Do we need consciousness?

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

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Skepdick
Posts: 5222
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by Skepdick »

SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 pm We all experience Consciousness with our inner subjective view but we don't know what it actually is.
Well, obviously! But this is true for absolutely everything. We experience photons with our inner, subjective view but we don't know what photons are.

The problem isn't specific to consciousness - the problem is generic to all human knowledge.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 pm We don't actually know What we are. Saying that "I am Consciousness" sounds like some sort of hollow New Age mantra.
You don't know what you are? This is really strange. Do you think somebody other than yourself could possibly answer the question "Who or what is Steve Klinko?".

That sounds like some sort of hollow, Old Age unrealistic expectation when it comes to the limits of the scientific method and epistemology.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 pm Your first 3 questions are good questions. What do you think the answers are?
Wow! An exceptional counter-question! What do you think the answer is?
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 pm What do you think the answers are?
Another exceptional, insightful, intelligent, and well-thought out counter-question! What do you think the answer is?
Last edited by Skepdick on Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:43 pm, edited 5 times in total.
commonsense
Posts: 2849
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by commonsense »

Skepdick wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:01 pm What does it feel like when your mind assimilates an explanation?
What does it feel when a possible explanation fails to cross the explanatory gap?
What does it feel when a possible explanation crosses the explanatory gap?
Clever.
Frustrating.
Satisfying.
Last edited by commonsense on Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Skepdick
Posts: 5222
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by Skepdick »

commonsense wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:17 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 pm What does it feel like when your mind assimilates an explanation?
What does it feel when a possible explanation fails to cross the explanatory gap?
What does it feel when a possible explanation crosses the explanatory gap?
Clever.
Frustrating.
Satisfying.
Do you feel cleverness, frustration and satisfaction in situations that have noting to do with explaining things?
SteveKlinko
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm
Contact:

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by SteveKlinko »

Skepdick wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:09 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 pm We all experience Consciousness with our inner subjective view but we don't know what it actually is.
Well, obviously! But this is true for absolutely everything. We experience photons with our inner, subjective view but we don't know what photons are.

The problem isn't specific to consciousness - the problem is generic to all human knowledge.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 pm We don't actually know What we are. Saying that "I am Consciousness" sounds like some sort of hollow New Age mantra.
You don't know what you are? This is really strange. Do you think somebody other than yourself could possibly answer the question "Who or what is Steve Klinko?".

That sounds like some sort of hollow, Old Age unrealistic expectation when it comes to the limits of the scientific method and epistemology.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 pm Your first 3 questions are good questions. What do you think the answers are?
Wow! An exceptional counter-question! What do you think the answer is?
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 pm What do you think the answers are?
Another exceptional, insightful, intelligent, and well-thought out counter-question! What do you think the answer is?
I'm not limiting the answer to "What We Are" to any kind of current Scientific methodology. I think we need to get out of the Box of current Stagnant Scientific Methodology and start thinking about these things in new ways.

As far as the answers to your questions, I think that answering my original question will allow us to answer your questions. So how does Neural Activity produce or lead to Conscious Experiences? This is the basic question you should contemplate. This is the Hard Problem of Consciousness in it's most simple form. Ignoring this question is a Diversion and an Obfuscation. You are manifesting an incredible Attention Deficit Disorder by asking other questions after I asked this question.
Skepdick
Posts: 5222
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by Skepdick »

SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:42 pm As far as the answers to your questions, I think that answering my original question will allow us to answer your questions. So how does Neural Activity produce or lead to Conscious Experiences?
If neural activity is not necessary for conscious experience then the question doesn't matter.
SteveKlinko
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm
Contact:

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by SteveKlinko »

Skepdick wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:50 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:42 pm As far as the answers to your questions, I think that answering my original question will allow us to answer your questions. So how does Neural Activity produce or lead to Conscious Experiences?
If neural activity is not necessary for conscious experience then the question doesn't matter.
I never said Neural Activity was not necessary for Conscious Experience. You are Obfuscating again. But it might not actually be necessary when we figure out the larger problem of Consciousness. I only said Neural Activity occurs then Conscious Activity occurs. The question that you try to Divert attention from is: How does it happen? Necessity was not a parameter of the question. Correlation is the only thing we can say for certain.
SteveKlinko
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:52 pm
Contact:

