoming able to process data, i.e. of exhibiting electrical activity? I guess not. It should then be obvious that our minds are just what we choose to call the electrical signals that travel form neuron to neuron, and it should be equally obvious that when those neurons are deprived of the oxigen and nutrients they need in order to function, they die, and every consequence of their activity also ceases to exist.

    In summary, consciousness is only a mystery if you decide to consider it a mystery. Why should you want to that? Now, THAT’S a mystery.

    1. 32.1
      spacemonkey

      Well, electricity cannot work out the optimal interest rate either; ; but then, what is happening behind the scenes when you use an Excel worksheet? Electricity
      No I dont really think electricity can “experience” a sense for consciouss observer but yet again I could be dead wrong.

      We have to go to a basic level here to make myself understood. What science has so far prooved is that we indeed either are or “feel” the relational field of constantly changing electric currents in our brains. The problem here is that you as a consciouss observer, you that experiences as a this “field” dont fit in to the picture. To current mainstream science the logical framework would be that there wouldnt be any observer that can experience this. The whole universe would still work exactly the way it is from outside perspective without anyone actually truly observing. The true observer I mean that is you but the I totally understand you discrediting your own consciousness but you simply cannot do it.
      It just so happened that evolution selected electricity as the preferred underlying mechanism (and an incredibly inefficient one at that, using ions and osmosis instead of a straightforward conductor).
      The biology doesnt really prove you dont have a consciousness. You still have a sense of yourself and I dont point to the intellect perspective to it that it can understand itself but consciousness as an experiencer. As above I said that everything indicates that we are at least this changing electric field there is not a single theory that would suggest that any electric field wouldnt experience something. You need to understand yourself as an experiencer or observer as you have that as a fact to yourself. Of course it sounds extremely silly to think that computer would experience anything and I dont think computers actually do experience anything but scientific framework cannot disclaim it wouldnt since it has the same electric field as our brains would have.
      Have you ever seen the brain of a dead person suddenly becoming able to process data,
      No and I think this is irrelevant to my claims. The problem with this is: if we assume consciousness cannot experience anything outside body we would have consciousness unawareness when we die. But the thing that makes you experience cannot be defined as the matter in your brains or the electrical fields since they change all the time and you dont stop experiencing state. So how do you define what are the circumstances that your consciousness comes to experiencing state like it did in the first place? Even if you would stop experiencing with the physical death there is some kind of thing to make you experience as you and since changing matter and electric fields doesnt shut down you experience its not bound to those exact things. Its beoynd them. So this would suggest that you as consciousness can experience in any other provided form that would make you emerge to experiencing state what ever the “triggers” might be. It doesnt need any “once in an infinity” specific circumstances to emerge but rather much simpler way or never cease to experience since nothingness isnt a state, nothingness is something that isnt.

  33. 33
    Sempra

    1) The probability is 1. I am living right now; it has happened; probability of 1.
    1.1) This is asking what the probability is of me existing at a random point in an infinite timeline. I didn’t appear randomly. The question is wrong.
    2) Consciousness is tied to our brain, it is part of our physical body. When my body ceases to function; my consciousness no longer exists.
    2.2) I can’t prove I exist. I could be part of a computer program.
    2.3) Consciousness comes from the brain. I don’t see it as something else from that.
    3) It doesn’t matter if there is “someone” to SEE that something exists; It still exists. Asteroids don’t suddenly pop into existence because someone saw it. Things exist; with or without observation/recognition from a consciousness.
    Unless your use of consciousness is something other than the norm; things exist perfectly well without being conscious.

  34. 34
    Michael Brew

    Spacemonkey says:

    I dont have any tangible evidence to present you that you could measure in laboratory, there couldnt be any.

    That’s pretty much the standard excuse people use for any supernatural claim that they’re attempting to put forth, you realize.

    1. 34.1
      spacemonkey

      If you put a standard stamp, label or a term to anything you cannot understand the true meaning of the message since you narrow down the meaning immediatly down to your level. No there isnt any measures of dark matter or what happens inside black holes nor can we ever measure things inside a black hole yet we have theories to work with and they are called reasoning and mathematics.

      1. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

        Uh… so what you’re saying is that it’s impossible to understand these sorts of concepts because as soon as we put them in terms we can understand, we’ve oversimplified the concept?
        In other words, as soon as we try to clarify the issue, it becomes more unclear by definition?

        That’s the most amazing case of shifting the goalposts I’ve ever seen.

        If you truly believe that it’s impossible to discuss the concept of duality using the only form of communication that we have, then what on earth are you doing here, trying to do just that? Secondly, you seem to believe that you have a hypothesis that supports some kind of dualism, though you also seem to be saying that the knowledge of this concept is not something that can be arrived at logically, nor grasped using conventional means of expression.

        You cannot make any factual claims about something that is, by definition, unknowable. Wild guesses and speculation, sure, but without any means for others to see clearly what it is you’re putting forward and presenting hard evidence for the claim you make, all you’re doing is talking to yourself at other people.

        I’m sorry – I truly don’t want to come across as rude, but it’s terribly frustrating reading a post like this where the simple and testable concept that the brain and mind/consciousness are one and the same biological thing is simply washed over by your own belief that there is some intangible, untestable ‘consciousness’ that has no physical relation to us. In short – we have a theory with solid evidence behind it, which has been presented multiple times by multiple people. Instead of attempting to refute the evidence being presented, why not present some for -your- hypothesis? Even the table a bit!

      2. Compuholic

        No there isnt any measures of dark matter or what happens inside black holes nor can we ever measure things inside a black hole yet we have theories to work with and they are called reasoning and mathematics.

        Sorry, but you haven’t the first clue what science is all about. Dark matter, and black holes are not something that physicist just made up. Of course we have measurements that suggest the existence of dark matter (you might want to read up on the “Bullet Cluster” for example). And although we can’t (and probably never be able to) measure what is going on inside a black hole we have theories that are based on things we can observe. And those theories seem to predict what is going on in nature extremely well.

        Now take your claims to contrast this. You are playing word games. You have no observations to base your claims on. You are just saying it might be possible. Sure, lots of things are possible. The question is: Are they plausible? And since you have no reasons (and by reasons I mean real observations that can be reproduced independently, not stupid word games) to believe that what you are asserting is true, why should we listen to you?

        1. spacemonkey

          Sorry, but you haven’t the first clue what science is all about. Dark matter, and black holes are not something that physicist just made up.
          Nor did I claim they are made up things and yes I have quite good understanding of science since I do science myself for my work, and I studied in University.

          measure what is going on inside a black hole we have theories that are based on things we can observe.
          Im not making a single statement from something that we cannot observe. All my statements are made out of the things we can actually observe.
          You are playing word games. You have no observations to base your claims on. You are just saying it might be possible. Sure, lots of things are possible. The question is: Are they plausible?
          Like I stated above if you would actually read my theories you could point out exactly the things that I derive from observations. Theres no word games, I use words because we need terms to communicate but theres no game but just logical framework. Are they plausible? Yes thats exactly what Im trying to point out that infact you are against calculations where divisor is nearing infinity and we can say what is almost impossible and what is almost infinitely probable.
          And since you have no reasons (and by reasons I mean real observations that can be reproduced independently, not stupid word games) believe that what you are asserting is true, why should we listen to you?
          Thats just a matter of logic. I cannot say anything else. If your are not interested about theorizing purely on logic and take something that we cannot take to laboratory like, infinity, to observe it and discredit by that mean, you cannot ever know anything about the nature of reality and therefore cannot make claims you know something.

      3. Compuholic

        called reasoning and mathematics

        And by the way I have a hard time believing that you even know what that means. The reason for that is that you keep making statements that are just odd, when you understand the true meaning of the terms.

        Some examples:

        I calculate this probablity by stating if something and time can exist it has been there always so infinity exists.

        Probability is defined as the frequency of occurence of an event.

        so infinity exists

        I don’t know what you mean by “exists”. Infinity is a mathematical concept not some physical entity and yeah, that concept exists. What a big surprise. Actually there exist different kinds of infinity.

        Yet I present you a logical framework to work with, infinity.

        (which personally I dont find logical)

        I don’t think that you understand what logic means. And there is no such thing as “finding something logical”.

        Most of your problems seem to be caused by you using words you don’t really understand and mixing different meanings of those words.

        1. spacemonkey

          Obviously you didnt understand me then and I wont repeat myself here if you are not able to actually read what I say and come to these conclusions. I never made a statement of infinity beeing a entity, but this is only a one of the many misinterpretations that you made. Come up with opposing argument if you have hard time wrapping around the statements that I did. I dont have the time correct you on every single mistake you made there.

          1. Compuholic

            Obviously you didnt understand me then

            You are 100% right. I didn’t understand you. Which might have something to do that there is nothing to understand and you are just writing word soup.

            I quoted what you said earlier and made clear that those sentences do not make any sense at all. This are not misinterpretations. This are literal quotes from you that prove that you don’t have the slightest clue of what you are talking about.

          2. spacemonkey

            You call them what ever you like. If you keep saying you dont understand some things that I have explained here many times theres no way I can make you understand. That would require the use of language and analogues in your level and would only lead to misdirect the point of the original theory. But instead of baffling about your how I keep you in healthy vegetarian diet of word salad try to grasp even a single thing and ask / argument about it if its possible to you.

  35. 35
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    This video really explains things much better than I can. A lovely, simple critical analysis of the concept of substance dualism.

    1. 35.1
      spacemonkey

      I took a quick look at the video and it sure did look something worth watching later since it seems to hold some content to it that has been presented even here before. Ill come back to you with comments after that.

    2. 35.2
      spacemonkey

      Ok having watched this video no I dont claim like some dualist would do that consciousness is energy.
      1. Nothing is in its basis energy, its just a concept of how these different blocks of information act as having an energy, consciousness obviously doesnt have any. It doesnt act, you cannot push it or pull it or even touch it. It is, its the thing that experiences.
      2. The concept of soul as a concept that is presented in the video is obviously derived from the classical religious point of view. Consciousness just is and you yourself as a subjective observer are the best evidence of this being. The other choice would be not having a real consciousness that is the experiencer but rather just seemingly consciouss robots.
      The death of consciousness would be determined in the classical way to going in to state of not-experiencing. This would only mean this. You are now and what ever circumstances you put to your consciousness to become to experiencing state in can be met in infinity.
      3. Physical and mental can be and are the same thing to me. Changing electronical fields in our brains produce the experience that still need an explanation why do you have an subjective consciousness, no matter have deep in the physics and neuroscience go into to. You will always have this same question following you, your personal perception.
      4. The video obviously claims that dualist think consciousness must have an effect on the experienced world. I dont find any need for this and its totally irrelevant for your subjective consciouss observer.
      5. About the split brain analogue: theres no way of explaining why consciousness does remain only in the other part but this actually proves only my point. Consciousness isnt linked to DNA or physical matter, otherwise the simpler explanation would be that you would infact still experience from two perspectives and that is something that we cannot do. And the stupedest thing that the argumentor does there is claim that “its no more challenging to explain this than cutting a chocolate bar to half” but explains nothing further leaving a sensation like he answered the question but did not.
      6. About changing cells: Like I stated earlier, if the matter changing or the electrical field changes doesnt stop you from experiencing then your consciousness is not linked to them. What he instead claims is that consciousness is somehow a form of something intangible.
      7. Brain damage damages identity: yes of course because we experience or are the electrical field that brain produces. Theres huge amount of evidence that supports this. This either doesnt still explain your unique experience as an consciouss observer.
      8. On a claim that dualism is somehow appealing according to these statements that this guy provided I think from the “dualist” point of view are nothing but pure illogical assumptions based on a little knowledge.

      After watching this video I can tell that if dualists actually think that the things they provided there are evidence of dualistic world, no Im not a dualist. But I also think theres no way to discredit consciousness observer. If you think theres a way of disproving your experiencer, no matter what the experiences are, it requires some kind of mental acrobat to do this.

  36. 36
    pentatomid

    Ooh, word salad…

    Here’s what this email reads like to me:

    ‘Something, something… Potential something…
    Timey wimey wibbly wobbly…’

    Does he even realize that ‘Blink’ was just a Doctor Who episode?

  37. 37
    strangelove

    Let me see if I understand what Spacemonkey is trying to say. I’ll use the word ‘consciousness’ lots of times, so I just abbreviate it with ‘c.’

    My c. and the c. of every living human being stems from the ‘Pool of Consciousness(TM)’. I assume this pool is supposed to hold every possible c. there could ever be, but only a few lucky ones actually get to live a life. OK, got it. Then, after my death, I further assume my c. returns to this pool.

    And then, what? Does my returned c. continue to experience anything? Can it still communicate with other c.? Or does it lie dormant for all the rest of eternity? If so, then what’s the difference to just being plain old dead? Will the big maker in the sky reactivate all dormant cs. at the end of time?

    1. 37.1
      spacemonkey

      I like your analogue of this pool of consciousness but no I dont think thats the case that we have some pool where consciousnesses come to experience state when the right circumstances are met in unconsciouss universe. Theres no law that points to that consciouss awareness is achieved through circumstances and even if that would be the case in infinity the right circumstances would come to be in some given time again and again unless you can argue that your life is somehow possible once in an infinity and in infinity you are experiencing your few lucky years. Probability would be before this happening (your lifetime)/infinity since infinity is infinite to all directions, past and future.

      First you need to clarify yourself what are the circumstances that would define your consciouss awareness to be emobodied in you current state or any other state of being recognizing your all changing form that still sustains you as the observer. Second thing is that if there is a pool (or ether) of consciousness where they pop up as to experiencing state you really cant put a limitation to that pool or otherwise you would meet the illogical conclusion that you have always been but there could have been infinite number of more chances that you wouldnt exist against the limitation. When you put limitation to anything that you can comprehend you basicly always face the limitation divided by infinity problem. Either the consciousness separation is just an illusion and we experience separation through grand illusion of strong feelings through one channel that would be your human body or there is again infinite number of consciousness in ever changing state. Its like you are tuned to seemingly infinite number of channels but then you turn up the volume on single channel but you still are tuned to the rest, the volume is only down.
      What I have to say to nonexperiencing state, it defines itself of not being. So you cannot be in an nonexperiencing state even though we might have the perception because of time. From your perspective you never were “unaware” since its nothing. Even if it were hunderdbillion years to achieve your next experience state the time between in infinite means as much as any other give time measure unit from highest to lowest.

      1. strangelove

        I like your analogue of this pool of consciousness but no I dont think thats the case that we have some pool where consciousnesses come to experience state when the right circumstances are met in unconsciouss universe.

        You probably like the pool analogy because you made it first.

        First of all you should think that theres a pool of consciousness where somewhere there is you defined and there would be infinite number of those who can never come to be.

        The rest of this paragraph just leaves me scratching my thick monkeyskull.

        1. spacemonkey

          First of all you should think that theres a pool of consciousness where somewhere there is you defined and there would be infinite number of those who can never come to be.
          The rest of this paragraph just leaves me scratching my thick monkeyskull.

          If you say you can be defined somehow as you, separated from other consciouss observers there exists the “you”. Something gives you experiences like your meatsuit at this very moment. You can even define yourself as the product of that meatsuit but then you have to understand whats the primal source that makes the you experience. The observable evidence of primal source seems to be electric fields that are interconnected in multiple ways. The thing brains produce is only electrical field that varies constantly. So what part of that electrical field can you define as yourself? Theres actually much more happening in your brain that you even consciously know. How can it experience and what was the unique “trigger” to make that experience exactly to you? Can your experiences be created by making “artificially” your exact electrical events that brought you here in the first place? Even in material level as we percieve the reality, there is the formula to produce your consciousness no matter how complex circumstances you would come up with. And no I dont think theres a need for specific circumstances and events to take place for you to exist, theres no indication what so ever that would point that you are somehow product of these specific criterias because you live in an constant state of change and yet you remain unchanged as the observer.

  38. 38
    Bronston

    Why is it people are so curious about life after death yet so indifferent about life before birth?

  39. 39
    Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

    I can’t resist…
    1) Whether your conciousness dies permanently is irrelevant here. As has been explained many times already we are here in exectly the same way that any particular raindrop lands on your head in a rainstorm. Creationists use the same logic with their “tornado in a junkyard making a 747″ argument. It’s a complete misunderstanding of the process.
    1.1) Where does a flame go when the wick of a candle runs out?
    2) “I” am a bunch of electrochemical reactions on organic hardware, with the reactions affecting the hardware and vice versa. Your use of the word “potential” is problematic, and a bit Chopra. On dead hardware there is no “potential” for conciousness, if conciousness is a product of and emergent from the hardware. Dualism is problematic – and the dualist needs to provide evidence that conciousness is available without the neurons/hardware to run it on.
    2.2) To an extent we are – “I”, the concious part, is not aware of the details of my body’s operation, the lower levels of the brain do that and shout at the conciousness when they need attention. I also can’t tell whether you’re arguing for or against solipsism here!
    Note: Probably a language/translation thing but you do come across as a bit condascending here and in 2.
    2.3) There’s an old philosophical problem about a boat. Whenever a part becomes warn it’s thrown overboard, and eventually there are no parts of the old boat remaining. Someone comes along behind, picks up the old pieces and puts together so now there are 2 boats. Which one is the original? When it comes to “I” it’s the continuity that matters. And yes, intelligence (not the same thing as conciousness) is an emergent property of our physical manifestation… There is no evidence that it is anything else.
    3) Er, no. Our conciousness deals with concepts of the external universe – for example if I think about a tree, I don’t literally have a tree in my head, but the concept itself is simply a representation that’s produced by neurons/electricity/chemicals. You are basically arguing for solipsism here which fairly much refutes itself – by what medium do “I” exist if there is no external world?
    Jumping back to the beginning:

    In this journey I have found a philosofical and mathematical problem on life ending after death. As some hardcore atheists claim to “know” or at least to some degree as certainty that life ends when our physical body dies I beg to differ solely based on probability.

    There is no probability. You have provided no probability or any method of calculating it. But all of this is completely irrelevant if you take the view that the “I” is an emergent property of a brain and body, and ceases to be so (as per the candle’s flame) when the body and brain stops functioning.
    If you have any evidence that conciousness is somehow disconnected from the physical body can you please provide it.

    1. 39.1
      Yellow Thursday

      If you have any evidence that conciousness is somehow disconnected from the physical body can you please provide it.

      I second this. spacemonkey, if you have any evidence – not “logic” and not poorly-defined assertions – please give it to us. Otherwise, you’re wasting our time.

      You keep saying you could be wrong. That’s a good first step. Now take the time to understand WHY you’re probably wrong.

      1. spacemonkey

        Yes its a good thing to admit you could be wrong, If I was sure I was right there wouldnt be a debate. On the other hand you do think you achieved higher truth but yet you fail to recognize the most basic things of what consciousness is. And you will probably just shovel this back to my face but your free to do that by any means.

        Just because you fail to understand me doesnt mean you have it right but of course in your arrogance you have already convinced that you do. Theres just some persons that you cannot have a debate with (oh feel free again to the same thing I mentioned above) when they add nothing to arguments but mostly go emotional instead of providing any arguments that have value to the debate.

        1. Yellow Thursday

          So, you’re admitting you could be wrong for the sake of debate, not because you’re actually willing to accept that you might be wrong. You’ve demonstrated that you’re not actually willing to answer criticism. You just want to put your wooey, unsubstantiated claims out there and deflect all criticism as “not understanding” you. The parts that are understandable are WRONG, and the rest of it doesn’t make any sense. The very fact that you keep deflecting requests for evidence tells us that you don’t have any.

          Stop shifting the burden of proof. If you want anyone to agree with you, you have to do the work. You have to provide the evidence. You have to present it in a way that others can understand it. Otherwise, we are perfectly justified in dismissing your claims.

        2. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

          You offer no argument here, just complaining that we aren’t seeing things your way. One thing to point out: most of the folks here are having problems with some of your explanation. They aren’t stupid. Would it be possible to go back and rephrase your thoughs*?
          We are simply asking you to demonstrate that conciousness is able to exist outside of the physical structure that conciousness in a emergent property of. Again – where does the flame go when the wick of a candle burns down? Do you see what I’m getting at here?
          You are making this claim without anything to back it up. And, as a note, don’t even mention “quantum fluctuations”. Quantum theory does not, outside the very hypothetical and controversial, have anything at allto say about the mind…
          * I’m not being rude, here. Making complex ideas clear is an art form (and one that many authors – certainly in computing, my professional field – aren’t very good at). Your English grammar is good, but you may be trying to over-elaborate the language in a confined space. It was something that I got hammered for in my English essays growing up… compacting 3 ideas in a sentence doesn’t work, be clearer! ;-)

          1. spacemonkey

            If you refer to my first letter yes you are right I dont provide much or any evidence there. I base my evidences purely on the basis on the nature of consciousness. Ill quote myself so I dont have rewrite it again.

            Another thing is infinity that I often refer to. Infinity is a concept that is required here to make any of my points work. This is the deal: If you have limited view of how reality can be you face the fact the it could have been all kind of messy things that would not have had the slightest opportunity to produce realities that sustain life as we know it. Of course life could be done in many different ways in other realities governed by other laws.
            If you put limitation to time you would suggest that time is something tangible that comes out of nowhere and stops to exist at some point since infinity is infinite to both past and future. We might say time was “created” in our universe when our universe started to expand but that also leaves the question what was before our universe and secondly there should be some force that would stop the source of our universe working suddenly for eternity. So I think we can so some extent assume time is infinite.
            Yet another point is that: something cannot come out of nothing so everything, every reality every potential there is, is something you cannot take out or you would need to destroy information, put something to nothing. This hasnt been proven to be logical by any scientific theory.
            If your consciousness is the inevitable outcome of some events or circumstances there will be infinite number of time your consciousness will come to experience again and again.
            Why I use probabilities is because with infinite either to be the divided or divisor you will always get answers that makes some event probable or not probable nearing infinity in its scale.
            My analogue is that you are living your only few years of life in infinity, it nears the imppossibility of the event. Even if our universe will go to state of ever expanding cold place by the law of entropy there lies an infinity ahead meaning you are witnessing the most impossible probability outcome at this very moment dividing your current state of appr. 75 years with infinity. It wouldnt matter if its 100 billion years, the outcome would be as inprobable.
            As I said earlier this might not be the case that theres a spesific “formula” to make your consciouss observer to emerge to experience and there is nothing that would actually point to this.
            I understand that for you the evidence is enough that you live this moment so thats the way it has to be, you must have to live your life anyway in some point of time and you just happen to be in that state right now, debate ends there, infinity or not. What my analogue suggests doesnt disprove this but rather gives a much, much more probable answer to this near impossibility.

