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Offline Jesuis

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What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« on: March 04, 2014, 09:31:45 PM »
What is consciousness?
Modern day Theists say it is a divine spark of spiritual conscious energy that comes from God.

What do you say it is?
or
What do scientists say it is
or
What do the philosophers say consciousness is
and
Why do you believe them
or
how do you know they are right?
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 09:54:38 PM »
Well, science doesn't know what consciousness is well enough to put forth a theory. There are all sorts of ideas, but none seem adequate at this time.

Do I don't have any real opinion about what consciousness is. I read about the research a lot, but nobody is claiming to have it all figured out.

As for the philosophers, I don't run in circles where they are important, so I don't worry about their opinions.

But I'm going to guess that you are more than willing to inadequately fill us in on the latest from Depak Chopra and Miley Cyrus. Please do continue.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 10:20:47 PM »
The equivalent of a computer's operating system.

Offline DVZ3

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 10:34:59 PM »

Here's a great read on advancing and future computer technology such as artificial intelligence, consciousness, self-awareness, and our obvious primitive understanding of our own human brain and how it works. The author is Michio Kaku from a very dated book Visoins published in 1999 from a technology standpoint but is still very relevant with the trends happening even today. I could have summed it up but he says it better and quite frankly - I would love to see how his words are interpreted... Sorry for the long wall of text, skip it if want to.

Quote
One of the principal problems in the era between 2020 and 2050 will be to build intelligent systems with common sense. Like the huge concealed portion of an iceberg hidden beneath the waves, common sense is so embedded in our brains at such an unconscious level that we don't even ponder how we use it in our daily lives. Only the tiniest fraction of our thinking is devoted to conscious thought. Most of our thinking is actually unconscious thought, including common sense.

Ironically, our brains never evolved the remarkably simple neural circuits it takes to do arithmetic. Being able to multiply five-digit numbers, which is effortlessly performed by handheld calculators, was of no use in escaping a hungry saber-toothed tiger hundreds of thousands of years ago. To perform arithmetic requires surprisingly few neural circuits, but because they were not needed in our evolution, we never developed them. Our brains did, however, evolve the sophisticated mental apparatus that enables us to understand common sense without thinking about it and survive in a hostile world.

Computer systems are the opposite; they are marvelous at abstract mathematical logic, but in general they do not grasp the simplest concepts of physics or biology. They have difficulty, for example, solving the following problem:

Susan and Jane are twins. If Susan is now twenty years old, then how old is Jane?

The concept of "time" (that all objects age at the same rate, that a son is younger than his father, etc.) is easily grasped by children, but not by computers. It's a law of physics, not mathematical logic. The computer must be told that time progresses uniformly.

By 2050, we expect AI systems to have a modest range of emotions. Intelligent systems will then be truly ubiquitous, animating many of the objects around us and even sharing some of our feelings. By then, the Internet will have evolved into a true Magic Mirror, not only capable of accessing the entire database of human knowledge, but also capable of gossiping or joking with us. (Some AI experts have written that this may inadvertently create a resurgence of interest in magic and superstition. To many, a world populated by intelligent systems may seem, as in medieval times, to be animated by mysterious spirits.)

But the questions arise: Are they "aware" of what they are? Can they set their own goals and plans? Are they "conscious"? Such predictions are, of course, quite controversial, since up to now no one has even given a compelling definition of what consciousness is. Indeed, it seems as if everyone has their own definition of consciousness.

Christian theologians have sometimes defined the "soul" as something independent of the material world which even exists after death. Christian theology, with its elaborate rewards and punishments for sin and promises of an afterlife, is predicated on separating the flesh from the spirit.

Eastern philosophers have raised the "mind" to a state of spiritual awareness. Here, for example, is the fable of three Zen monks viewing a flying banner above a temple.

The first monk says, "The banner is moving."

The second monk says, "No, it is the wind which is moving."

Finally, the third monk says, "It is the mind which is moving."

