How to explain consciousness in a natual way
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10-05-2013, 05:17 PM
How to explain consciousness in a natual way
I was an atheist but eventually gave it up because I found our consciousness can not be explained in a natural way.
Imagine one day we totally understand how human brain works and we can simulate a brain cell with a computer running various of programs. We then link 50 billion computers, each one simulating a brain cell, with internet. The computers communicate with each other like brain cells communicate with each other. Let’s call it an internet brain.

The question is - can this internet brain really feel something like we do?

First let’s assume a computer has equivalent “machine feeling” like a brain cell. Does that mean it can really feel something like we do? Let see how our brain works. In our case, each brain cell may feel something, but it is impossible to have all the information, it only has partial information. The feeling of each brain cell must be organized in a meaningful way to generate a feeling that makes sense.

Let me elaborate a litter bit further. For example, you see a red dot beside a blue dot. Some of your brain cells see feel red, let’s call them group R, some brain cells may see blue, let’s call them group B, some know the location of the red dot – group M, some know the location of the blue dot, N. Let’s use * to represent color and location organizing and + to represent dot and dot organizing. The final feeling would be (R*M)+(B*N).

It’s just a super simplified version of our brain. In fact, the way of organizing the feeling of each brain cell could be millions times more complicated than this.

Let see in case of internet brain. Would that be (R*M)+(B*N) or other ways – such as R*M*B*N or R+M+B+N, or even R… M… B… N… - each computer still be independent to each other.

If you see in a certain way, the computers are functioning together in a way like (R*M)+(B*N), but how can that guarantee they organize feeling like (R*M)+(B*N)? We don’t know that, one thing we do know is – It is NOT NECESSARY. It is not needed for the functionality of the internet brain. The internet brain can still be functioning like a real brain without feeling anything - simply computers running programs.

Any question you ask to the internet brain you can ask to our brain if our brain is the only source for consciousness made of atoms like computers. How comes we have the consciousness? How it is got evolved after all since it’s not needed at all.
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10-05-2013, 05:52 PM (This post was last modified: 10-05-2013 08:11 PM by Elesjei.)
RE: How to explain consciousness in a natual way
edit: -somethinggoesherewhenirememberhwatiwastryingtosay-

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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10-05-2013, 06:28 PM
RE: How to explain consciousness in a natual way
It's sensory input, rapidly referenced to memory, faster than you can "sense" it happening.
Neuro-science knows a lot about how and why it works.
It's entirely and completely molecular.
Gods and souls explain nothing.

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10-05-2013, 06:48 PM
RE: How to explain consciousness in a natual way
(10-05-2013 06:28 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It's sensory input, rapidly referenced to memory, faster than you can "sense" it happening.
Neuro-science knows a lot about how and why it works.
It's entirely and completely molecular.
Gods and souls explain nothing.

Can you go into greater detail? I don't see how something that is "entirely and completely molecular" can account for semantic content / meaning.

Or, to put it another way, what do you make of the Chinese Room thought experiment?
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10-05-2013, 08:12 PM
RE: How to explain consciousness in a natual way
If you ask me, I think conciousness is the registry of censorial perception, plus the registry of that registry, plus the triggering of memories made by the perception, plus the trigger of memories made by the registries. All of that produce some sort of footprint on the brain a feedback or continuity of perceptions and self perceptions. And that's what, I submit to you, is conciousness

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10-05-2013, 09:30 PM
RE: How to explain consciousness in a natual way
(10-05-2013 06:48 PM)CliveStaples Wrote:  
(10-05-2013 06:28 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It's sensory input, rapidly referenced to memory, faster than you can "sense" it happening.
Neuro-science knows a lot about how and why it works.
It's entirely and completely molecular.
Gods and souls explain nothing.

Can you go into greater detail? I don't see how something that is "entirely and completely molecular" can account for semantic content / meaning.

Or, to put it another way, what do you make of the Chinese Room thought experiment?

All of semantic meaning is learned. Look up how children learn language.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein (That's a JOKE, ya idiot)
"And you quit footing the bill for these nations that are oil rich - we're paying for some of their *squirmishes* that have been going on for centuries" - Sarah Palin
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11-05-2013, 01:13 AM
RE: How to explain consciousness in a natual way
In cooking: Sugar + Cocoa + Casein + Whey = Chocolate milk

In neuroscience: Hormone A + Electrical current B + Neurotransmitter = *Insert emotion/thought here*


That is of course a gross oversimplification, but that's pretty much how it works. Drinking Beverage

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11-05-2013, 04:39 PM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2013 04:49 PM by Luminon.)
RE: How to explain consciousness in a natual way
I must agree, what we call consciousness, what can be easily measured in most people, that is not that much mysterious thing. It is a product of the brain, change the brain and the consciousness changes.

