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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:27 AM   #361
baron
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Brain = conciousness

1 thing

Brain + consciousness field = consciousness

2 things
How can the brain be consciousness? The brain is a piece of meat, you can hold it in your hands (not your own brain, I advise). You can't hide one of your entities on that sneaky basis.

In addition, you've misrepresented what I quoted. The options are:

A) Consciousness does not exist. Entities are
  1. Brain

B) Consciousness exists but is a direct product of the brain. Entities are
  1. Brain
  2. Consciousness

C) Consciousness exists as an independent substrate. Entities are
  1. Brain
  2. Conscious Field
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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:31 AM   #362
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Qualia is a case of special pleading
Can you elaborate, please?
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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:34 AM   #363
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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.
And that is what the Hard Problem deals with. We could track and monitor the activities of every single sub-atomic particle, every electrical impulse, every chemical molecule, and we would be no nearer to identifying the source or nature of experience or indeed to evidencing that it even exists.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:34 AM   #364
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
How do you know that?
Do you mean that we might find cases where physics fails to work properly if there is not a feeling of pain?

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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:35 AM   #365
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At this point, it may be helpful to define 'exists'.

After all mirages exist, in a sense. They are real, in a purely subjective sense.

It is when objecticity intrudes, when objective measures are asked for, that we are compelled to treat mirages as illusions.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:37 AM   #366
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
At this point, it may be helpful to define 'exists'.

After all mirages exist, in a sense. They are real, in a purely subjective sense.

It is when objecticity intrudes, when objective measures are asked for, that we are compelled to treat mirages as illusions.
I'm using it to mean detectable, in theory, by physical equipment.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:38 AM   #367
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Whatever we find out about how the brain works will be entirely explicable by the laws of physics and feelings of pain etc are nowhere in that explanation.

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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:39 AM   #368
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Whatever we find out about how the brain works will be entirely explicable by the laws of physics and feelings of pain etc are nowhere in that explanation.
They're in mine. So that's another plus point for it.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:40 AM   #369
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
At this point, it may be helpful to define 'exists'.

After all mirages exist, in a sense. They are real, in a purely subjective sense.

It is when objecticity intrudes, when objective measures are asked for, that we are compelled to treat mirages as illusions.
Veterans of the old Richard Dawkins forum will know that "exists" means "capable of being a relatum in a property exemplification nexus"

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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:48 AM   #370
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
On the other hand when we say "I am feeling pain", we are not referring to neural activity, we are referring to a feeling.
Why do you assume there is a difference between a feeling and neural activity?

Quote:
People were feeling pain millenia before anyone had every heard of a neuron.
That doesn't mean they weren't describing neural activity. People were experiencing earthquakes before they'd heard of tectonic plates, but that doesn't mean they weren't experiencing the effect caused by the movement of those plates.

Quote:
All neural activity can be explained in the absence of any of that.
Since our understanding of neural activity is rudimentary and nascent, on what do you base this statement?
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Old 23rd February 2019, 04:00 AM   #371
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Why do you assume there is a difference between a feeling and neural activity?
Because, as I said, the neural activity can be explained completely without there being such a thing as a feeling.
Quote:
Since our understanding of neural activity is rudimentary and nascent, on what do you base this statement?
Do you think that we will find some neural activity that is not capable of being explained entirely by the laws of physics?
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Old 23rd February 2019, 04:21 AM   #372
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Because, as I said, the neural activity can be explained completely without there being such a thing as a feeling.
Why do you believe this to be true?