Contrary to science fiction stories where a robot suddenly "wakes up" and becomes conscious, in reality scientists will probably create robots over the coming decades which have increasing levels of consciousness.

Degrees of Consciousness

The lowest level of consciousness is the ability of an organism to monitor its body and its environment. By this definition, even a lowly thermostat has some "consciousness" since it monitors the surrounding temperature. Computers that perform self-diagnostics and that print error messages

also fall into this category. Higher up on this same level of consciousness are plants. Even without nervous systems, they have to be aware of numerous shifts in the environment and react to them in sophisticated ways. Machines with vision are on this scale, since they are programmed to recognize various patterns in their immediate environment. Animals at rest function at this level of consciousness. Even relaxing, animals are constantly scanning the environment and identifying patterns for danger, food, mates, etc.


At the second level is the ability to carry out well-defined goals, like survival and reproduction. The future Mars probes scheduled into the next century fall into this category, since they will be mobile and able to scout out unknown terrain, detect danger, seek out interesting formations, all without human commands.

Higher up on this second level lies the entire animal kingdom. Once primary goals (e.g., finding food and mates) are fixed or preprogrammed into the animal brain, they determine the complex plans that the animal must carry out in order to fulfill them. For foxes, it means planning how to hunt and capture rabbits. For rabbits, it means planning how to avoid foxes. These animals have only a limited understanding or awareness of what they are doing when they hunt or flee. Most of their behavior is hard-wired into their brain.

(Remember, this level of consciousness is probably the dominant one for most human activity. Most of us do not spend inordinate amounts of time asking philosophical questions about self-awareness and pondering the paradoxes of the meaning of existence. Although we are reluctant to admit it, we spend most of our time thinking about survival and reproduction, much like the animals. And when we are not thinking about survival and reproduction, we are usually thinking about entertainment and fun. So we shouldn't get carried away about the esoteric and mythical nature of human consciousness.)

The more sophisticated the goal and subsequently the plans necessary to carry them out, the higher the level of consciousness. In other words, there may be thousands of subcategories of consciousness within this broad level, depending on the complexity of the plans that the robot can generate to pursue a well-defined goal.

Predators, such as foxes, for example, are probably more "intelligent" than prey. Foxes have to devise complex hunting strategies to capture rabbits; they have to learn how to hunt with stealth, how to stalk, how to ambush, how to deceive, and they also have to learn the behavior of rabbits. Foxes therefore probably have more developed cognitive skills than rabbits, whose main strategy is to flee. It may take until the middle part of the next century before we have robots that possess the level of consciousness consistent with, say, dogs, who can devise sophisticated strategies for hunting.

The third and highest level of consciousness is the ability to set one's own goals, whatever they may be. Robots able to function at this level are "self-aware." Some scientists believe that we will have a class of robots which can set their own goals, rather than having their goals predetermined, sometime after the year 2050.

But such ability raises other questions: What happens when the goals of our machines and our own goals do not match? What happens when they are superior to us intellectually and physically? These are rather delicate questions that I will address in Chapter 6.

Although pattern recognition and common sense are beyond the capabilities of present-day computers, we can now see the vague outlines of a solution emerging from two fronts: the ever-increasing power of neural nets and conventional computers. A combination of the top-down and bottom-up approaches may one day crack these problems.

Within the next forty years or so, the top-down and bottom-up approaches will likely meet somewhere in the middle, giving us the best of both worlds, a machine that can learn by bumping into its environment and also possesses the expert knowledge of a professional engineer, chemist, doctor, or lawyer. And sometime after 2050, we will likely enter the fifth phase of computing, when we see the arrival of automatons which are conscious and self-aware.
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 11:40:59 PM »
The equivalent of a computer's operating system.

.......which is built by a designer.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline skeptic54768

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 11:42:36 PM »
Well, science doesn't know what consciousness is well enough to put forth a theory. There are all sorts of ideas, but none seem adequate at this time.