Having that figured out, we can move on to some fringe phenomena. There are states of expanded consciousness, or modes of brain working that are attributed to geniuses. Brains that work very differently, yet very usefully.

No wonder some mystical traditions say that we are sleeping. The way we live our daily lives, that is like a dream. I don't know about using 4 % or 10 % of our brain or whatever. But the truth is, we use only a fraction of our emotional, intellectual and other capacities. Almost everything we do is an autopilot, routine or fun. We could apply our minds to society's greatest problems - and succeed. We could debunk far more than just religion, most of our life and society might be subject to re-evaluation. To truly question everything, not just religion. We don't use this capacity, we have it filled by our culture and things we ought to do, things that are not our own or no use to us. One almost has to be asocial or autistic to have some individuality in this society. (no offense guys, but most of you seem really well adjusted to the society, a secular one)

And it wouldn't be me if I didn't add... In my experience, this all is not all. The brain, nerve and endocrine system is only an instrument for mysterious and impersonal forces (probably of electric basis), greater than the little ego.
This I can vouch for:
It is reported that kundalini awakening results in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss. In practical terms, one of the most commonly reported Kundalini experiences is the feeling of an electric current running along the spine.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kundalini
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kundalini_syndrome

I've been through lots and lots of this kind of experience. Very intense, very regular, usually pleasant or ecstatic, sometimes painful. I'd love to see if someone can try to explain these phenomena in a natural, already known way. That would be quite a discovery, because this neuro-physiologic phenomenon likely founded or deeply influenced most of major religions and cultures.
IMO, this is very mysterious. Obviously, the brain has "buttons" for entering the mystical ecstasy and so on and they can be triggered by drugs or the god helmet. But what or who is pushing these buttons, if the person involved does not take drugs or make an effort to concentrate in any particular way? What is the cause of frequent, yet spontaneous experiences? You might be the most rational, level-headed person in the world, a scientist, a university professor, but even those have such experiences and they change them profoundly.
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11-05-2013, 04:56 PM
RE: How to explain consciousness in a natual way
(10-05-2013 05:17 PM)abateamwork Wrote:  I was an atheist but eventually gave it up because I found our consciousness can not be explained in a natural way.
Imagine one day we totally understand how human brain works and we can simulate a brain cell with a computer running various of programs. We then link 50 billion computers, each one simulating a brain cell, with internet. The computers communicate with each other like brain cells communicate with each other. Let’s call it an internet brain.

The question is - can this internet brain really feel something like we do?

First let’s assume a computer has equivalent “machine feeling” like a brain cell. Does that mean it can really feel something like we do? Let see how our brain works. In our case, each brain cell may feel something, but it is impossible to have all the information, it only has partial information. The feeling of each brain cell must be organized in a meaningful way to generate a feeling that makes sense.

Let me elaborate a litter bit further. For example, you see a red dot beside a blue dot. Some of your brain cells see feel red, let’s call them group R, some brain cells may see blue, let’s call them group B, some know the location of the red dot – group M, some know the location of the blue dot, N. Let’s use * to represent color and location organizing and + to represent dot and dot organizing. The final feeling would be (R*M)+(B*N).

It’s just a super simplified version of our brain. In fact, the way of organizing the feeling of each brain cell could be millions times more complicated than this.

Let see in case of internet brain. Would that be (R*M)+(B*N) or other ways – such as R*M*B*N or R+M+B+N, or even R… M… B… N… - each computer still be independent to each other.

If you see in a certain way, the computers are functioning together in a way like (R*M)+(B*N), but how can that guarantee they organize feeling like (R*M)+(B*N)? We don’t know that, one thing we do know is – It is NOT NECESSARY. It is not needed for the functionality of the internet brain. The internet brain can still be functioning like a real brain without feeling anything - simply computers running programs.

Any question you ask to the internet brain you can ask to our brain if our brain is the only source for consciousness made of atoms like computers. How comes we have the consciousness? How it is got evolved after all since it’s not needed at all.


OK, so you can't think how it is we think, so you're going to cave in to woo.

Nice going. Ignorance=God?

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-05-2013, 06:22 PM
RE: How to explain consciousness in a natual way
Drive by motherfuckers... Dodgy

Ya know what radiation is? Fractal Geometry? Chaos theory? And that's before we get to the evil-ution. And that's before we can have a serious discussion about it. I'm sorry that the state of the art doesn't currently reduce to a nice Einstein

It will, eventually. What it won't do, is reduce to supernatural agency. Thumbsup

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