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Old 22nd February 2019, 10:46 AM   #321
Belz...
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Ah, that's what I was trying to establish, but Mr Morgue is too focused on providing a running meta-analysis of the discussion and steering the conversation where he and he alone believes it should go.

Not so much now but when I was young I was able to lucid dream, at will, to an extent where is was impossible to distinguish dream experience from external experience. Indeed, 'actual' experience would often be a pale imitation of dream experience. This was full-on lucid dreaming, in which I was fully conscious, fully aware I was dreaming and lying in bed, yet able to interact with the dream world as if it were external.
Imagining an apple is not the same as seeing an apple, but you can still be fooled by a dream!apple. But how does that relate to your theory?
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Old 22nd February 2019, 10:48 AM   #322
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Imagining an apple is not the same as seeing an apple, but you can still be fooled by a dream!apple. But how does that relate to your theory?
It wasn't me who brought it up. I'm disputing that if you accept that the information delivery method is different (internal vs external), which it clearly is, the experience of imagination / dreaming consciousness can be identical to that of waking consciousness.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 10:50 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
It wasn't me who brought it up. I'm disputing that if you accept that the information delivery method is different (internal vs external), which it clearly is, the experience of imagination / dreaming consciousness can be identical to that of waking consciousness.
Ok.

I'd still want to discuss how you think we detect (experience) qualia, as a mechanism. That'd allow us to devise a hypothetical way to detect them.

That's beside the fact that qualia and experiences still seem to be the same thing.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 11:02 AM   #324
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If you're going to argue that you can see, touch, taste, feel, etc the apple but "experiencing" the apple is something different or distinct, it's not "steering the meta-conversation" to ask what the difference is.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 11:21 AM   #325
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
That is a silly question, I can't 'visualize' I can manipulate shapes in my brain, I can remember colors, but I can't just 'visualize' red.

Hello, David. I'm sorry, I don't see why on earth you think my question was "silly"? The short answer to the question is: aphantasia. (Yes, something learnt, from Darat's reply to my question.)

If you have difficulty visualizing colors, David, then you may want to check it out.

I know you're something of a Buddhism enthusiast, or at least you used to be. If you do have a touch of aphantasia, then one very practical fallout might be this, that you wouldn't be able to fare very well with the visualization exercises within Vajrayana that are designed to establish Shamata. You'd probably do better with breath or Insight.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 11:24 AM   #326
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Better yet, pray to Cthulhu, instead. I get better results that way.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 11:37 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Not so much now but when I was young I was able to lucid dream, at will, to an extent where is was impossible to distinguish dream experience from external experience. Indeed, 'actual' experience would often be a pale imitation of dream experience. This was full-on lucid dreaming, in which I was fully conscious, fully aware I was dreaming and lying in bed, yet able to interact with the dream world as if it were external.

That's fascinating! Kellyb's spoken of her loss-of-self experiences in this thred.

Do we really know the mechanism of how/why things like these happen? Simply sticking on a label, like 'lucid dreaming', or 'effect of epilepsy', while good to know, doesn't really explain anything IMO.

Might be off-topic to go off on a detailed discussion on this, but it would be fascinating to know the actual mechanism of how something like this might happen.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 11:49 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
What you say is true, as far as that goes.

But surely you see that this is textbook special pleading?

Unless you can clearly provide good reasons for this exceptionalism -- that is, why the burden of proof operates one way for (a) God, but then changes direction when it comes to (b) free will and (c) consciousness -- I'm afraid that kind of reasoning would be fallacious.
I understand what special pleading is, however, I cannot see how I am doing it here. Can you please provide an example?

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Only learnt about it a few years back, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34039054. I've posted about it in the past in these types of discussions, but I never realised that I was different, I always thought folk were being poetic and using flowery language when they talked about what they could see in their mind's eye. I never realised you did in fact have a real mind's eye.
I must have aphantasia too. That was probably what contributed to my struggle with 3-D mathematics. It was impossible for me to visualize and manipulate 3-D figures in my minds eye.

I used to be able to visualize in my minds eye. When I was younger and played basketball I would close my eyes and try to imagine myself shooting the ball and it going in the hoop. After every attempt to shoot I'd re-start the experience from the beginning. Easy enough right? Sometimes the ball would hit the hoop and bounce out. Other times it would go through the hoop. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't "visualize the win" every time.

