Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

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

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Greylorn Ell
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Greylorn Ell » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:39 pm

Wyman wrote: But Greylorn is also wrong in saying that philosophers do not recognize these things. Plato based much of his philosophy on the division between the appearance of the senses and the underlying reality and how to bridge that gap. As did Descartes and Kant, to name two more.
Wyman,

If I wrote such a thing, I must have been dreadfully intoxicated. I'd appreciate a reference, so that I can go back and clarify whatever it was I meant to write.

Thank you.
Greylorn

Ginkgo
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Ginkgo » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:47 pm

Greylorn Ell wrote:
Aren't terms like "monism" and "dualism" expressions of principles by which a theory might be constructed?
For sure.
Greylorn Ell wrote:
In that context, one might question the nature of the principles, and whether they might lead to a scientifically valid construct. If you agree with that, consider this:

Christianity offers a monistic explanation of the beginnings-- one God, creating the universe in acts of will, without any external reason for doing so.

Big Bang theory is likewise monistic-- one "singularity" suddenly exploding, creating all the matter and energy and laws of physics and magical 20-odd essential constants, without any external reason for doing so.

Yet in physics and in life, monistic events do not occur. We live in a cause-effect universe. How then is dualism non-scientific?
If I understand you correctly are you saying that a singularity is one type of stuff and from this we get matter and energy. Thus we have two types of stuff...hence dualism?

That is to say singularity type of stuff and matter/energy type of stuff.

Gee
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Gee » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:56 pm

Wyman;
Wyman wrote:Gee, here is a quote from Hawkin's Book the Grand Design. I don't think it is controversial:
Well, I find it controversial. Since I have not read the book, Grand Design, and the below is taken out of context, it is possible that I am misinterpreting Hawkin's statements. On the other hand, Hawkin is a scientist and science has a tendency to ignore emotion in all of it's forms, so I suspect that when he talks about consciousness, he is only considering internal consciousness -- the brain.
Hawkin's Book the Grand Design wrote:We make models in science, but we also make them in everyday life. Model-dependent realism applies not only to scientific models but also to the conscious and subconscious mental models we all create in order to interpret and understand the everyday world. There is no way to remove the observer—us—from our perception of the world, which is created through our sensory processing and through the way we think and reason. Our perception—and hence the observations upon which our theories are based—is not direct, but rather is shaped by a kind of lens, the interpretive structure of our human brains.
[The next paragraph deals exclusively with the brain and rational aspect of mind.]
Please note the underlined words. I very much doubt that we make 'subconscious mental models', and if we did, I doubt that we would know it. I suspect that the 'sensory processing' that he is talking about is the five senses, and the words 'think and reason' are generally related to the rational aspect of mind, the Ego, or the part of the mind that we direct.

So although I have no disagreement in the above statements as they apply to the internal, self-directed, rational aspect of mind, I seriously doubt that the above applies to the shared, external, reactionary sub/unconscious aspect of mind or to emotion.

We have the reality that everything is photons; we have the reality extrapolated from our five senses through the brain; and we have the reality of emotion that is understood by the sub/unconscious aspect of mind. Of the three, I suspect that emotion is the most real to us.
Wyman wrote:But Greylorn is also wrong in saying that philosophers do not recognize these things. Plato based much of his philosophy on the division between the appearance of the senses and the underlying reality and how to bridge that gap. As did Descartes and Kant, to name two more.
Descartes was very rational, so I am not sure he understood the subconscious, and I do not know much of his work, just Mediations. Kant, I don't know at all, but Plato's cave makes it very clear that he understood the "gap".
Wyman wrote:It pertains to the topic at hand in so far as it describes at least one fundamental attribute of consciousness, which is to interpret and synthesize stimuli into a picture of the world which 'works' - i.e. it allows us to distinguish between mud and money and reap the benefits of the latter. If this is 'all' that consciousness is/does (which is a lot), then it is conceivable and probable that some other mechanism besides the brain could perform that same function.
I don't agree. If the job of consciousness is "to interpret and synthesize stimuli into a picture of the world" then it truly is "conceivable and probable that some other mechanism besides the brain could perform that same function", such as, a television, radio, or computer.

This is the problem that I run into over and over. When we decide that consciousness is limited to the brain and rational aspect of mind, then we state that a computer is probably conscious. This is bull. There is much more to consciousness and it is not in the brain. We can only avoid dealing with emotion, external consciousness, and the sub/unconscious aspect of mind for so long -- then we have to look at it or be dishonest.