Quote:
Do you think that we will find some neural activity that is not capable of being explained entirely by the laws of physics?
No, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you can explain all neural activity without any reference to feelings. You can explain the firing of neurons, but that's not the same thing in the same way that you can explain what's physically happening with the component parts of a working clockwork watch without referring to time but you're not explaining the activity of a watch. The physics describing the component parts of something is not necessarily the same as describing the entire thing.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 04:40 AM   #373
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
And that is what the Hard Problem deals with. We could track and monitor the activities of every single sub-atomic particle, every electrical impulse, every chemical molecule, and we would be no nearer to identifying the source or nature of experience or indeed to evidencing that it even exists.
Yep, same problem with finding the run when a person is running.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 04:43 AM   #374
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Why do you believe this to be true?
Let's get this clear, you are asking me why I believe that any physical object can be entirely explained by the laws of physics.
Quote:
No, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you can explain all neural activity without any reference to feelings. You can explain the firing of neurons, but that's not the same thing in the same way that you can explain what's physically happening with the component parts of a working clockwork watch without referring to time but you're not explaining the activity of a watch. The physics describing the component parts of something is not necessarily the same as describing the entire thing.
If you have all the parts of a watch as described by physics in the arrangement of a watch then you will have a watch. Saying otherwise is contradictory.

Similarly if you have the parts of a brain in the arrangement of a brain then you will have a brain.

However there is no contradiction in saying that there could be all the parts of a brain as described by physics in the arrangement of a brain experiencing pain, but that there is no feeling of pain bring experienced. The physical laws all work fine without bringing in the hypothesis of a feeling of pain.

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Old 23rd February 2019, 04:47 AM   #375
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Yep, same problem with finding the run when a person is running.
Nope, because the 'run' is not self-aware. There is nothing other than mechanical motion. The 'run' does not exist as an entity any more than flolloping does, or any member of a set of infinite descriptors we could use to describe any set of mechanical actions. The 'run' is not sat there thinking, "Gee, this is weird, I feel that I exist but I can't pinpoint my physical origins." The legs aren't thinking that either, they're just moving. It's a total false equivalence.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 04:50 AM   #376
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
How can the brain be consciousness? The brain is a piece of meat, you can hold it in your hands (not your own brain, I advise). You can't hide one of your entities on that sneaky basis.



In addition, you've misrepresented what I quoted. The options are:



A) Consciousness does not exist. Entities are


  1. Brain



B) Consciousness exists but is a direct product of the brain. Entities are


  1. Brain
  2. Consciousness



C) Consciousness exists as an independent substrate. Entities are


  1. Brain
  2. Conscious Field
What the brain does amongst many other thing is consciousness (to simplyfy the discussion think of brain to mean the totallity of our sensorium and the stuff stuffed into out skull.) Consciousness is just what the brain does. Can't see what is mysterious or esoteric about that.

All you seem to be doing is wanting consciousness to be something other than what the brain does. You'll need to provide evidence that we need more than the brain for consciousness.

I can provide quite strong evidence that the only thing we need for consciousness is an undamaged brain. (And that damaging the brain alters consciousness. Like removing muscles from a leg will alter running.)

There is simply no reason and more importantly no evidence so far to think we need anything other than the brain for consciousness, just like there is no need for us to speculate there is a running field our muscles tap into to.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 04:50 AM   #377
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Do you mean that we might find cases where physics fails to work properly if there is not a feeling of pain?

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No.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 04:52 AM   #378
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Whatever we find out about how the brain works will be entirely explicable by the laws of physics and feelings of pain etc are nowhere in that explanation.

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Then it wouldn't be a full explanation.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 05:01 AM   #379
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What the brain does amongst many other thing is consciousness (to simplyfy the discussion think of brain to mean the totallity of our sensorium and the stuff stuffed into out skull.) Consciousness is just what the brain does. Can't see what is mysterious or esoteric about that.
It's not mysterious, it's just wrong. We know most of what the brain does, and we can imagine knowing what the rest does. We understand blood flow in the brain, electrical and chemical impulses and the like, and once our instruments become sensitive enough we will in theory be able to monitor the exact behaviour of every single subatomic particle in the brain. None of that will get us one inch further towards understanding what consciousness is.

My theory, on the other hand, doesn't rely on the brain to reveal the secrets of consciousness, any more than the structure of a rock reveals the secrets of gravity.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
All you seem to be doing is wanting consciousness to be something other than what the brain does. You'll need to provide evidence that we need more than the brain for consciousness.
Why?