          2. spacemonkey

            Ok I need to start previewing before Submitting.. the line I needed to quote after the first sentence was this:

            To clear some basic thinking that I cant wrap around my head to is that a robot could seemingly have a consciousness from the perspective of outside observer. No experiencer is home so theres no true feeling of pain, sense, thought or anything, its an empty shell. It would still react to its outside world like us through neurochemical programming. There wouldnt be a single thing that from outsider perspective anyone could tell if it has a conscious observer or not. But we do feel the actual senses, this is the nature of the consciouss observer that Im talking about. Its something that is beoynd form. This is what I would claim.. I have really hard time trying to see what you do.
            To me these “real” senses are prove of something that is beoynd any observable matter and has more profound thing to it that pure plain energy.

  40. 40
    zengaze

    His evidence is that he would really really like it to be true, because he just can’t wrap his head around the complex theory that all those science types talk about called death. And remember death is just a theory, so science might be proved wrong.

    1. 40.1
      spacemonkey

      How on earth did you ever get to this conclusion.. im baffled.

      1. zengaze

        Lol that’s the best quote in this discussion, i’m going to steal that

      2. oldebabe

        You’ve never heard of parody or sarcasm, apparently…

  41. 41
    georgealabaster

    Thought is physical but the illusion of consciousness is not. Consciousness is information. Like the illusion of a continuous image when watching a movie, the sense of self is produced by a series of thoughts. The body goes on forever because it is matter, but consciousness is delicate, it can stop from a hard blow to the head. It stops when the flow of information stops.

    1. 41.1
      spacemonkey

      To clear some basic thinking that I cant wrap around my head to is that a robot could seemingly have a consciousness from the perspective of outside observer. No experiencer is home so theres no true feeling of pain, sense, thought or anything, its an empty shell. It would still react to its outside world like us through neurochemical programming. There wouldnt be a single thing that from outsider perspective anyone could tell if it has a conscious observer or not. But we do feel the actual senses, this is the nature of the consciouss observer that Im talking about. Its something that is beoynd form. This is what I would claim.. I have really hard time trying to see what you do.
      To me these “real” senses are prove of something that is beoynd any observable matter and has more profound thing to it that pure plain energy.

      1. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

        Ahhh, so the philosophical zombie question? Interesting as a thought experiment, never would apply it in reality, though, as to do so will involve removing the “experiencer” away from “robot” on which they run, which is not something that we have any evidence of being possible.

      2. zengaze

        This is fairly good example of your flawed thinking.

        Your problem my friend is you obviously have very little knowledge of how the human body actually functions,

        You assert that because we feel pain this is evidence of your claim

        Ever heard of a central nerous system? you know it’s the thing that transmits the warning that damage is being done to the body to the brain. If your central nervous system becomes damaged causing paralyzed legs for example. Guess what you don’t feel pain in your legs, by your assertion then, the paralyzed person has lost their something beyond form bullshit that you think exists.

        Now for the clincher:
        Spacemonkey; “How on earth did you ever get to this conclusion.. im baffled.”

        1. spacemonkey

          And yet again you fail to understand.. Im not baffled anymore.

          1. zengaze

            What you don’t understand is that nobody will get “it” because the it in question can’t be got. You don’t have an argument you have a constantly shifting inability to accept reality.

            If you stated that something was red, and it was highlighted to you that in fact it is blue, you would deny having claimed it was red, and then claim that those saying it is blue don’t understand what colour actually is.

      3. georgealabaster

        “To clear some basic thinking that I cant wrap around my head to is that a robot could seemingly have a consciousness from the perspective of outside observer. No experiencer is home so theres no true feeling of pain, sense, thought or anything, its an empty shell. It would still react to its outside world like us through neurochemical programming. There wouldnt be a single thing that from outsider perspective anyone could tell if it has a conscious observer or not. But we do feel the actual senses, this is the nature of the consciouss observer that Im talking about. Its something that is beoynd form. This is what I would claim.. I have really hard time trying to see what you do.
        To me these “real” senses are prove of something that is beoynd any observable matter and has more profound thing to it that pure plain energy.”

        I suggest they are exactly alike. There is no “experiencer” in you either. This is the great secret of Buddhism as well. I wouldn’t be the only one to predict a future filled with conscious machines, just read anything by Philip Dick.

  42. 42
    jacobfromlost

    I’ve read half the thread.

    One point I have (which may have been made in the second half, I don’t know) is that the idea of being “a little observer in one’s own head” is an illusion. Perhaps that is what spacemonkey is referring to. Those arguing with him seem to be using “consciousness” as a demonstration of consciousness in reality, and saying that isn’t an illusion (because it’s not). Spacemonkey seems to be running with that as a kind of (loose) confirmation that we think the “little observer in our heads” is real.

    If the little observer in our heads that rides around in our “meatsuit” is real, then affecting the meat in our brains with alcohol, drugs, sleep loss, dehydration, starvation, blood loss, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, stroke, brain damage, concussion, brain tumor, caffeine, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, (and the list goes ON and on and on) should NOT affect everything about our consciousness, including our behaviors, personality, and perceptions, etc. But they do. So there is no little “rider” in our heads separate from our meatsuits.

    The other point I’d like to make is that self-awareness/self-consciousness is not some kind of solid, absolute thing. I am not aware of every aspect of my “self”–I can’t tell you what is wrong with me if I suddenly have a fever and get a rash on my arms; I have to go to the doctor to find out. If I go through a traumatic event, I might not even be able to REMEMBER it, much less be aware of how that event has rewired my brain. If you ask me what I did at 3pm 20 years ago, I have no idea–I am unaware of my exactly activity at that time. If I am allowed some time to think about it, I might be able to get in the ballpark, but would need some evidence to jog my memory, and even THEN I would be depending upon the evidence rather than my memory.

    It just annoys me when “self awareness” or “self consciousness” is thrown around as a tacitly magical and absolute thing, when it clearly is not. (Also, when I’m asleep, there are periods where I am not self-aware, and periods where I think I am self-aware but am not called “dreaming”. I once had a dream when I was 8 that I was Superman, lol. Was my self-awareness that I could fly confirmed by my ability to fly around the neighborhood, or was my self-awareness disconfirmed when I woke up as an 8 year old unable to fly?)

  43. 43
    Michael Brew

    So I think we can so some extent assume time is infinite.

    No you can’t. You make a lot of assumptions for your little hypothesis to work, and this is one of the biggest. Thing is, you have to have more than “well, I can’t imagine time not existing” to claim that we can make the assumption that time is infinite. I mean, first you have the problem that infinity is not a real number. You might as well say the universe is a gajillabigalion years old. It’s meaningless. You conceded that time might have started with the Big Bang, and there are indeed theories, tied with special relativity, that indicate that may well be the case. However, then you say that leaves the question of what happened before. This is begging the question. There’s no meaning in asking what happened before unless you’re already assuming time is infinite. Maybe that’s just when time started, because time is meaningless without space. Basically, when it comes down to it, we have no idea what the nature of time is. Feel free to say “well, I don’t know but I think time might be infinite,” but recognize that as an unfounded opinion. Stating it as fact and then using it to support a shaky hypothesis that would be invalid if that assumption is incorrect is like building a castle on sinking sand.

    To clear some basic thinking that I cant wrap around my head to is that a robot could seemingly have a consciousness from the perspective of outside observer. No experiencer is home so theres no true feeling of pain, sense, thought or anything, its an empty shell. It would still react to its outside world like us through neurochemical programming. There wouldnt be a single thing that from outsider perspective anyone could tell if it has a conscious observer or not. But we do feel the actual senses, this is the nature of the consciouss observer that Im talking about. Its something that is beoynd form. This is what I would claim.

    Here’s another assumption. Why do you believe that if we managed to build a robot and it reacted as if it felt and as if it were self aware, who are you to claim that didn’t really have conciousness? This is another case where you’re begging the question. You assume because the “experiencer” is somehow distinct from the functions of the brain (or computer, in this case) that if we built something to mimic the functions of our brain, it wouldn’t really have the “experiencer” that we do. What we’re saying is that from all known evidence, if we had the ability to build a brain that mimiced our brain, that brain would be just as conscious as we are. I would feel truly sorry for any AI robot you might own in the future.

    Another thing I’m confused about is your use of the word “trigger.” You keep asking how we explain the trigger that brings about our consciousness, but this word has no meaning to us in the context you’re using. The best I can gather is that you’re asking what circumstances led to us being conscious. Well, that’s well known. A complex brain. Any animal with a sufficiently complex brain develops consciousness at some point while their brains develop from a fertalized egg to adult. There’s no sudden event that causes a person to become aware. It just happens slowly and naturally as we grow. I don’t see why you don’t find this a sufficient explanation. There’s certainly no reason I can see to assume that at some point consciousness is thrust upon us whereas if it weren’t we would grow biologically the same as everyone else but have no self awareness. Heck, if you believe that, then how do you know that any of us besides yourself are “really” conscious. That goes back to the robot example. If you believe a robot who acts conscious is nonetheless devoid of an “experiencer,” then it makes it easy to believe that anyone who otherwise acts conscious is similarly devoid of your “experiencer.” A dangerous notion, indeed.

    1. 43.1
      spacemonkey

      I mean, first you have the problem that infinity is not a real number.
      Yes I recognize that, the claim that I make is that something that is has always been and you cannot destroy information in any known way. This would indicate that time is infinite. When ever you limit anything you will always come up with paradoxes. Like when did the time start or how can you tell when time stops?
      You might as well say the universe is a gajillabigalion years old. It’s meaningless.
      In the face of infinity its meaningless.. to any other measure its not.
      Maybe that’s just when time started, because time is meaningless without space.
      Yes this is one thing that I would like to know. Is reality limited or unlimited. This is the basic question. But as I said, everytime I put limitation to the reality it creates paradoxes.
      Here’s another assumption. Why do you believe that if we managed to build a robot and it reacted as if it felt and as if it were self aware, who are you to claim that didn’t really have conciousness?
      Actually I dont claim that robot wouldnt have an consciousness, the analogue stated that “what if”. Can we actually create a same field that can seemingly look like consciousness to outside but still have no real experiencer since the real experiencer is not needed in any basis by any scientific theory. It just messes things up. If we didnt have the subjective consciouss observer we wouldnt be having this conversation. In some analogues I actually did ask that when you claim your personal consciousness is nothing of the inevitable outcome of spesific events and circumstances. The problem is here that Im speaking of a subject because I see no way of thinking I dont exist at least as an observer or that would be some grand illusion that is beoynd rational mind.
      Another thing I’m confused about is your use of the word “trigger.” You keep asking how we explain the trigger that brings about our consciousness, but this word has no meaning to us in the context you’re using.
      I think we have a problem here on defining consciousness. You define it as an objective product of mind and I claim its subjective observer. It could be that we cannot find common ground to share in this field. I have tried to rationalize an objective consciousness but theres always the “you” that you cannot go around.
      There’s certainly no reason I can see to assume that at some point consciousness is thrust upon us whereas if it weren’t we would grow biologically the same as everyone else but have no self awareness. Heck, if you believe that, then how do you know that any of us besides yourself are “really” conscious.
      Again you speak of an objective consciousness, something that you really arent but yet you experience. The problem with the “real” sensations of anything is that it is totally needless to anything. Neurochemical processes would still make seemingly same products that would look and act like us without a “real” sensation to subject. But like I said again, it could be that we cant find a common ground here and that is the problem. If you cant define yourself theres no way you can understand what Im saying. I dont mean anything that consciousness needs to be intellect in any way, any sensation will do for an observer to experience. I dont think Im the only consciousness because I can tell that Im not in charge here. Of course one can always theorize that he cannot ever proof anything outside hes consciousness but I certainly do not think so. All this would make even less sense.. but lets cut this one out right here.
      There’s no sudden event that causes a person to become aware.
      Heres the problem, you have evidence that you have consciousness experiences. Just because you dont remember anything before you developed memory you would most certainly have an illusion you werent actually consciouss before that. You needed from some point to have your first glinch of experience. So there needed to be a trigger, or if this is a bad choice of words, the key for your conscioussness to experience anything as a subject. In your theory, if you dont believe in deterministic universe, there would have been infinite or some limited number of possibilities that you wouldnt have come this world to have an experience right, differenct events perhaps, single sperm cell losing the fight? So where is the fundamental key that makes your consciousness come or “emerge” to body? Yet again you can disregard all my comments if you take an objective approach on consciousness but then I advice you to think, who is experiencing as you? What is the subject that is feeling those senses? Or is the subject just an illusion?

      1. piero

        As I said before, the world si fuzzy, but you keep trying to fit everything into tidy little boxes and stick labels on them.

        At what point do you start calling someone “bald”? There is no specific number of hairs that marks the limit between “not bald” and “bald”. Similarly, why do you assume that consciousness has an on-off switch? We are born with immature brains, because otherwise birth would be impossible. Hence, it keeps developing when we are out of the womb. It is plausible that consciusness develops gradually. Of course, we cannot remember what it was like to be non-conscious, or even what it was like to gradually acquire consciousness, because doing that requires being conscious already.

        Is the subject an illusion? It depends on what you mean by illusion. In a broad sense, everything is an illusion: we perceive reality through the filter of brain processes, so we cannot claim how reality “really” is. In the sense of a perception of something that does not in fact exist, I don’t think the subject is an illusion: it is a sofware module that monitors your brain activity. This can be easily demonstrated thorugh the use of some drugs or meditation techniques that inhibit that software module, so you can lose your subjective “you”. Even easier: when you dream at night, do you subjectively feel you are dreaming? Sometimes it can happen, but most of the time “you” are inside the dream, not perceiving the dream. Thus, even normal mental states such as sleeping can modify the behaviour of the software module you call “you”.

      2. Michael Brew

        …the claim that I make is that something that is has always been and you cannot destroy information in any known way. This would indicate that time is infinite. When ever you limit anything you will always come up with paradoxes. Like when did the time start or how can you tell when time stops?

        You fundamentally misunderstand what I’m saying. First, off the claim you make is still an assumption. Why should I believe that what is has always been and cannot be destroyed? The laptop upon which I’m typing can be destroyed. The planet can be destroyed. Suns can be destroyed. The universe will eventually be “destroyed” in the sense that it will basically break apart into useless matter and life will be impossible. Where will our consciousnesses go, then? We also know that the universe was once in a very hot, dense state and no evidence we have suggests there was anything before this. There may not have been a “before” because time may very well have begun at the Big Bang. Also, you say that a finite universe would create paradoxes; however, to propose infinity is meaningless. It is not an amount of time. It’s not a size of the timeline. It’s nothing.

        Point remains, though, that no one knows whether the universe/time is infinite or finite (though it seems finite from available evidence), so you cannot just say “I’m going to say it’s infinite” and use that to justify a hypothesis that really doesn’t even work that well even with the infinity assumption.

        Can we actually create a same field that can seemingly look like consciousness to outside but still have no real experiencer since the real experiencer is not needed in any basis by any scientific theory.

        It looks very much like you’re assuming the existence of this “experiencer” to try to prove the existence of an “experiencer.” Suffice it to say that if it looks like consciousness in every measurable way, it probably is. If it weren’t, then we wouldn’t have any reason to assume that other human beings are conscious.

        The problem is here that Im speaking of a subject because I see no way of thinking I dont exist at least as an observer or that would be some grand illusion that is beoynd rational mind.

        Why do you think that an emergent consciousness means you don’t exist? As jacobfromlost said, walking exists even though it’s an emergent property of legs and feet. No one is saying that you don’t exist, here.

        I think we have a problem here on defining consciousness. You define it as an objective product of mind and I claim its subjective observer. It could be that we cannot find common ground to share in this field. I have tried to rationalize an objective consciousness but theres always the “you” that you cannot go around.

        What consciousness is is what we’ve been debating this whole time, so that our definitions are different should come as no surprise. Listen, the fact that you think of yourself as an individual is in no way at odds with a materially based mind. In fact, if our minds were not based solely in our brains, we could easily come across situations in which, like in TV shows, one person’s mind could swap with another person’s or we could mind meld or crazy things like that. The reason we experience ourselves and not other people is because our brains are physically separate!

        If you cant define yourself theres no way you can understand what Im saying.

        I don’t even understand what you mean by “you can’t define yourself.” I’m pretty sure that I could give a pretty good definition of who and/or what I am, but somehow I’m getting the feeling you’re talking about some wooey zen self-enlightenment BS. No, the only time I can’t understand you is when you start talking like a baby stringing words together for the first time. Not to be disparaging, but you must understand that when we don’t get what you’re saying it’s not because you’re being too “profound” or “deep” for our stupid monkey brains, but that you occasionally completely fail at using English. It happens. Please don’t try to denigrate us for that.

        Heres the problem, you have evidence that you have consciousness experiences. Just because you dont remember anything before you developed memory you would most certainly have an illusion you werent actually consciouss before that. You needed from some point to have your first glinch of experience. So there needed to be a trigger, or if this is a bad choice of words, the key for your conscioussness to experience anything as a subject.

        It’s not a problem. Yes, I do have evidence that I have conscious experiences. So what? And if I don’t remember having experiences before a certain point, why should I even assume I did? Why, especially, should I assume that I experience anything before I even have a brain, given that nothing has ever been able to experience anything without one. Yes, there was probably some point when I first became self aware in a meaningful way. However, there was no “trigger” or “key event” aside from one more neuron connecting to another, giving me just enough brain power to finally grasp the concept of self. The way you talk about makes it sound like you think that something comes over us from the outside to make us go from non-conscious to conscious. There is no reason to believe this.

        In your theory, if you dont believe in deterministic universe, there would have been infinite or some limited number of possibilities that you wouldnt have come this world to have an experience right, differenct events perhaps, single sperm cell losing the fight? So where is the fundamental key that makes your consciousness come or “emerge” to body? Yet again you can disregard all my comments if you take an objective approach on consciousness but then I advice you to think, who is experiencing as you? What is the subject that is feeling those senses? Or is the subject just an illusion?

        Before I existed there was, indeed, a very low chance of me, as I am today, coming into existence. So what? Someone had to have come into existence, and they would be marveling the same way at how unlikely it was that that person came to be. Probability really is inconsequential in this case. Also, there is no “fundamental key” to consciousness. Consciousness, as has been explained, is the product of a great variety of relationships between the matter and energy in our bodies. Consciousness requires many things working together to emerge. As for your “advice” to think about who is experiencing me: that’s a stoner question. You might as well ask “what is the sound of one hand clapping” or “can Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that not even he can eat it?” It sounds deep, but is ultimately meaningless. I experience myself, and it can be no other way because I am an emergent property of my body.

        1. spacemonkey

          Before I existed there was, indeed, a very low chance of me, as I am today, coming into existence. So what?
          You stating this, you dont believe in deterministic universe? Actually I could agree with you here because of the recent findings in quantum science.. But yet again even behind that could be only seemingly random events. So in a way you were always determined to be and so there wasnt ever even a possibility to put on it.
          The problem from anyones perspective is you living your “once in an infinity” or “once in a [insert time line]” at this very moment. There is just no way, if theres an infinity that you would be here right now because infinity goes infinite to past and future and you would have lived your life already in the past. If universe goes to maximum entropy and you consciousness goes with it, if infinity exists we would be there already since its infinite time more probable than any other “moment” of time that you can put measure on. Does this sound like illogical to you? Explain if so. No one answers this question, I cannot understand if you claim it to be illogical whats the illogical part of it. Its clear statement with clear mathematical problem.
          Also, there is no “fundamental key” to consciousness.
          Well I kind of agree with that but it was a question of how do you define what is needed for your consciousness to “emerge” or [put any word here that suits better for you] to experiencing state. Is it bound to certain events, circumstances, what is the fundamental thing that makes “you” almost like embody a certain meatsuit, the exact structure of the atoms, the electric field. Its bit of a mental practise as well. If you believe 100% material based consciousness, no matter how you define your consciousness, there must be some building blocks for your consciousness. It really doesnt matter what they are since we as humans arent that distinctive from each other and we can to some extent clearly state that we are nothing that a product of environment. The observer, the real sensation part there is the one that is you, its like being you to you how can put it to terms so you would understand what I mean..
          How many bits we have to break down from brains untill we can say theres no more a sensation to this observer of any kind? To brain itself the impulses dont matter, its just neurochemical substances reacting to one another.

          1. Michael Brew

            You stating this, you dont believe in deterministic universe?

            The thing about “deterministic” is that it’s pointless. Sure, if a person (or, more likely, some kind of supercomputer) truly knew every variable in the universe and had a perfect understanding of the mathematics behind the laws of physics, then I could see that person or supercomputer being able to determine exactly what was going to happen with even complex, seemingly random systems. It could probably be determined what a person was going to think or do next, even, though, as I said, this would require complete knowledge of all variables that are at work on that person, which is incredibly unlikely. However, even granting this, once you determine the future, I think that entity could change the future if it so chose, so in that effect it’s not necessarily “deterministic” in the sense some people use. That’s the thing about probability, though. It takes as many variables as it can and uses it to predict how likely an event is to occur in the future.

            The problem from anyones perspective is you living your “once in an infinity” or “once in a [insert time line]” at this very moment. There is just no way, if theres an infinity that you would be here right now because infinity goes infinite to past and future and you would have lived your life already in the past. If universe goes to maximum entropy and you consciousness goes with it, if infinity exists we would be there already since its infinite time more probable than any other “moment” of time that you can put measure on. Does this sound like illogical to you? Explain if so. No one answers this question, I cannot understand if you claim it to be illogical whats the illogical part of it. Its clear statement with clear mathematical problem.

