Do we need consciousness?

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

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Skepdick
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by Skepdick »

commonsense wrote: Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:20 pm 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.
It's a moot point. We could all be experiencing the same reality and having the "exact same experiences".

The bodies of knowledge and languages we develop to speak of those experiences diverge.

We end up developing different conceptual schemes - if our respective societies/tribes are isolated and don't interact with each other we WILL develop our own cultures, traditions, languages, dialects and rituals to the point where we are unable to communicate.

Even if our thoughts are structurally identical (something which we can't test), it makes no difference if what you call "blue" I call "藍色".

This problem is so endemic to human language that even scientists with different specialities have trouble exchanging ideas with each other.
Even couples that have been with each other for decades know that 99% of all disagreements boil down to miscommunication.

It's Wiio's law
commonsense wrote: Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:20 pm “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.
And there's absolutely no problem with that - you know how you use your words. The trouble is communicating your use to me in the absence of a shared language/history.

That requires on-going interaction so THAT a shared language/history can develop. Is why human relationships are such hard work - the world has practically set us up for failure.
commonsense
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by commonsense »

I try to understand views that are contrary to mine. As such, I have been arguing in this thread on behalf of an opposing viewpoint, one of belief or faith.

This has not been an attempt to fool or trick you in any way. I hope you can see that we have been arguing against arguments in a decent and respectful way.

I believe—no, I know—that science is our best tool for explaining phenomena.

I can even present an argument that all explanations rest ultimately on knowledge (science), not belief (religion).

I think we have come to an understanding about those who disagree with us dogmatically.

Thinkers (I.e. those we prefer to argue from experience and reason) think because if reality is not expressed by experience and reason, the thinker’s mind and/or brain go kablooie. We think because we fear what irrationality can do to us.

Likewise, believers believe because if they don’t have something to believe in, the perception of reality would give them the eebie jeebies, something believers dislike as much as thinkers detest insanity.

I am unable to see any coming together of these factions. Thinkers will logically refute claims made by believers, however the logic will fall on ears that are deaf to anything but faith.

Please share your thoughts on this fundamental divide and/or any further ideas you have about explanations (I’ll likely agree). :wink:
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bahman
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:30 pm
bahman wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:52 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:18 pm
When you reach the Continuous limit you will have crossed over a threshold into a different reality than any Discrete reality. There will be no need for things to disappear and reappear. The logic that you might use for Discrete realities does not apply in a Continuous reality. For an object to move one inch in a Continuous reality it would have to disappear and reappear an Infinite amount of times. Infinities are impossible in any real physical reality. So you would have to accept that the Object does not disappear and reappear but rather it just moves smoothly. It's simply a different reality than a Discrete reality.
Infinite number of events that each separated from another by the infinitesimal amount of time is possible since it takes a finite amount of time.
But Infinity really is a Mathematical fiction. Infinity has no reality in any Physically Manifested Universe.
I don't think that infinity is a mathematical fiction. It is in fact feasible if the time interval between any consecutive events is infinitesimal.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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bahman wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:00 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:30 pm
bahman wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:52 pm
Infinite number of events that each separated from another by the infinitesimal amount of time is possible since it takes a finite amount of time.
But Infinity really is a Mathematical fiction. Infinity has no reality in any Physically Manifested Universe.
I don't think that infinity is a mathematical fiction. It is in fact feasible if the time interval between any consecutive events is infinitesimal.
Let's consider the unit interval from 0 to 1 on the x axis. Let dx be a differential or infinitesimal segment. The number of these segments that you can put into the unit interval is 1/dx. When we let dx -> 0 then 1/dx -> 00, where 00 is Infinity. This is a process of dx getting smaller and smaller and 1/dx getting larger and larger. But never does dx = 0 nor does 1/dx = 00. This is a process that only approximates the situation to greater and greater precision. To be clear 1/dx never actually equals 00 in this process. You will only get to actual 00 when dx = 0. But this is a degenerate case of the differential concept. In fact if dx = 0 then all the points will be on top of each other and the whole unit interval will collapse onto a single point. This is absurd and shows how Infinities are fictions and don't really exist. All mathematical and physical problems break down when Infinity is involved. You have to be very careful. So there can not really be a discrete Universe where the points are Infinitely close. It is a Mathematical, logical, and Physical absurdity. Even though the Continuous concept can be thought of as the limit of a Discrete concept you must realize that the Continuous concept is something entirely different than the Discrete concept. Actual Infinity, not just approaching Infinity, is a threshold that changes the very Nature of the thing you are analyzing.
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bahman
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by bahman »

SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:30 pm
bahman wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:00 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:30 pm
But Infinity really is a Mathematical fiction. Infinity has no reality in any Physically Manifested Universe.
I don't think that infinity is a mathematical fiction. It is in fact feasible if the time interval between any consecutive events is infinitesimal.
Let's consider the unit interval from 0 to 1 on the x axis. Let dx be a differential or infinitesimal segment. The number of these segments that you can put into the unit interval is 1/dx. When we let dx -> 0 then 1/dx -> 00, where 00 is Infinity. This is a process of dx getting smaller and smaller and 1/dx getting larger and larger. But never does dx = 0 nor does 1/dx = 00. This is a process that only approximates the situation to greater and greater precision. To be clear 1/dx never actually equals 00 in this process. You will only get to actual 00 when dx = 0. But this is a degenerate case of the differential concept. In fact if dx = 0 then all the points will be on top of each other and the whole unit interval will collapse onto a single point. This is absurd and shows how Infinities are fictions and don't really exist. All mathematical and physical problems break down when Infinity is involved. You have to be very careful. So there can not really be a discrete Universe where the points are Infinitely close. It is a Mathematical, logical, and Physical absurdity. Even though the Continuous concept can be thought of as the limit of a Discrete concept you must realize that the Continuous concept is something entirely different than the Discrete concept. Actual Infinity, not just approaching Infinity, is a threshold that changes the very Nature of the thing you are analyzing.
The infinitesimal is neither zero nor finite.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by SteveKlinko »