Synesthesia is another condition what we should include in our inquiry to consciousness.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 12:11 PM   #329
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Better yet, pray to Cthulhu, instead. I get better results that way.
ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
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Old 22nd February 2019, 12:13 PM   #330
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
I understand what special pleading is, however, I cannot see how I am doing it here. Can you please provide an example?
Well, we were discussing whether free will and perhaps consciousness itself might be illusions. God seems intuitively self-evident to many, yet that does not put the burden of proof on to atheists.

Right after, you said that because the mind can be shown to have been tricked in some instances, doesn't mean it always is tricked.

I took that to be a response to (or at least in reference of) my post, immediately preceding. As such, what you say, while true, seemed special pleading as far as placing the burden of OBJECTIVE proof on those positing a God, while apparently holding free will and consciousness to a different standard (or so I understood your post to imply).

And nor is special pleading necessarily fallacious, provided one has valid reasons for one's exceptionalism. I was wondering if you did.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 12:13 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
Dammit, man. Post something in your own words!
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Old 22nd February 2019, 12:28 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ok.

I'd still want to discuss how you think we detect (experience) qualia, as a mechanism. That'd allow us to devise a hypothetical way to detect them.
As I say, I have no sensible suggestion regarding how one person might verify the qualia or experience of another. Linking their brains via some sort of neural cord, an artificual corpus callosum, might do the trick but at our current state of knowledge that's just sci-fi.

Let me ask you a question. If I'm correct, you believe that:

* An artificial, non-biological replica of a human would be conscious in the same way as a human

* Consciousness is a non-independent product of the brain (be that biological or synthetic)

This being so, what physical element do you believe is actually producing the consciousness in each case, being that neither structure (organic brain vs synthetic brain) share any physicality in common? Do you believe there are multiple ways to generate consciousness and if so, what's the common factor?
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Old 22nd February 2019, 12:30 PM   #333
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
That is a silly question, I can't 'visualize' I can manipulate shapes in my brain, I can remember colors, but I can't just 'visualize' red.
I can. As clearly as you can see your monitor, I can visualise red.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 12:32 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
As I say, I have no sensible suggestion regarding how one person might verify the qualia or experience of another.
Sorry, maybe my question wasn't clear. I was asking you how, in your view, our brain experiences these qualia. It's about you detecting your own qualia, not someone else's.

Quote:
Let me ask you a question. If I'm correct, you believe that:

* An artificial, non-biological replica of a human would be conscious in the same way as a human

* Consciousness is a non-independent product of the brain (be that biological or synthetic)
Correct, though as a precision to the first point I'd say that it would have to behave precisely like a human.

Quote:
This being so, what physical element do you believe is actually producing the consciousness in each case, being that neither structure (organic brain vs synthetic brain) share any physicality in common? Do you believe there are multiple ways to generate consciousness and if so, what's the common factor?
Well, since you're asking for my beliefs yes, I think you can probably produce a consciousness with non-biological means. As for something more certain, what produces our consciousness is the brain. That much is evident.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 12:46 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Sorry, maybe my question wasn't clear. I was asking you how, in your view, our brain experiences these qualia. It's about you detecting your own qualia, not someone else's.
Then you haven't grasped my position (missus). The brain doesn't experience anything, our consciousness is the thing that experiences. Our brains process, and that's it.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Correct, though as a precision to the first point I'd say that it would have to behave precisely like a human.

Well, since you're asking for my beliefs yes, I think you can probably produce a consciousness with non-biological means. As for something more certain, what produces our consciousness is the brain. That much is evident.
Now it's my turn not to have made my question clear.

OK, here we have a brain, made of brain meat.

Here we have a synthetic brain, made of nano valves and levers and switches (not really, but just not brain meat)

Their only commonality is the behaviour they produce. Given that, why do you believe they both generate consciousness, and what physically are the things that do the generating?
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Old 22nd February 2019, 12:53 PM   #336
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
The brain doesn't experience anything, our consciousness is the thing that experiences. Our brains process, and that's it.
That sounds like a distinction without a difference again. Your brain processes what? The experience? Isn't that the same thing as experiencing?

Quote:
OK, here we have a brain, made of brain meat.

Here we have a synthetic brain, made of nano valves and levers and switches (not really, but just not brain meat)

Their only commonality is the behaviour they produce. Given that, why do you believe they both generate consciousness, and what physically are the things that do the generating?
Neurons firing in one, neural chips in the other. Consciousness is what these things do as much as running is what legs do. Consciousness is not a thing but an action.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 01:06 PM   #337
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
That sounds like a distinction without a difference again. Your brain processes what? The experience? Isn't that the same thing as experiencing?
The brain processes data in the form of electrical and chemical impulses. It's simply a biological machine.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Neurons firing in one, neural chips in the other.
But you've just shifted the problem down a scale. I'll ask the same question. Why do you believe both biological and synthetic neurons generate consciousness, and what physically are the things that do the generating? You can't say, 'the neurons' because that's no different to saying, 'the brain'. You are alleging that there is something special to neurons, independent of their structure and composition, that create consciousness. What is this thing?