Gee

Greylorn Ell
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Greylorn Ell » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:42 pm

Ginkgo wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Aren't terms like "monism" and "dualism" expressions of principles by which a theory might be constructed?
For sure.
Greylorn Ell wrote:
In that context, one might question the nature of the principles, and whether they might lead to a scientifically valid construct. If you agree with that, consider this:

Christianity offers a monistic explanation of the beginnings-- one God, creating the universe in acts of will, without any external reason for doing so.

Big Bang theory is likewise monistic-- one "singularity" suddenly exploding, creating all the matter and energy and laws of physics and magical 20-odd essential constants, without any external reason for doing so.

Yet in physics and in life, monistic events do not occur. We live in a cause-effect universe. How then is dualism non-scientific?
If I understand you correctly are you saying that a singularity is one type of stuff and from this we get matter and energy. Thus we have two types of stuff...hence dualism?

That is to say singularity type of stuff and matter/energy type of stuff.
Ginkgo,

I'd never declare "the singularity" to be a form of stuff, because the term as used in the context of Big Bang theory refers to a physical singularity. No such thing can exist.

Singularity is a mathematical term referring to a calculation that produces infinity as a result. (x/0, or the tangent of 90 degrees, etc.) It is a legitimate mathematical concept for those mathematicians who believe in that particularly absurd concept. Incompetent cosmologists have recently invented the notion of a physical singularity to solve the dreadful problems associated with big bang theory (i.e. it simply does not work). It means, something that we do not know jack shit about, and will never know jack shit about--- much like the Almighty God of religious lore.

As Big Al pointed out well over a century ago, matter is just another form of energy-- akin to light, heat, momentum, gravitational potential, magnetic and electric fields, etc. The only dualism involved in matter-energy is in the mind of the physics-ignorant philosopher trying to make a shoddy case to like-minded philosophers.

Greylorn

Ginkgo
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Ginkgo » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:50 pm

Greylorn Ell wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Aren't terms like "monism" and "dualism" expressions of principles by which a theory might be constructed?
For sure.
Greylorn Ell wrote:
In that context, one might question the nature of the principles, and whether they might lead to a scientifically valid construct. If you agree with that, consider this:

Christianity offers a monistic explanation of the beginnings-- one God, creating the universe in acts of will, without any external reason for doing so.

Big Bang theory is likewise monistic-- one "singularity" suddenly exploding, creating all the matter and energy and laws of physics and magical 20-odd essential constants, without any external reason for doing so.

Yet in physics and in life, monistic events do not occur. We live in a cause-effect universe. How then is dualism non-scientific?
If I understand you correctly are you saying that a singularity is one type of stuff and from this we get matter and energy. Thus we have two types of stuff...hence dualism?

That is to say singularity type of stuff and matter/energy type of stuff.
Ginkgo,

I'd never declare "the singularity" to be a form of stuff, because the term as used in the context of Big Bang theory refers to a physical singularity. No such thing can exist.

Singularity is a mathematical term referring to a calculation that produces infinity as a result. (x/0, or the tangent of 90 degrees, etc.) It is a legitimate mathematical concept for those mathematicians who believe in that particularly absurd concept. Incompetent cosmologists have recently invented the notion of a physical singularity to solve the dreadful problems associated with big bang theory (i.e. it simply does not work). It means, something that we do not know jack shit about, and will never know jack shit about--- much like the Almighty God of religious lore.

As Big Al pointed out well over a century ago, matter is just another form of energy-- akin to light, heat, momentum, gravitational potential, magnetic and electric fields, etc. The only dualism involved in matter-energy is in the mind of the physics-ignorant philosopher trying to make a shoddy case to like-minded philosophers.

Greylorn

Can you give me your understanding of dualism?

Ginkgo
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Ginkgo » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:02 pm

Gee wrote:
This is the problem that I run into over and over. When we decide that consciousness is limited to the brain and rational aspect of mind, then we state that a computer is probably conscious. This is bull. There is much more to consciousness and it is not in the brain. We can only avoid dealing with emotion, external consciousness, and the sub/unconscious aspect of mind for so long -- then we have to look at it or be dishonest.
You seem to be saying that emotions are the sum total of consciousness. I think this is what you are saying... but perhaps not.

It isn't that controversial to say the brain carries out some functions of consciousness. Some aspects of this can be found in what Chalmers calls, "the easy problem of consciousness". Controversy comes about when we claim that the brain caries out all functions of consciousness.