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I can provide quite strong evidence that the only thing we need for consciousness is an undamaged brain. (And that damaging the brain alters consciousness. Like removing muscles from a leg will alter running.)
I guarantee that you can't. You're operating on a logical fallacy. I know the kind of thing you'd produce but it doesn't show what you think it does, any more than smashing a TV disproves the idea of radio waves.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
There is simply no reason and more importantly no evidence so far to think we need anything other than the brain for consciousness, just like there is no need for us to speculate there is a running field our muscles tap into to.
There's no evidence either way. You have no evidence, I have no evidence. But what my theory does have is the ability to explain what consciousness might be in terms of an actual entity. You are simply saying it exists but it's like running... which doesn't actually exist. That makes no sense.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 05:46 AM   #380
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No I have evidence that consciousness is what a brain does, you claim it doesn't, I can show you brains in alsorts of conditions that change consciousness. You may not accept that evidence, but it is there. Your consciousness field is not only completely unevidenced but has to be supernatural, I. E. both capable of interacting with the universe but not being detectable. We have absolutely no reason to believe that such a field *could* never mind does exist.

We simply have no need for your “consciousness of the gaps “ field, until there is evidence for it I don't see why we should even consider it as a potential “answer" to what is consciousness. Even more so when of course it doesn't even explain or demonstrate what consciousness is or how it arises.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 06:20 AM   #381
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I can. As clearly as you can see your monitor, I can visualise red.
I got to this post then suddenly had an image of blood dripping down my monitor
I guess there's nothing wrong with my minds eye.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 06:48 AM   #382
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
No I have evidence that consciousness is what a brain does, you claim it doesn't, I can show you brains in alsorts of conditions that change consciousness. You may not accept that evidence, but it is there. Your consciousness field is not only completely unevidenced but has to be supernatural, I. E. both capable of interacting with the universe but not being detectable. We have absolutely no reason to believe that such a field *could* never mind does exist.

We simply have no need for your “consciousness of the gaps “ field, until there is evidence for it I don't see why we should even consider it as a potential “answer" to what is consciousness. Even more so when of course it doesn't even explain or demonstrate what consciousness is or how it arises.
Precisely what all my reading in the field of neuroscience indicates. Why invoke some ineffable, unobservable “something” when it’s simply not necessary?
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Old 23rd February 2019, 07:15 AM   #383
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
And that is what the Hard Problem deals with. We could track and monitor the activities of every single sub-atomic particle, every electrical impulse, every chemical molecule, and we would be no nearer to identifying the source or nature of experience or indeed to evidencing that it even exists.
It is like taking apart a computer and looking for the words and pictures that you see on the screen. Even with the best microscope you cannot find them in any of the components. They exist at a different level of abstraction from the physical hardware. The situation regarding pain and neurons is analogous. The "hard problem of qualia" is the same as the "hard problem of video games".

Originally Posted by Robin View Post
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.
Our nervous system has ways in which certain negative stimuli result in unconscious reactions, like pulling your hand away from a fire or not putting pressure on a broken limb. Those signals are wired to the rest of the brain during its formation in order to bring about certain behavior.

That is good enough for some purposes, but it not enough to accomplish everything that we need to do to survive. In order to be processed, understood, remembered, etc. there also needs to be a way that the existence of pain is represented by the parts of the brain that handle higher level thought and planning. Just as words and images need to represented in some way using binary numbers in order for them to be manipulated by a computer, in a brain sensations must be represented in some way by particular patterns of neural firing. That representation is the "feeling" of pain.

The connection of those patterns with the negative stimulus hard wired into the brain is established by association, something that neural networks are good at doing. It seems counter intuitive that the association of patterns of neural firing with hard wired behavior is all that there is to the sensation of feeling pain, but that doesn't mean that it is wrong. It is just a blind spot in our ability to understand ourselves subjectively.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 07:18 AM   #384
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
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.