            That’s why your “problem” really isn’t. Probability is only predictive. Even if your “infinity” were true (and there is no evidence that it is, and logical arguments can be made against infinite time), the probability can only tell us how likely something is to happen if it hasn’t happened yet. Any moment in time is equally likely to contain us, so we had to exist somewhen, and that happens to be now. And, of course, the other problem with “infinity” is that your statement that we would be more likely to exist in the past is ludicrous. Why would we be more likely to have already existed? If time was infinite there would always be infinite time in the past and in the future. We would always be in the “middle” of time, so even the concept of us existing “in the past” as if it were more likely that I would have existed “more toward the beginning” is meaningless. With infinity, it doesn’t matter when I exist compared to any other point in time. Every point in time in which our universe and we exist is equally likely. That is why your point is illogical.

            Well I kind of agree with that but it was a question of how do you define what is needed for your consciousness to “emerge” or [put any word here that suits better for you] to experiencing state. Is it bound to certain events, circumstances, what is the fundamental thing that makes “you” almost like embody a certain meatsuit, the exact structure of the atoms, the electric field. Its bit of a mental practise as well. If you believe 100% material based consciousness, no matter how you define your consciousness, there must be some building blocks for your consciousness. It really doesnt matter what they are since we as humans arent that distinctive from each other and we can to some extent clearly state that we are nothing that a product of environment. The observer, the real sensation part there is the one that is you, its like being you to you how can put it to terms so you would understand what I mean..
            How many bits we have to break down from brains untill we can say theres no more a sensation to this observer of any kind? To brain itself the impulses dont matter, its just neurochemical substances reacting to one another.

            I think I get from where you’re coming. I used to think about that a lot when I was a kid, myself. You’re thinking “why am I experiencing things from this body rather than any other body?” It can be a bit of a trip to ask, yes.

            I’m reminded of the philosophical conundrum of Lt and Cdr Riker. For a quick backstory, awhile before ST:TNG began, Lt Riker was trapped on a planet with a field that prevented transport. They attempted transport, and through a bit of difficulty managed to get LT Riker back on board where he eventually attained the rank of Commander. However, it turned out that the transport beam had partially reflected and left another Lt Riker in his place. So, let’s assume you are Riker before the beam and you experience yourself in that body. When the split happens, out of which body do you experience? The Riker who was saved or the one who remained stranded? Does the “you” who was the single Riker actually cease experiencing and it is now two experiencers (which, since the transporter works by destroying your original body and creating an exact duplicate elsewhere, may even raise the question of was this “original” Riker even the same experiencer as the man who was born Riker)?

            Well, that is a tricky question. However, there are many equally valid answers to this question, and the answer you come up with really reveals more about your personal cognitive biases than it does about any fundamental truth about the universe. However, to be fair and answer the question: even if, theoretically, someone at some point in the future managed to reconstruct my body and mind just as it was before death, I don’t know if “I” would suddenly start experiencing again. But, really, how am I to know that I am the same “I” that I was when I went to bed last night? I remember being “me,” but my copy would remember being “me” as well. The only honest answer is that no one really knows why we experience “ourselves” the way we do. Well, neuroscientists probably have a better idea, so you’d be better off asking them. However, the fact still remains that all evidence points to our consciousness arising from the functions of our brain, and once that stops, while the energy and matter that caused our consciousness remains, the consciousness and “experiencer” itself stops just as when our legs are cut off “walking” stops. When it comes down to it, logic has to be subordinate to evidence.

          2. spacemonkey

            Why would we be more likely to have already existed? If time was infinite there would always be infinite time in the past and in the future. We would always be in the “middle” of time,
            Yes I was hoping someone would point the obvious so that I can understand your way of thinking and this is it exactly what I presumed. Of course its self evident to us, theres no more probabilities to put in to the present moment that holds the outcome.
            From your perspective that you live in this very moment is the obvious evidence for living “once in an infinity” lifetime. How more simple or easier could it be to explain? What I theorise beoynd the self evident claim is exactly the opposite: that the probability against your experience at this very moment before it came to happen is so impossible it always puts you to a stand point of having the experience in the past. Ill have to do some more explaining..
            If there in fact exists once in an infinity consciousness of you, you never were consciouss of time before you were born, so to you its meaningless how you happen to live your life now. And no, It is even mathematicly impossible to disprove this claim of living only this one life, but living for eternity is infinitely more likely than the 75/infinity from the experiencers point of view when the event does take place. If reality, that is beoynd our percieved universe, is not limited, this would be the case. If you can somehow put a limitation to reality that you can clearly put in to time scale then we will have a whole different discussion.
            I think I get from where you’re coming. I used to think about that a lot when I was a kid, myself.
            Great, so at least you know what Im talking about, we did found a common ground here. I also did wonder that sensation when I was kid but didnt really put much thought to it untill recent years, more or less.
            I’m reminded of the philosophical conundrum of Lt and Cdr Riker. For a quick backstory, awhile before ST:TNG began
            What great food for the mind. I have done that exact kind of thinking myself, of course you cant come to any real conclusion since we cant put it to test and theres no indications purely by stating this question.
            How ever, I dont think theres any indications that suggest it would matter what kind of form the matter and energy takes around consciousness since the consciousness stays at the same perspective all the time. If it were merely circumstances and events that would provide your localized consciousness then you can cut down this to the first electrical impulse your brain recieved that created experience, since theres nothing that distincts matter from one another. The electric field is also a common factor and it changes all the time so theres no permanent standing point for the consciousness to maintain the “same subject” instead of changing it but only the form of experience changes. Theres absolutely no distinctive features of any kind you can find from observable reality that would separate your energy from another energy except its position and the state that it is in one moment. But the potential of its possible forms are always the same. If DNA or the code for the form was the answer it should create a great paradox, like identical twins or if the brain cut in half would have indeed produce a consciousness from two perspectives. The brain halves can still communicate and the human can work almost as fine as ever but the observer doesnt recognize thoughts anymore like it did, how they happen and come to conclusions. You only have a sensation of the conclusion, its like some autistic people that have extra ordinary skills. In some cases they can tell exactly the weekday of any given calendar date almost instantenously. How they claim to recieve this information is like a feeling or abstract form that they recognize as some specific thing in their consciouss minds. They dont actually do the math conscioussly. The consciousness mind only interprets this form to a known term. This indicates heavily that experiencer isnt the side product of mind but something else. The thought process does happen in an consciousness free zone but yet it can be interpreted by the consciousness.

          3. Michael Brew

            What I theorise beoynd the self evident claim is exactly the opposite: that the probability against your experience at this very moment before it came to happen is so impossible it always puts you to a stand point of having the experience in the past.

            Your way of thinking about this is flawed. You’re thinking about how improbable (not “impossible”) it is that we exist in any particular moment in time that you seem to think, granting your concept of infinite time, that we must pop up eventually in other times and, perhaps, other universes that existed before and will exist in the future. Others have tried to explain why this is wrong. It’s like you’re thinking that it’s so lucky and improbable that you won the lottery. Well, yes, in a way. But it would have been equally unlikely for any specific person to win. But someone had to no matter how unlikely that particular person’s chances were. You’re all hung up on yourself and you don’t see that you don’t matter. It’s just that, in reality, regardless of the odds, it is inevitable that the statistically unlikely will happen in some situation.

            Ill have to do some more explaining..

            I have a bad feeling about this…

            If there in fact exists once in an infinity consciousness of you, you never were consciouss of time before you were born, so to you its meaningless how you happen to live your life now. And no, It is even mathematicly impossible to disprove this claim of living only this one life

            If what you’re saying is that one cannot disprove the assumption that one lives only once, you’re correct… and all evidence actually supports this, besides.

            but living for eternity is infinitely more likely than the 75/infinity from the experiencers point of view when the event does take place. If reality, that is beoynd our percieved universe, is not limited, this would be the case.

            So… if time is infinite, we’re more likely to live forever than for only our short life span? Crazy question: why? Crazy logic: if we would live forever if time were infinite, and it seems from all available evidence that we do not live forever, and there is no evidence to suggest that time is infinite, it’s very likely time is not infinite.

            If you can somehow put a limitation to reality that you can clearly put in to time scale then we will have a whole different discussion.

            At the moment of the Big Bang, it’s hypothesized that spacetime was condensed so small that you could effectively say that it did not exist in the way we would conceive. If this is correct, time effectively “began” right after the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago. All current data also suggests that the universe will continue to pull apart and run down for at least another 10^100 years until it experiences heat death, at which point there will be no potential for anything to happen. Ba-da bing ba-da boom, you’re done, sun. So, there’s your timeframe. Data would suggest that no one could have possibly existed 13.7 billion years ago and no one could exist some time over 10^100 years in the future. Any assertion that life (and thus other instances of “us) existed or could exist before or after these points into infinity are groundless speculation.

            I have done that exact kind of thinking myself, of course you cant come to any real conclusion since we cant put it to test and theres no indications purely by stating this question.

            That’s the point. You can’t come to a real conclusion on this concept of an experiencer somehow seperate or transcendant from the body, mostly because it’s indestinguishable from nothing at all. That’s why a skeptic would be inclined to disbelieve it.

            How ever, I dont think theres any indications that suggest it would matter what kind of form the matter and energy takes around consciousness since the consciousness stays at the same perspective all the time.

            You’re assuming the conclusion, again. No, matter and energy doesn’t take any form around consciousness. Consciousness emerges from the interaction of the energy and matter. Consciousness cannot be contained in a box, for instance.

            If it were merely circumstances and events that would provide your localized consciousness then you can cut down this to the first electrical impulse your brain recieved that created experience, since theres nothing that distincts matter from one another.

            Bull. How can you say that there is nothing that distinguishes matter? Can you not distinguish between plutonium and oxygen? You cannot just cut down localized consciousness to “the first electrical impulse your brain recieved.” That’s a gross simplification. You can’t seem to accept that reality that there is no one thing, that causes consciousness. You need a brain and chemicals and blood and oxygen and energy all working together to cause consciousness to happen. It can’t continue without that matter and energy still doing something with each other. When one of the many vital parts stops, consciousness stops and there is nothing after that. You might be able to, with sufficient scientific development, recreate that same consciousness by rebuilding the brain and providing new energy exactly as it was, somehow, but there is no vital part of your consciousness that would have to exist between that time.

            The electric field is also a common factor and it changes all the time so theres no permanent standing point for the consciousness to maintain the “same subject” instead of changing it but only the form of experience changes. Theres absolutely no distinctive features of any kind you can find from observable reality that would separate your energy from another energy except its position and the state that it is in one moment.

            Right. The brain creates an electric field. This is not your consciousness, but a byproduct of the process that creates your consciousness. And, of course, the reason the matter and energy can change while you remain the same consciousness is that your consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. It is a process; not a thing.

            But the potential of its possible forms are always the same.

            This is bull. The way you talk makes it sound like there’s just as much likelihood that I will pop into existence on Uranus as I am to be born to my mother and father. Yeah, I suppose if you want to get real technical, any collection of atoms have the potential to “become” me. The atoms of the muffin I ate this morning are fulfilling that very potential, in fact. That doesn’t mean that somehow “I” survive as some kind of potential to “become” again. That’s a bald assertion with no basis in reality.

            If DNA or the code for the form was the answer it should create a great paradox, like identical twins or if the brain cut in half would have indeed produce a consciousness from two perspectives. The brain halves can still communicate and the human can work almost as fine as ever but the observer doesnt recognize thoughts anymore like it did, how they happen and come to conclusions.

            DNA isn’t “the answer.” It’s part of what makes us who we are, but there’s also things that happen in the meantime. Even when identical twins are born, they’ve already been exposed to different chemistry in the uterus and even by interacting with each other have established a difference. Even if they thought in exactly the same way, they wouldn’t be experiencing the same thing by virtue of being in different places in space. Also, by the way, in the case of split brain patients, we retain consciousness from one side of the brain while the other side has its own consciousness and opinions separate from the side that can actively communicate. Therefore, each brain half has its own perspective. You would only experience two perspectives if consciousness were somehow distinct from the matter that creates it.

            You only have a sensation of the conclusion, its like some autistic people that have extra ordinary skills. In some cases they can tell exactly the weekday of any given calendar date almost instantenously. How they claim to recieve this information is like a feeling or abstract form that they recognize as some specific thing in their consciouss minds. They dont actually do the math conscioussly. The consciousness mind only interprets this form to a known term. This indicates heavily that experiencer isnt the side product of mind but something else. The thought process does happen in an consciousness free zone but yet it can be interpreted by the consciousness.

            No, you’re wrong. In fact, it indicates very strongly that consciousness is a side product of the mind. Why would you expect a side product that most likely evolved to assist in communication to increase the effectiveness of group dynamics in survival situations to be conscious of how its directing its heart to beat or the minutia of the calculations it has to perform just to take a step. If consciousness were separate from the mind somehow I would expect it to be able to analyze those parts of the mind in the same way a pilot can dismount from his aircraft and analyze his craft. Instead, its very much like the way you can’t see the back of your head (at least not without a couple mirrors).

  44. 44
    jacobfromlost

    Spacemonkey: Yes I recognize that, the claim that I make is that something that is has always been and you cannot destroy information in any known way.

    Me: I don’t think information theory implies what you think it does, but I could be wrong.

    spacemonkey: This would indicate that time is infinite.

    Me: Information theory indicates time is infinite? I don’t think so. Others probably know more about it.

    spacemonkey: When ever you limit anything you will always come up with paradoxes. Like when did the time start or how can you tell when time stops?

    Me: Do you need to be required to be able to tell “when time stops”? I don’t think humans are required for existence to be whatever it is.

    spacemonkey: Yes this is one thing that I would like to know. Is reality limited or unlimited. This is the basic question. But as I said, everytime I put limitation to the reality it creates paradoxes.

    Me: But you don’t REALLY get to put limitations on reality. Reality does that all on its own. You seem to have some fundamental misunderstandings about space-time (you keep talking about it as if it is Newtonian absolute space and absolute time, which has already been falsified–every GPS falsifies it).

    Spacemonkey: Actually I dont claim that robot wouldnt have an consciousness, the analogue stated that “what if”. Can we actually create a same field that can seemingly look like consciousness to outside but still have no real experiencer since the real experiencer is not needed in any basis by any scientific theory. It just messes things up.

    Me: How do you know it doesn’t have a “real experiencer”? You could ask it if it is a real experiencer. If it is aware of itself, what it’s doing, etc, etc. If the answers are in line with what one would expect from a conscious being, then it IS conscious, by definition.

    spacemonkey: If we didnt have the subjective consciouss observer we wouldnt be having this conversation.

    Me: There is no little subjective conscious observer riding around in our meatsuits. We know this from every area of research into neurology. See my last post.

    spacemonkey: In some analogues I actually did ask that when you claim your personal consciousness is nothing of the inevitable outcome of spesific events and circumstances. The problem is here that Im speaking of a subject because I see no way of thinking I dont exist at least as an observer or that would be some grand illusion that is beoynd rational mind.

    Me: But it’s not beyond the rational mind. All you have to do is look at brain dysfunction and it is clear there is no little subjective observer riding around inside of you.

    Spacemonkey: I think we have a problem here on defining consciousness. You define it as an objective product of mind and I claim its subjective observer. It could be that we cannot find common ground to share in this field. I have tried to rationalize an objective consciousness but theres always the “you” that you cannot go around.

    Me: There isn’t always an unchanging “you”. That’s the problem. The claim of an objective product of the mind is supported by all the evidence and contradicted by none of it. The claim of a little subjective observer is falsified by all the available evidence, and supported by none of it. At best you will have to modify your hypothesis of a subjective observer to make it look EXACTLY like an objective product of the mind that can be manipulated by manipulating the brain. But if you were to do that, then your claims become unfalsifiable until you can figure out a way to distinguish your claims of a modified subjective observer from an objective product of the mind. If you could do that, you’d win a Nobel Prize and we’d all agree with you (because of the objective evidence, not because of the prize, lol).

    Spacemonkey: Again you speak of an objective consciousness, something that you really arent but yet you experience. The problem with the “real” sensations of anything is that it is totally needless to anything.

    Me: I wouldn’t use the word “needless”, but beneficial. Having sensations are very beneficial. (This is where I will point out that ears evolved because sound waves existed first, the same way eyes evolved because light existed first.)

    spacemonkey: Neurochemical processes would still make seemingly same products that would look and act like us without a “real” sensation to subject.

    Me: You’re assuming your sensations are real. They are no more real than those of the robot. When you feel something with your hand, you are taking SOME information from your nervous system that translates that information into something useful. Your hand isn’t REALLY feeling anything, and there is far more information THERE than what you are making sense of through your nervous system and brain.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PMlDidyG_I

    spacemonkey: But like I said again, it could be that we cant find a common ground here and that is the problem.

    Me: Evidence is what would provide common ground.

    spacemonkey: If you cant define yourself theres no way you can understand what Im saying.

    me: I’m me, the emergent properties of my physical body.

    spacemonkey: Heres the problem, you have evidence that you have consciousness experiences.

    Me: And that evidence can only be demonstrated via other conscious experiences (ie, telling you what my experiences were).

    spacemonkey: Just because you dont remember anything before you developed memory you would most certainly have an illusion you werent actually consciouss before that.

    Me: What reason or evidence do you have to think it is an illusion and that I was actually conscious before I was aware of being conscious?

    spacemonkey: So where is the fundamental key that makes your consciousness come or “emerge” to body?

    Me: I doesn’t happen all at once. You can actually study human mental development, and how our perceptions develop in stages. (Babies often play “hide and seek” by covering their own eyes, thinking that that makes them invisible to other observers. Slowly that changes over time. It’s quite fascinating and worthy of study.)

    spacemonkey: Yet again you can disregard all my comments if you take an objective approach on consciousness

    Me: We aren’t taking that “approach”, it is just what all the evidence demonstrates. It isn’t as though we are looking at a cafeteria of choices and decide we like this choice.

    spacemonkey: but then I advice you to think, who is experiencing as you?

    me: I am, and by me, I mean the emergent properties of my brain right now.

    spacemonkey: What is the subject that is feeling those senses?

    Me: Me.

    spacemonkey: Or is the subject just an illusion?

    Me: Let’s extend this beyond consciousness. Think about your legs. Is there some fundamental, subjective core called “walking” that resides within your legs? I would say no. We know your legs are capable of walking when we see them walking. Likewise, we know you are conscious when we see you exhibiting conscious behaviors. Yes, the fundamental subjective core that magically resides within your legs is an illusion. You actually walking is not. Likewise, the consciousness demonstrated in reality with conscious behaviors is real, and the subjective little observer you keep claiming resides within us is not. If it were real, we could just as easily say the man who had his legs cut off can still “walk”, but only in a fundamentally subjective way. This analogy is apt because if you damage your legs by degrees–toes, feet, ankles, legs, etc, you destroy the function “walking” by degrees. If you damage your brain by degrees, you damage the functions of everything you are as a human being–behaviors, perceptions, memories, personality, even physical body regulation. If you destroy the entire brain, with your ideas, you can still claim the subjective observer is still there, even though you can chart the PROFOUND CHANGES at every point of progressive damage that apparently has no effect on this “subjective observer”, which suggest it has no relation to what we call consciousness in reality.

  45. 45
    Darketernal

    Poor poor guy… Probably buys into “What the BLEEP do we know”.

  46. 46
    spacemonkey

    Me: I don’t think information theory implies what you think it does, but I could be wrong.

    What I mean is that you cannot create anything out of nothing and you cant put something in to nothing. If you destroy a laptop like in one analogue, you can still form the exact laptop from that same potential. Its just the same potential in different form and it could be in many other different forms. You really cant destroy the potential outcome of that laptop from ever beeing built again from that same or any other matter and energy.

    spacemonkey: This would indicate that time is infinite.
    Me: Information theory indicates time is infinite? I don’t think so. Others probably know more about it.

    Information is allowed to be totally random and it could be, its irrelevant. The information from which our universe was created are pretty much the basic “laws” that require that theres a source that allows matter and anti-matter to be created seemingly from space, quantum fluctuation and all the other stuff that governs every behavioristic features of particles and energy. I percieve them as “information blocks” that are connected to each other. So as we can proove that these laws do exist, they have always been there unless you can find a way to somehow make it suddenly stop, forever from happening again. With this framework developed our known universe is like a one inevitable outcome of this source where in a smaller case, you and me are the outcomes of that potential. If you want to destroy this from ever happening again you would need to destroy the information that in the first place allowed this to happen and theres nothing but indications that say information is infinite in its every form since it can produce more and more of its self and keep repeating every single potential state it can come to.

    1. 46.1
      Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

      This requires a minor Fisking, sorry…

      Information is allowed to be totally random and it could be, its irrelevant.

      Incorrect, so disagree. For information to be defined as such it requires a meaning of some sort. Totally random anything is not information.

      The information from which our universe was created are pretty much the basic “laws” that require that theres a source that allows matter and anti-matter to be created seemingly from space, quantum fluctuation and all the other stuff that governs every behavioristic features of particles and energy.

      This is not a great sentence, smells of word salad. Trying to break it down:
      - “The information from which our universe was created” – No, disagree, the universe isn’t information. Information implies meaning. Demonstrate that the universe as a whole contains intrinsic meaning/meanings if this is what you are implying.
      - “was created are pretty much the basic “laws” that require that theres a source that allows matter and anti-matter to be created seemingly from space,” – Er, no, disagree. You seem to be using “require” as proscriptive, not descriptive (which the so-called laws of the universe actually are). Also, you have described no laws that can be examined – remember, a law has to be along the lines of “given conditions x, on doing y results z are expected”.
      - “.. quantum fluctuation and all the other stuff that governs every behavioristic features of particles and energy.” – Clarification, it does on the very small scale. On larger scales it cancels itself out. This is what most people who posit quantum-blah don’t understand.

      I percieve them as “information blocks” that are connected to each other.

