I watched the Russell video to about 30 min and lost patience where Russel starts talking about the “contents of consciousness evolving”. That is just ridiculous – off the Richter scale of ridiculous and ignorant - how would natural selection operate on phenotypes in the ether of consciousness?
You are thinking in the Physical Paradigm where consciousness somehow emerges from matter.
Russell is talking about consciousness being the most basic 'unit' of reality. Natural selection then is a phenomenon or process within consciousness. In this framework (paradigm) natural selection is in fact consciousness at work. ['Unit' is an inappropriate word but it gives the gist]
Diminic my question about zits under your paradigm 2 is a serious one.
Why would consciousness give rise to things of no utility? Or any of the chaos and suffering in reality?
I did wonder if it was a serious question : - ).
If consciousness is the basis of reality then physical manifestations such as zits are (to borrow from Douglas Adams) mostly harmless.
I'll give a hypothetical answer for zits but its not meant to be literally true but it will explain the principle at work.
Zits are a sign that something is not quite right. It is a signal to the individual that he needs to look at his diet and/or environment to see where some beneficial changes could be made. The zits themselves are very rarely dangerous but if it is an extreme case then perhaps there is a more urgent need to assess diet and lifestyle.
Zits then are a feedback system designed to inform and assist the 'sufferer'.
To use an analogy, a warning alarm is often an annoyance but it is there for our benefit so we shouldn't resent it.
Is Alzheimer’s a disease of the brain organ or a disease of consciousness? i.e. consciousness deliberately giving rise to its own diming by generating amyloid plaques?
Until I have better knowledge I will put Alzheimer's into the same category as zits but a more extreme example indicating a more serious warning about diet and lifestyle - possibly a long term effect of ingesting unhealthy substances which find their way into our processed food supply.
We as individuals are not expected to fully understand consciousness and the way it works but it makes a lot of sense to study it and see what can be learned.
Time is also a problem. What is built into consciousness that makes us age? Did the dinosaurs exist when none of us existed by virtue of their consciousness?
My attempts at explaining time would be amateur if I attempted it. But I'll make this suggestion - consciousness as a whole does not age. Consciousness experiences, observes and learns. The perception of a physical universe manifests mostly as changing forms but these are simply images presented to consciousness or within consciousness. They are just one particular subset of consciousness. To use an analogy, the images in a movie may convey twenty years of change under the influence of time in the story, while the observer (viewer) is largely unaffected by time.
What about anaesthesia? How do chemicals dim consciousness and then let it return? And brain damage, alcohol, and hallucinogens? Does consciousness continue when you’re knocked unconscious – why don’t we remember what happened except for the brief blurry and distorted moments when we are going under or resurfacing?
NDEs suggest that consciousness continues even when the heart and breathing are stopped and when brain activity is minimal. I know that we talk of 'unconsciousness' from anaesthesia and/or from bodily injuries but I suggest that this is a change of consciousness states, not an ending of consciousness. During NDEs people report more vivid, coherent, meaningful and 'real' experiences than in their normal lives. We actually know very little of what consciousness is capable of.
Is a higher being/deity pulling the strings of our consciousness? If so why have so many various gods entered the consciousness of humans over time? Why the fuck is Ganesha still riding on the back of a mouse – the correct god should have been able to fix that blip in hindu consciousness by now.
One theory is that the 'higher being' is the totality of consciousness (whatever that may turn out to be) and we as individuals are each experiencing a subset of that totality in accordance with our current beliefs, senses, understanding.
This limited experience (as a subset) may in fact be essential for slowly gaining an understanding of the whole.