Not just burden of proof, that applies to all of these critical thinking ‘principles’. In these forums, one is sometimes treated to the spectacle of keyboard warriors spending their apparently unlimited leisure in (mis-) using these otherwise sound principles and heuristics in aping/mimicking rational discourse, and in mindlessly filling up post after post after post with apparently endless and ultimately content-free bickering and grandstanding that, as you say, does not really “expand understanding”. It is wise to keep away from such.


Quote:
I do not get that vibe from you though.

As a rule I find grandstanding a waste of time, and make it a point to avoid argumentation-for-the-sake-of-argumentation, as well as those whom I have found to habitually indulge in such.

On the other hand, I very much doubt that those I describe as grandstanders start out their day saying “Another day! Let me try to enliven up my worthless and joyless life by composing yet another fifty posts of mindless drivel today in these here JREF/ISF forums, and give expression to my inner bunghole in the process.” I expect they, too, imagine that what they are doing is critical thinking, perhaps they even, in some way, do actually “expand their understanding” in their own way through these exchanges. While we can and do form our own subjective conclusions, and act according to those conclusions, it is probably best not to generalize these conclusions. Who is to say, after all, that I/we or my/our posts might not fall in that same catergory in someone else’s eyes?

You do well to come to your own conclusion about who and what “expands your understanding”, and therefore is worth your time. I am happy that, at least for now, I appear to pass muster with you -- as you yourself do with me, for now at any rate.


Quote:
Since I haven't engaged in the BoP argument before I'm not sure how it works

I am no philosophy don either, and try to pick these things up as best I can, where I can, to the extent I find them useful. Your date of joining far precedes mine, so you’ve probably at least read and followed a great many such discussions here, even if you haven’t actually participated in them yourself. There is no reason to imagine that I necessarily know any more or any better than you about this, but I am happy to share my own POV here, for what that is worth.


Quote:
...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?

There are two ways of looking at this, and certainly, that is one way (if a somewhat questionable way). Irrespective of which of the two ways of looking at this we adopt, I think it makes sense to at least be consistent in how we apply this. Let us apply either POV, but let us apply it consistently to, for instance, God, and Consciousness, and Free Will.

The line of reasoning you forward, if applied to the God question, would result in our saying: “Most people intuitively feel that God exists, they are as sure of this as they can be of anything; and this is their default position; and therefore, the burden is on those who provide contradictory positions.” And no doubt that is exactly how people needed to reason, back before critical thinking really became a thing, back when belief in God was far more widespread than it is today. No doubt there are those who still think this way today, about God I mean, plenty of them in fact. And sure, you can try piece-by-piece to dismantle individual God-ideas as they are presented to you. That is the route to hard atheism.

On the other hand, it is more economical in terms of effort, as well as more universally productive of some acceptable conclusion, to simply ask for evidence for any claim that has been presented, and, if satisfactory evidence is not forthcoming, to reject that claim. When applied to the God question, that is the route to soft atheism. Following this approach, if you’re claiming that free will exists, or that consciousness is real, or that God exists, then it is you who must provide evidence for this.

This principle can be twisted around and turned on its head to say: ‘You are the one claiming that consciousness is an illusion, so you provide that evidence you say is necessary’. Nor is this request necessarily unreasonable. But no matter which approach you adopt, surely it makes sense to be consistent in how you apply it? If you find this approach reasonable when it comes to the Consciousness question, then you ought to find a similar approach reasonable when it comes to the God question, right? Being inconsistent in how you apply this principle would be textbook special pleading.

Again, I’ve seen people here fling around the special pleading argument without really understanding that special pleading isn’t always fallacious. It is fallacious only when there are no valid reasons for this exceptionalism.

Which is why I asked you if you had any good reasons to justify this specific instance of exceptionalism that seemed implied in your argument. (And I realize you haven’t actually touched on the God question at all yourself. If you did not mean to imply what I’ve ended up inferring, then I invite you to think about this and to clearly present your position on this, in light of what I’ve said in this post.)


Quote:
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.