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by SteveKlinko »

bahman wrote: Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:42 pm There are two sorts of minds: 1) Conscious and 2) Unconscious. The question is whether we even need conscious mind when the very important task like decision is made by unconscious mind (according to Libet's experiment).
Libet's experiments have been mostly debunked. He unwittingly was using one of the oldest built in programs of the Brain that exists in most any animal. The decision about when to pounce on your prey is a Brain Program that we all have inherited through Evolution. Think about what is going on when you decide when to swat a fly. It works the same if you are deciding when to push a Button. There are all kinds of Neural Activity preceding the actual Pounce, Swat, or Push that involves the background program. This preceding Neural Activity is what Libet got confused in his experiments. One of the things that Libet did find out was that subjects could suppress the Button press action at the last instant but yet all the Brain signals were still there as if they had actually pushed the Button. So there was not always a Correlation between the Brain measurements and the Action.

It's part of the program that gets you prepped for swatting the fly or pouncing on prey. It's just an unfortunately bad choice of experiment for Volition because of all the underlying evolutionary programmed activity. But I don't think there has been any other experiments that can deal with Volition. Nobody really knows how Volition operates yet.
commonsense
Posts: 2849
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by commonsense »

Skepdick wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:20 pm
commonsense wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:17 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 pm What does it feel like when your mind assimilates an explanation?
What does it feel when a possible explanation fails to cross the explanatory gap?
What does it feel when a possible explanation crosses the explanatory gap?
Clever.
Frustrating.
Satisfying.
Do you feel cleverness, frustration and satisfaction in situations that have noting to do with explaining things?
Yes.
Skepdick
Posts: 5222
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by Skepdick »

commonsense wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:15 pm
Skepdick wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:20 pm
commonsense wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:17 pm

Clever.
Frustrating.
Satisfying.
Do you feel cleverness, frustration and satisfaction in situations that have noting to do with explaining things?
Yes.
OK, suppose that we can isolate the chemicals triggers for the emotions of 'cleverness' and 'satisfaction' by studying your brain in all the context in which you experience them.

If I were to give you a theory of consciousness (which is totally made up but sounds plausible), and then I gave you a pill which made you experience cleverness and satisfaction at the exact time you are assimilating the bunk theory of consciousness, would you then conclude that consciousness has been explained to you?
commonsense
Posts: 2849
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by commonsense »

Skepdick wrote: Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:18 am
commonsense wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:15 pm
Skepdick wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:20 pm
Do you feel cleverness, frustration and satisfaction in situations that have noting to do with explaining things?
Yes.
OK, suppose that we can isolate the chemicals triggers for the emotions of 'cleverness' and 'satisfaction' by studying your brain in all the context in which you experience them.

If I were to give you a theory of consciousness (which is totally made up but sounds plausible), and then I gave you a pill which made you experience cleverness and satisfaction at the exact time you are assimilating the bunk theory of consciousness, would you then conclude that consciousness has been explained to you?
I would not, unless the experience of assimilating the bunk theory were isolated from all other experiences (other than the experiences of cleverness and satisfaction).

Otherwise I might be confused if I were pondering the bunk while drinking alcohol or eating chocolate.

Of course if experiences could occur in isolation of other experiences I would be forced to believe the delusion that the theory indeed explains consciousness. What else could I conclude?
Skepdick
Posts: 5222
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by Skepdick »

commonsense wrote: Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:09 pm I would not, unless the experience of assimilating the bunk theory were isolated from all other experiences (other than the experiences of cleverness and satisfaction).

Otherwise I might be confused if I were pondering the bunk while drinking alcohol or eating chocolate.
They would be occurring simultaneously as every other experience. It's experience happens.
commonsense wrote: Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:09 pm Of course if experiences could occur in isolation of other experiences I would be forced to believe the delusion that the theory indeed explains consciousness. What else could I conclude?
So what you seem to be effectively claiming is that ultimately 'explanation' concludes with an internal feeling, not an external method/event.
commonsense
Posts: 2849
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by commonsense »

Skepdick wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:03 am
commonsense wrote: Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:09 pm I would not, unless the experience of assimilating the bunk theory were isolated from all other experiences (other than the experiences of cleverness and satisfaction).