bahman wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:14 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:30 pm
bahman wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:00 pm
I don't think that infinity is a mathematical fiction. It is in fact feasible if the time interval between any consecutive events is infinitesimal.
Let's consider the unit interval from 0 to 1 on the x axis. Let dx be a differential or infinitesimal segment. The number of these segments that you can put into the unit interval is 1/dx. When we let dx -> 0 then 1/dx -> 00, where 00 is Infinity. This is a process of dx getting smaller and smaller and 1/dx getting larger and larger. But never does dx = 0 nor does 1/dx = 00. This is a process that only approximates the situation to greater and greater precision. To be clear 1/dx never actually equals 00 in this process. You will only get to actual 00 when dx = 0. But this is a degenerate case of the differential concept. In fact if dx = 0 then all the points will be on top of each other and the whole unit interval will collapse onto a single point. This is absurd and shows how Infinities are fictions and don't really exist. All mathematical and physical problems break down when Infinity is involved. You have to be very careful. So there can not really be a discrete Universe where the points are Infinitely close. It is a Mathematical, logical, and Physical absurdity. Even though the Continuous concept can be thought of as the limit of a Discrete concept you must realize that the Continuous concept is something entirely different than the Discrete concept. Actual Infinity, not just approaching Infinity, is a threshold that changes the very Nature of the thing you are analyzing.
The infinitesimal is neither zero nor finite.
So if the Infinitesimal (dx) is not zero then 1/dx is not Infinity. It can only approach Infinity. It never gets there. If dx is not zero you could look at it as the closest thing to Zero without being Zero. Then 1/dx is not Infinity but could be looked at as the closest thing to Infinity without being Infinity. Important point being that your Discrete limit concept can never really be Continuous because you can never have Zero distance between points which is what you would need for an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval. Another way to say it is that any non-Zero dx will not produce an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval 0 to 1.
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bahman
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:45 pm
bahman wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:14 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:30 pm
Let's consider the unit interval from 0 to 1 on the x axis. Let dx be a differential or infinitesimal segment. The number of these segments that you can put into the unit interval is 1/dx. When we let dx -> 0 then 1/dx -> 00, where 00 is Infinity. This is a process of dx getting smaller and smaller and 1/dx getting larger and larger. But never does dx = 0 nor does 1/dx = 00. This is a process that only approximates the situation to greater and greater precision. To be clear 1/dx never actually equals 00 in this process. You will only get to actual 00 when dx = 0. But this is a degenerate case of the differential concept. In fact if dx = 0 then all the points will be on top of each other and the whole unit interval will collapse onto a single point. This is absurd and shows how Infinities are fictions and don't really exist. All mathematical and physical problems break down when Infinity is involved. You have to be very careful. So there can not really be a discrete Universe where the points are Infinitely close. It is a Mathematical, logical, and Physical absurdity. Even though the Continuous concept can be thought of as the limit of a Discrete concept you must realize that the Continuous concept is something entirely different than the Discrete concept. Actual Infinity, not just approaching Infinity, is a threshold that changes the very Nature of the thing you are analyzing.
The infinitesimal is neither zero nor finite.
So if the Infinitesimal (dx) is not zero then 1/dx is not Infinity. It can only approach Infinity. It never gets there. If dx is not zero you could look at it as the closest thing to Zero without being Zero. Then 1/dx is not Infinity but could be looked at as the closest thing to Infinity without being Infinity. Important point being that your Discrete limit concept can never really be Continuous because you can never have Zero distance between points which is what you would need for an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval. Another way to say it is that any non-Zero dx will not produce an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval 0 to 1.
If dt=0 then all events coincide on the same point. dt cannot be finite too since that is not the definition of limit. The limit is the regime in which you have a continuous motion from a discrete process. That is not my definition. It is what I took from people who are expert in math.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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bahman wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:12 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:45 pm
bahman wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:14 pm
The infinitesimal is neither zero nor finite.
So if the Infinitesimal (dx) is not zero then 1/dx is not Infinity. It can only approach Infinity. It never gets there. If dx is not zero you could look at it as the closest thing to Zero without being Zero. Then 1/dx is not Infinity but could be looked at as the closest thing to Infinity without being Infinity. Important point being that your Discrete limit concept can never really be Continuous because you can never have Zero distance between points which is what you would need for an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval. Another way to say it is that any non-Zero dx will not produce an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval 0 to 1.
If dt=0 then all events coincide on the same point. dt cannot be finite too since that is not the definition of limit. The limit is the regime in which you have a continuous motion from a discrete process. That is not my definition. It is what I took from people who are expert in math.
I thought that Finite meant not Infinite and not Infinitesimal. Are you are saying that dt is an Infinitesimal but yet not an Infinitesimal?

I'm editing this because I was too hasty when I asked the above question. I didn't think through the double negatives. You are not saying that.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by SteveKlinko »

bahman wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:12 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:45 pm
bahman wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:14 pm
The infinitesimal is neither zero nor finite.
So if the Infinitesimal (dx) is not zero then 1/dx is not Infinity. It can only approach Infinity. It never gets there. If dx is not zero you could look at it as the closest thing to Zero without being Zero. Then 1/dx is not Infinity but could be looked at as the closest thing to Infinity without being Infinity. Important point being that your Discrete limit concept can never really be Continuous because you can never have Zero distance between points which is what you would need for an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval. Another way to say it is that any non-Zero dx will not produce an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval 0 to 1.
If dt=0 then all events coincide on the same point. dt cannot be finite too since that is not the definition of limit. The limit is the regime in which you have a continuous motion from a discrete process. That is not my definition. It is what I took from people who are expert in math.
But if dt > 0 then 1/dt < 00 (00 = Infinity). You can make dt smaller and smaller but 1/dt = 00 only when dt = 0. But of course when dt = 0 all the events will be on top of each other creating a Paradox and an Absurdity. This is why a Continuous time axis interval of 0 to 1 sec cannot be made out of an actual Infinite amount of time instances. The Discrete case breaks down in the limit of Infinitely many time instances in an interval. What you have is a whole different concept of a Continuous time line. There is no need for things to disappear then reappear at the next point as in a Discrete time line.
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bahman
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by bahman »

SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:33 pm
bahman wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:12 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:45 pm
So if the Infinitesimal (dx) is not zero then 1/dx is not Infinity. It can only approach Infinity. It never gets there. If dx is not zero you could look at it as the closest thing to Zero without being Zero. Then 1/dx is not Infinity but could be looked at as the closest thing to Infinity without being Infinity. Important point being that your Discrete limit concept can never really be Continuous because you can never have Zero distance between points which is what you would need for an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval. Another way to say it is that any non-Zero dx will not produce an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval 0 to 1.
If dt=0 then all events coincide on the same point. dt cannot be finite too since that is not the definition of limit. The limit is the regime in which you have a continuous motion from a discrete process. That is not my definition. It is what I took from people who are expert in math.
I thought that Finite meant not Infinite and not Infinitesimal. Are you are saying that dt is an Infinitesimal but yet not an Infinitesimal?

I'm editing this because I was too hasty when I asked the above question. I didn't think through the double negatives. You are not saying that.
I think that is how things are. I am saying that infinitesimal is neither finite nor any zero. An infinitesimal, dx, is a number depending on how it tends to zero (it is a number depending on how the limit is defined). For example, dx tends to zero like 1/N when N tends to infinity. dx also tends to zero like 1/N^2 when N tends to infinity. You can, however, get continuous limit only when N tends to infinity linearly, like N, and the dx tends to zero like 1/N.
Last edited by bahman on Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by bahman »

SteveKlinko wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:53 am
bahman wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:12 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:45 pm
So if the Infinitesimal (dx) is not zero then 1/dx is not Infinity. It can only approach Infinity. It never gets there. If dx is not zero you could look at it as the closest thing to Zero without being Zero. Then 1/dx is not Infinity but could be looked at as the closest thing to Infinity without being Infinity. Important point being that your Discrete limit concept can never really be Continuous because you can never have Zero distance between points which is what you would need for an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval. Another way to say it is that any non-Zero dx will not produce an Infinite amount of points in the unit Interval 0 to 1.
If dt=0 then all events coincide on the same point. dt cannot be finite too since that is not the definition of limit. The limit is the regime in which you have a continuous motion from a discrete process. That is not my definition. It is what I took from people who are expert in math.
But if dt > 0 then 1/dt < 00 (00 = Infinity). You can make dt smaller and smaller but 1/dt = 00 only when dt = 0. But of course when dt = 0 all the events will be on top of each other creating a Paradox and an Absurdity. This is why a Continuous time axis interval of 0 to 1 sec cannot be made out of an actual Infinite amount of time instances. The Discrete case breaks down in the limit of Infinitely many time instances in an interval. What you have is a whole different concept of a Continuous time line. There is no need for things to disappear then reappear at the next point as in a Discrete time line.
zero*infinity could be a constant if the zero is defined as the limit of 1/N when N tends to infinity.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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bahman wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:58 am
SteveKlinko wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:53 am
bahman wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:12 pm
If dt=0 then all events coincide on the same point. dt cannot be finite too since that is not the definition of limit. The limit is the regime in which you have a continuous motion from a discrete process. That is not my definition. It is what I took from people who are expert in math.
But if dt > 0 then 1/dt < 00 (00 = Infinity). You can make dt smaller and smaller but 1/dt = 00 only when dt = 0. But of course when dt = 0 all the events will be on top of each other creating a Paradox and an Absurdity. This is why a Continuous time axis interval of 0 to 1 sec cannot be made out of an actual Infinite amount of time instances. The Discrete case breaks down in the limit of Infinitely many time instances in an interval. What you have is a whole different concept of a Continuous time line. There is no need for things to disappear then reappear at the next point as in a Discrete time line.
zero*infinity could be a constant if the zero is defined as the limit of 1/N when N tends to infinity.
If you are considering that N only approaches zero then yes something like N * 1/N will be equal to the constant 1. This is all well and good but 1/N will never actually be equal to Infinity. It can only approach Infinity. Something bad happens when N = 0. N * 1/N does not work anymore. We now have 1/N = 00. This is because division can be defined as given A/B: How many times can you subtract B from A until A <= 0. Then it is easy to see that for any N > 0 there will be a non Infinite answer although at Infinitesimal N there will be a Gigantic 1/N. Just as N > 0 then 1/N < 00. So the question becomes for 1/0, how many times can you subtract 0 from 1? Obviously you can never stop subtracting 0 from 1 and therefore 1/0 = 00. So when N = 0 we get 0 * 00 = 0. This is saying that no matter how many times you add 0 to itself the answer is 0. But the important point of all this is that limits break down at Infinity. In this case N * 1/N = 1 very nicely until N = 0 then N * 1/N = 0. Of course it is well known that limits break down at Infinity and Mathematicians usually say that things are undefined at Infinity.