Agreed. And I’ve expressed my agreement to this statement, as far as it goes, in both of my earlier posts addressed to you.


Quote:
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.

Well, yes and no. True, that statement does not, in itself, magically let us come to some incontrovertible conclusion about the nature of consciousness. On the other hand, sussing out the full implications of that statement can get us to thinking about how it is we actually want to approach the question -- which position it is reasonable to take as default -- and that, in turn, may help us in actually doing the work that you rightly say needs to be done. I’d go so far as to say that thinking about this is, in itself, already, part of that “work”.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 07:33 AM   #385
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I'm using it to mean detectable, in theory, by physical equipment.

That's better than, and also different from, treating consciousness as wholly subjective, I suppose.

Two questions:
  1. Is it enough to simply go for "detectable by physical equipment", or might we need to qualify this further?

    (While it is true I don't agree with your ultimate position on this, I'm not asking this in order to try to shoot down your definition. Simply trying to think this forward, along with you.)

    After all, to go back to mirages: our eyes-linked-to-brain can be thought of as "physical equipment", I suppose. Yet we detect mirages. Also, I wonder if mirages can actually be photographed? No reason why not, I suppose? So then perhaps we might need a somewhat sharper, finer-resolution definition there?


  2. Why or how, do you imagine, this physically detectable (and therefore physical) "field" might end up causing what we commonly understand as consciousness?

    What I'm going for is this: In that article Minoosh had linked, they're apparently defining interconnectivity and/or synergy as consciousness (or so I gathered). That doesn't seem to make sense, far as I can see. If that is how we're defining consciousness, then we're probably not (yet) talking about what we commonly understand as consciousness, at least not until we can show that that ends up translating to our common understanding of consciousness. Until we do that, we're not really discussing consciousness, even though we're using the word 'consciouness'.

    In that sense, and getting back to your consciousness field: In what way do you imagine (or "believe", if you prefer that word ) that that field results in what we commonly think of as people or animals being conscious?
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Old 23rd February 2019, 08:20 AM   #386
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I think it would help people a lot to understand that the philosophical theory of MATERIALISM, that everything is matter, is only a theory. It happens to fit well with certain scientific observations though it kind of collapses when confronted with Quantum Physics and the alterations of things due to them being observed.

There is another theory called IDEALISM which states that everything is mind. In many ways this is in fact a more convincing theory.

It's necessary to understand that the (philosophical) framework in which science makes it's observations is just a paradigm. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but becomes so when one thinks that the paradigm is the final and absolute truth.

As for this whole business about Qualia, it's something that's very difficult to explain to people who haven't had a certain variety of experience, or who are totally caught up in endless conceptualization. You try to explain to people... "but you must be wrong, because Qualia!" and they can't grasp what you're saying because they only have an intellectual definition of Qualia.

From my own perspective, as an illogical mystic, I think that the word is unsatisfying. I prefer a term like "the inner light".

Anyway, interesting theory Baron has... I quite like the Buddhist perspective, we do not know, we may not be able to know, and knowing might not be of any use to us.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 08:37 AM   #387
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
No I have evidence that consciousness is what a brain does, you claim it doesn't, I can show you brains in alsorts of conditions that change consciousness.
In what way does that go against my theory? I said that information processing distorts the conscious field to produce conscious awareness. Obviously then, when the brain condition changes the information processing changes and consciousness changes. That logic is no different to yours, yet you claim yours constitutes evidence whilst mine does not!

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
You may not accept that evidence, but it is there. Your consciousness field is not only completely unevidenced but has to be supernatural, I. E. both capable of interacting with the universe but not being detectable.
On top of the last fallacy you have now misrepresented my position 180 degrees. I maintain, and have stated many times, that the conscious field is physically real, 'as real as the gravitational field', and is 'not paranormal' in any way (quotes from my posts). It is your claim that demands the paranormal to account for it. You say consciousness is a thing, that it exists, yet your argument is that it's the same as 'running', which without question does not exist.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
We simply have no need for your “consciousness of the gaps “ field, until there is evidence for it I don't see why we should even consider it as a potential “answer" to what is consciousness. Even more so when of course it doesn't even explain or demonstrate what consciousness is or how it arises.
What gaps? That makes no sense. Seems to me like you've taken a criticism of religion and shoe-horned it into this discussion in an effort to back up your argument, despite the criticism not even applying.

