About human consciousness
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06-06-2017, 07:18 PM (This post was last modified: 06-06-2017 07:22 PM by Torment.)
About human consciousness
I am 26 years old atheist, extremely skeptic.
I was born in a non religious family and so I became an atheist really fast.
All was good until I started "beating" on religion (with around 23years) and obsessively think about logic on basis daily. It may not be a bad ideia to also mention that I suffer from OCD and I needed psychiatric attention twice.
I am all good now, stopped taking meds, no depression and no bad OCD triggers.
So what's the problem?

I believe without concrete evidence that human consciousness was a evolutionary mistake, we are not bond to understand the universe because the universe itself has no meaning or purpose, purely an abstraction and so we suffer internally because we conceive that. You know, a clear nihilistic thought.

I want to confess, this has been depressing me quite a bit everytime I think about it, because I've convinced myself about this notion and the more I experience and analyze, the more certain I get, much like an inconvenient truth.
Even thinking about sleeping and dreaming makes me anxious and I now tend to go to bed when I'm really sleepy (which is a problem when I have to wake up early)

But that's not the only problem.
Everytime a person claims something pretty average like "the dog wants to go out" or whatever pops in your mind, I instantly get focused on the statement and whatever it is true or false.
I also get REALLY triggered when someone asserts something as absolute truth like "the president is absolutely lying".
I admit therefore that I've been having problem trusting people in general, as if their claims are close to 0% conceivable and it always need an inspection from me.

So in short, I became extremely skeptical and I'm having problems with it.
I am unable to enjoy a videogame because I know how they work internally and I'm always thinking about it, I am unable to enjoy a series because I know how it works on the background and it's fiction, even if it was not fiction it would crash into nihilistic thought again.
Only music has a stronger power no matter how I try to make sense of it, the magic never vanish fortunately.

What I want to ask is, has anyone here went through this phase (I hope it's just a phase) and "defeated" it?
All I do is trying to avoid religious debates and thinking at all but it's almost impossible as I get triggered by comments on facebook or whatever.
I would waste an entire day refutting every single argument from dozens of different people on a FB post or youtube video for example and I don't feel mentally healthy anymore. I feel the urge to do that as if I can't let slip away.
So, anyone?
EDIT:Yeah, the topic title is misleading at this point.
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06-06-2017, 07:49 PM
RE: About human consciousness
My ideas about consciousness and the universe are fairly similar to yours. I'd call consciousness emergent rather than a mistake--and I absolutely agree that there's no purpose to the universe. But my emotional position regarding those ideas is very different than yours. Those ideas make me feel free and happy, maybe because I grew up in a very religious family and didn't much like the idea of a universe dedicated to god's glory.

I haven't had the anxiety and compulsions that you describe. It sounds like a situation where you might consider seeing a counselor or doctor, if it's hard for you to sleep and to enjoy things like video games and conversations. I hope you feel better soon.
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06-06-2017, 07:58 PM
RE: About human consciousness
Evolutionary mistake is not quite the right way to phrase it, for a universe with, as you said, no purpose or meaning. It happened. For good or bad. And yeah, there's good *and* bad.

Yeah, our brains seem wired to seek meaning and patterns in everything (I keep repeating a linguistic quote which, I think, describes us frighteningly well: "The human mind abhors a vacuum of sense. When faced with an absurdity, it strains its interpretative faculty to the utmost, trying to make the meaningless meaningful."), and often (not always) to yearn for a meaning and a reason that just aren't there.

And this can be unbearable to some.

On the other hand, this evolutionary fluke *has* made it possible for us to grasp a tiny bit about the universe and its workings and I think this (and music) is the best gift we have been given (metaphorically speaking, of course!)

I also keep quoting this: "We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself." And frankly, just this, in and of itself, makes it more than worth it.

I also kinda enjoy communicating in haikus, so:

"quite remarkable
being born human...
autumn dusk"

[Image: the-dusk-in-autumn-wallpaper-1.jpg]

Sorry about the OCD. I *know* what a monster it can be Dodgy

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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06-06-2017, 08:33 PM
RE: About human consciousness
Everything evolution does, starts as a "mistake". Evolution advances by pushing the limits in all directions, and the unfit falls by the wayside.

I just spent the afternoon in my garden, which has many blooming plants and hence many animals feeding on them. Butterflies, some types of flies, many types of bees and others. I counted 24 species of insects on one plant (my garden is organic and they control each other). They varied greatly in size and color and shape. Yet they all found nourishment on that one plant, and carried pollen to the next one they landed on.

And I marveled at evolution, as I am often prone to do. Such a variety, each evolved differently for the same environment. And it all works.

And I pondered consciousness - again. Alone with my thoughts, this often comes up. Are humans really able to claim consciousness just for themselves? Consciousness of what? How do you measure consciousness? How do we know that other life forms are not also conscious? They all have a concept of self, they all try to preserve themselves, even plants. They all learn from past experiences.

Learning ability, like understanding abstract concepts, is not the same as consciousness. Humans can understand the concept of the universe even if they have never seen it. That little bee's universe is likely just the size of my immediate surrounding. How do we even know that we are not just as limited as that bee, and just a small part of something much bigger? How do we know our consciousness isn't primitive in comparison to something much bigger?

Like I have said before, we may well just be part of the fauna in some creature's digestive system, and the world and universe we see is just the landscape and flora in that digestive system.

I guess I am just rambling now, but I think there is a distinct possibility that we are not all we think we are. That we are not "all that". That our perception is just as limited in time and space as that little bee's. That our consciousness is just slightly above the others.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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06-06-2017, 08:33 PM (This post was last modified: 06-06-2017 08:41 PM by jennybee.)
RE: About human consciousness
We do find meaning and patterns in things, it's how we are wired via evolution. Our brains are also set up to fill in the blanks. When you add these things together, it's no wonder we find "meaning" in things such as with life or the universe.
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06-06-2017, 08:39 PM (This post was last modified: 06-06-2017 08:42 PM by Fireball.)
RE: About human consciousness
When I was a newly minted atheist, I went after theists without due regard for courtesy. Over time, I discovered that some are beyond "redemption", and that arguing with them was like wrestling a pig in the mud- just a waste of time. I pretty much ignore the threads where atheists and theists get into it, wherever I go. More power to the atheists who want to try and educate them. I have no patience for willful ignorance.
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