Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

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Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby placid » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:26 am

In any case, there’s actually a much bigger problem facing any scientific approach to consciousness. No one has any idea what consciousness is. Sure, there’s plenty of philosophical speculation and mystical musing, but in my opinion there’s almost nothing solid from a scientific perspective.

Here’s why I think science cannot ever address the subject of consciousness: science studies objectively observable phenomena, whereas the most crucial aspect of consciousness is only subjectively observable. What are objectively observable phenomena? They’re the ones that more than one person can observe and communicate about. Through communication, they can agree on their properties. So the word “inter-subjective” is a pretty good synonym for “objective.” Objectivity is what can be agreed upon by multiple subjective perspectives.

The sun is a pretty objective feature of reality. We can point to it, talk about it, and make measurements about it that can be corroborated by independent groups of people.

But consciousness is not objective in the same way that the sun is. I do not observe anyone else’s consciousness. All I observe are physical perceptions: the sights and sounds and smells and textures associated with bodies. From these perceptions I build up a picture of the behaviour of an organism, and from the behaviour I infer things about the organism’s state of mind or consciousness. The only consciousness I have direct experience of is my own. Even my own consciousness is mysterious. I do not necessarily observe my consciousness. I observe with my consciousness. Consciousness is the medium for observation, but it not necessarily a target of observation.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby ElectricMonk » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:13 am

Possibly, but unlikely.

We have studied many hard-to-define phenomena. And we are learning more about consciousness all the time, mainly by finding out what it isn't: just more machine-like computation.

Given how widespread consciousness is (many "higher" animals seem to have it to some degree) it would be surprising if we could come up with ways to test and analyze it, eventually.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:01 am

LMFTFY: "..... if we could NOT come up with...." //// what you meant obviously.

...............and I agree. More is known all the time. I think it will be "all known" at some point. In this material universe: consciousness is just "a thing."
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:14 pm

But why should we care if "consciousness" isn't addressed "scientifically"?
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby ElectricMonk » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:39 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:But why should we care if "consciousness" isn't addressed "scientifically"?


It might become important if my DUI case ever makes it to Court.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:40 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:But why should we care if "consciousness" isn't addressed "scientifically"?


It might become important if my DUI case ever makes it to Court.

Does the Judge have a campaign fund?
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:56 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:But why should we care if "consciousness" isn't addressed "scientifically"?

Maybe it's a plea for help? Placid keeps showing up here periodically to bring her "good woos". Perhaps she can't last long anywhere else, perhaps she has an unfilled pathological need for recognition?
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby OlegTheBatty » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:48 pm

Consciousness might be subjective, but the brain is not. Studying brain function indirectly studies consciousness.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:19 pm

While in some sense I agree with you that due to the nature of consciousness being a purely subjective phenomenon, we can't directly observe or measure it, we can indirectly study it by observer self report, and build a theory describing how the physical brain produces consciousness. What we need to start focusing on more is the information in the brain. So far we have focussed on the hardware of the brain, it's neurons and neurotransmitters. We need to understand how this system encodes and stores information about the contents of consciousness. Once our interrogation techniques improve further, we could eventually identify and describe what information and processing is occurring, and identify the conditions under which such information becomes consciousness.

This is the easy problem of consciousness, however it will not be easy to do this, but in theory we can do this with enough Time and effort, and the right tools. What you describe is knowing the thing in itself. You are correct that this is beyond the reach of science, as science describes what a thing is by its function and its components. The only components science has to work with is what it currently has observed in the brain, the neurons and its associated electrochemical signals. From this it must assemble a phenomenon which does not logically follow from any conceivable configuration of those parts. Or at least, no one has conceived,even in theory, how those parts might produce such a phenomenon as consciousness. There are a few developing ideas, but none which have produced fruit. Time will tell if they will.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:59 pm

Dimebag: I think brain studies have advanced beyond your appreciation. Today...scientists are just being able to take a scan and tell what you are thinking about. Very easy to tell a lie from the truth. A memory of experience vs a made up story.

As I believe its very functional to think of the universe as nothing but energy, it is likewise and only a little inconsistent to think of consciousness as material. Details to be discovered.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Gord » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:35 pm

Huh. As far as I knew, "science" WAS exploring the nature of consciousness.

Fer instance: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/th ... sciousness
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:52 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Dimebag: I think brain studies have advanced beyond your appreciation. Today...scientists are just being able to take a scan and tell what you are thinking about. Very easy to tell a lie from the truth. A memory of experience vs a made up story.