      This might be your problem. (Quantum) particle x somewhere in the universe is not information, is not connected, it has no intrinsic meaning in and of itself. It only has meaning if it is organised. Aside: DNA as information, for example, is descriptive. Agency is not implied.

      So as we can proove that these laws do exist, they have always been there unless you can find a way to somehow make it suddenly stop, forever from happening again.

      No, this does not “pro(o)ve” anything. It is pure speculation, sorry, see above re:laws. Also, for clarification, our universe has only functioned as it has since Planck time 13+ billion years ago, and “forever” may also be a problem depending on what model of the universe you are using. Vague terminology, not helpful.

      With this framework developed our known universe is like a one inevitable outcome of this source where in a smaller case, you and me are the outcomes of that potential.

      You have not provided a framework – too many vague assumptions to be useful. “Potential” is also a problem word. It can imply agency if you use it loosely – and for me is another trigger that I see religious/new-age/etc using. It’s a trite point that every event in the last 13+ billion years has lead to now but you cannot place any meaning in it as a whole. If you can, if you suggest an agency, please explain. Trying to forecast where every atom in your body is in 1 second’s time is meaningless, you may be suggesting something even less meaningful.

      If you want to destroy this from ever happening again you would need to destroy the information that in the first place allowed this to happen and theres nothing but indications that say information is infinite in its every form since it can produce more and more of its self and keep repeating every single potential state it can come to.

      Again, you’re getting hung up on “information”, and possibly imply agency again. You are trying to attach meaning to, it seems, “every state in the universe ever”. You need to better define what this supposed information actually is. Using “infinity” is also problematic. Our universe appears to be finite, and again, depending on the model of the universe that is being used your supposed “potential” (hate that word, it has too many meanings) may be far from infinite.
      This paragraph is kind of unclear. Too much can be read in elastic ways, too many loose definitions and assumptions… It’s also really tough wading through these paragraphs. Are you being intentionally obtuse, because if you are this is a dishonest tactic. If you aren’t, again, reword, rethink, nail down definitions, and clarify!

      1. spacemonkey

        You are right, I do need to check my terminology, I give you that.
        Incorrect, so disagree. For information to be defined as such it requires a meaning of some sort. Totally random anything is not information.
        I would have to say what I mean by information here is data sequences not in a meaning of 0′s and 1′s but rather something that would define 1 or 0 itself. So perhaps I do have some work to do in this area of claiming matter would consist of information. Original point was that it is almost insanity to claim that matter, energy, the mathematical formula or what every you may call it would exist only in this universe and in same form.
        - “was created are pretty much the basic “laws” that require that theres a source that allows matter and anti-matter to be created seemingly from space,” – Er, no, disagree. You seem to be using “require” as proscriptive, not descriptive (which the so-called laws of the universe actually are).
        Yes, there need to be a univeral “law” or use what ever term suits you, lets call that the law of potential. As a potential I mean every single thing that something can be but is not always in that state. In the simplest example of potential, if theres 2 binary digits that can vary from time to time from 00, 01, 10 and 11. It has a current state and the potential to become everything else. You cannot destroy this property of possible outcomes even that you can only witness the present outcome of the potential.
        All the energy that we see have this potential but of course the possible outcomes of that potential are quite complex compared to the example. The “law” that created our universe has the same kind of potential that can breed any kinds of universes with different mathematical properties governing them. To understand the who potential of that kind of concept would need to understand that elements to its most primal level(s) but we dont have to go so far. Its enough to understand the only possible thing we can: that this universe is one of its potential forms, an inevitable outcome. So unless you can stop the most profound force from ever acting again there will be universes like this to come and so there will be more of you to come, since in some mathematical level you were the inevitable outcome of this universe.
        No, this does not “pro(o)ve” anything. It is pure speculation, sorry, see above re:laws. Also, for clarification, our universe has only functioned as it has since Planck time 13+ billion years ago, and “forever” may also be a problem depending on what model of the universe you are using. Vague terminology, not helpful.
        Time is only a measure of changing forms and states. Theres no “real time”. We need to comprehend some events in our lives. Space is the best presentation of time since they are inseparable. If something is, has proven to be an outcome of potential, theres no way claiming it would have an alfa and omega unless you could point out just when everything started, I dont mean our universe, but the profound force that “allowed” it to become.
        About limitation of primal forces that create “reality”
        If you put any limitation to time, it would actually just state that you dont understand the concept of time. If you limit time ever, then you destroy information, theres things that would seemingly have infinite potential but never reach it. Then you get some number that can be put to a measured scale and would make your possibility of existence to be divided with infinity of other possible outcomes. Another problem is that theres no beginning of the “primal forces” as I may say because of the lack of terms to describe it. You just created something out of nothing and you would again need to put something to nothing. It goes beoynd rational mind. If you limit your existence to “once in an infinity”, the infinity would have destroyd you long time ago since it extends infinite to both past and future. Your odds to live at this very moment is like winning a lottery against infinite number of other outcomes.
        About consciousness, again
        I only need that hypothesis for all who put some kind of “once in an infinity” kinds of criterias for them be consciouss. I dont think that at all. I dont think theres any indication that consciouss observer needs any specific circumstances and events to take place to be “born” or continue to experience.
        The profound problem here is that we define consciousness in very different way. Consciousness to you is only the product of biochemical robot and for me consciousness is any experience for the subjective observer. Even bacteria could do some kind of sensing so in that matter it could indeed have a “experiencer” in it as I said the consciousness can be very misleading term. Thats why I use many times different word of choice that is the “experiencer” since even the observer could lead you to totally misinterpret my point. Any intellect being can be consciouss about itself. The whole concept of self awareness just loses its value if theres no-one to experience it in a “real” way. If you could feel anything, without any intellect, you would be in a pure state of experience without the self evident self awareness.

        1. jacobfromlost

          spacemonkey: Time is only a measure of changing forms and states. Theres no “real time”. We need to comprehend some events in our lives. Space is the best presentation of time since they are inseparable.

          Me: This is wrong. There is REAL TIME (I’m not making this up–there are tons of evidence and we depend up this evidence in everyday life). It’s a facet of space-time (which is not your everyday idea of “space” added to your everyday idea of “time”).

          You are using very old definitions of space and time, which is causing you a lot of confusion, as well as erroneous conclusions. You need to read up on special and general relativity. They confirm time is REAL. If it were not, then no GPS would work because they are all modified to compensate for relativistic differentials. They triangulate where you are by the time it takes signals to get to them, and the time it takes CHANGES based on relativistic differences. If those differences were not taken into account (ie, if space and time were absolute the way you are using them in your argument), then every GPS would be wrong by miles each day, and be INCREASINGLY wrong by miles each day. Instead, they are accurate to within a meter or so. Therefore you are wrong, time is real.

          1. spacemonkey

            Time is relative yes I know. If you move in infinite speed, theres no “time” because everyone else would seem to be in a stopped state and from outside perspective you wouldnt ever see it but you would see the effects of it on other particles. I understand the basic concept. To the mover itself theres no distortion.. Its a relative thing but it always exists the same from the observer point of view.

          2. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

            If you move in infinite speed, theres no “time” because everyone else would seem to be in a stopped state and from outside perspective you wouldnt ever see it but you would see the effects of it on other particles.

            Owch. I’m not going to feed my SIWOTI any more….

          3. spacemonkey

            Time dilation in this point has nothing to do with my analogues. It doesnt matter how time works in relative way, unless you can stop time, put an alfa and omega to it, then it does. Otherwise its meaningless to anything I have stated before. I answer very fast to these questions so my choice of words arent the best and some sentences can be even total gibbrish. I try to answer multiple people with limited time.

          4. jacobfromlost

            Spacemonkey: Time is relative yes I know.

            Me: You don’t seem to understand what that means.

            spacemonkey: If you move in infinite speed,

            Me: There is no “infinite speed”.

            spacemonkey: theres no “time” because everyone else would seem to be in a stopped state and from outside perspective

            Me: You are confusing the speed of light with “infinite speed”, and then confusing all of it with the notion that anything with mass (like a person) could go faster than the speed of light. Relativity says it cannot without an infinite amount of energy, and there isn’t an infinite amount of energy in the universe in order to accomplish that.

            spacemonkey: you wouldnt ever see it but you would see the effects of it on other particles. I understand the basic concept.

            Me: No, you don’t. That’s why I suggested you read up on it.

            spacemonkey: To the mover itself theres no distortion.. Its a relative thing but it always exists the same from the observer point of view.

            Me: You’re misunderstanding in fundamental ways, then running with the misunderstandings.

  47. 47
    spacemonkey

    Me: I wouldn’t use the word “needless”, but beneficial. Having sensations are very beneficial. (This is where I will point out that ears evolved because sound waves existed first, the same way eyes evolved because light existed first.)
    No, the real consciousness is totally needless. Again, like many, somehow you had the assumption that with consciouss observer I mean it would have any function or effect, no it might well be it doesnt play any part in anything but just is. I dont suggest that consciousness is somehow inexplainable from basic physics theory because I dont understand what our brain works. Its totally irrelevant. The problem is that “someone” or “something” is actually feeling “real” sensations and its absolutely a no needer for the universe to work how it does. Every single biochemical robot would still be exactly as they are now but there is no need for anything to actually feel the sensation of “pain” to act according to its impulse to get its hand off the hot water.

    1. 47.1
      spacemonkey

      Sorry again for the spelling errors and the failed quote in the first sentence. Im trying to write as fast as possible.. bit busy atm as always.

  48. 48
    ash

    What spacemonkey essentially doesn’t get, is that our sense of “I” is an emergent property of human development. Part of the “trick” of conciousness is that “I” must feel as though it could have not have been any other way.

  49. 49
    jacobfromlost

    spacemonkey: No, the real consciousness is totally needless.

    Me: I think you are redefining “real.” When I use the word “real”, I mean that which is demonstrated in reality. You seem to be using it to describe something that is not demonstrated in reality.

    spacemonkey: Again, like many, somehow you had the assumption that with consciouss observer I mean it would have any function or effect, no it might well be it doesnt play any part in anything but just is. I dont suggest that consciousness is somehow inexplainable from basic physics theory because I dont understand what our brain works. Its totally irrelevant.

    Me: It’s not irrelevant. It demonstrates that you are wrong. I invite you to read my post again. If everything about “you” can be changed by changing the brain, then there is no reason to think there is some “conscious observer who just is”. What you are describing is NOTHING, and then pretending it is something extraordinary.

    spacemonkey: The problem is that “someone” or “something” is actually feeling “real” sensations and its absolutely a no needer for the universe to work how it does.

    Me: When you put quotes around “real”, I start to lose interest.

    spacemonkey: Every single biochemical robot would still be exactly as they are now but there is no need for anything to actually feel the sensation of “pain” to act according to its impulse to get its hand off the hot water.

    Me: You are confused about brain function. Pain IS the information that you are damaged. You are trying to make sensations magical, and magically real, when they are neither. I really implore you to study brain function and dysfunction as it will clear up your confusion.

  50. 50
    Grayghost

    Reminds me of Putnam’s Brains in vats concept. Except we know what brains are and we know what vats are. What are “conscious observers?” Energy, matter, spirit, none of the above? Were did these “conscious observer” things come from? It sounds like these things can exist without a universe, can they?

    1. 50.1
      spacemonkey

      Where did energy come from? What energy is? Its something we can percieve but its no reason it should actually be something but to us. What is the unique perciever compared to energy? They are inseparable in a sense that only thing we percieve is the same thing we are made out of.. So are we the energy itself? How does the energy experience itself, as you do, a subjective consciousness. Something that can actually feel and sense and not just respond to the electronic impulse.
      I myself cannot put any form for the conscious observer, its beoynd it, it doesnt need one. It basicly just is.

      1. Grr

        spacemonkey: I myself cannot put any form for the conscious observer, its beoynd it, it doesnt need one. It basicly just is.

        Just like GOD!

        And…

        “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens

        Thank you.

      2. jacobfromlost

        Spacemonkey: Where did energy come from? What energy is?

        Me: You can actually look these things up, you know.

        spacemonkey: Its something we can percieve but its no reason it should actually be something but to us.

        Me: I don’t really know what that means, but energy exists regardless of whether we do or not. Energy existed BEFORE we did. If it did not, we could not exist at all.

        spacemonkey: What is the unique perciever compared to energy? They are inseparable in a sense that only thing we percieve is the same thing we are made out of.. So are we the energy itself?

        Me: You seem to be redefining energy now.

        spacemonkey: How does the energy experience itself, as you do, a subjective consciousness. Something that can actually feel and sense and not just respond to the electronic impulse.

        Me: Energy doesn’t experience itself, and we don’t experience ourselves in the manner you are describing. I have no idea what the electrical impulses are doing in my brain right now. I am only aware that they are doing SOMETHING, and I am only aware of that by falsifiable experimentation that tells me people can’t write stuff on the net while having no brain function.

        spacemonkey: I myself cannot put any form for the conscious observer, its beoynd it, it doesnt need one. It basicly just is.

        me: It’s not beyond it. Consciousness is rooted in the brain. That’s just the way it is. (And if it WERE “beyond any form”, you would have no way to know that, and neither could anyone else, so you have no means to say ANYTHING about it at all. Asserting it anyway seems to suggest you think you know something that is beyond the ability of any human to know. Such assertions are highly suspect because they are on the same list as everything contradictory, false, unknown, unknowable, and unfalsifiable. That’s a very long list, and anyone can pick a claim on that list that strikes their fancy, run with it, and claim it is beyond knowledge and categorization–a claim that is also contradictory.)

  51. 51
    Gwynnyd

    spacemoney, say I grant it all to you.

    Cool. I’ll aver it again. I grant it all. You are absolutely, inarguably correct.

    Now what?

    Is this predictive in any way? Can we *use* this insight to accomplish anything? Anything at all? Even philosophically? Does acknowledging this insight give us any path to making life, the universe and everything better or clearer, for any definition of that you care to name?

    I just, Spock-like, bask in the logic you have presented and then… er… go on with my regular life thankfully forgetting this thread ever happened.

    1. 51.1
      spacemonkey

      No, you never can have have a predetermined goal in your mind when you are taking a leap to the unknown. Perhaps curiosity.. what if there is something profound to be discovered. If we cant even tell what is true and what is not, how can we tell if we are even looking from the right perspective when trying to lay the next goal or know how to take the next step? You could be banging your head against the wall forever looking for something that you cant find.
      Was electricity discovered with the concept of electricity in mind? What about people who said that automobiles arent the future, they are clumsy and costly, horses are better. If we always need a predetermined goal how can we do discoveries in the fields we havent yet studied?
      At least you would always achieve the knowledge of it that its impossible to find enough knowledge in the area, you dont need to focus there, ever again. Its a question mark you just have to accept.
      Now what this might do for you in individual level could be as much usefull information at this point as if you studied chemics but went to work in an insurance company. Of course there are some interesting studies to be made, like the Observer Effect in physics. Does accepting the consciouss observer as a subject to have something to contribute to it.. maybe.

      1. jacobfromlost

        spacemonkey: No, you never can have have a predetermined goal in your mind when you are taking a leap to the unknown.

        Me: But much of what you say is NOT unknown–you just keep ignoring the known parts. That suggests you DO have a goal in mind because you don’t want to hear disconfirming evidence.

        spacemonkey: Perhaps curiosity.. what if there is something profound to be discovered. If we cant even tell what is true and what is not, how can we tell if we are even looking from the right perspective when trying to lay the next goal or know how to take the next step?

        Me: We can tell what is true and what is not, through falsifiable methodology.

        spacemonkey: You could be banging your head against the wall forever looking for something that you cant find.

        Me: That’s not how science works. You look at all the previous evidence, and build upon it. You don’t throw out all the previous evidence and start over.

        spacemonkey: Was electricity discovered with the concept of electricity in mind?

        Me: Yes. There was previous evidence of it in nature. It wasn’t just a blind, lucky guess.

        spacemonkey: What about people who said that automobiles arent the future, they are clumsy and costly, horses are better.

        Me: The people who thought automobiles could be made better and cheaper built upon previous models and engineering principles, making them faster and cheaper.

        spacemonkey: If we always need a predetermined goal how can we do discoveries in the fields we havent yet studied?

        Me: The problem is that you are ignoring things that have already been discovered, and building upon ideas that have already been demonstrated to be false. Your analogies are not apt.

        spacemonkey: At least you would always achieve the knowledge of it that its impossible to find enough knowledge in the area, you dont need to focus there, ever again. Its a question mark you just have to accept.

        me: I don’t know what that means. You could never know if there were an area where nothing more could ever be known. There is no way to know that.

        spacemonkey: Now what this might do for you in individual level could be as much usefull information at this point as if you studied chemics but went to work in an insurance company. Of course there are some interesting studies to be made, like the Observer Effect in physics. Does accepting the consciouss observer as a subject to have something to contribute to it.. maybe.

        Me: No. Things that are unfalsifiable cannot contribute to the knowledge of anything. If you come up with a means to test in with falsifiable methodology, THEN it could become useful. But you refuse to pin it down in a way that would make it falsifiable. Which makes it useless, and guarantees it cannot “contribute” to anything as long as it remains unfalsifiable.

  52. 52
    spacemonkey

    Me: That suggests you DO have a goal in mind because you don’t want to hear disconfirming evidence.

    I recognize very well the monkeybrain weakness of learning: going to uncomfort zones. Im very used to going to those areas and put my ego aside. Second thing I want to point out is that I dont find it anyhow more discomforting to finding out Im wrong. I dont like confusion but I accept it. I couldnt possible want to try to lock down on a single point of view if I cant be sure. That would be monkeybrain way to handle the situation, not logical approach to truth.

    Me: But much of what you say is NOT unknown–you just keep ignoring the known parts.

    You are absolutely wrong when you claim that. For you the obvious thing isnt obvious even to many scientist that study this area. Like what is the nature of qualia and subjective consciousness? It must be part of the basic nature of reality, but we ignore it as a side product and try to explain it so far with the perspective of what our modern science can accept and what it is not capable of accepting. This is why many might be banging their heads against the wall.

    Me: That’s not how science works. You look at all the previous evidence, and build upon it. You don’t throw out all the previous evidence and start over.

    We have evidence of subjective consciouss observer, and its you for yourself. If you claim we can disregard this evidence unscientific because it doesnt fit the previous concepts of how things work in reality thats a reason to stop looking there? I put it the opposite way: we have evidence for qualia and subjective consciousness, why doesnt it fit the modern way of how science work? What is the profound thing that is wrong there? Perhaps we might need to rework it, like we once thought earth was flat. The problems we nowadays struggle with are as hard to us as that kind of assumption was hard to overthrow in those days.

    Me: That’s not how science works. You look at all the previous evidence, and build upon it. You don’t throw out all the previous evidence and start over.

    I think you have worked out a framework of how modern mainstream science works and try to fit the qualia of experience there with a faulty theory, the only theory that could possibly make it fit somehow there but leaves even more questions open. Now, you might disregard this as “its not a matter of importance” and leave it there, but then you just made a huge mistake because you cannot know if in the first place you were looking from the wrong perspective. What if that indeed is a profound thing in the nature of reality?

    Me: No. Things that are unfalsifiable cannot contribute to the knowledge of anything.

    If something is unfalsifiable for you, how do you know you were ever even asking the right question? For me problem solving is bringing down every evidence to its most basic, profound level and try to reason it back up from there.

    1. 52.1
      jacobfromlost

      Me before : But much of what you say is NOT unknown–you just keep ignoring the known parts.

      Spacemonkey: You are absolutely wrong when you claim that.

      Me: No, I’m not. You’ve demonstrated here time and time again that you don’t understand basic aspects of things you keep asserting. Moreover, how would you KNOW that you didn’t know something that was known by others? You couldn’t possible assert that you know that without consulting the falsifiable evidence for what is known–falsifiable evidence that you have not consulted because you keep claiming known things are unknown.

      Spacemonkey: For you the obvious thing isnt obvious even to many scientist that study this area.

      Me: How do you know? What if you are wrong? All the evidence would be exactly the same if you are wrong. So why do you think you are right, and that I am missing the obvious? It looks exactly the same as YOU missing the obvious.

      spacemonkey: Like what is the nature of qualia and subjective consciousness? It must be part of the basic nature of reality,

      Me: No it doesn’t. You are just ASSERTING it does. None of the evidence suggests what you are suggesting, and all of it suggests something completely different. Yet you keep ignoring all the evidence we have. Why?

      spacemonkey: but we ignore it as a side product and try to explain it so far with the perspective of what our modern science can accept and what it is not capable of accepting. This is why many might be banging their heads against the wall.

      me: I don’t think you understand how science works. I really don’t.

      Me before: That’s not how science works. You look at all the previous evidence, and build upon it. You don’t throw out all the previous evidence and start over.

      spacemonkey: We have evidence of subjective consciouss observer, and its you for yourself.

      Me: You don’t seem to understand what evidence is. The ONE THING that all the evidence indicates is that the “conscious observer” is an emergent property of the brain that can be disrupted and manipulated by varying degrees by physically disrupting the brain. This should not be possible if consciousness is not rooted in the brain. If you say this doesn’t matter, then you are saying your claims LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME as the evidence for consciousness being rooted in the brain. If they look EXACTLY THE SAME, then it isn’t evidence of a subjective observer. You are just SAYING it is evidence. The person next to you can SAY it is evidence for aliens controlling everyone’s brains just as easily. That doesn’t make it evidence.

      Spacemonkey: If you claim we can disregard this evidence unscientific because it doesnt fit the previous concepts of how things work in reality thats a reason to stop looking there?

      Me: You again misunderstand how science works. New evidence is falsifiable and indicates ONE THING. You don’t get to redefine what evidence is, and then say it is unfair to say it is unscientific simply because IT IS UNSCIENTIFIC. To be evidence, it has to be falsifiable. What you are describing is not. If you think it IS scientific, then you have to accept that the “evidence” indicates aliens are controlling all of our brains as well–because it is the very same kind of “evidence” for your claims (ie, none).

      spacemonkey: I put it the opposite way: we have evidence for qualia and subjective consciousness, why doesnt it fit the modern way of how science work?