Originally Posted by p0lka View Post
I got to this post then suddenly had an image of blood dripping down my monitor
I guess there's nothing wrong with my minds eye.
My dog just bit the end of his tongue off whilst playing with his ball on the field - blood all over his face and my hands. I can picture that very accurately!

Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
It is like taking apart a computer and looking for the words and pictures that you see on the screen. Even with the best microscope you cannot find them in any of the components. They exist at a different level of abstraction from the physical hardware. The situation regarding pain and neurons is analogous. The "hard problem of qualia" is the same as the "hard problem of video games".
That is self-evidently false. The pixels on your screen, the light they emit, their trigger mechanisms, etc. are all subject to investigation and well understood. Why would you 'take apart your computer' to try and find pictures on your monitor? Your monitor is your monitor and if you examine it you will very easily be able to analyse what you find and relate it precisely to the image displayed and the input from the computer. There's no mystery there.

Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
Our nervous system has ways in which certain negative stimuli result in unconscious reactions, like pulling your hand away from a fire or not putting pressure on a broken limb. Those signals are wired to the rest of the brain during its formation in order to bring about certain behavior.

That is good enough for some purposes, but it not enough to accomplish everything that we need to do to survive. In order to be processed, understood, remembered, etc. there also needs to be a way that the existence of pain is represented by the parts of the brain that handle higher level thought and planning.
Why would you conclude that? In what precise way is a theoretical unconscious machine unable to protect itself from injury on the basis it is not conscious?

Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
Just as words and images need to represented in some way using binary numbers in order for them to be manipulated by a computer, in a brain sensations must be represented in some way by particular patterns of neural firing. That representation is the "feeling" of pain.
Nope, that's just neurons firing. Unless you can explain why this spark of electricity produces consciousness whilst this spark over here does not, your idea that neural firing is consciousness is baseless. That's one advantage of my theory. I don't need to group objects into two arbitrary sets and claim that one set produces consciousness whilst the other doesn't, that challenge is wholly on you.

Furthermore, you're making another logical fallacy. You say 'Just as words and images need to represented in some way using binary numbers in order for them to be manipulated by a computer'. This is false. The computer has no concept of words and images and does not need to have. All it does is manipulate the 0s and 1s (summarily speaking), the words and images only become relevant when the computer's output is processes by a human. (EDIT: I may have misread your comment on this one, but I'll leave my reply in).

Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
The connection of those patterns with the negative stimulus hard wired into the brain is established by association, something that neural networks are good at doing. It seems counter intuitive that the association of patterns of neural firing with hard wired behavior is all that there is to the sensation of feeling pain, but that doesn't mean that it is wrong. It is just a blind spot in our ability to understand ourselves subjectively.
I say it has no more evidence to support it than my theory, and to my mind at least, fits the facts less well.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
That's better than, and also different from, treating consciousness as wholly subjective, I suppose.

Two questions:

[*]Is it enough to simply go for "detectable by physical equipment", or might we need to qualify this further?

(While it is true I don't agree with your ultimate position on this, I'm not asking this in order to try to shoot down your definition. Simply trying to think this forward, along with you.)

After all, to go back to mirages: our eyes-linked-to-brain can be thought of as "physical equipment", I suppose. Yet we detect mirages. Also, I wonder if mirages can actually be photographed? No reason why not, I suppose? So then perhaps we might need a somewhat sharper, finer-resolution definition there?
I think you're being misled somewhat by the idea of mirages. Mirages are simply a result of the path light takes to get to the eye. In terms of perception they're no different from a reflection or a sunset or indeed any method of viewing a visible object. I have no idea how the conscious field could be detected, or what would be used to detect it, but I don't see why it can't in theory be done.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
[*]Why or how, do you imagine, this physically detectable (and therefore physical) "field" might end up causing what we commonly understand as consciousness?