If we say the brain acts like a computer we are only saying it carries out certain computer like functions. At this stage no one would claim a computer is conscious.

Greylorn Ell
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Greylorn Ell » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:23 pm

Ginkgo wrote: If I understand you correctly are you saying that a singularity is one type of stuff and from this we get matter and energy. Thus we have two types of stuff...hence dualism?

That is to say singularity type of stuff and matter/energy type of stuff.
Greylorn Ell wrote:Ginkgo,

I'd never declare "the singularity" to be a form of stuff, because the term as used in the context of Big Bang theory refers to a physical singularity. No such thing can exist.

Singularity is a mathematical term referring to a calculation that produces infinity as a result. (x/0, or the tangent of 90 degrees, etc.) It is a legitimate mathematical concept for those mathematicians who believe in that particularly absurd concept. Incompetent cosmologists have recently invented the notion of a physical singularity to solve the dreadful problems associated with big bang theory (i.e. it simply does not work). It means, something that we do not know jack shit about, and will never know jack shit about--- much like the Almighty God of religious lore.

As Big Al pointed out well over a century ago, matter is just another form of energy-- akin to light, heat, momentum, gravitational potential, magnetic and electric fields, etc. The only dualism involved in matter-energy is in the mind of the physics-ignorant philosopher trying to make a shoddy case to like-minded philosophers.

Greylorn
Ginkgo wrote:Can you give me your understanding of dualism?
Ginkgo,

It is the principle that all events occurring within our universe, whether material or mental, are the product of (at least) two opposing forces.

This simple notion expands to cover events as apparently complex as creation and human consciousness.

Greylorn

Greylorn Ell
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Greylorn Ell » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:28 pm

Ginkgo wrote: If we say the brain acts like a computer we are only saying it carries out certain computer like functions. At this stage no one would claim a computer is conscious.
Ginkgo,

Right. However, computers can manifest emotions, which are merely programmed reactions to events occurring in the external world. If you doubt this, check into Japanese robotics technology.

Greylorn

Wyman
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Wyman » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:09 pm

Greylorn Ell wrote:
Wyman wrote: But Greylorn is also wrong in saying that philosophers do not recognize these things. Plato based much of his philosophy on the division between the appearance of the senses and the underlying reality and how to bridge that gap. As did Descartes and Kant, to name two more.
Wyman,

If I wrote such a thing, I must have been dreadfully intoxicated. I'd appreciate a reference, so that I can go back and clarify whatever it was I meant to write.

Thank you.
Greylorn
It was just a reference to your response to Gee:


'You, like other philosophers, seem to believe that your senses are accurate representations of reality.

You do not see objects. You (and everyone else) can only perceive photons that bounce off of objects. We don't actually see the photons. They come into the eye and trigger chemical reactions in the retina, which cause electrochemical signals to travel into the brain, wherein they are divided, subdivided, and transferred into multiple sections of the brain. Somehow the brain translates these electrochemical signals into data that we and other critters interpret as visual information.

You are confusing a bunch of electrochemical reactions within your brain as "reality." Guess again.'

Granted, you did not say 'all' other philosophers. I was agreeing with your analysis of perception and disagreeing that philosophers generally believe that the senses are accurate representations.

Wyman
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Wyman » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:40 pm

Gee wrote:
Please note the underlined words. I very much doubt that we make 'subconscious mental models', and if we did, I doubt that we would know it. I suspect that the 'sensory processing' that he is talking about is the five senses, and the words 'think and reason' are generally related to the rational aspect of mind, the Ego, or the part of the mind that we direct.

So although I have no disagreement in the above statements as they apply to the internal, self-directed, rational aspect of mind, I seriously doubt that the above applies to the shared, external, reactionary sub/unconscious aspect of mind or to emotion.

We have the reality that everything is photons; we have the reality extrapolated from our five senses through the brain; and we have the reality of emotion that is understood by the sub/unconscious aspect of mind. Of the three, I suspect that emotion is the most real to us.
My understanding is that the subconscious is what creates the mental models of the world - i.e. creates perception. I don't know what you mean by the 'shared, external... reactionary subconscious aspect of mind' or 'emotion.' I suspect you are like Nagel and Chalmers (Gingko can help me here if this is wrong) and believe that apart from perception/sensation, there is also a distinct 'feeling' that is not explained by theories of perception alone - a feeling of 'what it feels like to be conscious' for instance. And that this feeling is connected with emotion in some way?