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Consciousness is what these things do as much as running is what legs do. Consciousness is not a thing but an action.
I don't understand this. 'Running' is a linguistic construct, it's just a word. I could call the act of hopping on your right leg whilst flailing your left arm flallumping. Flallumping doesn't exist now any more than it did 30 seconds ago and it requires no explanation, it's simply a word I used to describe something else.

This is easily proven by imagining what would happen had humans not developed language. Would we be unable to run? No, we'd still be able to run, we just wouldn't have a word for it? So what?
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Old 22nd February 2019, 01:12 PM   #338
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
The brain processes data in the form of electrical and chemical impulses. It's simply a biological machine.
So your experiences are entirely independant of the brain?

Quote:
But you've just shifted the problem down a scale.
No, I didn't. I just don't assume that the action of consciousness is special in any way.

Quote:
Why do you believe both biological and synthetic neurons generate consciousness, and what physically are the things that do the generating? You can't say, 'the neurons' because that's no different to saying, 'the brain'.
It's not entirely different, no. It's still my answer.

Quote:
You are alleging that there is something special to neurons, independent of their structure and composition, that create consciousness. What is this thing?
Nothing special about them at all, that's my point. They act together to do consciousness. If can figure out how, there's no reason why can't reproduce it in a machine, unless the biological components are somehow required.

Quote:
I don't understand this. 'Running' is a linguistic construct, it's just a word.
1) No it's not. You can actually run by jiggling your legs around properly. But if you do it improperly, you won't be running. Running is a real thing, but it's not an object, it's an action. That's what I'm saying consciousness is.

2) Consciousness is also just a word.

Quote:
This is easily proven by imagining what would happen had humans not developed language. Would we be unable to run? No, we'd still be able to run, we just wouldn't have a word for it? So what?
I think you're over-thinking my post. The word isn't important. I'm just using it to communicate a concept to you. You know, the whole point of language.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 01:34 PM   #339
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
So your experiences are entirely independant of the brain?
Ahhhhh.... I'll go with no since you include 'entirely'.

The brain processes information. This produces a distortion of the conscious field which in turn produces - or rather is - experience. So experience is independent in that it operates on a separate substrate, but it's not independent in the sense that it's caused by the brain in the first instance. If the brain stops processing information, or disappears, then the distortion - the experience - vanishes too.

Unless...

...no, best to leave that one alone.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
No, I didn't. I just don't assume that the action of consciousness is special in any way.

It's not entirely different, no. It's still my answer.

Nothing special about them at all, that's my point. They act together to do consciousness. If can figure out how, there's no reason why can't reproduce it in a machine, unless the biological components are somehow required.
You're making an assumption there. You are assuming that the robot has been created by reproducing the functionality of humans, which mandates an understanding of how humans operate. This is logical on a practical level but it's an unwanted addition to the point I'm trying to make and it muddies the waters.

Imagine, then, that some distant alien species creates, by pure chance as far as we're concerned, a robot that behaves exactly like a human and is of the same level of intelligence. It is composed of alien metal and that sort of thing. It might have neurons, it might not, it doesn't matter.

Why do you believe this alien machine must share the attribute of consciousness with the human animal? And what common element would cause this consciousness to manifest?

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
1) No it's not. You can actually run by jiggling your legs around properly. But if you do it improperly, you won't be running. Running is a real thing, but it's not an object, it's an action. That's what I'm saying consciousness is.
But actions don't exist any more than flolloping does. These are just sounds and squiggles we use to clarify our communication.

Look at it this way: We could define an infinite number of movements concerned with moving our legs. We could invent a word for moving the left leg 3 inches to the right jumping 1.7 inches off the ground using our right; we could invent another word for doing the same thing but moving the left leg 3.132 inches to the right. And so on ad infinitum. We are not creating the world as we churn out this nonsense, we're just making sounds and squiggles.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
2) Consciousness is also just a word.
It is, and so is tree, but the difference is that trees and consciousness are words that represent things, running and flolloping are not.

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Old 22nd February 2019, 01:55 PM   #340
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yeah.