As I believe its very functional to think of the universe as nothing but energy, it is likewise and only a little inconsistent to think of consciousness as material. Details to be discovered.

Thanks Bobbo, I am aware of those endeavours, and I do believe that is the right track to go, but what I am referring to is the one to one correlating of certain experiences with certain measured and identified neural markers or functional patterns. We are currently not capable of achieving this with the technology and knowledge of the way information from our senses is encoded and represented functionally by our brains circuitry. Also, when we get to a stage where we can track a piece of information in the brain, point to a particular functional characteristic, and say, there, thats where it becomes conscious, then we be where I described the path we need to take.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:22 am

placid wrote: Here’s why I think science cannot ever address the subject of consciousness: science studies objectively observable phenomena, whereas the most crucial aspect of consciousness is only subjectively observable. What are objectively observable phenomena? They’re the ones that more than one person can observe and communicate about. Through communication, they can agree on their properties. So the word “inter-subjective” is a pretty good synonym for “objective.” Objectivity is what can be agreed upon by multiple subjective perspectives.

The sun is a pretty objective feature of reality. We can point to it, talk about it, and make measurements about it that can be corroborated by independent groups of people.


You previously claimed that people can't choose to do anything and that Hitler's genocide was an act of love. Are you now claiming scientists can actually choose to do things? Doesn't that mean all your previous posts are bull-shit?

Make up your mind.
:lol:

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:03 am

Dime: I don't have a good feel for what your target is. If you mean no one can "really, really, really know" what another person is thinking or feeling or experiencing (say like the color red?)......then sure. but I don't think it matters. Somewhere above, someone commented on "self reports." You know.....when all the self reports are the same....you have some understanding being accomplished.

Demanding some exact point on a continuum is always a fools errand. Pragmatically......such particularization isn't needed. You can either find your way home.......or the police will pick you up.

but I sense we mostly agree. and thats mostly how science works too. An example that comes to mind, maybe for no application but we know very well what a species is and we can look at the long chain of evolution over time of many particular species......but never know when a new and different species came into being along the way.........every mother's son able to reproduce with her...........yet eventually no breeding can occur. So==we know. The exact point when is irrelevant.

Take the Big View.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby placid » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:13 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
You previously claimed that people can't choose to do anything and that Hitler's genocide was an act of love. Are you now claiming scientists can actually choose to do things? Doesn't that mean all your previous posts are bull-shit?

Make up your mind.
:lol:


Yep, that's just about what the mind does, mind makes it all up. It loves the smell of it's own BS

All choice is a choiceless choice, the effect of a causeless cause.

It is an illusion to assume there is an individual acting body. Life is the effect of which the cause can never be determined since life is in constant flux as a continuous singular movement, appearing as phenomena upon a silent non-moving timeless backdrop of awareness. Any boundaries between this and that have to be illusory and not real.The first cause or the first effect can never be determined.
A cause is a compressed effect and an effect is an expressed cause.There is no room to make an approach, any approach is this causeless cause approaching itself as imagined.


Another piece of BS for you to store away in your archive.
And just so you know, the more you store the less you see clearly.

Keep it clean... know what I mean?

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Poodle » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:23 am

What a shame! I read placid's opening post and thought that, at last, she'd got rid of her demons. But no - one post later we're back to her content-free and juvenile blank verse.

"All choice is a choiceless choice, the effect of a causeless cause."

Meaningless drivel.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:48 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Dime: I don't have a good feel for what your target is. If you mean no one can "really, really, really know" what another person is thinking or feeling or experiencing (say like the color red?)......then sure. but I don't think it matters. Somewhere above, someone commented on "self reports." You know.....when all the self reports are the same....you have some understanding being accomplished.

Demanding some exact point on a continuum is always a fools errand. Pragmatically......such particularization isn't needed. You can either find your way home.......or the police will pick you up.

but I sense we mostly agree. and thats mostly how science works too. An example that comes to mind, maybe for no application but we know very well what a species is and we can look at the long chain of evolution over time of many particular species......but never know when a new and different species came into being along the way.........every mother's son able to reproduce with her...........yet eventually no breeding can occur. So==we know. The exact point when is irrelevant.

Take the Big View.

I guess my point was, if we can understand exactly when something becomes conscious, it is because we understand the underlying mechanisms which cause it. To me that is why it is important to know that. I do however concede, that consciousness is probably more of a scale, than an on off switch, and the more conscious elements, the richer and more impactful the experience. Or maybe it could be more accurate to say it is many many on off switches adding together.