What I'm going for is this: In that article Minoosh had linked, they're apparently defining interconnectivity and/or synergy as consciousness (or so I gathered). That doesn't seem to make sense, far as I can see. If that is how we're defining consciousness, then we're probably not (yet) talking about what we commonly understand as consciousness, at least not until we can show that that ends up translating to our common understanding of consciousness. Until we do that, we're not really discussing consciousness, even though we're using the word 'consciouness'.

In that sense, and getting back to your consciousness field: In what way do you imagine (or "believe", if you prefer that word ) that that field results in what we commonly think of as people or animals being conscious?
I believe the field is consciousness, not that it causes consciousness. I see information processing in the physical world as causing distortions in the field geometry in magnitudinal proportion to the complexity of the exchanges, and these distortions represent localised awarenesses.

Of course, you can ask, "Well why is the field consciousness?" I have no idea, and I suspect it is illogical to ask the question. You can repeatedly ask 'Why?' or 'How?' of any fact and eventually you get to the point of saying, "It just is." That's what you'd expect from a fundamental of nature and that's what I believe consciousness is.

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Old 23rd February 2019, 08:49 AM   #388
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Let's get this clear, you are asking me why I believe that any physical object can be entirely explained by the laws of physics.
No, I'm asking why you believe that you can describe just the physical laws governing the component parts of something and thereby describe the entire thing.

Quote:
If you have all the parts of a watch as described by physics in the arrangement of a watch then you will have a watch. Saying otherwise is contradictory.
You will have a watch, but you won't have described what the watch is doing, what activity it is engaged in.

To offer up another example, you could describe all the physics that governs people running around in a field kicking a ball, but in doing so you won't describe a football match.

Quote:
However there is no contradiction in saying that there could be all the parts of a brain as described by physics in the arrangement of a brain experiencing pain, but that there is no feeling of pain bring experienced. The physical laws all work fine without bringing in the hypothesis of a feeling of pain.
The laws of physics don't require the feeling of pain to exist. Describing the neural activity of the brain of someone who is feeling pain does.