I have struggled with the thought of Infinity for a long time. I thought I understood it then realized that the limit methods were flawed because they never consider the case of actual Infinity, they only approach Infinity. The limit methods will produce absurdities like levels of Infinity. There is only one Infinity. So something like 1/N*N will seem to be geometrically larger than 1/N as long as N -> 0 and N > 0. It will seem like 1/N*N is another level of Infinity greater than 1/N. But when N = 0, 1/0*0 = 1/0, and this is equal to 1/N = 1/0. So 1/N*N = 1/N = 00 when N = 0. The limit method makes you think there are 2 levels of Infinity here but there is only one true Infinity.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by bahman »

SteveKlinko wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:35 pm
bahman wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:58 am
SteveKlinko wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:53 am
But if dt > 0 then 1/dt < 00 (00 = Infinity). You can make dt smaller and smaller but 1/dt = 00 only when dt = 0. But of course when dt = 0 all the events will be on top of each other creating a Paradox and an Absurdity. This is why a Continuous time axis interval of 0 to 1 sec cannot be made out of an actual Infinite amount of time instances. The Discrete case breaks down in the limit of Infinitely many time instances in an interval. What you have is a whole different concept of a Continuous time line. There is no need for things to disappear then reappear at the next point as in a Discrete time line.
zero*infinity could be a constant if the zero is defined as the limit of 1/N when N tends to infinity.
If you are considering that N only approaches zero then yes something like N * 1/N will be equal to the constant 1. This is all well and good but 1/N will never actually be equal to Infinity. It can only approach Infinity. Something bad happens when N = 0. N * 1/N does not work anymore. We now have 1/N = 00. This is because division can be defined as given A/B: How many times can you subtract B from A until A <= 0. Then it is easy to see that for any N > 0 there will be a non Infinite answer although at Infinitesimal N there will be a Gigantic 1/N. Just as N > 0 then 1/N < 00. So the question becomes for 1/0, how many times can you subtract 0 from 1? Obviously you can never stop subtracting 0 from 1 and therefore 1/0 = 00. So when N = 0 we get 0 * 00 = 0. This is saying that no matter how many times you add 0 to itself the answer is 0. But the important point of all this is that limits break down at Infinity. In this case N * 1/N = 1 very nicely until N = 0 then N * 1/N = 0. Of course it is well known that limits break down at Infinity and Mathematicians usually say that things are undefined at Infinity.

I have struggled with the thought of Infinity for a long time. I thought I understood it then realized that the limit methods were flawed because they never consider the case of actual Infinity, they only approach Infinity. The limit methods will produce absurdities like levels of Infinity. There is only one Infinity. So something like 1/N*N will seem to be geometrically larger than 1/N as long as N -> 0 and N > 0. It will seem like 1/N*N is another level of Infinity greater than 1/N. But when N = 0, 1/0*0 = 1/0, and this is equal to 1/N = 1/0. So 1/N*N = 1/N = 00 when N = 0. The limit method makes you think there are 2 levels of Infinity here but there is only one true Infinity.
I think that dt in the limit becomes zero. The way that it becomes zero is important, like 1/N.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by SteveKlinko »

bahman wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:27 pm I think that dt in the limit becomes zero. The way that it becomes zero is important, like 1/N.
But dt cannot ever be exactly zero because of the absurdities we have been discussing. Mathematicians talk about the way dt approaches Zero, but not the way dt becomes Zero.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by commonsense »

May I ask what stops dt from becoming zero? If limited, how can it also be without limitation? How can it be defined as indefinite?
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