Do I don't have any real opinion about what consciousness is. I read about the research a lot, but nobody is claiming to have it all figured out.

As for the philosophers, I don't run in circles where they are important, so I don't worry about their opinions.

But I'm going to guess that you are more than willing to inadequately fill us in on the latest from Depak Chopra and Miley Cyrus. Please do continue.

It's true science has bupkes right now. Religion has always had the answer though. Sometimes, I do get upset that religion is automatically dismissed with a handwave. That is anti-scientific thinking.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline skeptic54768

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 11:47:09 PM »

Here's a great read on advancing and future computer technology such as artificial intelligence, consciousness, self-awareness, and our obvious primitive understanding of our own human brain and how it works. The author is Michio Kaku from a very dated book Visoins published in 1999 from a technology standpoint but is still very relevant with the trends happening even today. I could have summed it up but he says it better and quite frankly - I would love to see how his words are interpreted... Sorry for the long wall of text, skip it if want to.

Quote
One of the principal problems in the era between 2020 and 2050 will be to build intelligent systems with common sense. Like the huge concealed portion of an iceberg hidden beneath the waves, common sense is so embedded in our brains at such an unconscious level that we don't even ponder how we use it in our daily lives. Only the tiniest fraction of our thinking is devoted to conscious thought. Most of our thinking is actually unconscious thought, including common sense.

Ironically, our brains never evolved the remarkably simple neural circuits it takes to do arithmetic. Being able to multiply five-digit numbers, which is effortlessly performed by handheld calculators, was of no use in escaping a hungry saber-toothed tiger hundreds of thousands of years ago. To perform arithmetic requires surprisingly few neural circuits, but because they were not needed in our evolution, we never developed them. Our brains did, however, evolve the sophisticated mental apparatus that enables us to understand common sense without thinking about it and survive in a hostile world.

Computer systems are the opposite; they are marvelous at abstract mathematical logic, but in general they do not grasp the simplest concepts of physics or biology. They have difficulty, for example, solving the following problem:

Susan and Jane are twins. If Susan is now twenty years old, then how old is Jane?

The concept of "time" (that all objects age at the same rate, that a son is younger than his father, etc.) is easily grasped by children, but not by computers. It's a law of physics, not mathematical logic. The computer must be told that time progresses uniformly.

By 2050, we expect AI systems to have a modest range of emotions. Intelligent systems will then be truly ubiquitous, animating many of the objects around us and even sharing some of our feelings. By then, the Internet will have evolved into a true Magic Mirror, not only capable of accessing the entire database of human knowledge, but also capable of gossiping or joking with us. (Some AI experts have written that this may inadvertently create a resurgence of interest in magic and superstition. To many, a world populated by intelligent systems may seem, as in medieval times, to be animated by mysterious spirits.)

But the questions arise: Are they "aware" of what they are? Can they set their own goals and plans? Are they "conscious"? Such predictions are, of course, quite controversial, since up to now no one has even given a compelling definition of what consciousness is. Indeed, it seems as if everyone has their own definition of consciousness.

Christian theologians have sometimes defined the "soul" as something independent of the material world which even exists after death. Christian theology, with its elaborate rewards and punishments for sin and promises of an afterlife, is predicated on separating the flesh from the spirit.

Eastern philosophers have raised the "mind" to a state of spiritual awareness. Here, for example, is the fable of three Zen monks viewing a flying banner above a temple.

The first monk says, "The banner is moving."

The second monk says, "No, it is the wind which is moving."

Finally, the third monk says, "It is the mind which is moving."

Contrary to science fiction stories where a robot suddenly "wakes up" and becomes conscious, in reality scientists will probably create robots over the coming decades which have increasing levels of consciousness.