Leading slightly off topic now, What I find interesting is the idea of experience with memory, in the case of perceptual experience, in many cases it is clear we are conscious, however, due to the lack of short term memory allowing us to be able to use and or report on our experience beyond that which our unconscious mind can use, it appears to be there and gone in an instant. I wonder sometimes, could this be what some primitive species experience entails, a kind of fleeting collection of snippets of which they are totally unaware? And if they have no ability to remember those conscious events, do they really matter?

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:00 am

Poodle wrote:What a shame! I read placid's opening post and thought that, at last, she'd got rid of her demons. But no - one post later we're back to her content-free and juvenile blank verse.

"All choice is a choiceless choice, the effect of a causeless cause."

Meaningless drivel.

Sounds a bit deepak chopraish, however upon closer inspection I do believe she is trying to say that we do not truly know the reasons behind our choices or actions, as they are unconsciously made. Part of our brain acts as an interpreter for our actions, so that when it comes time to explain why we did something, it can form some semi logical picture to report to others, however, as we have learned from split brain patients, when the corpus callosum is severed and a subject is unconsciously primed to do something, part of their brain responsible for creating the story of why can create total fabrications when they are questioned about certain actions or feelings.

In a sense that line of Placids holds true, however it is hidden underneath needless eastern mysterianism and general word salad.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:51 am

Dimebag wrote: I guess my point was, if we can understand exactly when something becomes conscious, it is because we understand the underlying mechanisms which cause it. To me that is why it is important to know that. I do however concede, that consciousness is probably more of a scale, than an on off switch, and the more conscious elements, the richer and more impactful the experience. Or maybe it could be more accurate to say it is many many on off switches adding together.
Are you ready to "conclude" anything? Resolve the conflict?? Or do you want to recognize the error you are committing and CHANGE your mind?

Dimebag wrote: Leading slightly off topic now, What I find interesting is the idea of experience with memory, in the case of perceptual experience, in many cases it is clear we are conscious, however, due to the lack of short term memory allowing us to be able to use and or report on our experience beyond that which our unconscious mind can use, it appears to be there and gone in an instant.
Given we never experience anything "directly" but rather everything is mediated thru the brain, we could say our entire perception of reality is but dealing with "memories." Its all how the brain works and how one wishes to characterize such actions. Pros and cons to different models and characterizations.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:08 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:Consciousness might be subjective, but the brain is not. Studying brain function indirectly studies consciousness.

Indirectly and often unwillingly, the topic is a tangle legit researchers don't care much for.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:30 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Dimebag wrote: I guess my point was, if we can understand exactly when something becomes conscious, it is because we understand the underlying mechanisms which cause it. To me that is why it is important to know that. I do however concede, that consciousness is probably more of a scale, than an on off switch, and the more conscious elements, the richer and more impactful the experience. Or maybe it could be more accurate to say it is many many on off switches adding together.
Are you ready to "conclude" anything? Resolve the conflict?? Or do you want to recognize the error you are committing and CHANGE your mind?

I'm not ready to make any conclusions unless I have an overwhelming amount of evidence to support it. Apparently a person can't think and type on here, sheesh. I apologise if anything I say is inconsistent with itself, that is probably due to my thinking aloud and maybe an inability to clearly communicate when I am doing so. Sometimes I use these conversations as a kind of mirror or echo chamber to tease out what I really think about a topic.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:38 pm

Yes, that reveals you to be indecisive, slow to recognize error. Watch out..........it could become an entrenched habit.

Of course you can think and type on here. Thats what you did. Thats what I did. Do you think typing and thinking require or even suggest agreement by everyone else?

I think you clearly communicated enough---or did you mean to type something completely different?

House of Mirrors, Echo Chamber with no sound? I use "it" as target practice and a whet stone.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Gord » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:53 pm

Dimebag wrote:Apparently a person can't think and type on here, sheesh. I apologise if anything I say is inconsistent with itself, that is probably due to my thinking aloud and maybe an inability to clearly communicate when I am doing so. Sometimes I use these conversations as a kind of mirror or echo chamber to tease out what I really think about a topic.