Otherwise I might be confused if I were pondering the bunk while drinking alcohol or eating chocolate.
They would be occurring simultaneously as every other experience. It's experience happens.
commonsense wrote: Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:09 pm Of course if experiences could occur in isolation of other experiences I would be forced to believe the delusion that the theory indeed explains consciousness. What else could I conclude?
So what you seem to be effectively claiming is that ultimately 'explanation' concludes with an internal feeling, not an external method/event.
I would say that it concludes with an internal belief, I.e. a blind & unreasoned statement.
commonsense
Posts: 2849
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by commonsense »

Skepdick wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:03 am
commonsense wrote: Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:09 pm I would not, unless the experience of assimilating the bunk theory were isolated from all other experiences (other than the experiences of cleverness and satisfaction).

Otherwise I might be confused if I were pondering the bunk while drinking alcohol or eating chocolate.
They would be occurring simultaneously as every other experience. It's experience happens.
commonsense wrote: Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:09 pm Of course if experiences could occur in isolation of other experiences I would be forced to believe the delusion that the theory indeed explains consciousness. What else could I conclude?
So what you seem to be effectively claiming is that ultimately 'explanation' concludes with an internal feeling, not an external method/event.
I would say that it concludes with an internal belief, I.e. a blind & unreasoned statement.

But let me add this argument against blind faith:

If every claim relies on a more fundamental claim,
and if the most fundamental claim that all other claims ultimately rely on is the claim that I am I,

and if the claim that I am I can be proved true (to me) by reason of introspection,

then any true claim regarding explanations would be true by evidence obtained through introspection.

The crux of all this is: as a result of introspection, do I know that I am I or must I believe blindly that I am I.

And the upshot of all this is: explanation concludes with an internal experience—that experience being the experience of being clever, et. al.
Skepdick
Posts: 5222
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by Skepdick »

commonsense wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:03 pm I would say that it concludes with an internal belief, I.e. a blind & unreasoned statement.
This is precisely the problem science fixes. Your "verification" criterion is intrinsic. Science makes it extrinsic - prediction of events that can be observed by more than one person.
commonsense wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:03 pm But let me add this argument against blind faith:

If every claim relies on a more fundamental claim,
and if the most fundamental claim that all other claims ultimately rely on is the claim that I am I

and if the claim that I am I can be proved true (to me) by reason of introspection,

then any true claim regarding explanations would be true by evidence obtained through introspection.

The crux of all this is: as a result of introspection, do I know that I am I or must I believe blindly that I am I.

And the upshot of all this is: explanation concludes with an internal experience—that experience being the experience of being clever, et. al.
The problem with all "explanations" is the "Why?" question. You can always keep asking "Why?" unless you have some over-arching framework in which you allow something to be true axiomatically.

That you allow for "I am" to be true, doesn't paint a way forward for deducing "I am human" - that is also an assumption.
commonsense
Posts: 2849
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by commonsense »

I would say that it [an explanation] concludes with an internal belief, I.e. a blind & unreasoned statement.
Skepdick wrote: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:34 am This is precisely the problem science fixes. Your "verification" criterion is intrinsic. Science makes it extrinsic - prediction of events that can be observed by more than one person.
Wittgenstein once implied, and later retracted, that reality is a projection of internal experience. I am willing to believe that everything extrinsic has an intrinsic basis.

I know that I am I, but I cannot know whether you are you. Because of this, I should not care what other so-called “persons” observe.
Skepdick wrote: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:34 am The problem with all "explanations" is the "Why?" question. You can always keep asking "Why?" unless you have some over-arching framework in which you allow something to be true axiomatically.
You can keep asking why until the reduction gets to “I am I”, which only I can be certain of.
Skepdick wrote: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:34 am That you allow for "I am" to be true, doesn't paint a way forward for deducing "I am human" - that is also an assumption.
“I am [insert label here, wherein label points to an adequate collection of characteristics that apply to me]” is tautological, but it is a definition after all.
Post Reply