Greylorn Ell
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Greylorn Ell » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:02 pm

Wyman wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Wyman wrote: But Greylorn is also wrong in saying that philosophers do not recognize these things. Plato based much of his philosophy on the division between the appearance of the senses and the underlying reality and how to bridge that gap. As did Descartes and Kant, to name two more.
Wyman,

If I wrote such a thing, I must have been dreadfully intoxicated. I'd appreciate a reference, so that I can go back and clarify whatever it was I meant to write.

Thank you.
Greylorn
It was just a reference to your response to Gee:


'You, like other philosophers, seem to believe that your senses are accurate representations of reality.

You do not see objects. You (and everyone else) can only perceive photons that bounce off of objects. We don't actually see the photons. They come into the eye and trigger chemical reactions in the retina, which cause electrochemical signals to travel into the brain, wherein they are divided, subdivided, and transferred into multiple sections of the brain. Somehow the brain translates these electrochemical signals into data that we and other critters interpret as visual information.

You are confusing a bunch of electrochemical reactions within your brain as "reality." Guess again.'

Granted, you did not say 'all' other philosophers. I was agreeing with your analysis of perception and disagreeing that philosophers generally believe that the senses are accurate representations.
Wyman,

I appreciate the feedback. Thank you. That, "like other philosophers," phrase was just plain stupid. It must have been triggered by one of my rare episodes of orneriness. I recall why, now. I'd just come off a conversation with a friend who had discovered a regular, paid and published philosophy professor who insists that there must be a component of consciousness independent of the brain, and who declared that philosophy should be actively pulling out the stops to identify this component. I thought that this is someone with whom I should make contact, since I have the theory he's seeking. Then upon further investigation I find that he is not trustworthy.

The truth is, I'm severely disappointed in philosophy. Had it done its proper job and figured out Beon Theory, I would not have needed to do so, and might have had a normal and more interesting life. Or, a different excuse for a shitty life. :?

Greylorn

Greylorn Ell
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Greylorn Ell » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:14 pm

Wyman wrote:Gee wrote:
Please note the underlined words. I very much doubt that we make 'subconscious mental models', and if we did, I doubt that we would know it. I suspect that the 'sensory processing' that he is talking about is the five senses, and the words 'think and reason' are generally related to the rational aspect of mind, the Ego, or the part of the mind that we direct.

So although I have no disagreement in the above statements as they apply to the internal, self-directed, rational aspect of mind, I seriously doubt that the above applies to the shared, external, reactionary sub/unconscious aspect of mind or to emotion.

We have the reality that everything is photons; we have the reality extrapolated from our five senses through the brain; and we have the reality of emotion that is understood by the sub/unconscious aspect of mind. Of the three, I suspect that emotion is the most real to us.
My understanding is that the subconscious is what creates the mental models of the world - i.e. creates perception. I don't know what you mean by the 'shared, external... reactionary subconscious aspect of mind' or 'emotion.' I suspect you are like Nagel and Chalmers (Gingko can help me here if this is wrong) and believe that apart from perception/sensation, there is also a distinct 'feeling' that is not explained by theories of perception alone - a feeling of 'what it feels like to be conscious' for instance. And that this feeling is connected with emotion in some way?
In case anyone might be interested, the take on conscious vs. subconscious from the Beon Theory perspective is a simple model, based upon the simple observation from physics and engineering that, for every function there must be a corresponding mechanism, or integrated set of mechanisms.

The subconscious is the entire human brain, a machine, programmed by its knowledge and emotional tendencies plus hard-wired programs activated by biochemistry. The superconscious is beon, a non-created entity capable of independent self-awareness and imaginative thought. Beon and brain, working together, create what we know of as the mind.

Greylorn

Gee
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Gee » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:23 pm

Wyman;
Wyman wrote:My understanding is that the subconscious is what creates the mental models of the world - i.e. creates perception.

Yes, well, this is the common understanding of the subconscious mind. An idea that neurology supports, but psychology does not fully support. What must be understood is that the unconscious is not just one thing doing one job. Most people know that Freud broke the mind down into three divisions, the Ego, the SuperEgo, and the Id, and placed two of those divisions in the unconscious, the SuperEgo and Id. But most people do not know that Dr. Blanco, who worked with Anna Freud, broke the unconscious into five different levels or categories -- and there may be more.

Although there is much to learn, there are some things that we do know about the sub/unconscious.

1. It is reactionary. We do not know what we are going to do until we react. Although there are some people, who through discipline and meditation, have gained some control over the sub/unconscious -- monks and such.