      Me: Because we don’t have evidence for it. What we have evidence for is consciousness being rooted in the brain. You want to keep saying that since we have evidence of consciousness rooted in the brain, it must be evidence of a magic subjective consciousness. It’s not. Why? Because when we manipulate the brain, we manipulate EVERYTHING about consciousness–from behavior, to personality, to feelings, to perceptions. That didn’t HAVE to be the result when we observe manipulations of the brain, but it WAS. Therefore a “subjective observer” separate from the brain is falsified.

      spacemonkey: What is the profound thing that is wrong there?

      Me: You’ve redefined “evidence” into “nonevidence” because you like your idea and want it to have evidence, but since there is no evidence, you make up some “evidence” out of nonevidence and declare the problem is with those who say it isn’t evidence. IT’S NOT. The problem is still yours. Evidence is a defined term.

      Spacemonkey: Perhaps we might need to rework it, like we once thought earth was flat. The problems we nowadays struggle with are as hard to us as that kind of assumption was hard to overthrow in those days.

      Me: This is when I explain that the round earth was discovered through ACTUAL evidence that was falsifiable. People actually did experiments that would indicate a flat, concave, or convex surface. They had no idea what the results would be a priori. Watching sailboats disappear mast last indicated a curve. Measuring the angle of shadows at distant locations at the same time allowed for some triangulation, and indicated a curved globe. Lunar eclipses should show a round shadow of the earth on the moon, and sure enough, that’s what we saw. Finally, sailing around the entire globe also indicated it was round. All of these pieces of evidence are FALSIFIABLE (and verifiable, and reproducible, and predictive), which meant that no matter WHAT you thought before the experiment (flat square, flat circle, cube, sphere, yada, yada, yada) certain ideas were going to be ruled out by the evidence. You have no means to do an experiment to SEE if the subjective observer is true or not. That means you have no evidence. (You can’t even explain how a “subjective observer” looks different than consciousness rooted in the brain! At least those who were looking to find out the shape of the earth KNEW what a flat earth would look like, a circular earth, a spherical earth, etc. The options were defined, and clearly separate from each other.)

      Me before: That’s not how science works. You look at all the previous evidence, and build upon it. You don’t throw out all the previous evidence and start over.

      spacemonkey: I think you have worked out a framework of how modern mainstream science works

      Me: I don’t think you know what science IS.

      spacemonkey: and try to fit the qualia of experience there with a faulty theory, the only theory that could possibly make it fit somehow there but leaves even more questions open.

      Me: How do you know the questions are REAL? How do you know you didn’t just make them up?

      spacemonkey: Now, you might disregard this as “its not a matter of importance” and leave it there,

      Me: Not at all. If they were important, there would be an indication in the existing evidence that your claims are POSSIBLY true (the way watching sailboats disappear mast last over the horizon indicated the earth was POSSIBLY round). There isn’t even a suggestion that they are possibly true.

      spacemonkey: but then you just made a huge mistake because you cannot know if in the first place you were looking from the wrong perspective.

      Me: And you have no way to know you are looking from the RIGHT perspective because you are just making things up. As soon as you formulate a falsifiable methodology to test your claims, then we can find out if you are right or not. Otherwise, you are just making stuff up.

      spacemonkey: What if that indeed is a profound thing in the nature of reality?

      me: Your claims are unfalsifiable, meaning there is no way to know that. If you think we should just believe them anyway, then I can add a very long list of other unfalsifiable claims next to them that contradict your claims and ask you why you don’t believe those contradictory claims also. This is fundamentally irrational.

      Me before: No. Things that are unfalsifiable cannot contribute to the knowledge of anything.

      spacemonkey: If something is unfalsifiable for you, how do you know you were ever even asking the right question?

      Me: I don’t, but I wouldn’t be ASKING unfalsifiable questions in the first place. But it isn’t just unfalsifiable for me, your claims are unfalsifiable for YOU TOO. YOU don’t know if you are asking the WRONG question! If you are going to make a hypothesis that supposedly builds on our previous knowledge, you have to formulate it to be falsifiable and testable. If you CAN’T do that, or if you claim that your claim can NEVER be tested, then there is no way for you to know your claim is true, and no way for anyone else to know either. And since your unfalsifiable claim is on a long list of unfalsifiable things, many of which ARE KNOWN TO BE WRONG, then there is no reason to think you are RIGHT.

      spacemonkey: For me problem solving is bringing down every evidence to its most basic, profound level and try to reason it back up from there.

      me: Problem solving isn’t something that is different for different people–problem solving is demonstrable and falsifiable in reality. Moreover, if you think you can understand what evidence is on “its most basic, profound level”, then you are turning evidence into nonevidence. You’re using the same kind of thinking that Aristotle used–thinking that focused on “why” instead of “how”. If you focus on “why”, there isn’t anything a human won’t answer that question with because the question presupposes an answer. If you instead try to answer “how”, you must use falsifiable methodology to be sure you are not fooling yourself.

  53. 53
    Nick

    I am going to steal a line from the hosts: “You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.”

    As soon as I started reading that he overestimated our intellects because we should understand his poorly written nonsense, I basically quit reading.

    Spacemonkey:

    Before you tell yourself that you are being reasonable and open minded to the possibility that you are wrong, ask yourself very seriously, “what could falsify my position?” “What could convince me that I am in fact wrong?”

    From what I have read of your responses, the answer is nothing.
    People have destroyed every word I have read that you have written here and yet you continue to spout the same drivel.

    I don’t know why anyone would argue with you until you put out some falsification criterion. What would it take for you to consider your “theory” wrong?

    1. 53.1
      spacemonkey

      Like I mentioned before there are things that would indeed indicate I’m making my theories from wrong basis.
      1. If you can put a limitation to the seemgly unlimited reality, especially to the source that allowed the universe take place in the first place. Isnt this universe just one potential outcome from that source what ever it is, mathematical formula, energy, what ever it doesnt matter. So why would there be any indication that you can destroy information, destroy potential of the possible outcomes from this source. You seem to have it all backwards. I just see a huge error of logic there. Of course I could be wrong here but theres absolutely no reason to say if you can do something that you cannot do it again. Its the nature of potential. Its like asking a question, can you win in lottery twice? Why I use possibilities, is just to strenthen my idea. When you put limitation to anything you always face the limitation/infinity problem. And where do you as consciouss observer fit in that puzzle?
      2. If I could understand fully your perspective how you rationalized consciouss observer to be sideproduct of mind. But is there be any indications that consciouss observers would be a byproduct of intelligence and I want to use the term qualia here. I dont mean it needs to be able by rationalization to observe itself, but the self awereness is the simplest level it can be, any experience will do, any qualia. Qualia as what is the color of red as we percieve it, what is the true nature of pain or good feeling. Of course we can examine the whole brains, cell by cell, atom by atom, electric impulse by electric impulse, even the whole electric field and we cannot find any true qualia ever, yet it is there. We as consciousness percieve the whole universe only as different qualias, they characterize the consciousness. Numbers, terms all those mean mean nothing to us without qualia as consciousness observers but also there is no real need for qualia because the brain itself can work perfectly without it as philosofical zombie. Its a biochemical computer basicly, it only reacts to different kinds of stimulus. From our perspective we have created an external framework on how things work and we have come to understand the universe as some “external force” as we are some outside almost an illusionary emergence of it. How can you yet again put something as qualia or consciouss observer if it wasnt already there? So isnt this a basic nature of everything, the qualia. We see it as somekind of trick of mind, a side product of seemingly empty lifeless matter. How can you again make something out of nothing, if the qualia wasnt the nature of the energy in the first place. Maybe we should turn this again backwards.
      I admit it, I really cant put my head around your idea of this byproduct of mind and Im not sure if Im even able because of the self evident nature of our subjective consciousness and the qualia. Of course theres no way for me to rationalize the same thing that you do untill I can somehow change my perspective. This I was kind of hoping to achieve, at least a quick glimpse but no, I failed. I admit it. Therefore I still remain in a partial state of ignorance about your position, I get some of your points but just dont see the logic to deny the self evident. I had no predermined idea of holding on my point of view, I submit to logic where I personally find it. I feel like Im in a position of explaining what the color of red is to a blind person and you must feel the same way.. From my point of view its like your trying to explain away the profoundly self evident thing just because it doesnt fit yet the big picture.

      1. Nick

        Spacemonkey: Falsification criterion means you make a prediction based on your “theory” and if does not come true your “theory” needs to be altered or eliminated.

        For instance, if the universe is infinity (which I am not even suggesting you are stating–this is just an example), then this should be revealed in the cosmic background radiation. If the the cosmic background radiation provides evidence for an infinity universe, then that theory is supported. If it does not, that idea needs to be modified or reject. Again, this is just an example I am not claiming that you have ever mentioned cosmic background radiation.

        You provide nothing like this.

        You provide your “logical” (you are misusing this term–abusing it really) arguments for your “possibilities” and then you ask us to disprove a unfounded possibility. That is nonsense. This has been stated many times to you, but you are incapable at this point of understanding this.

        I recommend that you get some formal training on philosophy and science before you make any life choices based on your “theory.”

        1. spacemonkey

          For instance, if the universe is infinity (which I am not even suggesting you are stating–this is just an example), then this should be revealed in the cosmic background radiation.

          No you just keep ignoring my points, thats the problem. I have read every single post anyone here has made. I have seen alot of arguments based on misinterpretations but this is my fault because this whole post started from top to bottom and not from bottom to up so I could have made my points clear.
          The only claims I made is:
          1. Something cannot come out of nothing, so everything that is now can be proven to be. The profound thing that “created” our universe is something, it has some source that made it go “boom” or rather just expand. It could be Quantum fluctuations, it doesnt matter, you even have to rationalize this part. So unless theres no need to believe you can destroy information, put something to nothing, out of existence its logical to say same kind of universe is possible to happen again. And by the way, yet again you misinterpret my whole point of infinite, I wasnt referring that our universe would need to be infinite in size but rather indicated that time is infinite and so is the original source that allowed this to take place in the first place.
          2. This leads to concept of eternity and when your against eternity you know what kind of math your going to have. Theres only limitation vs infinite since infinite doesnt care what is the amount thats against it.
          3. The hardest part for me is this, the consciousness, the qualia. Qualia exists so it is in the nature of our reality.
          4. We might be inseparable part of our energy and universe but if quali and your personal conscousness is then in the nature of it, then in way you are a part of the nature of our universe.
          5. Theres no way saying where our consciousness is. You cannot find it in the brain, the subjective consciousness, the quali is missing there. Also theres no distinction between the original energy and its potential. It only presents itself in different forms of its potential, like you could build a car or a plane out of legos. Only thing that separates it is actually place. You cannot be in multiple places at once like the slit brains patients. Still it emerged seeminly out of “nowhere” out of the same energy that we see all around, only the state of the potential of the energy happens to be your current body. So where does your consciousness fit in, in this puzzle? We can only approach the whole consciousness by defining what its not.. not what it is since seemingly your subjective consciousness cannot be distinguished from anything else but the observer that is experiencing the qualia.
          ————————————————–
          Now that Iv stated this in a clear form, is it totally illogical? Tell me how can you unfalsifie destroying information, you would have to go through infinity of tests in your laboratory untill you could say that is so, so the concept is unfalsifiable, yes, but also very logical. It works to both ways. Something cannot come out of nothing and the other way around. So can you unfalsifie your consciousness to be anything than product of mind? Well I think you dont need to try to falsifie it since you know you exist as a consciouss observer. You have your own personal qualia experience.
          Im so sorry you are having hard time trying to get my points….

          1. Michael Brew

            The only claims I made is:
            1. Something cannot come out of nothing, so everything that is now can be proven to be. The profound thing that “created” our universe is something, it has some source that made it go “boom” or rather just expand. It could be Quantum fluctuations, it doesnt matter, you even have to rationalize this part. So unless theres no need to believe you can destroy information, put something to nothing, out of existence its logical to say same kind of universe is possible to happen again. And by the way, yet again you misinterpret my whole point of infinite, I wasnt referring that our universe would need to be infinite in size but rather indicated that time is infinite and so is the original source that allowed this to take place in the first place.

            Two assumptions in one claim. It is, in fact, possible for something to come out of nothing. Look up virtual particles. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the universe “came out of nothing,” but it would be dishonest to assert that it didn’t when we don’t know. Further, your notion of infinite is one in which the universe continues to work in about the same way it is now such that the same conditions would arise that would result in other duplicate Earths and duplicate mes. Even if all the matter and energy in the universe has been around forever and will hang around forever, all evidence points to the fact that before the Big Bang event, it was in a situation that could not have resulted in us existing and after a long period it will be in a situation that will never allow life again no matter what. There’s no basis for you to make the claim for infinity in the form you seem to envision it. Therefore: this one claim is based on two assumptions which are made for no good reason.

            2. This leads to concept of eternity and when your against eternity you know what kind of math your going to have. Theres only limitation vs infinite since infinite doesnt care what is the amount thats against it.

            Partially the second assumption outlined above and partially another assumption. We know what kind of math we’re going to have when you plug “infinity” into the time value of an equation. Apparently you don’t, because infinity is inapplicable to reality. It’s a placeholder; not a number with any value. You might as well say “the time is x.”

            3. The hardest part for me is this, the consciousness, the qualia. Qualia exists so it is in the nature of our reality.

            Another unverified assumption. Qualia is one of those really vague words that tries to define itself into existence. There’s no evidence that the various things described as “qualia,” like color or pain, are anything other than the result of physical mechanisms. Proponents rely on nothing more than tortured thought experiments like the “philosophical zombie” in which they imagine a person who acts like they’re conscious, but they don’t really experience qualia. These thought experiments pretty much assume that if we can conceive of this happening, then it can happen; therefore, qualia are metaphysical. The explanatory gap argument tries to cover that, but it’s no different from the God of the Gaps argument: we can’t explain how this happens; therefore, magic (which is all these metaphysical explanations are because they are non-explanations). Basically, you can’t just assert a philosophical idea as truth and run with it to prove another philosophical idea and be baffled when people don’t agree.

            4. We might be inseparable part of our energy and universe but if quali and your personal conscousness is then in the nature of it, then in way you are a part of the nature of our universe.

            This means nothing to me. Yes, we are part of the universe (but I don’t know what you mean by “nature of”). Our consciousness and what you call “qualia” are a natural function of our brains which are part of the universe. So what?

            5. Theres no way saying where our consciousness is. You cannot find it in the brain, the subjective consciousness, the quali is missing there. Also theres no distinction between the original energy and its potential. It only presents itself in different forms of its potential, like you could build a car or a plane out of legos. Only thing that separates it is actually place. You cannot be in multiple places at once like the slit brains patients. Still it emerged seeminly out of “nowhere” out of the same energy that we see all around, only the state of the potential of the energy happens to be your current body. So where does your consciousness fit in, in this puzzle? We can only approach the whole consciousness by defining what its not.. not what it is since seemingly your subjective consciousness cannot be distinguished from anything else but the observer that is experiencing the qualia.

            You assumptions are built upon assumptions, and that’s where our problem lies. I don’t want to make assumptions because it leaves me closed to the verified truth when it is come across. Here’s the deal: you also can’t say where conductivity in a metal is. That’s because properties aren’t actual things, but properties of a thing. Conductivity is a description of what a thing does. It exists as a fundamental aspect of the object it describes. However, without that metal, conductivity doesn’t keep existing separately of it. Consciousness is the same way. It can’t exist before the brain that causes it develops nor can it keep going on after the brain dies. I know that there’s a long tradition among armchair philosophers to refer to any description of crap to actual crap, but when you’re trying to find out about what actual reality is, you cannot go to the guys who just sit around contemplating their navals.

          2. spacemonkey

            Look up virtual particles.

            You claim that virtual particles came out of nowhere, in fact what I call potential is exactly what I would say where they came from, their existence was “predefined” somewhere. This could be just the same concept but we use different terms or different context, not sure. I dont think anything that wasnt here in the first place could emerge from nowhere, only seemingly.
            But I think I see some errors in my logic.. I rely heavily on the infinite nature of that what can be proven. The problem here is that I kind of “skipped” the main problem that what if our universe that we percieve goes to inevitable “cold state” and no more energy will come to this universe if the big bang distorted the original laws that allowed it to expand in first place.. I indeed did use some very questionable logic of probabilities that cannot be prooven or work as proof because from the perspective of the calculator the problem is always the same, but I dont dare to take that to trash can just yet, carefull reconsidering will be enough.

            This means nothing to me. Yes, we are part of the universe (but I don’t know what you mean by “nature of”).

            I think the understanding the nature of consciousness between us is so profoundly different here that the point will always be misinterpreted. Rethinking after a little mind game Ill have to give you that if my perception of subjectivity and qualia working together would to be found to create some kind of a strong trick, illusion of selfaware consciouss observer I would have to say that it would drop my interest to the nature of consciousness completely. There still could be a way for my subjective consciousness to “emerge” again, how did I come in the first place? But it would be a matter of no interest. Its not like I could do much about it. Well there is obviously too many unanswered questions in this area still to be answered ..so perhaps Ill do some rethinking before jumping to “conclusion”.
            Meanwhile Ill be anticipating more results from the quantum fields, especially the Observer effect.

          3. LykeX

            what I call potential is exactly what I would say where they came from, their existence was “predefined” somewhere.

            And how would you test that idea? That was the central point that Nick was getting at and I think you basically ignored it. Falsifiability is important. It’s the only real way we have of testing our ideas, of finding out whether they’re really true.

            Pure reason is problematic. It’s entirely possible to establish a system of thought, which is completely logical, yet wrong. That’s why we must test our ideas against the real world. Furthermore, since our minds are so limited and so infested with unrecognized biases, even if we think we’ve reasoned perfectly, we could still be wrong. Testing is the only way to be sure.

            An unfalsifiable idea is worthless. Less than worthless, really, since it might give us the illusion of certainty, causing us to stop searching.

  54. 54
    Bill

    OK this is a philosophical blog and perhaps I’m in the wrong place to ask this question, but heck, here goes!

    A lot of atheists go on about ‘lack of evidence’ for God.

    The basic question I have is ‘OK what evidence would you accept?’.

    It just appears that this gets repeated in a somewhat mantra like fashion. Is it that:
    (a) there is evidence in the form of experiences of others which are not acceptable to the seeker or
    (b) I’m looking for something I can analyse in the lab or
    (c) My worldview doesn’t accept that their could be evidence for God or perhaps
    (d) I would find it uncomfortable for there to be evidence for God.

    Does the notion of a ‘spectrum’ of atheistic belief mean anything – ie is there a ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ end to this?

    1. 54.1
      LykeX

      Entirely the right place, as far as I’m concerned. These are fair questions, so I’ll be happy to give it a go.

      The basic question I have is ‘OK what evidence would you accept?’

      Difficult to answer. Part of the problem is that god is often defined in such a way that there could not possibly be any evidence. E.g. the multi-omni type god could never be sufficiently supported by evidence. No matter how much evidence you pile up, you could never get to the omni-.
      Even if some entity shows up and demonstrates a complete knowledge of all of history and science, it doesn’t follow from that that he’s omniscient, only very knowledgeable. It would be more reasonable to assume that it’s simply a very intelligent being of some kind, rather than an actually supernatural deity.

      Since it’s impossible to ever reach the point of proof on this issue (or indeed any issue outside abstract mathematics), if I’m going to accept a god hypothesis, I would first ask that it be falsifiable. This is essential. There has to be some observation that, if made, would invalidate the idea. No religion I’m aware of has ever done this.
      This is the standard requirement for any scientific hypothesis and it’s a good one. It’s basically the process of elimination. If you can’t be sure what’s true, at least try to find out what isn’t. After a while, you narrow down the options and even if you can’t be certain, you have a much better idea about what possibilities are worthy of further consideration.

      Regarding your options:
      a) Private experiences are not evidence. They may be convincing to the person having them, but it’s not evidence. For something to count as evidence, it must be open to public examination. When somebody says that he’s had a vision of god, the evidence we have is not “a vision of god”, but rather “person X said he had a vision of god”. It’s infinitely more reasonable to just assume the guy’s gone bonkers than to take him at his word.

      Experiences might be usable as evidence if many people, independently of each other, all come back reporting the same thing or if a person gleans information from his vision that he couldn’t possibly know through normal means and when tested turns out to be correct.

      So, if a person says he’s had a vision of god, I ignore it. Cranks are a dime a dozen. However, if a person says that in his vision, god told him the exact location of viable, earth-like exoplanet and when the astronomers take a look they find it right where he said, that’ll get my attention.
      So far, no dice.

      b) Not so much analyze in a lab, as analyze in any way whatsoever. A big problem with various god claims is that they’re not really open to examination. You believe or you don’t. That’s it. There’s no way to check. This relates to falsifiability, as I mentioned above.

      c) That would be idiotic. The judge the evidence by the worldview is ass-backwards. Whether or not there could be evidence for a given god claim depends entirely on the claim itself. E.g. if the claim is self-contradictory, we can reject it. No mater what evidence might come up in the future, the claim cannot be true.
      However, as long as the claim is not self-contradictory and doesn’t directly go against what we already know, I don’t think we could reasonably say that there couldn’t be any evidence.

      d) I may or may not find it uncomfortable, depending on what kind of god we’re talking about. However, you don’t judge the truth value of something based on your own preferences. I find it highly uncomfortable that I sometimes get sick, but trying to deny that I get sick would not only be idiotic, it would be psychotic.

      Regarding a “spectrum of atheism”, often a certain division is made between hard and soft atheism (agnostic and gnostic, they mean the same thing). The definition of an atheist is someone who does not have a belief in a god. This can occur in many ways, but mainly by either rejecting the god claims (“I don’t believe that there is a god” – soft/agnostic atheism) or by making a counter-claim (“I believe that there is no god” – hard/agnostic atheism).