Degrees of Consciousness

The lowest level of consciousness is the ability of an organism to monitor its body and its environment. By this definition, even a lowly thermostat has some "consciousness" since it monitors the surrounding temperature. Computers that perform self-diagnostics and that print error messages

also fall into this category. Higher up on this same level of consciousness are plants. Even without nervous systems, they have to be aware of numerous shifts in the environment and react to them in sophisticated ways. Machines with vision are on this scale, since they are programmed to recognize various patterns in their immediate environment. Animals at rest function at this level of consciousness. Even relaxing, animals are constantly scanning the environment and identifying patterns for danger, food, mates, etc.


At the second level is the ability to carry out well-defined goals, like survival and reproduction. The future Mars probes scheduled into the next century fall into this category, since they will be mobile and able to scout out unknown terrain, detect danger, seek out interesting formations, all without human commands.

Higher up on this second level lies the entire animal kingdom. Once primary goals (e.g., finding food and mates) are fixed or preprogrammed into the animal brain, they determine the complex plans that the animal must carry out in order to fulfill them. For foxes, it means planning how to hunt and capture rabbits. For rabbits, it means planning how to avoid foxes. These animals have only a limited understanding or awareness of what they are doing when they hunt or flee. Most of their behavior is hard-wired into their brain.

(Remember, this level of consciousness is probably the dominant one for most human activity. Most of us do not spend inordinate amounts of time asking philosophical questions about self-awareness and pondering the paradoxes of the meaning of existence. Although we are reluctant to admit it, we spend most of our time thinking about survival and reproduction, much like the animals. And when we are not thinking about survival and reproduction, we are usually thinking about entertainment and fun. So we shouldn't get carried away about the esoteric and mythical nature of human consciousness.)

The more sophisticated the goal and subsequently the plans necessary to carry them out, the higher the level of consciousness. In other words, there may be thousands of subcategories of consciousness within this broad level, depending on the complexity of the plans that the robot can generate to pursue a well-defined goal.

Predators, such as foxes, for example, are probably more "intelligent" than prey. Foxes have to devise complex hunting strategies to capture rabbits; they have to learn how to hunt with stealth, how to stalk, how to ambush, how to deceive, and they also have to learn the behavior of rabbits. Foxes therefore probably have more developed cognitive skills than rabbits, whose main strategy is to flee. It may take until the middle part of the next century before we have robots that possess the level of consciousness consistent with, say, dogs, who can devise sophisticated strategies for hunting.

The third and highest level of consciousness is the ability to set one's own goals, whatever they may be. Robots able to function at this level are "self-aware." Some scientists believe that we will have a class of robots which can set their own goals, rather than having their goals predetermined, sometime after the year 2050.

But such ability raises other questions: What happens when the goals of our machines and our own goals do not match? What happens when they are superior to us intellectually and physically? These are rather delicate questions that I will address in Chapter 6.

Although pattern recognition and common sense are beyond the capabilities of present-day computers, we can now see the vague outlines of a solution emerging from two fronts: the ever-increasing power of neural nets and conventional computers. A combination of the top-down and bottom-up approaches may one day crack these problems.

Within the next forty years or so, the top-down and bottom-up approaches will likely meet somewhere in the middle, giving us the best of both worlds, a machine that can learn by bumping into its environment and also possesses the expert knowledge of a professional engineer, chemist, doctor, or lawyer. And sometime after 2050, we will likely enter the fifth phase of computing, when we see the arrival of automatons which are conscious and self-aware.

It is OK to trust the words of Michio Kaku and not the words of the Bible?
Atheists always say to be cautious of the words of men because they could lie. Yet, lots of them seem to take a lot of scientist's words for things.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline skeptic54768

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 11:56:06 PM »
The immaterial soul that animates the body is possibly the greatest proof for God. You can not see the immaterial soul that animates you when you look in the mirror. You can't even see it disappear when a person dies. Yet, it's there. It's unique to everyone.

Hitler had the exact same chemicals that everyone else has and nobody else is Hitler. Chemicals alone can't make someone a serial killer or selfless Christian.