2. It works through feeling and emotion. This is what activates it.

3. The large majority of it, or maybe all of it, does not understand time and space. So this begs the question, Why would it make models of the world, when it does not know physical reality?

Also consider that "incomprehension" is an antonym of "perception", and the sub/unconscious aspect of mind is incomprehensible. I have no doubt that the unconscious does perceive things, but we are not aware of what it perceives, which would be why we call it "unconscious". The only part of the sub/unconscious that I would expect to have 'models' is the part that holds the memories that were generated in the rational aspect of mind.

It is the rational aspect of mind that works with the five senses and understands physical reality, so it is my thought that this is where our perception and modeling comes from.
Wyman wrote:I don't know what you mean by the 'shared, external... reactionary subconscious aspect of mind' or 'emotion.'

This is probably because I am the only person that I know of, who actually studies emotion. Not how we feel, but what emotion actually is. Since I can not put it on a lab table and measure and weigh it, I study how it works, it's limits, it's capabilities, how it works, what it does, what it can't do, where it comes from and goes to, etc.

My conclusions are that emotion can not be known, only felt and interpreted, unlike thought which is known. Emotion is external and works between things, specifically life forms. Emotion is reactive and works through the sub/unconscious. Emotion works through attraction and repulsion. It is more like a force than an actual thing. I suspect that emotion is responsible for much of the supernatural, religion, and all bonds, as it works between people. There is some information in this thread, some in the thread, "Pure Consciousness?" and a lot in other forums that led me to the above conclusions. It would be impossible to explain it all here in this thread.
Wyman wrote:I suspect you are like Nagel and Chalmers (Gingko can help me here if this is wrong) and believe that apart from perception/sensation, there is also a distinct 'feeling' that is not explained by theories of perception alone - a feeling of 'what it feels like to be conscious' for instance.
You are talking about qualia. I know that Nagel did a paper on 'what it feels like', but that is a subjective study. I am not sure what slant Chalmers took in his book, The Hard Problem, because I have not read it. I know that Chalmers has seen studies on the supernatural, but I don't know if he has addressed the idea that emotion and the supernatural are the same thing. I know of no studies that look at emotion objectively from a third-party perspective.
Wyman wrote:And that this feeling is connected with emotion in some way?
I can't believe you said that. (chuckle chuckle) Yeah, feeling is connected to emotion.

Gee

Ginkgo
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Ginkgo » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:07 am

Ginkgo wrote:Can you give me your understanding of dualism?
Greylorn Ell wrote: It is the principle that all events occurring within our universe, whether material or mental, are the product of (at least) two opposing forces.

This simple notion expands to cover events as apparently complex as creation and human consciousness.

Greylorn

This sounds more like a dialectical explanation rather than dualism. A dialectical methodology has some advantages. For example, it can account for emergent properties and in some cases is compatible with science.

Just a suggestion.

Greylorn Ell
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Re: Proof for Consciousness existing outside our brains

Post by Greylorn Ell » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:35 am

Ginkgo wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:Can you give me your understanding of dualism?
Greylorn Ell wrote: It is the principle that all events occurring within our universe, whether material or mental, are the product of (at least) two opposing forces.

This simple notion expands to cover events as apparently complex as creation and human consciousness.

Greylorn
This sounds more like a dialectical explanation rather than dualism. A dialectical methodology has some advantages. For example, it can account for emergent properties and in some cases is compatible with science.

Just a suggestion.
Ginkgo

Are you playing bait and switch with me? If so, kindly stop that horseshit and get down to the useful exchange of ideas or shut up.

I'm not a philosopher so I had to look up "dialectical," a word that has never conveyed meaning to me. I found this on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary site:

di·a·lec·tic
noun \ˌdī-ə-ˈlek-tik\

philosophy : a method of examining and discussing opposing ideas in order to find the truth

Whatever that means in the context of this conversation, I have no clue. I thought that what a few of us were doing here was dealing with opposing ideas. Does a word from philosophical jargon facilitate that process, or is it just an interjection from an irrelevant philosopher wanna-be that obscures other aspects of the conversation?

Look, shit-for-brains. You asked me for my interpretation of dualism and I gave it to you. So, guess what, it doesn't match yours. Big surprise! Is there any reason why you would expect innovative ideas to match your scholastic, programmed opinions?

You offered no suggestion-- just babble and bullshit. Typical of philosophers.

Let's have some dialectic, or let's have you shut up.

Greylorn

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