Do we live in a concious universe?
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16-07-2015, 05:04 PM
Do we live in a concious universe?
Hey everyone! God, it seams like its been forever since I posted here last... Anyways, ill dive straight in.

So I've been watching some philosophical documentaries lately and one of them brought up a concept that just seamed to stick with me. Its the idea that everything in the universe has varying levels of consciousness. From the smallest particle, to humans to backhoes, he (I can't recall the philosopher... but it was probably Allan Watts) illustrates this idea by giving an example. If you take a bell and hit it you'll notice that the bell rings. He think of this as a respond to a stimuli, albeit, a very basic response and something that we to some extent, overlook.

This idea of varying levels of consciousness continues to increase in complexity similar to evolution. That is to say, the universe started as a soup of the lowest form of consciousness, and though interacting with each other, they merge (Perhaps "grow" would be more correct?) into something of a higher level of consciousness until we get to you and me and whatever other alien species exists throughout our universe.

What do you think?

If God exists I hope he has a good excuse -Woody Allen
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16-07-2015, 05:30 PM
RE: Do we live in a concious universe?
I like what the physicist Freeman Dyson has to say about it: "We are the Universe, contemplating itself."
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16-07-2015, 05:49 PM
RE: Do we live in a concious universe?
(16-07-2015 05:04 PM)Thoughtful Nate Wrote:  Hey everyone! God, it seams like its been forever since I posted here last... Anyways, ill dive straight in.

So I've been watching some philosophical documentaries lately and one of them brought up a concept that just seamed to stick with me. Its the idea that everything in the universe has varying levels of consciousness. From the smallest particle, to humans to backhoes, he (I can't recall the philosopher... but it was probably Allan Watts) illustrates this idea by giving an example. If you take a bell and hit it you'll notice that the bell rings. He think of this as a respond to a stimuli, albeit, a very basic response and something that we to some extent, overlook.

This idea of varying levels of consciousness continues to increase in complexity similar to evolution. That is to say, the universe started as a soup of the lowest form of consciousness, and though interacting with each other, they merge (Perhaps "grow" would be more correct?) into something of a higher level of consciousness until we get to you and me and whatever other alien species exists throughout our universe.

What do you think?

What is the mechanism for inert material to be conscious?

What is the evidence that it is?

Hint: There is no evidence to support this wacky idea. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-07-2015, 06:00 PM
RE: Do we live in a concious universe?
I don't think there's any question that sentience exists in degrees, from the barely aware to meta-sentience aware that it's aware - and perhaps levels of awareness we can't comprehend (our brains are a trifling 3 pounds).

But to ascribe that property to every material element seems arbitrary: what observed phenomena would give rise to that kind of supposition - that the smallest fleck of dust is conscious, however dimly?

All the observation I'm aware of indicates consciousness is a property of biological structure, not sheer existence, and that neural structure is necessary for sentience.
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16-07-2015, 06:01 PM
RE: Do we live in a concious universe?
As long as one of the possible levels of consciousness is 0%, I'm on board.

I don't see how something like a bell ringing on being struck can be compared to consciousness in any meaningful way. The bell isn't aware on any level that it was struck or that it is ringing. There is no thought behind it or any kind of processing going on.

I do see a spectrum of consciousness from very simple life to the more complex but there's a line below which it just isn't sensible to invoke consciousness.

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16-07-2015, 06:18 PM
RE: Do we live in a concious universe?
There is a response to that bell. It's called vibration and the elements of time that make the object shake in that manner. This is nothing remotely connected to a topic of consciousness.

These are ideas of philosophers or occasional researchers who want to think there is a unifying value in the universe. It also goes with a person thinking there is or ought to be a ideal form of how the universe is structured.

It overvalues the place of consciousness as more than it merely is, instead placing it as what they think is one of the grandest things in the universe because they view humans as so amazing compared ot other animals that it means it must be the case.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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