Don't worry about it, we all do that to some extent. I like to freeball spitball it myself at times.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:20 pm

I suppose being a skeptic website, rather than one for free thought, people come here to scrutinise others and their opinions, and in some cases criticise with hostility. To me it seems entirely disingenuous to the concept of knowledge, however I suppose frustration sometimes can overtake a persons sense of standards, and for that I am both forgiving and guilty on occasion.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:29 pm

Dimebag wrote:I suppose being a skeptic website, rather than one for free thought, people come here to scrutinise others and their opinions, and in some cases criticise with hostility. To me it seems entirely disingenuous to the concept of knowledge, however I suppose frustration sometimes can overtake a persons sense of standards, and for that I am both forgiving and guilty on occasion.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby OlegTheBatty » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:11 pm

Dimebag wrote:I suppose being a skeptic website, rather than one for free thought, people come here to scrutinise others and their opinions, and in some cases criticise with hostility. To me it seems entirely disingenuous to the concept of knowledge, however I suppose frustration sometimes can overtake a persons sense of standards, and for that I am both forgiving and guilty on occasion.


If an idea can survive scrutiny, it likely has some merit. If it can't . . .
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:58 am

OlegTheBatty wrote: If an idea can survive scrutiny, it likely has some merit. If it can't . . .

... you can always go forum shopping.
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:06 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote: If an idea can survive scrutiny, it likely has some merit. If it can't . . .

... you can always go forum shopping.

Case in point, unnecessary hostility, aren't we better than this? If you only surround yourself with people of the same opinion as you do, you view of the world will constantly be confirmed. I would think people who are interested in learning would want to have access to different opinions.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:22 am

Dimebag wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote: If an idea can survive scrutiny, it likely has some merit. If it can't . . .

... you can always go forum shopping.

Case in point, unnecessary hostility, aren't we better than this? If you only surround yourself with people of the same opinion as you do, you view of the world will constantly be confirmed. I would think people who are interested in learning would want to have access to different opinions.

Fact-based opinions, yes. This is the skeptics' forum, remember? The whole point is to scrutinize an idea with the available science. There's no point in wasting time talking to someone who believes in unicorns.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Gord » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:22 am

Dimebag wrote:...cases criticise with hostility....

It's not hostility! :slapfight: :flushed: :budo: :katana: :duel: :box: :aikido: :dwarf: :paladin: :orc: :dizzy:
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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby placid » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:18 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:Consciousness might be subjective, but the brain is not. Studying brain function indirectly studies consciousness.


Studying the brain would be like studying your face in a mirror, the image in the mirror will only be an illusory representation or a copy of the original you. The original you is already THIS immediate consciousness experiencing itself right here and now. There is nothing external to this other than it's own image as reflected..

The truth cannot be found in the mind as science supposes, rather the mind is a tool with which we may learn the truth. Science can never explain the nature of 'I' because I am the subject, doing the investigating. What you are looking for is already the place you are looking from.

Consciousness cannot pinpoint the exact location of itself because it is only ever one with itself everywhere. And it doesn't need to to, it's already right here. People are not consciousness, consciousness are people. A person is just a thought arising in consciousness. (YOU)

Thoughts are inner private ideas and feelings privy only to consciousness alone.
The external world of objects and other people are known to exist outside of your consciousness as projected thoughts within consciousness. As within so without, as above so below.. so to speak...the object world is an internally constructed world of thought arising in consciousness only, it is subject objectifying itself.

We cannot know the how's or why's of the conscious experience no more than electricity can experience itself as a light bulb. The conscious experience is totally self shining, which is not dependant on the light bulb to be, although the light bulb is dependant on electricity to be.. as it has no light of it's own. This analogy applies to the brain, the brain is dependant upon the source for aliveness..the brain is not the source of aliveness itself.

And Dimebag, I think your comments regarding this topic are inspiring, well articulated, and very thought provoking.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:08 pm

placid wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:Consciousness might be subjective, but the brain is not. Studying brain function indirectly studies consciousness.


Studying the brain would be like studying your face in a mirror, the image in the mirror will only be an illusory representation or a copy of the original you. The original you is already THIS immediate consciousness experiencing itself right here and now. There is nothing external to this other than it's own image as reflected..

The truth cannot be found in the mind as science supposes, rather the mind is a tool with which we may learn the truth. Science can never explain the nature of 'I' because I am the subject, doing the investigating. What you are looking for is already the place you are looking from.