Even when atheists speak, they say " my brain" or "your brain" which indicates there is an immaterial soul PLUS the brain. If we were just our brains there would be no point in saying "MY brain." We would just say "brain."

What is the "my" if not immaterial?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 11:59:28 PM »
Well, science doesn't know what consciousness is well enough to put forth a theory. There are all sorts of ideas, but none seem adequate at this time.

Do I don't have any real opinion about what consciousness is. I read about the research a lot, but nobody is claiming to have it all figured out.

As for the philosophers, I don't run in circles where they are important, so I don't worry about their opinions.

But I'm going to guess that you are more than willing to inadequately fill us in on the latest from Depak Chopra and Miley Cyrus. Please do continue.

It's true science has bupkes right now. Religion has always had the answer though. Sometimes, I do get upset that religion is automatically dismissed with a handwave. That is anti-scientific thinking.

Oh, pray tell, what is the biblical take on consciousness? I can hardly wait. Please answer quickly, because I'm trying to choose between a pre-frontal lobotomy or a bottle in front of me.

You use an old book, I use an old joke. Seems fair to me.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline skeptic54768

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 01:14:07 AM »
Well, science doesn't know what consciousness is well enough to put forth a theory. There are all sorts of ideas, but none seem adequate at this time.

Do I don't have any real opinion about what consciousness is. I read about the research a lot, but nobody is claiming to have it all figured out.

As for the philosophers, I don't run in circles where they are important, so I don't worry about their opinions.

But I'm going to guess that you are more than willing to inadequately fill us in on the latest from Depak Chopra and Miley Cyrus. Please do continue.

It's true science has bupkes right now. Religion has always had the answer though. Sometimes, I do get upset that religion is automatically dismissed with a handwave. That is anti-scientific thinking.

Oh, pray tell, what is the biblical take on consciousness? I can hardly wait. Please answer quickly, because I'm trying to choose between a pre-frontal lobotomy or a bottle in front of me.

You use an old book, I use an old joke. Seems fair to me.

The Biblical take is the soul. It is seperate from the body. NDE's support this fact where people had OBE's and described things on the rooftop and watched the doctors operate on them.

Honestly, to not accept that the soul exists in this day and age is ignorant.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 01:48:21 AM »
What is consciousness?
Modern day Theists say it is a divine spark of spiritual conscious energy that comes from God.

What do you say it is?
or
What do scientists say it is
or
What do the philosophers say consciousness is
and
Why do you believe them
or
how do you know they are right?

Do this thought experiment: If you were an incredibly smart god-like engineer, and you were growing and evolving your own creatures in a vat, could you build them a brain which tricked them into believing they were conscious, when they actually weren't?

Quote
how do you know they are right?

This is known as the "hard problem" , which Daniel Dennet gets pissed off about.




There is an inherent bias in humans, that thinks consciousness can't be explained as the result of neurons, or indeed, anything. It started when we knew nothing, and it kept on going, even though we now know that most things are made within the brain, and its 64 billion neurons, with 1000 connections each.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 01:59:01 AM by Add Homonym »
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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 01:52:51 AM »
The Biblical take is the soul.

Greeks came up with it, Christians adopted it, due to stupid.

Quote
It is seperate from the body. NDE's support this fact where people had OBE's and described things on the rooftop and watched the doctors operate on them.

NDEs that all turn out to be lies, or bad TV documentaries.

Quote
Honestly, to not accept that the soul exists in this day and age is ignorant.

Really, what changed, since 1880, when everybody was faking spirits using table cloths?

Surely, we should have accepted the existence of Fairies, since the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cottingley_Fairies
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 02:14:50 AM »
Having read these posts I decided to avoid my favorite movies.
Bruce Almighty, and I- Robot

You have stumped me.
To be honest I do not know where to start.

You know if you are going to claim that there is no God the least you can do is to try to chip at the source of their trump card. And you turn up with nothing.

