What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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sthitapragya
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by sthitapragya » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:11 am

I just found this from an excerpt on some medical paper on consciousness : A more plausible, and scientific, view of consciousness might be therefore that it is not a different property of the brain, some magic bullet, but that it is a consequence of a quantitative increase in the complexity of the human brain: consciousness will grow as brains grow. Hence, consciousness is most likely to be a continuously variable property of the brain, in both phylogenetic and ontogenetic terms.

Dalek Prime
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:00 pm

sthitapragya wrote:I just found this from an excerpt on some medical paper on consciousness : A more plausible, and scientific, view of consciousness might be therefore that it is not a different property of the brain, some magic bullet, but that it is a consequence of a quantitative increase in the complexity of the human brain: consciousness will grow as brains grow. Hence, consciousness is most likely to be a continuously variable property of the brain, in both phylogenetic and ontogenetic terms.
Yes, Peter Zapffe discusses this. (Over evolving consciousness, that is.) So this is something I do agree with.

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bahman
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by bahman » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:38 pm

sthitapragya wrote:
bahman wrote:
sthitapragya wrote: We do not become conscious of a situation. When we are in a situation, external stimuli alert the brain to the situation, the brain then stimulates the necessary part of the brain which comes up with the options. Meanwhile, the brain is translating the options for itself in the language it has been trained in. This translation is what the brain perceives as thought. The brain is at the same time aware that it is receiving the thought, has the ability to marvel at its own thought and the ability to question why it is thinking. This is what the brain itself calls consciousness. There is a lot of stuff the brain does not translate for itself. Those are the involuntary functions it carries out.
Most of the stuff you mentioned are done by subconscious mind. We perceive thoughts when they are delivered by subconsciousness. We don't do most of the things you mentioned by conscious mind.
Here. This might help. http://www.thegeniewithin.com/lesson-2
I think it would be useful to read this to see how consciousness is limited when it come to a practical situation.

sthitapragya
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by sthitapragya » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:37 am

bahman wrote:
sthitapragya wrote:
bahman wrote:
Most of the stuff you mentioned are done by subconscious mind. We perceive thoughts when they are delivered by subconsciousness. We don't do most of the things you mentioned by conscious mind.
Here. This might help. http://www.thegeniewithin.com/lesson-2
I think it would be useful to read this to see how consciousness is limited when it come to a practical situation.
I must admit that I was wrong in my assumption that the subconscious mind solely controls the processes of the body. I realized last night while thinking about my own smoking that the craving for smoking starts in the subconscious mind and is translated by the brain into "I want a cigarette". So obviously the subconscious mind is responsible for our thoughts too. By subconscious mind, I only mean the subconscious part of the brain.

The link that you suggested has a different definition of consciousness than the one we are discussing here. In the link consciousness is defined as "our ongoing experiences". We, I think, are discussing the consciousness which we call awareness of ourselves as DP so rightly pointed out to clear the confusion. Correct me if that is not the definition you were talking about.

If we are talking about consciousness as the awareness of the Descartes kind, then I will stand by my point of view that the awareness is a by-product of thought and comes later in life. If, however, that is not the consciousness you are talking about, then you need to specify what consciousness means to you.

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bahman
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by bahman » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:41 am

sthitapragya wrote: I must admit that I was wrong in my assumption that the subconscious mind solely controls the processes of the body. I realized last night while thinking about my own smoking that the craving for smoking starts in the subconscious mind and is translated by the brain into "I want a cigarette". So obviously the subconscious mind is responsible for our thoughts too. By subconscious mind, I only mean the subconscious part of the brain.
That is alright.
sthitapragya wrote: The link that you suggested has a different definition of consciousness than the one we are discussing here. In the link consciousness is defined as "our ongoing experiences". We, I think, are discussing the consciousness which we call awareness of ourselves as DP so rightly pointed out to clear the confusion. Correct me if that is not the definition you were talking about.
Consciousness in the link I suggested defined as ongoing experience. To me that is equal to awareness.
sthitapragya wrote: If we are talking about consciousness as the awareness of the Descartes kind, then I will stand by my point of view that the awareness is a by-product of thought and comes later in life. If, however, that is not the consciousness you are talking about, then you need to specify what consciousness means to you.
I don't think that consciousness is by-product of thoughts. I think that consciousness is an mental state that allows us to perceive thoughts and experience.

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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by sthitapragya » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:58 am

bahman wrote:
sthitapragya wrote: If we are talking about consciousness as the awareness of the Descartes kind, then I will stand by my point of view that the awareness is a by-product of thought and comes later in life. If, however, that is not the consciousness you are talking about, then you need to specify what consciousness means to you.
I don't think that consciousness is by-product of thoughts. I think that consciousness is an mental state that allows us to perceive thoughts and experience.
I cannot agree with that. Consciousness is our experiences not our ability to experience. Even the link you posted says the same thing right at the beginning. "This research is an investigation of whether consciousness—one's ongoing experience—influences one's behavior Our ability to experience comes from brain activity which result in thoughts."