Consciousness cannot pinpoint the exact location of itself because it is only ever one with itself everywhere. And it doesn't need to to, it's already right here. People are not consciousness, consciousness are people. A person is just a thought arising in consciousness. (YOU)

Thoughts are inner private ideas and feelings privy only to consciousness alone.
The external world of objects and other people are known to exist outside of your consciousness as projected thoughts within consciousness. As within so without, as above so below.. so to speak...the object world is an internally constructed world of thought arising in consciousness only, it is subject objectifying itself.

We cannot know the how's or why's of the conscious experience no more than electricity can experience itself as a light bulb. The conscious experience is totally self shining, which is not dependant on the light bulb to be, although the light bulb is dependant on electricity to be.. as it has no light of it's own. This analogy applies to the brain, the brain is dependant upon the source for aliveness..the brain is not the source of aliveness itself.

And Dimebag, I think your comments regarding this topic are inspiring, well articulated, and very thought provoking.


By studying the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, I can understand farts. Your assertions are question-evading; and steeped in mysticism.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby placid » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:09 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:
By studying the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, I can understand farts. Your assertions are question-evading; and steeped in mysticism.


Who understands? ..Is the one question to all your answers.


Who wants to know?... Is the one question to all your answers.


Knowing oneself or awareness knowing itself requires a knower and it is projecting the quality of knowing of being of oneself to awareness.Pure awareness is prior to knowingness as knowingness is a byproduct and an abstraction of awareness.


''Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.''

Image

Spirituality is contained within the dream-illusion - mirage appearance.

More meaningless drivel.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Gord » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:36 am

placid wrote:More meaningless drivel.

That's for sure, that's for dang sure.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Poodle » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:37 am

There are two universes brought about by substance-dualistic philosophy. In one, dualistic principles apply to everything. The other is real.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby scrmbldggs » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:27 pm

Gord wrote:
Dimebag wrote:...cases criticise with hostility....

It's not hostility! :slapfight: :flushed: :budo: :katana: :duel: :box: :aikido: :dwarf: :paladin: :orc: :dizzy:
. :sling:
Hi, Io the lurker.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby SteveKlinko » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:06 pm

placid wrote:In any case, there’s actually a much bigger problem facing any scientific approach to consciousness. No one has any idea what consciousness is. Sure, there’s plenty of philosophical speculation and mystical musing, but in my opinion there’s almost nothing solid from a scientific perspective.

Here’s why I think science cannot ever address the subject of consciousness: science studies objectively observable phenomena, whereas the most crucial aspect of consciousness is only subjectively observable. What are objectively observable phenomena? They’re the ones that more than one person can observe and communicate about. Through communication, they can agree on their properties. So the word “inter-subjective” is a pretty good synonym for “objective.” Objectivity is what can be agreed upon by multiple subjective perspectives.

The sun is a pretty objective feature of reality. We can point to it, talk about it, and make measurements about it that can be corroborated by independent groups of people.

But consciousness is not objective in the same way that the sun is. I do not observe anyone else’s consciousness. All I observe are physical perceptions: the sights and sounds and smells and textures associated with bodies. From these perceptions I build up a picture of the behaviour of an organism, and from the behaviour I infer things about the organism’s state of mind or consciousness. The only consciousness I have direct experience of is my own. Even my own consciousness is mysterious. I do not necessarily observe my consciousness. I observe with my consciousness. Consciousness is the medium for observation, but it not necessarily a target of observation.

.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016 ... 6e8e2b654b

Consciousness will never be explained or even studied by Science as long as Scientists proclaim that there is no such thing as Consciousness or that it is just an Illusion. What can you do when people say there is no Hard Problem or Explanatory Gap and it is all already solved Scientifically? They say its all in the Neurons. They don't understand the Hard Problem of Consciousness that leads to the Explanatory Gap.

I think that Science will develop new Concepts that are not known yet. These Concepts will describe Consciousness in a Scientific way. It will be a new branch of Science. But first Science must acknowledge the existence of a separate Consciousness concept that is Not Explained yet and that can be studied. The very fact that Consciousness exists in the Universe means that we must explain it. It is basic human Scientific curiosity that will drive it. It might take thinking in new Scientific ways.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:44 pm

SteveKlinko wrote:
placid wrote:In any case, there’s actually a much bigger problem facing any scientific approach to consciousness. No one has any idea what consciousness is. Sure, there’s plenty of philosophical speculation and mystical musing, but in my opinion there’s almost nothing solid from a scientific perspective.