It is said that some 80% of our life and its awareness is built around the sight and its seeing part of conscious awareness.

Lets discuss the seeing aspect of consciousness. Does seeing stop when we close our eye lids? What evidence do you have that you are still seeing the darkness? Are you still conscious of seeing? What is it that is conscious?
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 02:28:17 AM »
Lets discuss the seeing aspect of consciousness. Does seeing stop when we close our eye lids? What evidence do you have that you are still seeing the darkness? Are you still conscious of seeing? What is it that is conscious?

You are still waddling around with Plato in 383BC.

Quote
You know if you are going to claim that there is no God

How long have you been on this forum? Oh, right, you just came here 5 minutes ago, and don't know our position. Sometimes I think that you are a sock puppet of Skep. He seems to not learn anything between each post. You at least can follow an argument to 2 post's depth, even if you never concede you could be in error about anything. This derails any argument, because you are not arguing, you just state your belief, and derail any argument.

Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 04:27:58 AM »
The immaterial soul that animates the body is possibly the greatest proof for God. You can not see the immaterial soul that animates you when you look in the mirror. You can't even see it disappear when a person dies. Yet, it's there. It's unique to everyone.

How do you test for it?  For example: if someone is in a deep coma, how do you determine that their soul is still there?  Or is this a "soul shows life because life shows soul" circular argument?

Hitler had the exact same chemicals that everyone else has and nobody else is Hitler. Chemicals alone can't make someone a serial killer or selfless Christian.

Can they not?  So alcohol and drugs do not alter behaviour in any way?  None of the medications used to treat psychological conditions have any effect?

Even when atheists speak, they say " my brain" or "your brain" which indicates there is an immaterial soul PLUS the brain. If we were just our brains there would be no point in saying "MY brain." We would just say "brain."

Because if we just said "brain", we'd sound like B-mivie zombies.  Tell me - when you are talking about souls, do you say "my soul" and "your soul" or do you just say "soul"?  And why do you do what you do?

What is the "my" if not immaterial?

The possessive.  Personally, I use it to distinguish which brain I own, as opposed to the brains that are in other people.  I can see how people without brains would not have a need to distinguish, though.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2014, 04:32:23 AM »
You know if you are going to claim that there is no God the least you can do is to try to chip at the source of their trump card. And you turn up with nothing.

Good point.  Since YOU are an atheist, why don't you start us off?  What's YOUR best argument against souls?

It is said that some 80% of our life and its awareness is built around the sight and its seeing part of conscious awareness.

There is a blind guy in my office.  Are you suggesting that he only has 80% of a soul?   Is someone blind from birth not fully conscious?  I'm not sure where you are going with this.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2014, 06:30:05 AM »
The immaterial soul that animates the body is possibly the greatest proof for God.

A soul in no way proves gods exist, it only proves a soul exists, ask a Buddhist.

As for the general idea of this thread I read a few weeks ago online that a brain has just been photographed constructing memories from molecules.

I just found this about scientists changing the brain and creating memories.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130910142334.htm

There is also an article on the same site about the accuracy of childhood memories. It has been found that early memories are not always real. They can be manufactured by the brain. (Adult memories can be manufactured by the brain too.) People remember far less than they think they do. I am testing the accuracy of my own memories by spending one day on each year of my childhood looking through photos and videos. I am surprised at how little I remember. Of the things which I thought I remembered, often they did not happen the way I thought they did. I found I can remember almost nothing accurately before I was eleven. My earliest memory can be dated accurately when I was four because there were photos in various newspapers of me with my parents at an airport. I found I could not remember anything about the day except the newspaper reporters, which is surprising since you might think I would remember all the interesting things but I don't. My memory becomes more accurate from when I was eight. From then I begin to remember sequences of events. From eleven I have a good memory of things which happened but there are still gaps right up to the present. The research article agrees well with what I found about my own memory.

The brain fills in knowledge by guessing what it thinks the answer should be. You can see this in any subject, religion or science.

« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 08:13:16 AM by Foxy Freedom »
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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2014, 07:59:22 AM »
The immaterial soul that animates the body is possibly the greatest proof for God.
Immaterial means of the spirit/soul, so it is a bit redundant to use it, if thats what you're trying to convey, as you also use the term soul.

So it leaves one to come to the comclusion you mean it's other meaning "unimportant, irrelevant". Then your sentence becomes clear "the irrelevant soul/unimportant soul that animates the body is possibly the greatest proof for god".

There is also the problem you need to address. If you do mean spirit/soul for the term immaterial, then you need to explain how something that cant be seen, touched, smelt, tasted, nor heard can animate anything? And how it would be a proof at all? Remember the invisable and the non-existent are exactly the same.
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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2014, 08:26:46 AM »
What is consciousness?

[...]

What do the philosophers say consciousness is ... ?

Philosophers have no agreed position but as an overview:

Within analytic philosophy the dominant position is that taken by Dan Dennett[1] (who is best buds with Richard Dawkins) he basically argues that consciousness is an 'emergent phenomenon' of the brain. In other words that given an, as yet unattained, full understanding of the brain we will understand consciousness. Put another way consciousness is something which can be reduced to physical (specifically, neurological) causes.

The main 'opposition' to this is represented by David Chalmers[2] who argues that while it may well be true that all consciousness is 'caused' by the brain, there is an irreducible subjective quality which cannot be scientifically explained. For example, imagine you learnt every physical objective fact about orgasms, this would still, according the Chalmers, miss out the fundamentally subjective experience of having an orgasm. Thus objective scientific description will never fully account for consciousness.

Within continental philosophy the question has been approached very differently, not so much asking what is consciousness? but asking what is it like to be a consciousness?. Of particular interest is Heidegger develops the notion of consciousness as being within time[3] and Sartre who links consciousness with 'nothingness'[4].

My own view, for what its worth, is one that emerges from the works of 'ordinary langauge philosophers'[5] like Wittgenstein, Ryle, and Austin. In their view most of the problems of philosophy come down to peculiarities of how we use language. The best work I've read on consciousness comes from this tradition and is found in The Concept of Mind[6] by the Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle. His essential claim is that 'consciousness' is a collective term to account for human behaviour; we fall into error when we suppose it is a thing-in-itself. He provides an example of a man touring Oxford university; he is shown the buildings, the students, the faculty, the examination halls, the libraries, the parks, the colleges and so on. At the end the man says, "that was all very nice, but can I see the university now?" Ryle's point is this, the 'university' is not a thing but the name given to a collection of things. Similarly 'consciousness' is not a thing, but a name given to the totality of our behaviour. To ask 'what is consciousness' is to mistake language and to start us on a wild-goose chase.... 
 1. TED talk on consciousness by Dennett here: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness
 2. A talk on consciousness by Chalmers found by searching "chalmers on consciousness" on youtube
 3. A discussion of  Heidegger's work on consciousness by the philosopher Hubert Dreyfus can also be found on youtube search "heidegger consciousness"
 4. Decent BBC doc on sartre: search for "BBC Human all too human" (there are also episodes from the same series on Heidegger & Nietzsche)
 5. Great radio discussion by academics on ordinary language philosophy here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03ggc19
 6. Free pdf here: http://s-f-walker.org.uk/pubsebooks/pdfs/Gilbert_Ryle_The_Concept_of_Mind.pdf
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 08:30:01 AM by penfold »
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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2014, 08:27:22 AM »

The Biblical take is the soul. It is seperate from the body. NDE's support this fact where people had OBE's and described things on the rooftop and watched the doctors operate on them.

Honestly, to not accept that the soul exists in this day and age is ignorant.

Please explain how the soul is attached to the body. Also please explain how the soul can seprate from the body before death is complete and then return to the body if death does not occur.

My take from your comment is the soul is a ghost like thing and has no attachment to the physical world. If that is the case, how does the soul stay in the body?