      This difference is not trivial, nor is it absolute. A person can be an agnostic atheist with regard to some god claims and a gnostic atheist with regards to others. It matters, since it relates to who has the burden of proof. The burden of proof always falls on the one making the claim. Note also that while gnostic atheism is a belief, agnostic atheism isn’t. It’s a lack of belief.

      E.g. I’m an agnostic atheist with regard to most god claims. I don’t find them convincing and so I don’t believe. On some god claims I’m a gnostic atheist, since I think I have valid arguments that show that they couldn’t possibly be true. This most often occur in cases of the multi-omni gods, where self-contradictions can be shown.

      If I claim that a god doesn’t exist (i.e. gnostic atheism), then it’s entirely reasonable to ask me for arguments for my position. I’ve made a claim and so should be expected to back it up.
      However, if I simply reject your god claim (agnostic atheism), then asking me to prove that you’re wrong is bullshit. You’ve made the claim, so the burden of proof is on you.

      Beyond that, atheists hold many, diverse opinions on all sorts of issues. It’s not uncommon at all for us to disagree on this or that. However, since these various positions are unrelated to atheism as such, I don’t think there’s any point in dragging them in to a spectrum of “atheistic belief”.

      Bit of a rant there. If anything’s unclear, please ask.

      1. piero

        I fully agree. There can never be sufficient evidence for an “omni” being. If tonight the stars rearranged themselves to read “This is Yahweh speaking: take heed”, I would most probably consider the following possibilities:

        1. Someone put a screen over my roof and is pulling my leg.
        2. I’m having a hallucination.
        3. Some bored aliens with superior technology have decided to have a bit of fun with humans.

        There is no way I could distinguish between option 3 and any “real” divine intervention. In fact, I would claim that no perceivable phenomenon can ever be proof for a supernatural agent.

    2. 54.2
      Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

      Bill
      The hard & soft end, if you like, is the difference between “I believe that there is no gods” and “I don’t have a belief in gods” – positive claim as opposed to dismissal of claims. This might not be what you’re after, though..!
      Looking at the evidence claims that you list here:
      a) An internal experience that no-one else has experienced – there is no way of telling whether the claimant is telling the truth, mistaken, experiencing unusual but natural mental conditions, or flat out lying. They may be truthful and not mistaken, but a 3rd party cannot verify their claims.
      Extending this, a trivial claim (I have a dog, for instance) may be trivially accepted unless there’s a reason to think that I am lying or mistaken. If I claim that I’m a millionaire, which is feasable but less likely, you may want me to back up my claim. Getting communications from a higher being is right off the scale as far as wanting proof is concerned!
      A final note: isn’t it interesting that the personal experiences of one religious group don’t persuade other religious groups to convert? That should answer this point straight away. The same can be said about holy books – Did John of Patmos really see the end of the world or was he having a bad night of ergot poisoning?
      b) Is essentially the same as a). If not a lab, then at least a test that I (or an expert, or whoever), can make to decide whether the claim is truthful.
      c) Interesting. It depends on what you class as “evidence”. As a methodological naturalist I work on the assumption that physical causes have physical effects. Before a supernatural entity can be addressed, we first need to show that the supernatural exists in any sensible sense. The working assumption then is that an unknown event has natural causes that we’re not aware of. So… to even give a space for a so-called “god” or “gods” we need to see how they interact with our natural reality. For this to happen we need a hell of a lot of groundwork to be done first, and by the theist as they are making the claims:
      - Existence of the supernatural.
      - That it is in some way incomprehensible, so not just “weird natural”.
      - That supernatural can interfere with natural universe.
      - Entities exist there there.
      - Important: definitions are required that can be tested against (so precise, and useful so that real world events can be measured against them after having natural causes ruled out)
      This is just the tip of the iceberg. Your Christian, for example, needs to then make the jump from the general to the specific which is another minefield.
      What we tend to find is that people making claims don’t even get close. And worse, they don’t even realise that this is actually a problem.
      d) This shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’ve watched the show, you see theists getting wound up that “the trees” and other natural phenomena are’t seen as evidence for a god. It basically goes back to a) and c) above.

      I think that the point is that to investigate, or even coherently consider, a god claim, we need to work out where to look for it and what the heck we’re looking for it to have done. “I don’t know therefore god,” which covers the majority of claims if boiled down to basics, explains nothing. All that’s happening is the word “god” is being used to describe crap that’s not known which is worse then useless as it gives that unknown a lot of baggage.
      This is all IMO, and written while supposed to be doing something else. Apologies for the density of text, I appear to be unable to get it formatted nicely! ;-)

      1. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

        Toss. In b) please replace “physical” with “natural”. Sorry. Being an arse!

    3. 54.3
      Nick

      Bill,

      Your question is posed at the end of long thread of semi-coherent nonsense. You might get even more feedback if you get the moderators to give you a thread–I don’t know if they would or not.

      The Bible makes claims, such as the world was created in six days. This is a prediction of how the world is supposed to work, made before we had a way of knowing this. When tested, the claim was shown to be false.

      This leads to three possibilities:

      1.) You will ignore this evidence and insist the world was created in 6 days anyway.

      2.) You will find a post hoc rationalization for why it still makes sense. I literally had a very intelligent friend say, “it doesn’t say how long a ‘day’ is.”

      Other post hoc rationalizations go as follows: the greek word for day can also mean eon. But, if god allowed errors and mistranslations in his book, then how do we know which words are correct and which are mistranslated. Perhaps, in Leviticus when god said stone gay people, divorced people, and unruly children to death, he meant give them lots of hugs. If you can changes the words at your leisure for things like “day,” why not for the rest of the Bible? I realize you might say, but when we looked back the word for day really can mean eon. The problem is, you had to look back. The divine word should be right the first time and when King So and So decides it is time for a translation that will be read by millions or billions, God should divinely inspire the translators to get it right. I mean these errors that seemingly falsify the Bible will literally send millions to Hell according to mainstream Christian theology. I can’t imagine a God that would make going to heaven contingent on belief and then allow for such errors in the book that is necessary to substantiate the belief.

      3. Or you can become a liberal Christian and say “it isn’t meant to be taken literally.” Which to me, actually makes the least sense. I know plenty of liberal Christians who claim this. When I ask them how they know what parts they should consider and which parts are flavor text, they change the topic (or worse they say, “they just know”).

      This is a common theme in the Bible. This problem happens in the first few sentences and persists for the whole book.

      If the claims made about the world based on the Bible had been confirmed–that is evidence suggested the world did pop into being and was created over six days, I would believe.

      Btw, many of us were believers at some point. But, changed our beliefs in spite our previous worldview because when faced with objections above we reasoned the claim was untenable.

      Best,

      Nick

    4. 54.4
      jacobfromlost

      Bill,

      I can only answer for me. “Evidence” is a defined term, so it would have to be a collection of mutually confirming evidence that has no reason to confirm each other except that the confirmation is true (and that that confirmation is the simplest explanation). Even this would not be “absolute proof”, as there can be no such thing in reality. But it would be enough for me to believe it (in exactly the same way I believe in gravity).

      Here is what I wrote in the comments on the AE blog post of January 16 (I mention this just to demonstrate that this criticism IS often responded to, but believers ignore it).

      _______

      * A holy book that makes specific, falsifiable, ongoing predictions over thousands of years that are such that humans can’t make them happen themselves (and are “ongoing” in such a way as to be occurring every few months or years).
      * Personal revelations that can be and are verified empirically (for instance, “Look for the Higgs around 125 GeV) on an ongoing basis in conjunction with the message that “Specific God X” is passing that message along.
      * Clear and verifiable knowledge that comes from believing in the correct god (without study), and ONLY comes from believing in the correct god. It would be quite compelling if the only people who could write computer code, fix my car’s engine, or develop a model of quantum mechanics that works in reality were those who believed in Specific God X.
      * A continuing demonstration that those who believe in the correct god do not get sick, and those who believe in the wrong ones do, with no disconfirming examples of either of these (no one with correct belief sick, no one with incorrect beliefs healthy).
      * A continuing demonstration that once one begins believing in the correct god, their sicknesses instantly heal, and they gain instant knowledge per above that can be demonstrated empirically.
      * A continuing demonstration that anyone who believes in the correct god cannot be defeated in any way, shape, or form by those who don’t believe in the correct god.
      * A continuing demonstration that belief in the correct god results in broad, observable, verifiable, predictive, and falsifiable outcomes that are MARKEDLY DIFFERENT than the outcomes found with confirmation bias, wishful thinking, groupthink, peer pressure, mythmaking, pareidolia, brainwashing, hysteria, or any belief that is NOT in the correct god.

      If all of these things mutually confirmed each other in falsifiable ways (while accompanied by correct belief), and yet were never falsified, I would believe as surely as I believe in anything. Would I be absolute sure that the object of this belief was real, or even existed? No, as I can’t be absolutely sure of anything, but the evidence would be such that I WOULD believe it until presented with disconfirming evidence…and that disconfirming evidence would have to be pretty spectacular among all of that mutually confirming evidence.

      1. Nick

        I loved this post. Can I quote it myself? I would be happy to give you credit and cite you accordingly, expect I do not know who you are. I plan to write a book one day on why I don’t believe and I honestly think your criterion for evidence for the claim is great.

        1. jacobfromlost

          I took a few days off from the net. Thanks for the compliment. You can use it, copy it, spread it around, I don’t care.

          All I did was imagine a set of mutually confirming evidence that would be analogous to the evidence for gravity, or evolution, or chemistry, etc. I can also see how one could still argue that we wouldn’t KNOW for sure a god was behind a long list of that kind of evidence, but I’m not even sure if it matters that much. What I would be calling “god” in that circumstance would be utterly dependent upon all of that evidence continuing, and I might even argue that the EVIDENCE taken together is “god” much the same way all the evidence for gravity taken together is “gravity” (as opposed to some separate “thing” that just happens to make stuff fall and bends space-time around gravitation bodies).

    5. 54.5
      Setár, Elvenkitty

      Your question is unclear because you don’t specify which “God” you’re talking about; you could just as easily be talking about Deism as you could Christianity, or Islam, or any other religion that refers to its godhead in that sense.

      With no assumptions, your question can’t be answered. I can’t tell you what evidence I would accept as confirming the existence of god if you don’t tell me what exactly this “god” thing you’re talking about is. You are asking me what I am looking for as confirmation when I don’t yet know what I am looking for at all.

      If I am to assume Christianity, none, because of the mere existence of the Bible. The Bible is really almost proof positive that humans constructed Christianity because it was written by human authors and human means in a human language, methods that any “greater being” would recognize as fallible and attempt to circumvent. A being with the knowledge and experience ascribed to Yahweh — even if we discount anything not explicitly stated in the Bible — would most certainly not use this method if it were attempting to gain believers (this is, actually, something that has been run through on the show more than once). It also wouldn’t use that collection of stories; a god seeking to prove its existence would impart useful knowledge in order to confirm that existence; if we’re talking a god revealing itself to humans around 1-31 CE, all it would really need to do is show them how to build engines and electronics. The Bible doesn’t do anything like that. Not even close. =/

  55. 55
    Michael Brew

    perhaps Ill do some rethinking before jumping to “conclusion”.

    That’s really all our position is. Witholding judgment when one lacks sufficient information is perfectly reasonable.

  56. 56
    Lyserg

    I’m sorry to say this, but your sintax makes it hard to follow your already strange train of thought. You need to learn how to be more succinct (I myself am not very succinct … but wow)

    First a minor objection: Potential can be sort of “destroyed” by turning it into actuality. If I roll a dice I have all the six probabilities (potentials) but once I roll it the potential comes to “actual” and just one of the numbers is the outcome of that precise moment of that precise time. Of course, by this analogy you might object to what happens if you roll the dice again; You can roll it again, but the potentials of the new roll are different from the potentials of the previous, as they occur at a different time.

    Before responding to the other I’d like to ask some questions in an attempt to make your postitions clearer:

    -Do you sustain that there is (most probably) an afterlife?
    -Is this based somewhat on the fact that our minds can’t be turned into “nothing” (since something can’t just go to nothing)?
    -What makes you think that there is nothing “beyond” consciousness? Isn’t what you are proposing kinda like the “falling tree” problem? (I sustaint that the tree does in fact make “noise” in the sense of waves of what we call “sound/noise”)

    1. 56.1
      LykeX

      First a minor objection: Potential can be sort of “destroyed” by turning it into actuality

      I think a bigger problem is the idea that potential is a “thing” at all. Potential doesn’t exist. It’s purely a mental construct that helps us think about what might happen.
      Much of what spacemonkey says seems to rely on the idea that potential is some kind of platonic ideal, floating through the aether and forming the basis of things that happen in the real world.

  57. 57
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    Right.
    As a chef-in-training, I like to boil things down as much as possible – concentrates the flavour, don’cha know!

    What we have here, in essence, is someone who hates the fact that all they are is the ‘meat suit’ that they denigrate so harshly. No ‘little observer’, no ‘separate consciousness’… It’s a body issue, nothing more.

    There’s no such thing as ‘a consciousness*’, as to have that distinction from ‘a normally functioning human body’ is to remove responsibility for a specific physical funtion from that body. Your brain, a nice meaty organ, functions. How it functions is not important – it could be a difference engine made of nano-meccano for all the difference it would make – the point is it serves to relay messages.
    The parallel with a computer is apt and has been states many times; we understand the basics of how a computer works, binary language and the on/off information relay network stuff. Where we find things difficult to comprehend is how that relates to the high-end computer programs today. It boggles the mind how all that graphical mastery, all that intuitive AI and amazing motion and reaction can emerge from something so irritatingly simple. The thing is, it does! We know it does because we made it happen. Over a period of decades, we made more and more complex systems based on that simplest of methods of conveying information until we arrived at something that seems so complex as to create instant incredulity in people encountering the concept for the first time.

    The point is – ones and zeroes, that’s all it is. Electrical impulses in the brain, that’s all it is. There’s no deus ex machina, no little man inside the monitor case with a magic film projector, no wispy nonphysical presence seeing through our distinctly meaty eyes.

    I’m sorry you hate being nothing but a chunk of watery meat, but reality is a harsh mistress. Actually… no, she isn’t – We’re the most amazingly complex and beautiful organisms with such elegantly simple mechanisms forming the basis of our functional systems. How you can simply dismiss them as ‘a spirit guy driving a meat suit’ is… well, insulting. The reality is so much more interesting.

    * Discalimer added here as I just -know- someone’s going to call bullshit on this. I differentiate between consciousness and ‘a consciousness’. We have consciousness as a property and product of our normally-functioning bodies. ‘A consciousness’ implies something separate in this context. It might have a use in a different context, though I find the word consciousness itself to be both sufficient and more clear.

  58. 58
    Aquaria

    This is another of those tedious morons who think that they haven’t gotten an answer, when they’ve gotten answers–better answers than such dull-witted bores deserve–but they were too stupid to understand what they were being told.

    Logic in the brains of the feeble-minded is a dangerous thing.

  59. 59
    spacemonkey

    Wow your getting so emotional that your arguments and opinions must be taken more seriously!

  60. 60
    ildi

    I admit it, I really cant put my head around your idea of this byproduct of mind and Im not sure if Im even able because of the self evident nature of our subjective consciousness and the qualia.

    That’s the whole point: it just feels self-evident. You’re starting from a flawed premise you seem to be unwilling to abandon and trying to cobble together a theory from badly-understood quantum physics to explain where you think your ‘observer’ comes from.

    Well there is obviously too many unanswered questions in this area still to be answered ..so perhaps Ill do some rethinking before jumping to “conclusion”.
    Meanwhile Ill be anticipating more results from the quantum fields, especially the Observer effect.

    Look to neuroscience for your answers rather than physics.

    1. 60.1
      heicart

      I noticed that as well–that some posters are assuming qualia as a reality when it’s existence is debated. It’s not a given, and, therefore, should not be used as a premise. If we start out with one of our premises being disputed, and potentially flawed or false, then we can’t trust the conclusions. I think it’s unwise to assert qualia as a reality until it has been actually demonstrated as reality and is no longer so openly questioned in the realms of philosophy and science. Some people say they know what it is, but I’ve never heard any explanation that made sense to me. I don’t experience anything that seems to align with descriptions of qualia as part of my existence, and so either not everyone has the experience of qualia, or we all do, but it’s simply so ill-defined some of us can’t understand what is being described, or none of us have it and those who assert they do are confused about some aspect of their existence.

      1. Michael Brew

        The whole thing with qualia is, I think, purposefully designed to be vague and confusing. It’s pretty much part of the definition. You just “know” it when you see it. It’s color, sound, pain, and all those things that don’t really exist as objective things in nature, but you experience. The thought behid qualia is that if you can’t find physical, objective “red” in nature, but it still exists, it must exist as some kind of transcendent Platonic “ideal” of some sort which is called a quale, plural qualia. Obviously, anyone who actually looks at evidence knows that “red” is caused by the physical interaction between a particular wavelength of light and the rods and cones in our eyes and further the neurons in our brains. Still, qualia proponents use thought experiments like “a person could exist that sees all colors as inverse and we wouldn’t know the difference!” as “proof” of qualia, but only assume that we couldn’t find any difference in the wiring of the brain. So… you know, basic armchair philosophy.

        1. spacemonkey

          The whole thing with qualia is, I think, purposefully designed to be vague and confusing.
          No they are not purposefully designed that way. They are by their nature that way. You cant tell to a blind person what is the color of red with any terms. They are the experience in its purest level. The whole reality to us is only different qualias. If you think you can do better job, please do so. If computers had consciousnes would they be able to explain us the 0′s and 1′s when their whole qualias would be based on the very things? What is the actual nature of that very thing that emerges qualias.
          We can only define what it is not but to explain exactly what it is.. there lies the core of the problem.
          I recommend you take a look on Gödel’s incompleteness theorem.

          1. Michael Brew

            Gödel’s incompleteness theorem seems more applicable to mathematics and computer science than neurology. You have yet to supply any math, so I fail to see where you’re going with this.

            In any case, the main problem with using qualia as “fact” is that the arguments for them are little different from the arguments for God. Qualia proponents argue that it’s “self evident,” but this is based purely on their own perspective–which is notoriously unreliable–while objective studies don’t suggest any such thing. Proponents also say that because we can imagine seeing the world in inverse colors or some such nonsense it suggests that qualia exists, much like theists have suggested that because we can imagine the perfect being and existence is better than nonexistence the perfect being must exist. Proponents even suggest that because we can’t explain exactly how we experience things right now, qualia must be accepted (God of the Gaps?).

            Basically, the definition of qualia is muddied because dualists feel the need to shove all kinds of woo into what is actually a perfectly easily explained physical phenomenon. Just because certain philosophers don’t think we can explain it in material terms, doesn’t mean that we, in fact, can not. Maybe if they’d do a little less thinking and a little more actual research on the subject, they’d know what they were talking about.

          2. spacemonkey

            Basically, the definition of qualia is muddied because dualists feel the need to shove all kinds of woo into what is actually a perfectly easily explained physical phenomenon.
            No, your just automaticly out of the argument when put a “woo” in it and dont actually make an argument. It just shows how arrogant you are towards the opposing argument and how deeply connected you are to your own views. This is a problem that you dont even yourself understand when you state that it is easily explained by reductionist views is just false and lies. Many have tried but yet so far all have failed. If they had it already there wouldnt be a debate. Problem is that you cannot explain your subjective consciousness away, it is still there no matter how solid and great theory you make. It would only change the way we understand its properties, how can it possibly come to be. How there even exist your personal subjective consciousnes and what is the very nature that distincts it from others? If your merged two brains together, would you both feel a singular consciousnes or divided? Would even the qualia suddenly change?
            Just because certain philosophers don’t think we can explain it in material terms, doesn’t mean that we, in fact, can not
            Your wrong again, many philosofers and neuropsychologists dont have consensus here. Many neuropsychologists only make assumption that we will some day find it there and I believe they sincerely think so but they are also very biased on this view.
            Proponents also say that because we can imagine seeing the world in inverse colors or some such nonsense it suggests that qualia exists, much like theists have suggested that because we can imagine the perfect being and existence is better than nonexistence the perfect being must exist.
            Qualia exists because we ourselves feel it. We dont need to have different qualias to actually say its there. We just understand that it could be the case and never can be sure if we wont actually find the qualia in our brains and see that some person actually sees red as different as someone else. The brains emotional and rational impulse is still the same to the qualia because it doesnt care what it is. Its the learning process that defines it, but yet qualias dont change for subjective consciousness even though our emotional perception of colors would change.

  61. 61
    spacemonkey

    I don’t experience anything that seems to align with descriptions of qualia as part of my existence, and so either not everyone has the experience of qualia, or we all do, but it’s simply so ill-defined some of us can’t understand what is being described, or none of us have it and those who assert they do are confused about some aspect of their existence.

    So are you suggesting to me you might be a philosofical zombie or just dont understand qualia? I think the nature of qualia is the keypoint for subjective consciousness. If you cant understand qualia you cant understand subjective consciousness because you would make it immediatly objective. From my perspective every other person is an objective consciousness because I dont have the same experiences as they and I dont know if their qualia of red is the same as mine. Our brain just fills the emotional part how we react to red so objectively we react to it the same way. Still it doesnt actually tell what the qualia was in the first place, the very nature of perception. It could be possible that humans have different kind of qualias or they dont even actually experience same range of qualias since its proven we dont actually need qualias to function like we do as the slit brain experiment showed us. The problem is that we cant go to anothers brain and experience the qualia as they do so this can lead to multiple misinterpretions about the subject.
    How could you explain to a blind person what it is to see or color blind what is the color of red?

    1. 61.1
      spacemonkey

      Just that you dont get me wrong, no I dont think there is or can be philosofical zombies. This is only a philosofical possibility. Can qualias be different or can they vary in their range, yes I think it is possible because they are linked heavily to our brains and where the actual consciousness is linked. Like in the case where people see colors on sounds. But they dont have more qualias but more just integrated.

  62. 62
    Michael Brew

    No, your just automaticly out of the argument when put a “woo” in it and dont actually make an argument. It just shows how arrogant you are towards the opposing argument and how deeply connected you are to your own views.