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Old 23rd February 2019, 08:57 AM   #389
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Your consciousness field is not only completely unevidenced but has to be supernatural, I. E. both capable of interacting with the universe but not being detectable. We have absolutely no reason to believe that such a field *could* never mind does exist.
In fact, there is evidence that it doesn't. I can't find it at the moment, but there's video of a lecture by Sean Caroll speaking at some sceptic event or another where he walks the audience through quantum field theory, what the confirmation of the Higgs boson means for it, and why this means that there cannot be anything like this consciousness field (although, obviously, that's not the example he uses). I'll have another go at finding it later, but it's been posted on this board quite a few times over the years.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 09:05 AM   #390
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
The "hard problem of qualia" is the same as the "hard problem of video games".
Yes, exactly. Consciousness is obviously much more complex and would require a great deal more computing power than even the most details computer game, but I've yet to see any cogent argument as to why the difference is more than one of degree.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 09:08 AM   #391
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
In fact, there is evidence that it doesn't. I can't find it at the moment, but there's video of a lecture by Sean Caroll speaking at some sceptic event or another where he walks the audience through quantum field theory, what the confirmation of the Higgs boson means for it, and why this means that there cannot be anything like this consciousness field (although, obviously, that's not the example he uses). I'll have another go at finding it later, but it's been posted on this board quite a few times over the years.
One in a long line of scientists who like to announce that science knows everything about X there is to know. Some even announce that there is nothing worth discovering in any scientific field and that we're on the brink of wrapping it all up and going home. This has been happening for three thousand years and unfortunately the pastime is becoming no less popular.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 09:34 AM   #392
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
In fact, there is evidence that it doesn't. I can't find it at the moment, but there's video of a lecture by Sean Caroll speaking at some sceptic event or another where he walks the audience through quantum field theory, what the confirmation of the Higgs boson means for it, and why this means that there cannot be anything like this consciousness field (although, obviously, that's not the example he uses). I'll have another go at finding it later, but it's been posted on this board quite a few times over the years.
Yeah I often post it. There simply isn't the “space “ for another unknown particle that could interact with our brain, people think this is like saying we think we know everything but it isn't there is still a lot we don't know of course but at some scales we know to an incredible level of accuracy what can fit in. There simply isn't any room for something that interacts with our brain but we haven't detected. If there was we would see something different than what we have done.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 09:35 AM   #393
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
One in a long line of scientists who like to announce that science knows everything about X there is to know. Some even announce that there is nothing worth discovering in any scientific field and that we're on the brink of wrapping it all up and going home. This has been happening for three thousand years and unfortunately the pastime is becoming no less popular.
Good job that isn't what is being said.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 09:46 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Yeah I often post it. There simply isn't the “space “ for another unknown particle that could interact with our brain, people think this is like saying we think we know everything but it isn't there is still a lot we don't know of course but at some scales we know to an incredible level of accuracy what can fit in. There simply isn't any room for something that interacts with our brain but we haven't detected. If there was we would see something different than what we have done.
It's the old "known unknowns" vs. "unknown unknowns".
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Old 23rd February 2019, 09:49 AM   #395
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So, if running doesn't exist, then what are the people competing in the Olympic 100m sprint doing?
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Old 23rd February 2019, 10:03 AM   #396
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Yes, exactly. Consciousness is obviously much more complex and would require a great deal more computing power than even the most details computer game, but I've yet to see any cogent argument as to why the difference is more than one of degree.
Can you provide an argument that it is strictly a matter of degree?
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Old 23rd February 2019, 10:11 AM   #397
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Can you provide an argument that it is strictly a matter of degree?
If I'm understanding correctly what you're asking, then there are plenty of things which exist on a scale, rather than simply being binary. And that includes some which are commonly thought of as being binary, such as whether or not something is alive.

Reality doesn't tend to fit into the neat categories that humans would prefer it to. I see no reason to suppose that consciousness is any different in this regard.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 10:21 AM   #398
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Yeah I often post it. There simply isn't the “space “ for another unknown particle that could interact with our brain, people think this is like saying we think we know everything but it isn't there is still a lot we don't know of course but at some scales we know to an incredible level of accuracy what can fit in. There simply isn't any room for something that interacts with our brain but we haven't detected. If there was we would see something different than what we have done.
What does 'no room' mean and what evidence have you that no other interactions are possible? Also, if there is 'no more room' now for new particles there must have been a time when there was room, so on what date did the transition occur?

It's like examining a rock and saying "We know everything that goes on in this rock. We know what it's made of, how the particles interact and the precise nature of the radiation it emits. There's no room any emission that generates a gravitational force so gravity can't possibly exist."
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Old 23rd February 2019, 10:31 AM   #399
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
What does 'no room' mean and what evidence have you that no other interactions are possible? Also, if there is 'no more room' now for new particles there must have been a time when there was room, so on what date did the transition occur?

It's like examining a rock and saying "We know everything that goes on in this rock. We know what it's made of, how the particles interact and the precise nature of the radiation it emits. There's no room any emission that generates a gravitational force so gravity can't possibly exist."
That's exactly what it isn't. If you want it as an analogy think of it like saying we know there is no elephant in the shed because an elephant is too big to fit in a shed. Doesn't mean we know everything about that shed, but we do know enough that we can confidently state that a big elephant can't fit in it.

When the brain interacts with your consciousness field what force is involved? Is it the weak, strong, electromagnetic or gravity?
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Old 23rd February 2019, 10:33 AM   #400
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I found the Sean Carroll video:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
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It's 49 minutes long, but interesting, and Carroll does an extraordinary job of taking you step-by-easy-to-understand-step through the science and the implications of that science. That should answer all the questions.
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