The problem I have with qualia is that it treats consciousness as an object rather than an action.
The old standby is show me the "run" in a person running, you obviously can't since the run is the process itself, it can't exist separate from the process because it is the process . The same with consciousness, we can't show the "conscious" in a person being conscious as it can't exist separate to the process.

Plus of course we have zero evidence for a consciousness field.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 01:59 PM   #341
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
The old standby is show me the "run" in a person running, you obviously can't since the run is the process itself, it can't exist separate from the process because it is the process . The same with consciousness, we can't show the "conscious" in a person being conscious as it can't exist separate to the process.
Why, then, is there no Hard Problem of running?
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Old 22nd February 2019, 02:04 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Then you haven't grasped my position (missus). The brain doesn't experience anything, our consciousness is the thing that experiences. Our brains process, and that's it.




Why can't it be the brain that is experiencing, why add an additional factor?
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Old 22nd February 2019, 02:09 PM   #343
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Why, then, is there no Hard Problem of running?
Because no philosophizer with too much free time on his hands decided to make one up for no reason.

There's exactly as much a hard problem of running as there is a hard problem of consciousness or a hard problem of where the fire goes when I blow a candle out or where a hard problem of why when I take a pocket watch apart I can't find the "ticking" in it anywhere.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 02:14 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Why, then, is there no Hard Problem of running?
Yes, it took mankind centuries to establish that legs were the main mechanism involved with running.

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Old 22nd February 2019, 03:03 PM   #345
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why can't it be the brain that is experiencing, why add an additional factor?
Unless you don't believe consciousness exists it isn't an additional factor. You believe consciousness exists in place A (the brain), I believe it exists in place B (the field). Or more accurately, it is place B.

If you don't believe consciousnesses exists that's fine. Inexplicable, but fine.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Because no philosophizer with too much free time on his hands decided to make one up for no reason.
Yep, the morons from Descartes and Locke to Chalmers and Nagel just made stuff up for something to do and JoeMorgue (ISF, 2019) has the right of it.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 03:04 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Yes, it took mankind centuries to establish that legs were the main mechanism involved with running.

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Er, OK then. Thanks... 😐
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Old 22nd February 2019, 03:16 PM   #347
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I can. As clearly as you can see your monitor, I can visualise red.
So it isn't indicative of consciousness.

Not that I am a p-zombie or anything
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Old 22nd February 2019, 03:30 PM   #348
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
So it isn't indicative of consciousness.

Not that I am a p-zombie or anything
I know. Because if you look at a red thing you'll have a conscious experience of red, there's no need to base p-zombieness on a failure to imagine.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 03:42 PM   #349
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There used to be a hard problem of vision.

From ancient times it seemed obvious that for your eyes to see something at a distance, either the distant thing must send something to your eye, or your eye must send something to the distant thing. But neither of those explanations made sense. If your eye is sending, how does darkness happen? But if your eye is receiving, how does the distant thing "know" your eye is there and successfully "aim" its rays at your eye?

Note that one can (and the ancients did) work out quite a bit of practical and theoretical optics (lenses, geometric laws, mirrors, etc.) without resolving that question. The geometry works the same whichever way the rays are going. The ancient Greek and Roman world never figured out the answer, but the Islamic world did early in the second millennium CE.

The stumbling block might have been simple incredulity at the possibility that everything that's visible and illuminated is sending unimaginably vast numbers of rays in all (or at least many) directions all the time. After all, without modern instruments observers only have evidence for the existence of those rays that do reach their eyes.

I guess this is, weakly, a point in favor of baron's ambient consciousness hypothesis. It certainly seems non-parsimonious, but so would the hypothesis of ambient light way back then.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 04:16 PM   #350
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post

It's definitely (still) a legitimate direction of research, along the more general line that consciousness may involve more than the neural network of the brain. Personally I am sympathetic with this view, I would not be surprised that at some point in the future (rather distant now) it would become the first choice research program in science. In my view its growing popularity among philosophers and even scientists these days is a good thing, all sort of (premature) 'no-go' theorems in science can only do harm on long run.


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Old 22nd February 2019, 04:24 PM   #351
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Well, we were discussing whether free will and perhaps consciousness itself might be illusions. God seems intuitively self-evident to many, yet that does not put the burden of proof on to atheists.

Right after, you said that because the mind can be shown to have been tricked in some instances, doesn't mean it always is tricked.

I took that to be a response to (or at least in reference of) my post, immediately preceding. As such, what you say, while true, seemed special pleading as far as placing the burden of OBJECTIVE proof on those positing a God, while apparently holding free will and consciousness to a different standard (or so I understood your post to imply).