    What’s more arrogant? Only admitting knowledge as far as evidence can take me or asserting what reality is beyond evidence? You keep calling us arrogant when it is you who are basically saying that you know something exists that no one else does. That is what is arrogant and that’s why you seem incapable of just accepting that no one has any good reason to take your claims that a nonphysical consciousness, qualia, or infinite time exists. If there’s no proof the default position is disbelief.

    Your wrong again, many philosofers and neuropsychologists dont have consensus here. Many neuropsychologists only make assumption that we will some day find it there and I believe they sincerely think so but they are also very biased on this view.

    First, I’m not wrong because I said that there are explanations for qualia rooted in physical processes. That philosophers and neuropsychologists don’t agree is, in fact, my point. If there is no consensus among the experts (and I’m being generous calling traditional philosophers “experts” when they do no actual research aside from reading about what other people who did no actual research thought and then thinking about that really hard) then you cannot just say that your chosen interpretation is the truth and everyone else just can’t “get it.” Well, maybe you’re just too damned smart for all those dumb neuroscientists.

    Qualia exists because we ourselves feel it. We dont need to have different qualias to actually say its there. We just understand that it could be the case and never can be sure if we wont actually find the qualia in our brains and see that some person actually sees red as different as someone else. The brains emotional and rational impulse is still the same to the qualia because it doesnt care what it is. Its the learning process that defines it, but yet qualias dont change for subjective consciousness even though our emotional perception of colors would change.

    “God exists because we, ourselves, feel it.” Just because you feel something doesn’t mean that it exists. Or, rather, it doesn’t mean it is what you think you feel. I see red, I’ll admit. However, just because I can imagine pure “redness” doesn’t mean that it’s somehow separate from the physical world in some transcendent meta-reality. Beyond that, who are you to say that the brain cannot cause the experience of red? We already know that if you zap a part of the brain of a blind person they will see things. Those things aren’t real, but they will, indeed, see lights, forms, and colors. Those all come from the brain. Is it such a mental stretch for you to accept that all evidence points to everything we experience being the same? That even our normal experience of red is a mere matter of stimulus to the right parts of the brain from a certain wavelength of light hitting our optic nerve?

  63. 63
    spacemonkey

    What’s more arrogant? Only admitting knowledge as far as evidence can take me or asserting what reality is beyond evidence? You keep calling us arrogant when it is you who are basically saying that you know something exists that no one else does. That is what is arrogant and that’s why you seem incapable of just accepting that no one has any good reason to take your claims that a nonphysical consciousness, qualia, or infinite time exists. If there’s no proof the default position is disbelief.

    No, I am not actually saying it is you who don’t see the obvious because you have the problem of believing in “schoolbook science” like any religous people believe in the Bible, the ultimate truth that allows you to make assumptions. You can even trick yourself to believe you can explain the hard problem of you away just by making assumption that we already know how the brain works in means of learning, processing etc. But the hard problem is very much something different. You have “dead” matter and energy that has different features. For what science knows, we should all be philosofical zombies, there is no room for science for subjective real qualias the real you. So this is by its nature hardm almost like out of place emergence from materia. If the materia doesnt have the qualia of red, how can it produce to someone the feeling of red? In what part of brain does the actual interpretation of red to something. Zombie consciousnes doesnt need any of these qualias to function as any of us, still for some reason they emerged like your subjective consciousness, from dead matter and energy.

    First, I’m not wrong because I said that there are explanations for qualia rooted in physical processes. That philosophers and neuropsychologists don’t agree is, in fact, my point. If there is no consensus among the experts (and I’m being generous calling traditional philosophers “experts” when they do no actual research aside from reading about what other people who did no actual research thought and then thinking about that really hard) then you cannot just say that your chosen interpretation is the truth and everyone else just can’t “get it.” Well, maybe you’re just too damned smart for all those dumb neuroscientists.

    Again its not a matter of intelligence, its more about admitting the whole problem from another perspective. Something emerging from a thing that doesnt hold the quality, dead matter. Even if we understood the whole process of qualia, it yet still possess the same problem, your subjective consciousness, how is it that you emerge from energy in this very part of universe, time, place and matter. What is the key in the dead matter for your personal subjective consciousnes? There is nothing but the current state of energy, time and place that distincts it from another matter, this is the main thing why we should have p-zombies. You cannot find an everyday explanation to this. You can reduce your meaninfullness to 0 by examining the brain but it doesn’t mean theres nobody home.

    “God exists because we, ourselves, feel it.” Just because you feel something doesn’t mean that it exists. Or, rather, it doesn’t mean it is what you think you feel. I see red, I’ll admit. However, just because I can imagine pure “redness” doesn’t mean that it’s somehow separate from the physical world in some transcendent meta-reality. Beyond that, who are you to say that the brain cannot cause the experience of red?

    No, I couldnt say God exists because I can feel it, but I can say I exist because I feel, I am the feelings and the Qualias, interpretations by the consciousness. How can you say you dont? I cannot prove to you I exist because I feel but this is only selfevident to all sentient beings. We cannot truly say whos home if any. Yet here we are, its the most self evident thing to you. It actually doesnt put the problem away if we can say in which part of the brain your experiences are presented to the subjectiveness, you are still there because the experiences of qualias are there. When we halve brains, consciousness is destroyed from the other part of the brain, why isnt there a new emergence of consciousness to the brain if it is its natural quality to produce it as a sideproduct? How do you define when did “you” first come to be, you arent the sperm cell or the eggcell, but when they were combined? Or when you had your first braincell, when you reasoned to yourself you are you? Where do you actually start and where do you end?
    In the quantum science conscious observer seems to possess effect to the reality its interpreting. This would only indicate that our consciousness has a lot more to it than we even could imagine in the first place.

    1. 63.1
      LykeX

      In the quantum science conscious observer seems to possess effect to the reality its interpreting

      I know people have said this before and you’ve ignored it, but I feel compelled to repeat it again: that’s not what the observer effect is.

      You’ve got it wrong, pure and simple. You don’t understand the physics. You’ve misinterpreted this idea and now you’re building your castle on this figment of your imagination.

      The observer effect has nothing whatsoever to do with a conscious observer. Conscious observers are not needed nor implied.

      When we halve brains, consciousness is destroyed from the other part of the brain, why isnt there a new emergence of consciousness to the brain if it is its natural quality to produce it as a sideproduct?

      Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but isn’t this exactly what sometimes occurs with split-brain patients? The two hemispheres start diverging and display different personalities.

      I’m not too up on this subject. Am I right on this?

      1. spacemonkey

        I know its called also the measurement problem, bring any equipment that can measure it and the wave pattern of light collapses. Is this what you mean or did I get something even more profound wrong? Please explain because I do then lack the knowledge.

        1. LykeX

          That was indeed what I meant. If you understand that, then I don’t see how you can justify using the observer effect to draw any conclusions about consciousness.

          Since any “dead matter” can collapse the waveform, the fact that our observations can do the same says nothing at all about the nature of consciousness. In fact, it’s entirely consistent with the idea that consciousness is simply a product of certain arrangements of matter.

          1. ildi

            I suspect spacemonkey is getting his physics from the likes of Deepak Chopra and the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know!?”

  64. 64
    zengaze

    Nothing has changed since the opening of this thread, Spacemonkey is still making absurd assertions, and drawing an equality par between the results of his mental puke, and the results of scientific study.

    Get this Spacemonkey: Nuts are a dime a dozen, you can’t be reasoned with or educated, despite the best efforts of many patient people here, because you CHOOSE to hold onto your pet hypothesis, and mutate it when required. You are the definition of a wacky fundamentalist.

    YOU will die, YOU will be no more, get over it already. Do you really need me to provide the evidence for this?

    1. 64.1
      spacemonkey

      And what makes you think you are not a wacky fundamentalist? Because you find consensus here with most of the people? Isnt that what exactly religious people do? Your emotional reaction to this madam only shows how incapable you are of actually questioning your logic and assumptions with clear mind. You like to blame the outsider because you wear your feeling of superior logic and intelligence like a medal to your ego. How frustrated it must be that someone like me comes here puking nonsensical word salads to your shiny medal. How can I possibly fail see your greatness?
      When you fail to understand, you end up making psychologic analysis on your opposing argumentor and the debate is doomed to end right there. This is a fact and Im done with you.

      1. spacemonkey

        To be fair, yes I acknowledge some of your points and just maybe there could be some thing that we will find that consciousness will disappear permanently after physical body dies. What Im saying basicly is that there isnt enough information about how our subjective consciousness got here in the first place, what were the variables in that equation for each person. We can only tell you are, and theres no real variables that we can recognize and sort that made it you in the first place. So untill we understand that for a single consciousness the circumstances and events are so specific, time, space etc that it is impossible for it to have those right circumstances again, its safe to say it will end permanently. I dont really care what happens, like I could anyhow affect the outcome, what is inevitable will happen anyway.
        In the meantime I wont bother you anymore since you are taking this whole thing way too personally I see… I just find it hard to have a pleasant debate with emotionally unbalanced people.

        1. ildi

          In the meantime I wont bother you anymore since you are taking this whole thing way too personally I see… I just find it hard to have a pleasant debate with emotionally unbalanced people.

          I’ll bet you find this happens to you a lot…

          At least now you know the answer to your question. Next time you ask you can skip the pseudo-statistics and pseudo-quantum physics (are you familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect?) and jump straight to a discussion of “is the experience of qualia evidence for a subjective consciousness that exists outside of the brain?”

          1. spacemonkey

            Erm.. not really but in the internet, some public forums you go to share your views about subjects where there are contradicting opinions, especially political, some people tend to get really messed up. I dont lose my nerves, nor do I have gotten yet so unwarming welcome as here. But I dont mind, its normal monkey behaviorism.
            Actually I didnt even know people are discussing if qualia is “real”. I find this amusing. But if something is certain is that there are a hell lot of people with contradicting ideas on this field. I dont find your way of thinking any more scientific or truthfull. When you talk here you are fed only one kind of idea but there are many that differ. Its just another viewpoint of how things could be. It very well could be that it is so as you claim if I understood anything here correctly… or theres something profoundly different about the reality than we think. I do find some big gaps on your way of thinking and you seem to fill them with “science will answer them the way we think probably” kind of assumption. You must do so if you can reason all the claim that you do. I dont say its false, but it can be misleading. I’m an agnostic for many reasons and continue to be that way.
            Anyway I’m sorry if anyone here found somewhat frustrating to debate with me but like you said, I know where you stand, just not by any means something you can just accept as “truth” because of the gaps there still lies.

  65. 65
    ildi

    Actually I didnt even know people are discussing if qualia is “real”. I find this amusing. But if something is certain is that there are a hell lot of people with contradicting ideas on this field. I dont find your way of thinking any more scientific or truthfull.

    I can’t tell if you’re deliberately misunderstanding, or if this is a language barrier, but the discussion is not whether qualia are real but whether you can draw the conclusions about consciousness that you are drawing based on the fact that people experience qualia. Time Magazine ran an article by Steven Pinker in 2007 that summarizes the Easy vs. Hard Problem of consciousness: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1580394,00.html

    The Hard Problem is explaining how subjective experience arises from neural computation. The problem is hard because no one knows what a solution might look like or even whether it is a genuine scientific problem in the first place. And not surprisingly, everyone agrees that the hard problem (if it is a problem) remains a mystery.

    Here’s the illusion reference you so dislike:

    ANOTHER STARTLING CONCLUSION FROM the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion. Consciousness turns out to consist of a maelstrom of events distributed across the brain. These events compete for attention, and as one process outshouts the others, the brain rationalizes the outcome after the fact and concocts the impression that a single self was in charge all along.

    Our authorship of voluntary actions can also be an illusion, the result of noticing a correlation between what we decide and how our bodies move. The psychologist Dan Wegner studied the party game in which a subject is seated in front of a mirror while someone behind him extends his arms under the subject’s armpits and moves his arms around, making it look as if the subject is moving his own arms. If the subject hears a tape telling the person behind him how to move (wave, touch the subject’s nose and so on), he feels as if he is actually in command of the arms.

    Pinker discusses the questions you raise about qualia, zombies and computer consciousness:

    TO APPRECIATE THE HARDNESS OF THE HARD PROBLEM, CONSIDER how you could ever know whether you see colors the same way that I do. Sure, you and I both call grass green, but perhaps you see grass as having the color that I would describe, if I were in your shoes, as purple. Or ponder whether there could be a true zombie–a being who acts just like you or me but in whom there is no self actually feeling anything. This was the crux of a Star Trek plot in which officials wanted to reverse-engineer Lieut. Commander Data, and a furious debate erupted as to whether this was merely dismantling a machine or snuffing out a sentient life.

    No one knows what to do with the Hard Problem. Some people may see it as an opening to sneak the soul back in, but this just relabels the mystery of “consciousness” as the mystery of “the soul”–a word game that provides no insight.

    Many philosophers, like Daniel Dennett, deny that the Hard Problem exists at all. Speculating about zombies and inverted colors is a waste of time, they say, because nothing could ever settle the issue one way or another. Anything you could do to understand consciousness–like finding out what wavelengths make people see green or how similar they say it is to blue, or what emotions they associate with it–boils down to information processing in the brain and thus gets sucked back into the Easy Problem, leaving nothing else to explain. Most people react to this argument with incredulity because it seems to deny the ultimate undeniable fact: our own experience.

    The most popular attitude to the Hard Problem among neuroscientists is that it remains unsolved for now but will eventually succumb to research that chips away at the Easy Problem.

    Notice that a) no physics was discussed in the article and b) neuroscientists don’t have the answers yet, either. However, their approach is way more scientific than yours.

  66. 66
    Michael Brew

    @ilki and LykeX

    I’m glad you guys responded. I wrote a crazy long rebuttal to spacemonkey, but then lost it when I tried to post. I was really hoping not to have to type it up again, but you guys basically pointed to the same things I had in the bulk of my response, so yay.

    To spacemonkey,

    I would also like to point out that your talk about how it must be impossible for consciousness to rise out of “dead” matter is very similar to how creationists deny that life can come out of nonlife when refuting abiogenesis. There’s actually a very good analogy to be made there. Life can be defined as a collection of processes such as growth, metabolism, reproduction, etc. These processes necessarily come from nonliving matter because these processes can only exist at a certain level of complexity, just as in the brain consciousness can only come from nonconscious matter at a certain level of complex organization. It’s all process, and a property that emerges from the organization of matter and not from each individual part.

    Your question as to when we become conscious also draws a comparison with creationists in their inability to grasp evolution theory. Just as there is never one generation that is a different species from its parent generation; yet, somehow generations a thousand times removed can still be different species, there is no one second that we go from nonconscious to conscious. Evidence points to the fact that consciousness is a spectrum based on complexity of the brain. You could say that we go slowly from the blackness of nonconsciousness through the dimness of semiconsciousness to the brightness of full self awareness (which I don’t think any human has or can actually achieve based on how the brain works).

    I would also point out that the concept of a philosophical zombie cannot exist from a materialist viewpoint. See, again, all evidence points to our consciousness developing due to selective pressure favoring greater socialization between our members, and the abilities to analyze our own thoughts, distinguish between “me” and “them”, and theory of mind in general are all crucial in that endeavor. That’s all consciousness is. This being apparent there is a perfect test to tell if you are, in fact, “home.” I put a spot on your cheek, show you a mirror, and if your hand goes to wipe your own cheek off, you’re conscious, and if it goes to wipe the mirror, you are not. If you can think of a process in the brain that would allow a being to recognize itself in a mirror that wouldn’t require an awareness of “self,” I’d like to hear it.

    That, and the above mentioned folks’ responses, hopefully illuminate why we find your conclusion problematic.

  67. 67
    LykeX

    @Michaelbrew

    You actually mention a point that I had in mind earlier, but forgot to mention explicitly; that of the focus on “dead matter”.

    Seems to me that spacemonkey is using this phrase to an extent that almost reaches the level of question begging. Emphasizing dead matter appears to be an attempt to support the idea that consciousness cannot be produced by matter alone without actually providing any justification for it.

    Besides, when we’re talking about brains, we’re not actually talking about dead matter at all, but living matter.

  68. 68
    spacemonkey

    Heres frustrating word salads for you some more.

    I would also like to point out that your talk about how it must be impossible for consciousness to rise out of “dead” matter is very similar to how creationists deny that life can come out of nonlife when refuting abiogenesis. There’s actually a very good analogy to be made there. Life can be defined as a collection of processes such as growth, metabolism, reproduction, etc. These processes necessarily come from nonliving matter because these processes can only exist at a certain level of complexity, just as in the brain consciousness can only come from nonconscious matter at a certain level of complex organization. It’s all process, and a property that emerges from the organization of matter and not from each individual part.

    I totally agree that what we percieve as complex organism can come out of seemingly dead matter, its not a problem anymore. I think thats the “easy” problem. It is only biochemical interactions that guide the matter in term of survival and reproducing. This is the basic concept of life and the motor behind evolution. The problem isnt that we have brains and can function in exremely complex ways. I think the whole problem is that we are accomppanied with subjective consciousness. This is the thing that you must be rationalizing as the inevitable outcome of any life. Even from pure materialistic view I can theorize that there at least was some kind of equation for your subjective experiencer that made you in the first place. I dont mean the matter and energy that you consist of but the consciousness itself. I think the intelligence, emotions and how we react to environment is based on the stimulus we get from it and the behavior is only a reflection of what we learned in the way. Still I think this is the easy problem to explain since we could be doing all this without the subjective experiences.

    Your question as to when we become conscious also draws a comparison with creationists in their inability to grasp evolution theory.

    Actually no this cannot be addressed with the same problem. Evolution doesnt possess a hard problem, its the almost as same as the easy problem as described above about how our brains work through complexity.

    I would also point out that the concept of a philosophical zombie cannot exist from a materialist viewpoint. See, again, all evidence points to our consciousness developing due to selective pressure favoring greater socialization between our members, and the abilities to analyze our own thoughts, distinguish between “me” and “them”, and theory of mind in general are all crucial in that endeavor. That’s all consciousness is.

    I figured before that from your stand point you must ignore the P-zombie hypothesis as a ridicilous mind game.

    We only interpret the reality through electricity, none of it is actually real, just concepts of reality through electromagnetism. Photons dont have real colors, they are just different wavelengths of same energy as anything else, pain is merely a state of electrical field in your brain that your harmed nervecells cause. Electromagnetic fields only change states that react differently from the impulses our senses gather from the environment and from the brain itself. Where does it actually produce the color of red, sensation of touch to you as subjective experience? We can probably locate where is the sensation, but to who is actually behind that brain experiencing is the hard problem.

    If the energy is just different particles and waves, where do we need any experiencer there that experience reality as qualias. The brain itself makes all the calculations, interpretations, reactions, basicly all the work. If you theorize that electromagnetic field does this all, then every single electromagnetic field should have an subjective experience unless only certain types of fields produce these experiences but the problem is that theres no difference between these fields but time and space, to what it comes to nature of electromagnetism. And what defines what makes your subjective experience accompanny certain electromagnetic field to percieve the outcomes of those electric impulses as qualias? Or do you claim you are the very changin electromagnetic field? If you think the letter ‘A’, somewhere in that brain we can say that electric field is in the state of ‘A’. Its not really an ‘A’ but the subjective consciousness would percieve it as the qualia of ‘A’.

    So can you answer to these simple questions to make things clear if your up to it:
    1. Do you feel you are a subjective consciousness?
    2. Do you think you are somehow an illusion for yourself?
    2.1 If yes, then who is behind that illusion?
    3. Do you think you are nothing but a byproduct of electromagnetism or that you are the very electromagnetism? Or maybe something else, explain?
    4. What do you think or theorize is the equation for your subjective consciousness in terms of time, space, matter and energy, that made you in the first place? What was the hypothetical “spark”?
    5. Where do you think you began and emerged to experience in the first place? What was your first subjective experience? Where were you before that moment? A potential in all those right atoms that came together?
    6. What makes you feel the qualia of red on a certain wavelength of seemingly colorless energy that the real world holds or pain as a different state of that same very energy that made you feel red?
    7. What sort of complexity is required to achieve the subjective consciousness? Construct of human brain or can bacterias “feel”?
    8. If matter doesnt hold the qualia as a feature, where does it derive from? Electromagnetism? Or can you deny your sense of red?
    9. If we have hypothetical computer that copies you perfectly and instantly in perfect vacuum, what is the fundamental thing that separates your subjective consciousness from the clone that forbids you from experiencing two perspectives?
    10. If subjective consciousness isnt a quality of our reality, where does it derive from?
    11. Do you think its possible that our modern computers hold any kind of subjective experience?

    1. 68.1
      Michael Brew

      I generally agree with LykeX’s response. As a supplementary response, I would also like to say that when you speak of the “easy problem” and the “hard problem” you’re kind of missing the entire point of my analogy. The point is that there is no difference between the problems. Scientists and philosophers who proposed vitalism were operating from the same assumption of strict categories that those who propose dualism are. Somehow they take a category that is only a useful model to represent reality in a way we can analyze and extend it to actually being reality. It is not.

      For question 4, I have to add that you’ve missed my entire point about consciousness being a spectrum. There probably wasn’t a “spark” where one moment we were nonconscious and the next we were fully conscious. There was a point when we started becoming conscious, and we’ve as adults probably become as conscious as we’re going to be, though I would argue that there are probably shades of consciousness more acute than any modern human’s.

      As to question 5, I would also like to add that humans pass the mirror test at around 18 months, give or take, so significant levels of consciousness probably emerges around that time. This would fit with most people’s earliest memories (usually remembered as very short intense experiences) being from around the age of 2 or 3.

      For 8 I just feel like I want to answer directly in case you’re not picking up what we’re laying down on the analogy front. There are portions of our brains that are dedicated to analyzing all the input we get from our senses and synthesizing a narrative that our brains can use to make decisions. I should add that this process is what creates our sense of “me” as well, because that’s one part of the narrative that we as social animals need to interact with our environment. In any case, these parts of the brain have “decided” (so to speak) to interpret the signals the wavelength of light which we call “red” as what we perceive as red. It could look like anything, but as long as it’s distinct from “green,” we’ll be all good while picking berries.