Here’s why I think science cannot ever address the subject of consciousness: science studies objectively observable phenomena, whereas the most crucial aspect of consciousness is only subjectively observable. What are objectively observable phenomena? They’re the ones that more than one person can observe and communicate about. Through communication, they can agree on their properties. So the word “inter-subjective” is a pretty good synonym for “objective.” Objectivity is what can be agreed upon by multiple subjective perspectives.

The sun is a pretty objective feature of reality. We can point to it, talk about it, and make measurements about it that can be corroborated by independent groups of people.

But consciousness is not objective in the same way that the sun is. I do not observe anyone else’s consciousness. All I observe are physical perceptions: the sights and sounds and smells and textures associated with bodies. From these perceptions I build up a picture of the behaviour of an organism, and from the behaviour I infer things about the organism’s state of mind or consciousness. The only consciousness I have direct experience of is my own. Even my own consciousness is mysterious. I do not necessarily observe my consciousness. I observe with my consciousness. Consciousness is the medium for observation, but it not necessarily a target of observation.

.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016 ... 6e8e2b654b

Consciousness will never be explained or even studied by Science as long as Scientists proclaim that there is no such thing as Consciousness or that it is just an Illusion. What can you do when people say there is no Hard Problem or Explanatory Gap and it is all already solved Scientifically? They say its all in the Neurons. They don't understand the Hard Problem of Consciousness that leads to the Explanatory Gap.

I think that Science will develop new Concepts that are not known yet. These Concepts will describe Consciousness in a Scientific way. It will be a new branch of Science. But first Science must acknowledge the existence of a separate Consciousness concept that is Not Explained yet and that can be studied. The very fact that Consciousness exists in the Universe means that we must explain it. It is basic human Scientific curiosity that will drive it. It might take thinking in new Scientific ways.

Steve, not all of science is of the opinion that consciousness is nothing more than neurons firing, there are projects which I think may at least be going down the right path. I personally think that looking for the structure of how information is represented in the brain is a good intermediate step towards describing how the brain can turn information into consciousness. Most of science is focussed on describing the function of every single area of the brain, which is also important as we want to know what the various areas which generate consciousness are doing, but it is the information itself which is the consciousness we seek, not the brain, and for that we need to find the patterns out of the chaos of neurons firing. Once we can identify individual representations of information, we can then focus in on how those representations might lead to conscious experience.

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:02 pm

It has not yet been established that consciousness exists. It seems to exist, but there is nothing yet that certainly distinguishes that seeming from illusion.

My consciousness may be nothing more than my subjective impression of my existence; a convenient simulacrum to guide my inner dialogue.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

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Re: Why Science Will Probably Never Address The Problem Of Consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:48 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:It has not yet been established that consciousness exists. It seems to exist, but there is nothing yet that certainly distinguishes that seeming from illusion.

My consciousness may be nothing more than my subjective impression of my existence; a convenient simulacrum to guide my inner dialogue.

There is no doubt that certain aspects of consciousness are illusory, or more accurately, they are not what they seem, such as the idea of a persistent and unified self. We know the self is a construction, a mishmash of predispositions, preferences, personality traits, memories, etc, which when reflected upon, appear to form a singular entity. This is the illusion, however, all the individual aspects still exist, it is easier to refer to them as a singular entity to allow the concept of "I", the individual to be expressed, to be thought about, and to be acted in lieu of.

I hold that, our unity of conscious perception may be illusory, insofar as, there is most likely not a single area where all of those experiences come together. I would argue however, that all those conscious perceptions, must be bound somehow, and share a common link, or even be formed in a common structure where all consciousness is formed, separate from the wider structure of the brain. Or an alternative is that the wider brain IS the shared structure, and certain functional properties of the information represented by neuronal networks are specific only to conscious experiences.

I am not convinced that the subjectivity and qualitative nature of conscious experiences could be illusory insofar as non existent, as by the mere fact that they seem to be qualitative, I.e. There is something like an experience of red, means they exist. I am prepared to accept that the qualitative nature of experience could be illusory in the previously described sense, I.e, a construction which appears whole and unified but is in actual fact a construction of individual characteristics, combining together, and being referenced as a whole. This does not remove the qualitative nature, but rather, would explain it in some sense. It would not explain why it is the way it is, but it would explain what functions create it, and how several parts combine to form that qualitative experience, which is at minimum, what science should aim for. It would still leave questions unanswered, but science doesn't claim to be able to answer those kind of questions, or at least, doesn't currently have a toolset which could.


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