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Theory number 3.
RE: Theory number 3.
(28th October 2012, 16:19)Rhythm Wrote: We don't understand it fully. However, this is precisely the sort of definition for conscious that would help move this whole thing along. Now, are we content with any expression of said organ (are ants conscious?) or do we have something more elaborate in mind?

I think that would be more of the difference between sentiency and non-sentiency. Something does not need to be sentient to be conscious...or does it? It all comes down to where you draw the line. Are, for instance, mokeys conscious? I would think that they are, but they aren't really sentient. Are ants conscious? Maybe...
I can think of three possible meanings for concious:
1. sentient
2. can take action independent of instinct
3. has a brain
Which sounds the best? I'm between 2 and 3, but I'm leaning towards two.
John Adams Wrote:The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.
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RE: Theory number 3.
Here's an idea: The whole is more than the some of its parts. A jigsaw puzzle with the pieces all fitted but jammed in the wrong holes is not the same as one fitted together perfectly. Perhaps, no single neuron is conscious but neurons working together equates to consciousness. And perhaps the more of them there are, the more complex they are and the more they work together the more conscious an organism is.
Stephen Fry Wrote:I suppose the thing that I would have like to have known or be reassured about is that in the world, what counts more than talent, what counts more than energy or concentration or commitment or anything else, is kindness. And the more in the world you encounter kindness - or cheerfulness which is its kind of amiable uncle or aunt - the more… just the better the world always is. And all the big words - virtue, justice, truth - are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness.
Arthur Schopenhauer Wrote:The effect of music is so very much more powerful and penetrating than is that of the other arts, for these others speak only of the shadow, but music of the essence.
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RE: Theory number 3.
(28th October 2012, 16:15)Darkstar Wrote: I understand everything you said above until this. Do we need to discuss the 'theory' of gravity again?

Gravity is a theory. For all I know, there is no force between objects. It's all enforced by a Creator for example. For all I know, material objects don't exist, and only souls exists, and there is a designer giving rise to our experience of the material world.

The whole way the world works, atoms, etc, perhaps none of the laws are intrinsic to existence. They simply are being imposed by a higher power.

If gravity was a fact, I would suspect the philosophical argument of whether we know a physical world exists would be debunked.

Quote:You don't need to deny evolution to believe in a god. Some people believe that god created the universe knowing that life would arise and evolve in the way it did.

I know but most people who believe in religion and evolution are trying to get the best of both "authorities", religious and scientist, and not to do critical thinking themselves, from my honest opinion.

Most Deists probably believe in evolution, but it's mainly due to trusting authority.

We all know about the DNA, transitional forms, mutations, natural selection, but we aren't all convinced it happened.

It's a good theory, brilliant, and has predictive power, and helps us out in science, but it's not conclusive.

It may well be a fact, but it's quite a different thing, if we actually know to be true. The evidence maybe strong, but it still might wrong to place too much trust in it.

In other words, if we get all fanatical about defending it, and then one day some brilliant scientist comes proving how many things are impossible in nature to have formed by the process, then we will look as fanatical deluded as the religious people with their theories of religion Tongue
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RE: Theory number 3.
(28th October 2012, 16:32)Darkstar Wrote: 1. sentient
2. can take action independent of instinct
3. has a brain
Which sounds the best? I'm between 2 and 3, but I'm leaning towards two.

These all fall short for me. I'd say consciousness is simply awareness. 1. Something could be aware of something without feeling anything, so it's not the same as sentience. 2. Something's actions could be completely dependent on instinct and yet it still be aware of what it is doing - while not being aware of its instincts. And finally, 3. Something could physically have a brain and yet still be completely unaware.
Stephen Fry Wrote:I suppose the thing that I would have like to have known or be reassured about is that in the world, what counts more than talent, what counts more than energy or concentration or commitment or anything else, is kindness. And the more in the world you encounter kindness - or cheerfulness which is its kind of amiable uncle or aunt - the more… just the better the world always is. And all the big words - virtue, justice, truth - are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness.
Arthur Schopenhauer Wrote:The effect of music is so very much more powerful and penetrating than is that of the other arts, for these others speak only of the shadow, but music of the essence.
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RE: Theory number 3.
(28th October 2012, 16:32)Darkstar Wrote: I can think of three possible meanings for concious:
1. sentient
Meh, that's the one I was running with, but that leaves alot of wiggle room, definiteley don't need 2 or 3 for sentience. Nor would we expect much more than sentience from the earliest examples. Monkeys are demonstrably sentient btw. Any way you hope to describe human sentience will apply equally well to monkeys (but also to ants.......troubling for some I suppose)

Quote:2. can take action independent of instinct
Hehehe, you'll have a hard time providing an example of such a creature........also, would you consider the mechanical processes of plants "without instinct"...could they even have instinct? I suppose they would qualify under this one.

Quote:3. has a brain
That definitely seems to be a requirement for the sorts of consciousness we often point to when discussing the subject.

Quote:Which sounds the best? I'm between 2 and 3, but I'm leaning towards two.
Meh, 1 and 2 if we're referencing central nervous systems (and those things that have them). Not exactly the bottom rung of the evolutionary ladder there though eh? This sort of multiple choice format lends itself well to the notion that "consciousness" is a matter of degree.
 “I can’t even go to a goddamn potluck without having to thank some space fairy for the broccoli casserole!” -Trae Crowder


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RE: Theory number 3.
(28th October 2012, 16:33)DoubtVsFaith Wrote: Here's an idea: The whole is more than the some of its parts. A jigsaw puzzle with the pieces all fitted but jammed in the wrong holes is not the same as one fitted together perfectly. Perhaps, no single neuron is conscious but neurons working together equates to consciousness.

Yes, this is exactly what I think on the matter. However, this does not necessarily answer how consciousness originated. How many neurons does it take for them to be significant? Would this be in line with definition #3, or would the brain need to be complex enough to reach definition #2 for it to count? (Or, perhaps, somewhere in between, but I'm not sure how something could be in between when there is a line drawn between 'pure instinct' and 'not pure instinct'. Monleys can be taught things by humans, and can learn some things on their own. This suggests that they have something other than pure instinct to guide them. Am I wrong?
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RE: Theory number 3.
What I mean by it, if there is any "feeler" to anything or have any perception to whatever low level, than it's concscious. But what I don't mean by it, is like a computer receiving information but has no living perceiver.
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RE: Theory number 3.
Ah, so, sense of self?
 “I can’t even go to a goddamn potluck without having to thank some space fairy for the broccoli casserole!” -Trae Crowder


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RE: Theory number 3.
(28th October 2012, 16:45)Rhythm Wrote: Ah, so, sense of self?

No, they don't have to even have a sense of self.
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RE: Theory number 3.
Okay...well, then anything with sensory equipment qualifies. You know, like a cell wall.
 “I can’t even go to a goddamn potluck without having to thank some space fairy for the broccoli casserole!” -Trae Crowder


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