Metaphysics Consciousness

Discussion in 'Metaphysics' started by Icewolf, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    Now many people have argued over this topic elsewhere of course, so try and keep this fact based.

    What is consciousness, is it a few chemical reactions resulting in random thought?

    Or is it something more?
     
  2. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member

    In the words of the immortal Homer Simpson...

    What is mind - never matter, what is matter - never mind.

    My head tells me it is a chemical reaction, my arrogance refuses to accept it. The various theories/philosophies on the subject will really make your head spin. Here's a great site to check out. http://jamaica.u.arizona.edu/~chalmers/online.html
     
  3. oddtodd

    oddtodd Premium Member

    Cripes !! Thats a tough one , I started writing down a bunch of stuff that came to mind , but it didn't make any sense in written words . Maybe the ability to purposely adapt to your surroundings ? To be able to think past thr basic instinctive needs we all have .

    I saw a show where a monkey used a stick to pull termites out of a hole for snacks and thought that was pretty cool but there is a big difference between using tools and communicating like KOKO the gorilla does with sign language .

    Crud , I'm thinking to hard....Just say NO to philosophy forum .(just kidding , this is a hard one to grasp...)
     
  4. amantine

    amantine Premium Member

    Wow, that's a nice site. It'll take me a long time to read the information of that site, even if I read only 10%.

    I think we should first figure out if consciousness is a discrete phenomena or if there is a continuum of different degrees of consciousness.
     
  5. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

    This should be move into the philosophy section.
     
  6. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    I agree.. done.

    IF we can come up with some type of evidence for a medical reason, I will move it back.... Well, if we got that far, maybe better for the Research section... ;)
     
  7. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

  8. junior_smith

    junior_smith Premium Member

    to say we are just neurons and amino acids, really takes the wonder out of life. everything you have ever done in your life is just a comination of those amino acids and neurons, every pain you've felt, every happy moment, is that just a chemical reaction? are we no different from an elemnt with a half life? do we just live to die?
     
  9. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

    I totally agreed. But being in the middle and undecide. Here's my thought:

    Why is our heart on our left side? Why not on the right?

    Ok then. Your heart is now on the right.

    Then people will start asking "Why is the heart on the right? Why not on the left?" and on it goes...
     
  10. amantine

    amantine Premium Member

    Isn't it much more of a wonder that you arise from the complex interactions of millions of neurons and chemicals? I find the "creator made it all"-stance much more insulting to the complexity of human nature.

    In biology, you don't live to die, you live to make sure genes similar to your own genes survive. That includes dying when you're useless, but dying is not the biological purpose of life. The next question is if consciousness adds another purpose to life, whether this consciousness arises from materialistic phenomena or not.
     
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  11. junior_smith

    junior_smith Premium Member

    good point amantine, but still the mind is something that should not be devoured by science, not everyone wants to hear that their whole life is just material. there was a show on in england about the brain and one of the things it 'determined' was that religion basically just neurons and synapses firing. this is something we have foughten wars over this is some we STILL fight wars over, how can science rip apart our whole beliefs, we then become nothing more than AI who believe we live.
    I am not a religious person, spiritual yes. i beleve in science but i think science should have its limits. what will the world gain from knowing about the big bang? it is self curiosity.

    amantine, and others, if you knew all the secrets of the world. what then? where does science go from there? what happens to your curiosity
     
  12. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    Well we don't live to die, we live for self preservation, but i don't think there's anyone alive today or who has ever been alive who could fully explain how a few chemical reactions cause us pain, worry, guilt etc.
    Sensience (or wotever I was never really one for spelling) seems totally different to everyday matter.
     
  13. junior_smith

    junior_smith Premium Member

    ok if our conciousness is just due to neurons and synapses and stuff, how are we different from machines?
     
  14. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

    I
    'm not religious, but I'll use religion as an example here:

    God created us. Ok. But... we're made out of matters. It can't be God. Well, God have to use something to create us right? He chose matters.
     
  15. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

  16. Waxy cheesecake

    Waxy cheesecake Premium Member

    "You might want too consider becoming a little less thin skined. Your level of being insulted has no bering on the reality of the question. Believe what you want, its no skin of my nose."- My dad.
     
  17. Waxy cheesecake

    Waxy cheesecake Premium Member

    Its called a Soul.
     
  18. amantine

    amantine Premium Member

    Ah yes, the superfluent, unmeasurable soul. How do we even know that a soul exists? I'm willing to bet that the best you can come up with is some version of the argument from ignorance.

    First of all, that we can't explain the mind completely yet, doesn't mean we'll never be able to. We already understand some processes. We know the functions of most areas of the brain. How do you explain that brain damage can make someone lose the ability to speak, when consciousness is not at least based on the brain?

    I think the problem is that you see things too simple. We're not dealing with a few communicating neurons here, we're dealing with billions of interacting neurons. It is a huge network that constantly influences itself. New phenomena can emerge from such enormously complex interactons. Let's take a look at a cell for example. Just a few enzymes and some DNA doesn't do much, but when you combine a lot of them in a complex interacting process, it suddenly becomes alive.

    You're asking the wrong question: "What is consciousness, is it a few chemical reactions resulting in random thought?" is like asking "Are a few living human cells resulting in human societies?". They do, but you fail to see that the society is a complex phenomena caused by interactions between other complex phenomena, humans, which are based on interactions between the cells. In the end the cells are responsible, but it is the interaction that causes the phenomena. In the brain, consciousness is a complex phenomena caused by interactions between smaller complex phenomena, neurons, which are based on chemical reactions. In the end the reactions are responsible, but it is the interaction between them that causes consciousness.
     
  19. ZeroDeep

    ZeroDeep New Member

    Some more questions needing to be asked are:

    What makes us consciouss?
    Is our consciousness connected to our material bodies; is consciousness immaterial?
    How do we know we are conscious?

    Deep
     
  20. Zsandmann

    Zsandmann Premium Member