When a person runs how does the soul keep up with the body?

Please explain how God's Magic manages this trick?
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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2014, 12:21:19 PM »
Has anyone done the experiment?

When you close your eyes, does seeing stop or do you see the darkness?

If you did you are beginning to understand some basic level of conscious awareness of the self.

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2014, 12:28:26 PM »
Consciousness is what the individual determines it to be.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2014, 12:51:57 PM »
.......which is built by a designer.
Show me the designer of 'consciousness', then.

I'm quite serious here.  I don't care at all what you believe, or how logical it sounds to you.  I care what evidence you have to support your belief.

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2014, 12:54:43 PM »
Has anyone done the experiment?

When you close your eyes, does seeing stop or do you see the darkness?
The eyes don't stop functioning just because they're covered.

Quote from: Jesuis
If you did you are beginning to understand some basic level of conscious awareness of the self.
Actually, you can't 'see' darkness.  What you see is light that gets through your eyelids (or whatever you're covering your eyes with).  That's because our eyes only function within the narrow range of EM wavelengths known as visible light.

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2014, 12:58:09 PM »
Has anyone done the experiment?

When you close your eyes, does seeing stop or do you see the darkness?
The eyes don't stop functioning just because they're covered.

Quote from: Jesuis
If you did you are beginning to understand some basic level of conscious awareness of the self.
Actually, you can't 'see' darkness.  What you see is light that gets through your eyelids (or whatever you're covering your eyes with).  That's because our eyes only function within the narrow range of EM wavelengths known as visible light.
Thats fine. Lets put you in the darkest room and also block the signals from your eyes to the brain.
Is seeing stopped or are you consciously still trying to see?
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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2014, 01:01:33 PM »
Honestly, to not accept that the soul exists in this day and age is ignorant.

A little hint. You are not one who should be deciding what is and is not ignorant. You are way under qualified.

Things that prove to you that there is a soul (OBE's, etc) don't impress those of us who are willing to look deeper.

That you think these things to be true doesn't automatically make them so. They may be, but I doubt it. And I'll need a lot more than anecdotal evidence, and the medical evidence that they don't exist will have to be overturned.

A sentence or two from you is completely inadequate to change my mind.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2014, 01:05:47 PM »
Has anyone done the experiment?

When you close your eyes, does seeing stop or do you see the darkness?
The eyes don't stop functioning just because they're covered.

Quote from: Jesuis
If you did you are beginning to understand some basic level of conscious awareness of the self.
Actually, you can't 'see' darkness.  What you see is light that gets through your eyelids (or whatever you're covering your eyes with).  That's because our eyes only function within the narrow range of EM wavelengths known as visible light.
Thats fine. Lets put you in the darkest room and also block the signals from your eyes to the brain.
Is seeing stopped or are you consciously still trying to see?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton–Babinski_syndrome
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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2014, 01:08:11 PM »
Honestly, to not accept that the soul exists in this day and age is ignorant.

A little hint. You are not one who should be deciding what is and is not ignorant. You are way under qualified.

Things that prove to you that there is a soul (OBE's, etc) don't impress those of us who are willing to look deeper.

That you think these things to be true doesn't automatically make them so. They may be, but I doubt it. And I'll need a lot more than anecdotal evidence, and the medical evidence that they don't exist will have to be overturned.

A sentence or two from you is completely inadequate to change my mind.
I thought we all understood the sugar story. After you have done your critical thinking you still need your own consciousness to determine the truth of the sweetness of the sugar. If you reject that there is sugar and you reject that there is sweetness and you reject that you have the tools to know these things - then it is stupid - it is not critical thinking anymore.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 01:16:24 PM by Jesuis »
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Re: What is consciousness? Theists say ...
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2014, 01:15:26 PM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton–Babinski_syndrome
Lets hope everyone is normal. Have not been on drugs and have damaged brain cells.
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