And nor is special pleading necessarily fallacious, provided one has valid reasons for one's exceptionalism. I was wondering if you did.
I usually don't have any interest in evoking or participating in a burden of proof (BoF) argument. My observation is that it is most commonly used to win arguments, not to expand our understanding. I do not get that vibe from you though.

Since I haven't engaged in the BoP argument before I'm not sure how it works...Isn't the default position of consciousness among the majority who are studying it, that it is NOT an illusion? Therefore, the burden is on those who provide any contradictory positions?

I think we can agree about this statement: If we agree that the brain can be sometimes tricked, it is not a definitive position to conclude that the brain is always being tricked. That to me is pure logic. Admittedly, this agreement doesn't necessarily get us any closer to solving the problem of consciousness. That means that there is more work to be done. My original comment was intended to express my lack of impression for the claim about illusion.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 04:29 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Yep, the morons from Descartes and Locke to Chalmers and Nagel just made stuff up for something to do and JoeMorgue (ISF, 2019) has the right of it.
Jeez I was hoping since the Ying & Yang twins hadn't caught wind of this we wouldn't be subjected to "Well this philosopher said..." as a primary argument.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 12:44 AM   #353
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A person with their legs in certain motion is, by definition, running, because "running" refers to a certain motion.

You can't look at a video of Usain Bolt doing a 100 metres and say "perhaps there was no running happening", because that action we see is what we are referring to when we say "running".

On the other hand when we say "I am feeling pain", we are not referring to neural activity, we are referring to a feeling. People were feeling pain millenia before anyone had every heard of a neuron.

In addition, there is no reason anyone can state why any kind of neural activity could not happen in the absense of a feeling of pain, or pleasure, or taste of sweetness, or the experience of what red is like.

All neural activity can be explained in the absence of any of that.

That is, the "problem". Not something missing, rather it is something extra which is beyond what is necessary for an explanation of the neural activity.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 12:44 AM   #354
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Why, then, is there no Hard Problem of running?
For the same reason there isn't actually a HPC.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 12:46 AM   #355
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Unless you don't believe consciousness exists it isn't an additional factor. You believe consciousness exists in place A (the brain), I believe it exists in place B (the field). Or more accurately, it is place B.



If you don't believe consciousnesses exists that's fine. Inexplicable, but fine.







Yep, the morons from Descartes and Locke to Chalmers and Nagel just made stuff up for something to do and JoeMorgue (ISF, 2019) has the right of it.
Brain = conciousness

1 thing

Brain + consciousness field = consciousness

2 things
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Old 23rd February 2019, 12:49 AM   #356
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Originally Posted by metacristi View Post
It's definitely (still) a legitimate direction of research, along the more general line that consciousness may involve more than the neural network of the brain. Personally I am sympathetic with this view, I would not be surprised that at some point in the future (rather distant now) it would become the first choice research program in science. In my view its growing popularity among philosophers and even scientists these days is a good thing, all sort of (premature) 'no-go' theorems in science can only do harm on long run.





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Nah it's just yet more "consciousness of the gaps". Getting harder and harder for folk to try and keep conciousness special so they keep having to find smaller and smaller "gaps".
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Old 23rd February 2019, 02:32 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Nah it's just yet more "consciousness of the gaps". Getting harder and harder for folk to try and keep conciousness special so they keep having to find smaller and smaller "gaps".
It isn't a gap, it is something extra that shouldn't be there.

No matter how much they find out about the brain, it will still be the case that whatever they find could all happen if there were no feelings of pain, feelings of pleasure, the experience of taste etc, accompanying it.


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Old 23rd February 2019, 02:40 AM   #358
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It isn't a gap, it is something extra that shouldn't be there.

No matter how much they find out about the brain, it will still be the case that whatever they find could all happen if there were no feelings of pain, feelings of pleasure, the experience of taste etc, accompanying it.


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Old 23rd February 2019, 02:47 AM   #359
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Anything the any scientist finds out about the brain we can ask, why it wouldn't it do this in exactly the same way if there were no such thing as the feeling of pain, the feeling of pleasure, the feeling of the touch of something cold, the taste of a peach, how red looks etc.

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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:08 AM   #360
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It isn't a gap, it is something extra that shouldn't be there.

No matter how much they find out about the brain, it will still be the case that whatever they find could all happen if there were no feelings of pain, feelings of pleasure, the experience of taste etc, accompanying it.


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How do you know that?
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