Why Are We Conscious?

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This topic contains 168 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 6 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 151 through 165 (of 169 total)
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  • #25941

    Unseen
    Participant

    Having experiences is just have reactions to stimuli.

    No, it’s being aware of what’s going on. I don’t like the word “stimuli” because it evokes/invokes the “stimulus-response” description, whereas experiencing is passive. The idea of actively experiencing is a kind of oxymoron. Experience is basically viewing the world through a pinhole, since so much of what goes on not only in the outside world but also in our body and mind goes unexperienced. There seems to be no actual need to be having experiences in the conscious mind, which could after all be dealt with in the un- or pre-conscious “mind.”

    To me, it still seems a gratuity. Something we got but which we could function in exactly the same way without.

    #25942

    michael17
    Participant

    Awareness is an emergent property of life. Paramecium  demonstrate an elemental awareness as it hunts for amoeba and the amoeba in turn defense it’s self against the attack of the paramecium. All of this occurring without a nervous system and in real time.  White blood cells, in similar fashion have an elemental awareness of invaders to the blood stream. As life continues to only beget life we can conjecture but not prove that life and awareness can emerge from inanimate matter.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  michael17.
    #25944

    Hi Michael17,

    Is DNA not inanimate?

    #25945

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    To me, it still seems a gratuity. Something we got but which we could function in exactly the same way without.

    That’s because you don’t recognise that consciousness is about both mental awareness and mental activity.  We experience the activity with our awareness along with everything else.

    How else do experiences reach us, except through the physical senses, conscious awareness, and emotions?

     

    we can conjecture but not prove that life and awareness can emerge from inanimate matter.

    As @unseen pointed out, a fire alarm, or any electronic sensing instrument, is aware.

    #25946

    michael17
    Participant

    @Reg Is DNA not inanimate?

    DNA doesn’t meet the definition of life nor do cellular organelles

    In my opinion there is a non-baryronic  presence in the cytoplasm that imbues life which predates this universe.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  michael17.
    #25948

    @ Michael17, hmmm….maybe like a black hole made entirely of bosons? Maybe Pauli was thinking along those lines. I sense a new and separately paged discussion coming soon.

    Yes, DNA is not alive. It is just a molecule.

    #25949

    Unseen
    Participant

    Awareness is an emergent property of life. Paramecium demonstrate an elemental awareness as it hunts for amoeba and the amoeba in turn defense it’s self against the attack of the paramecium. All of this occurring without a nervous system and in real time. White blood cells, in similar fashion have an elemental awareness of invaders to the blood stream. As life continues to only beget life we can conjecture but not prove that life and awareness can emerge from inanimate matter.

    Awareness need not be conscious at all. You can wake up with a start without really understanding what caused it. In other words, you can be aware without having an experience. Consciousness operates on a much higher level than mere awareness, since it implies a being having experiences.

    #25950

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen wrote: To me, it still seems a gratuity. Something we got but which we could function in exactly the same way without. That’s because you don’t recognise that consciousness is about both mental awareness and mental activity.  We experience the activity with our awareness along with everything else. How else do experiences reach us, except through the physical senses, conscious awareness, and emotions?

    We experience only what our preconscious brain and senses present to us, and even our sensory experiences are not direct. They go through the nervous system first, and some are presented without processing (reflexes) and the rest we get after the nervous system or brain decides to present them to us because clearly we are not experiencing the entirety of our sensory input.

    #25951

    Unseen
    Participant

    @Reg Is DNA not inanimate? DNA doesn’t meet the definition of life nor do cellular organelles In my opinion there is a non-baryronic presence in the cytoplasm that imbues life which predates this universe.

    Huh?

     

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  Unseen.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  Unseen.
    #25954

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @unseen, it’s true that we’re not consciously aware of all sensory inputs.  According to Michael Tomasello, “we attend to what is relevant to our goals”.  If this is true, then conscious attention is on those things that are relevant to our goals.  I agree with this: in experience, it’s true.

    Why would that be?  Because conscious awareness and thinking are a space in the brain for doing high-level reasoning and organising of information that is relevant to our goals.

    I wonder what an animal’s experience of consciousness is like.  For us, it’s filled with language and concepts.  The human brain is a cooperative brain, and we use the contents of our minds to communicate with others.  Hence, we make sense to and communicate to ourselves.  The mind talks, the inner ear and eye hear and see the results.

    #25955

    Davis
    Participant

    there is a non-baryronic presence in the cytoplasm that imbues life which predates this universe.

    That is so interesting Michael. So is this non-baryonic presence in cytoplasm, ahem, the realm where Harry Potter and the Easter Bunny dwell? Or is it only reserved for a one grand immense magical being?

    #25956

    _Robert_
    Participant

    there is a non-baryronic presence in the cytoplasm that imbues life which predates this universe.

    That is so interesting Michael. So is this non-baryonic presence in cytoplasm, ahem, the realm where Harry Potter and the Easter Bunny dwell? Or is it only reserved for a one grand immense magical being?

    He should donate his brain to pseudoscience.

    #25957

    michael17
    Participant

    there is a non-baryronic presence in the cytoplasm that imbues life which predates this universe.

    That is so interesting Michael. So is this non-baryonic presence in cytoplasm, ahem, the realm where Harry Potter and the Easter Bunny dwell? Or is it only reserved for a one grand immense magical being?

    He should donate his brain to pseudoscience.

    A paramecium with awareness is truly miraculous. A single cell animal is more than the sum total of its DNA and organelles. There is life breathed into its cytoplasm. Scientist can not assemble the lifeless DNA and organelles and construct a living cell without preexisting cytoplasm. It is a fact of life and miraculous or magical from our perspective.

    But, yes preexistence is a theist perspective.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  michael17.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  michael17.
    #25960

    Davis
    Participant

    There is life breathed into its cytoplasm.

    Thanks Michael for the very clear and coherent response. Oh how I love reading your replies and trying to figure out how they answer my questions. So I take it as a no for Harry Potter? Is that correct?

    #25961

    michael17
    Participant

    There is life breathed into its cytoplasm.

    Thanks Michael for the very clear and coherent response. Oh how I love reading your replies and trying to figure out how they answer my questions. So I take it as a no for Harry Potter? Is that correct?

    As much as I like the Harry Potter series. You are correct.

    There’s a veritable soup of RNA present in the cytoplasm responsible for transport, DNA replication, enzymes and receptors etc. but on a singular basis they are non living  components and individually can be inserted into a man made cell and not give rise to life.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  michael17.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  michael17.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  michael17.
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