If consciousness were not a by product of thought, it would not be a by product of brain activity because all brain activity is thought, some of which is translated and some of which is not. Consciousness would be independent of brain activity and would therefore not require the five senses. This would be a contradiction because without the five senses we would not have the ability to experience anything at all.

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bahman
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by bahman » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:37 pm

sthitapragya wrote:
bahman wrote:
sthitapragya wrote: If we are talking about consciousness as the awareness of the Descartes kind, then I will stand by my point of view that the awareness is a by-product of thought and comes later in life. If, however, that is not the consciousness you are talking about, then you need to specify what consciousness means to you.
I don't think that consciousness is by-product of thoughts. I think that consciousness is an mental state that allows us to perceive thoughts and experience.
I cannot agree with that. Consciousness is our experiences not our ability to experience. Even the link you posted says the same thing right at the beginning. "This research is an investigation of whether consciousness—one's ongoing experience—influences one's behavior Our ability to experience comes from brain activity which result in thoughts."

If consciousness were not a by product of thought, it would not be a by product of brain activity because all brain activity is thought, some of which is translated and some of which is not. Consciousness would be independent of brain activity and would therefore not require the five senses. This would be a contradiction because without the five senses we would not have the ability to experience anything at all.
Just close your eyes in a quite place and don't let your mind scattered by anything (your thoughts for example). This is a state which is different from coma. I call that state as conscious state in which you can easily experience inputs whenever you wish, either internal such as thoughts or external such as vision. The important point is that you still have capacity to experience thing any time you want when your senses and your internal thoughts are off.

sthitapragya
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by sthitapragya » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:02 am

bahman wrote:
Just close your eyes in a quite place and don't let your mind scattered by anything (your thoughts for example). This is a state which is different from coma. I call that state as conscious state in which you can easily experience inputs whenever you wish, either internal such as thoughts or external such as vision. The important point is that you still have capacity to experience thing any time you want when your senses and your internal thoughts are off.
Well, if you have reached a stage where you can stop your thoughts completely, then I cannot argue with you, can I?

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bahman
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by bahman » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:02 am

sthitapragya wrote:
bahman wrote: Just close your eyes in a quite place and don't let your mind scattered by anything (your thoughts for example). This is a state which is different from coma. I call that state as conscious state in which you can easily experience inputs whenever you wish, either internal such as thoughts or external such as vision. The important point is that you still have capacity to experience thing any time you want when your senses and your internal thoughts are off.
Well, if you have reached a stage where you can stop your thoughts completely, then I cannot argue with you, can I?
The important thing is that you can practice what I suggested. So you can be in a state of mind, I call it conscious, where you can decide to experience things whenever you wish. So in simple word, consciousness is not equal to state of awareness, in my humble opinion.

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Arising_uk
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by Arising_uk » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:58 pm

In answer to the OP title, it allows thoughts to think about thoughts.

prothero
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by prothero » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:41 am

I don't think one should equate consciousness with thought or with language. Thought and language are not the same either.
The lion chasing the gazelle, anticipates the future, knows the speed and trajectory. Highly trained humans execute trained responses without language. Thought precedes language and many thoughts are non verbal and non conscious. Consciousness comes in a variety of forms and degrees and is an evolutionary adaptation. Action A leads to emotion B is a thought and even the simplest organisms engage in such attraction avoidance behaviors.

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Arising_uk
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:00 am

The problem is that people never say what they mean by "consciousness" when they post, is it self-consciousness or consciousness of the external world?

It's as though they have never read any philosophy.

Walker
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by Walker » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:21 am

This should clear up any questions.

“Experience, however sublime, is not the real thing. By its very nature it comes and goes. Self-realization is not an acquisition. It is more of the nature of understanding. Once arrived at, it cannot be lost. On the other hand, consciousness is changeful, flowing, undergoing transformation from moment to moment. Do not hold on to consciousness and its contents. Consciousness held, ceases. To try to perpetuate a flash of insight, or a burst of happiness is destructive of what it wants to preserve. What comes must go. The permanent is beyond all comings and goings. Go to the root of all experience, to the sense of being. Beyond being and not-being lies the immensity of the real. Try and try again.”
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Arising_uk
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:20 pm

Is he talking about consciousness or self- consciousness?

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is the use of consciousness when it comes to thought?

Post by Terrapin Station » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:51 pm

I wouldn't say that one can have a thought that one isn't conscious of.

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