      1. spacemonkey

        Yeah I think I finally get it. I figured between the lines that you kind of think that the hard problem isn’t really even a problem, it goes away with the easy problem. I just cant go around the idea of the subjectivity and why it vanishes to nothing like it came seemingly out of nothing. From objective point of view this would be really hard to explain if you had the necessary events occur, lets call that is the equation of your consciousness, and the end product wasnt actually you. But I have this weird feeling that I know what you are talking about, what is the corner stone of your explanation of having only one consciousness experience. When this product of complex events, wirings in your brains that were the cause of this seemingly entitylike subjective mind has dissappeared you cease to exist like when you dream and wake up, the dreams “disappear” to nothingness. I dont know if this is correct or the best analogue but something like that is what I imagine that you theorise.
        Another corner stone is that I think that even animals that don’t recognize themselves from mirror have consciousness, that it doesnt require this, for the lack of words “a trick of mind” to emerge to subjectivity since we are just electromagnetism in its simplest level. I dont think the data or complexity counts at all because in the eyes of objectivity and reality its always the same thing. I’ll have to admit that these seem to be highly speculative matters and I dont find your way of thinking anyhow logically wrong. But like I said before, we seem to fill the gaps with different explanations, with different theories and end up having assumptions based on what resonates best with the experiences that we have.

  69. 69
    LykeX

    I’ll give it a go. I guess we’ll have to tag-team here, so we don’t get worn out :)

    1. Do you feel you are a subjective consciousness?

    Sure

    2. Do you think you are somehow an illusion for yourself?
    2.1 If yes, then who is behind that illusion?

    I have no idea what that means. Subjective consciousness is real, insofar that it’s experienced. Consciousness isn’t matter, if that’s what you mean. It’s not a thing, in the strictest sense.
    I’m not sure what you mean by “illusion”.

    You said above:

    We can probably locate where is the sensation, but to who is actually behind that brain experiencing is the hard problem

    Why does there need to be someone having the experience? Why can’t the experience just exist on its own? There’s no evidence pointing to such an observer. It provides no explanatory power. The idea can’t be tested in any way. Why would you include it in your model?
    Ockham’s Razor demands that we throw it out.

    3. Do you think you are nothing but a byproduct of electromagnetism or that you are the very electromagnetism? Or maybe something else, explain?

    The experience of self likely comes as a result of a certain arrangement of interacting matter, i.e. the brain. I suspect it’s a result of the need to integrate multiple, sometimes contradictory, streams of data and select the proper course of action. That process, in and of itself, produces the thing we call consciousness.

    The brain itself makes all the calculations, interpretations, reactions, basicly all the work

    And in doing so, it produces consciousness. It’s quite possible that consciousness arises as an inevitable consequence of a certain complexity of computation. I.e. you can’t really do what the brain does without producing consciousness in the process.

    As michaelbrew said above:

    If you can think of a process in the brain that would allow a being to recognize itself in a mirror that wouldn’t require an awareness of “self,” I’d like to hear it.

    In order for the brain to do what it doesn’t, it needs to create models of the world and itself. Consciousness is that model.

    Spacemonkey:

    …the problem is that theres no difference between these fields but time and space…

    AND complexity of arrangement. Which is the key point.

    4. What do you think or theorize is the equation for your subjective consciousness in terms of time, space, matter and energy, that made you in the first place? What was the hypothetical “spark”?

    Again, not sure what this really means. If you’re asking about the origin of the self, It must have come about when the brain had been sufficiently developed to produce it.
    Of course, since a lot of learning and further development has to take place, the original baby consciousness doesn’t have much in common with my current state.

    5. Where do you think you began and emerged to experience in the first place?

    A simplified version probably existed as early as in the womb.

    What was your first subjective experience?

    Unknown. We face a problem of unreliable memory. The first subjective experience that I can remember is from when I was 2 or 3 years old. My first example of a reliable, long-term memory of subjective experience is from (give or take) 5 years old.

    Where were you before that moment?

    I wasn’t. I am the subjective experience itself. The self is simply the collection of experiences, nothing more.

    A potential in all those right atoms that came together?

    As I mentioned further up, potential doesn’t really exist. It’s a concept that helps us to deal with the world, not an actual thing.

    6. What makes you feel the qualia of red on a certain wavelength of seemingly colorless energy that the real world holds or pain as a different state of that same very energy that made you feel red?

    The arrangement of the brain. Certain wavelengths of light produce different signals in the brain. That’s all. The color red and the feeling of pain are different because we need to distinguish between them.
    You might as well ask why the electricity that runs my computer and the electricity that runs my oven produce such different results. It’s not due to any inherent difference in the quality of the electricity, but rather the fact that it is mediated through different circuitry.

    7. What sort of complexity is required to achieve the subjective consciousness? Construct of human brain or can bacterias “feel”?

    I don’t know. Since we can’t access the subjective experience of other organisms it’s impossible to tell without a means of communication. Since we can’t communicate with bacteria in any meaningful way, it’s impossible to tell if they might “feel” something or not.
    We can attempt to infer consciousness from behavior, which is what we do with animals. Some animals certainly display behavior that looks an awful lot like they’re conscious. However, the further we get away from ourselves, the less reliable our standards are. The standards that can measure consciousness in us will not work if the organism is significantly different, so a negative result cannot be used to rule out consciousness. E.g. we wouldn’t expect a bacterium to be able to pass the mirror test. For one, they don’t have eyes.

    The question is problematic, since we can’t measure consciousness directly, only infer it through behavior.

    8. If matter doesnt hold the qualia as a feature, where does it derive from? Electromagnetism? Or can you deny your sense of red?

    Let me make a counter example: a car can drive, right? Yet, if you take the car apart, you can’t show me any “driving”. No matter how you dissemble it, not matter how powerful your magnification or how sophisticated your analysis, there’s no “driving” to be found.
    “Driving” is not a quality of any of the matter that compose the car, yet the car drives.

    Just as driving occurs as a result of certain arrangements of matter, so does conscious experience.

    9. If we have hypothetical computer that copies you perfectly and instantly in perfect vacuum, what is the fundamental thing that separates your subjective consciousness from the clone that forbids you from experiencing two perspectives?

    The fact that there are two producers of consciousness, resulting in two separate consciousnesses (is that a word?). The two instances of consciousness may be identical, at least for a time, but they’re still separate. The problem only occurs because you insist that there’s some disembodied spirit that receives a signal from the brain. Remove that and the problem disappears.

    The consciousness that is produced by the brain is me. The consciousness produced by the computer is identical in every way, but it’s not me, since it’s a separate instance. You might as well ask why identical twins don’t experience one, single consciousness. They don’t because they’re two different people.

    10. If subjective consciousness isnt a quality of our reality, where does it derive from?

    Again, I don’t know what you mean by that. Consciousness it obviously real. It derives from certain arrangements of matter, as I’ve said above. I don’t know why you’d say it isn’t a quality of reality. Of course it is.

    If you’re back to “it’s not a quality of matter”, then I ask the same question of you: If driving isn’t a quality of our reality, where does it derive from?

    11. Do you think its possible that our modern computers hold any kind of subjective experience?

    I don’t know. We have not yet figured out exactly what the requirements for consciousness are, so we can’t tell. Its possible, I suppose, and I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility of future, more advanced computers, producing consciousness.

    I hope that made it clearer for you. I’m no wiser than before.

    1. 69.1
      spacemonkey

      Thanks for having the time to answer. Appreciated. I found it very interesting and there are some thoughts that I havent yet seen before. But theres also are some crucial gaps there and I think we fill in the gaps with different explanations and thats how we actually end up having different conclusions on this matter.

      I have no idea what that means. Subjective consciousness is real, insofar that it’s experienced. Consciousness isn’t matter, if that’s what you mean. It’s not a thing, in the strictest sense.
      I’m not sure what you mean by “illusion”.

      Consciousness isnt matter, I agree. You define consciousness as the sense itself as I feel I’m “something” that is sensing, I define myself as a subject. But I understand your point, combine intelligence with experience and you might have the feeling of being. But still I would bump with this to same problem, you exist, is it just a matter how we define it? Well certainly it could hold the key to the problem, can you be produced again artificially or by natural phenomenon. I make my basis for this claim by saying that you cannot destroy information. That which is proven to exist can be formulated to existence again unless some law forbids this. Can you exist outside a system without your body? Could be but I wont speculate on that since it cannot be proven.

      Why does there need to be someone having the experience? Why can’t the experience just exist on its own? There’s no evidence pointing to such an observer. It provides no explanatory power. The idea can’t be tested in any way. Why would you include it in your model?
      Ockham’s Razor demands that we throw it out.

      Well now your back to the P-zombie hypothesis. In which point we can say some organism is companied with subjective experience and what is not. I most certainly would say that experience doesnt need to be accompanied with it or basicly we would have a whole universe full of experiences, every single burst of electricity would be accompanied by it. Ockham’s razor is great tool when going to the borders of unknown but it really doesnt apply to the reality. It could lead us to make false assumptions. Evidence is what counts.

      The experience of self likely comes as a result of a certain arrangement of interacting matter, i.e. the brain. I suspect it’s a result of the need to integrate multiple, sometimes contradictory, streams of data and select the proper course of action. That process, in and of itself, produces the thing we call consciousness.

      The data counts only for us, for reality it has no meaning. So basicly we are the data that gives itself the meaning. I dont think we have anything to do with the actual matter since it doesnt move fast enough to create patterns and recognisable interactions. Only electricity does. So in a sense I dare to claim we are changing states of electric field by its simplicity.

      The arrangement of the brain. Certain wavelengths of light produce different signals in the brain. That’s all. The color red and the feeling of pain are different because we need to distinguish between them.

      I think the main problem is that why are we interpretting different electrical fields as experiences? It doesnt seem to hold the quality of that from outside perspective. If you would have a machine that produces these patterns, how can you tell what it is actually feeling? You could surely tell in a sense that how is that electrical pattern going to move through the cells and wires and end up doing reactions, as muscle movements but you wouldnt actually understand its accomppanied with real experience and what would the actual qualia be. You claim to some extent it could inevitable outcome of that certain pattern, but then whole galaxies that are raging with electricity would have subjective experiences. Evolution has given us the meaning of different reactions that are driven by primal forces of survival and reproducing but it doesnt mean in the simplest level that this would be what another electrical field would experience since it would have totally different meaning if any.

      The fact that there are two producers of consciousness, resulting in two separate consciousnesses (is that a word?). The two instances of consciousness may be identical, at least for a time, but they’re still separate. The problem only occurs because you insist that there’s some disembodied spirit that receives a signal from the brain. Remove that and the problem disappears.

      Even from “spiritual” point of view I would claim theres still separate consciousness because the whole concept of it is subjectivity, not defined by matter. From pure physical objectivity view it would surely seem to outside they are both the same, they share past, memories, skills, interpretations, electrical brainwaves, they should be the same. From physical subjectivity point of view this paradox wouldnt happen. But this only proves the subjective nature of consciousness. But can you combine pure materialism and subjectiveness? I think they kind of contradict with each other. But you still need this hypothesis if your going to go to conclusion your subjectiveness is destroyable.

      Again, I don’t know what you mean by that. Consciousness it obviously real. It derives from certain arrangements of matter, as I’ve said above. I don’t know why you’d say it isn’t a quality of reality. Of course it is.

      If you’re back to “it’s not a quality of matter”, then I ask the same question of you: If driving isn’t a quality of our reality, where does it derive from?

      I do think they are both qualities of matter. They must be, since you cannot get something out of nothing. We have the solid evidence that it is. Driving a car isnt much of a problem, since we have the quality of movement quite obviously accomppanied by our reality, which is by the way accepted mystery in the physics. We cannot even tell what movement actually is by its basic nature but understanding the mechanincs of it is quite usefull. But to what extent consciousness is a quality of matter? If every electrical fields would be accomppanied with subjective experience then its pretty heavy quality. If I showed you different plain changing electrical fields without any context, there would be different machines, natural phenomenons and only one is a consciousness, product of brain. Could you tell me what exactly of those are accompanied with subjective consciousness? What would be the main differentiator?

      1. Michael Brew

        But still I would bump with this to same problem, you exist, is it just a matter how we define it? Well certainly it could hold the key to the problem, can you be produced again artificially or by natural phenomenon. I make my basis for this claim by saying that you cannot destroy information.

        No, this would be a different person in the same way as a perfectly reproduced clone would be a different person and for the same reasons. It may be a remarkably similar reproduction of me and it may feel like it’s me, but it will not be me.

        Can you exist outside a system without your body? Could be but I wont speculate on that since it cannot be proven.

        We could exist without our body excluding our brain, sure. However, we have never found a consciousness to exist without a physical thing producing it, so if you think we might be able to exist without any matter contributing to our existence in some kind of vacuum you would be on about the same shaky ground as those who make the God of the gaps argument.

        Well now your back to the P-zombie hypothesis. In which point we can say some organism is companied with subjective experience and what is not. I most certainly would say that experience doesnt need to be accompanied with it or basicly we would have a whole universe full of experiences, every single burst of electricity would be accompanied by it.

        False dichotomy, much? We’ve already explained what evidence points to as requirements for consciousness. A sufficiently complex brain. Whether it be the brain of a human, dolphin, or magpie, all are sufficiently complex to create consciousness. A burst of electricity is not, and it’s like you’re not even reading what we’re saying.

        . Ockham’s razor is great tool when going to the borders of unknown but it really doesnt apply to the reality. It could lead us to make false assumptions. Evidence is what counts.

        LOLWUT?

        The data counts only for us, for reality it has no meaning. So basicly we are the data that gives itself the meaning. I dont think we have anything to do with the actual matter since it doesnt move fast enough to create patterns and recognisable interactions. Only electricity does. So in a sense I dare to claim we are changing states of electric field by its simplicity.

        Apparently, you don’t know how the brain works. In case it’s too long for you, here’s a quick rundown. The brain is made of neurons (matter) which communicate with each other via chemicals (also matter) and tiny electric sparks. The brain cannot function without any of these things, so saying that consciousness is just electricity or just the matter or just the chemical interactions is wrong. It is all that stuff working together. To expound on the earlier car analogy, would you say driving is combustion?

        I think the main problem is that why are we interpretting different electrical fields as experiences?

        We are not. See above for how the brain works. As for why we’re interpreting the brain’s processes as experience, it’s because… well, everything we just told you. It explains everything we know about consciousness without inventing new states of existence or crap like that.

        If you would have a machine that produces these patterns, how can you tell what it is actually feeling?

        The same way we know anything is actually feeling, as I’ve explained before.

        You claim to some extent it could inevitable outcome of that certain pattern, but then whole galaxies that are raging with electricity would have subjective experiences.

        No. Consciousness is not electricity. You’re the one who keeps saying that, not us, so stop arguing as if that’s a position with which we agree. Again, consciousness needs a brain or something that functions like a brain. A galaxy obviously does not.

        Evolution has given us the meaning of different reactions that are driven by primal forces of survival and reproducing but it doesnt mean in the simplest level that this would be what another electrical field would experience since it would have totally different meaning if any.

        Your grammatical and word choices here are a bit opaque, so I’m going out on a limb and assuming you’re saying that you don’t think consciousness has any evolutionary advantage. You would be wrong. I’ve already explained that consciousness is a very advantageous trait in social species (which is probably why we’ve found consciousness only in social species thus far), because only with consciousness can one create a theory of mind, form opinions, or even communicate with the sophistication that we and other conscious animals can. I don’t know of any way aside from self-awareness that would produce these kinds of behaviors in animals.

        From pure physical objectivity view it would surely seem to outside they are both the same, they share past, memories, skills, interpretations, electrical brainwaves, they should be the same.

        You are wrong. They would be incredibly similar, but what physical mechanism would allow someone to experience out of two completely separate bodies? Their brains aren’t attached. There’s no telepathic mechanisms in our brain. Only with a spiritual (or metaphysical) mechanism would this ever be possible, and that’s what we don’t accept. Further, the moment these two separate being begin to exist they would already begin to diverge by virtue of their existing in two different places and thus having two different sets of experiences. In 20 years time they would be as different from each other as any set of identical twins.

        But can you combine pure materialism and subjectiveness? I think they kind of contradict with each other.

        Yes we can and no they don’t. That subjective emerges from a physical process just as life emerges from physical processes and combustion arises from physical processes. These things aren’t made of matter and energy, but are done by matter and energy.

        If I showed you different plain changing electrical fields without any context, there would be different machines, natural phenomenons and only one is a consciousness, product of brain. Could you tell me what exactly of those are accompanied with subjective consciousness? What would be the main differentiator?

        I don’t know why it would make a difference if there was a main differentiator, because, as I said, electrical fields alone don’t make the consciousness. You seem hung up on this, but I can assure you that brain functions are impossible without neurons, chemicals, and other such matter. Those things actually make the electrical field about which you’re talking. Consciousness, again, is an emergent property of all these things working together in a certain way, and not a property of any one thing on its own.

        1. spacemonkey

          I’ll just have to add to this about your claim that the consciousness is also about atoms. If you have chipset made out of matter, the matter itself is only there to modify how electricity behaves but it is stationary and doesnt contribute directly to the behaviorism of the end product. You can easily use any other matters with conductivity but the electricity is where we do the tricks. Sure, in the process of learning we need matter and chemical reaction to “rewire” itself but the endproduct is still electricity.

          1. Michael Brew

            Thing is, electricity is just how the neurons relay info to each other. The neurons themselves actually change and adapt and that’s as big a part of thinking and thus consciousness as the electrical signals themselves. The whole point is that one cannot reduce consciousness down to one element, alone.

      2. LykeX

        Pretty much agree with michaelbrew here, but let me just make a few points.

        Ockham’s razor is great tool when going to the borders of unknown but it really doesnt apply to the reality. It could lead us to make false assumptions. Evidence is what counts.

        Ockham’s razor is all about evidence. Specifically, it’s about not making leaps that aren’t warranted by the evidence. The kind of leaps that you’re making. Ockham’s razor wouldn’t lead us to false assumptions, since the whole point is to make the least possible number of assumptions.

        Your model contains additional elements, namely the disembodied observer that exists independently of the brain. You need to provide evidence for that. Failing to do so, we can reject the idea on the basis that it’s an assumption unwarranted by the evidence.

        Adding unto that, as I mentioned earlier, that your observer provides no explanatory power and cannot be tested or examined in any way, it doesn’t even qualify as a reasonable hypothesis.
        It’s useless. Throw it out.

        Driving a car isnt much of a problem, since we have the quality of movement

        I wasn’t talking about movement. I was talking about driving; controlled and directed movement, mediated by wheels. Show me a driving atom or admit that it’s not an inherent quality of matter.

        The point here is simply to demonstrate that it’s quite possible for a collection of matter to exhibit properties that the individual parts do not share. Consciousness is the same thing. No individual atom exhibits consciousness. Not amount of energy will produce consciousness. It occurs only when matter is arranged in a certain way and has certain interactions. As such, this:

        If every electrical fields would be accomppanied with subjective experience then its pretty heavy quality

        …is a strawman.

        If I showed you different plain changing electrical fields without any context, there would be different machines, natural phenomenons and only one is a consciousness, product of brain

        I reject the premise. If the structures are identical, their output will be identical. They’ll either all produce consciousness or none of them will. If they are not identical, then the differentiation would be done by examining the structures and their interactions.

  70. 70
    spacemonkey

    About Ockham’s razor your absolutely right, it is great principle and remembered the concept wrong. Should have checked the details before commenting.

  71. 71
    zengaze

    Spacemonkey you keep referring to electricity as if it has some inherent mysterious property, but it doesn’t it is naturally occurring! Take one of the most awesome natural occurrences of electric charge, fork lightning, after it is discharged where does it go? In your argument the atoms which formed the bolt still hold an inherent “lightningness”

  72. 72
    spacemonkey

    One more question for you guys to think, I will leave after this so you dont need to answer here.

    In what point of life you started to think the external world is more real than you?

    1. 72.1
      zengaze

      And the award for believing whatever the fuck you like, despite evidence and reason goes to spacemonkey.

      1. zengaze

        I have come to the realisation that the universe conceived me with a plan, my conciousness infused all living things with the knowledge of me before taking this human form, my self evident nature therefore is apparent to be the architect of this dimension. If you fail to understand this it is simply because you are lacking in the insight to the true nature of reality that has been imparted to me.

        My universal name is looneytune and my masturbation superceeds eternity. Bow to my electrical wavelength.

    2. 72.2
      ildi

      In what point of life you started to think the external world is more real than you?

      That’s like asking: “When did you stop beating your wife?”

  73. 73
    GalapagosPete

    “In what point of life you started to think the external world is more real than you?”

    Reality is real. We are part of reality. The “external world” is also part of reality. No parts of reality are “more real” than any other parts. There’s just reality.

  74. 74
    Pete 3.0

    There is no reality. Only perception.

    1. 74.1
      Martin Wagner

      Did you take the blue pill, or the green Tic Tac?

    2. 74.2
      LykeX

      That’s true, up to a point. It’s certainly possible to make a coherent philosophical system in which you only accept your personal experience as real. However, further analysis of your experience should easily convince you that it acts exactly as if there was an objective, external reality.

      In order to deal with your perceptions, you’d need to reintroduce the external world, at least as a organizing model. In my opinion, solipsism, properly analyzed, leads you right back to an objective reality. We might argue ontology all day, but epistemologically, there’s no difference.

      Existentially, it would be the same as well, since you’d have to admit that there are parts of the experience that are under your control and parts that aren’t. The parts that aren’t will, in effect, act as external to you (or the perception of “you”, if you prefer).

      For that matter, when you say

      There is no reality. Only perception.

      what you’re really saying is that perception is reality. If it’s the only thing that exists, it doesn’t make sense to say it isn’t real, right?

      So, you have an external reality either way. The only question is whether it’s composed of matter or if it’s composed of perceptions that act exactly as if they were grounded in matter.

      It’s a dead end. Move on.

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