Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
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09-08-2012, 12:23 AM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2012 08:56 AM by Erxomai.)
Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
At various time I've questioned the existence of the subconscious yet leaned toward the possibility of it existing to exert hidden Influences on the wakeful mind.

The topic occasionally comes up in my psychotherapy and I recently realized I don't know what I believe about the subconscious as an atheist. If it's a real entity, to what extent can the subconscious impact our conscious psyche? And, where does the topic of dreams fit in? Just random synapse firings in the brain or is there a sub-conscious that is trying to tell us something about our waking life?

When I was a Christian, I held some skepticism to the belief, probably mostly a way to react to Freud, but I also felt it was possibly a part of our spiritual nature that god used to communicate with us.

So now I need to figure out what is woo and what is real. Through therapy, I have the impression that I am at least partly motivated by hidden desires and fears, but is that what's really going on?

I'm interested doing some studying and mulling of the topic, which I shall. But I thought I'd start here and see what you fine folks think about the topic?

Is there truly a subconscious?
Does/can it exert influence on our mind.
Or is it all just a bunch of woo?

If its not just a bunch of woo, what thoughts do you have on why natural selection has allowed a subconscious mind to exist?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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09-08-2012, 05:13 AM
RE: Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
Didn't you see that Secret You BBC vid I posted in the elegant nature of science thread? Sillies. Tongue

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09-08-2012, 06:43 AM
RE: Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
(09-08-2012 12:23 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  At various time I've questioned the existence of the subconscious yet leaned toward the possibility of it existing to exert hidden Influences on the wakeful mind.

The topic occasionally comes up in my psychotherapy and I recently realized I don't know what I believe about the subconscious as an atheist. If it's a real entity, to what extend can the subconscious impact our conscious psyche? And, where does the topic of dreams fit in? Just random synapse firings in the brain or is there a sub-conscious that is trying to tell us something about our waking life?

When I was a Christian, I held some skepticism to the belief, probably mostly a way to react to Freud, but I also felt it was possibly a part of our spiritual nature that god used to communicate with us.

So now I need to figure out what is woo and what is real. Through therapy, I have the impression that I am
At least partly motivated by hidden desires and fears, but is that's what's really going on?

I'm interested doing some studying and mulling of the topic, which I shall. But I thought I'd start here and see what you fine folks think about the topic?

Is there truly a subconscious?
Does/can it exert influence on our mind.
Or is it all just a bunch of woo?

If its not just a bunch of woo, what thoughts do you have on why natural selection has allowed a subconscious mind to exist?

There is excellent experimental evidence of pre-conscious intentionality, so that would support some concept of a subconscious, though not the woo-woo Freudian one.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-08-2012, 08:07 AM
RE: Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
During my psychology courses (Masters in it) lets just say I don't agree entirely with some of the theories, and absolutely hate some of them that others adore--but I won't get into that... Anyway, i have different viewpoints and ways of describing items in psychology and personalities that are close to others, sometimes I say it's better (including some classmates, as it's easier to picture), but I have found the subconscious to be a fascinating thing.

Really, I view it in a number of ways (and like I said "I" doesn't mean "others"):
1) It processes everything we see quickly to make judgements for survival [we hear a crack, it may determine the location and what it is so we know if a tree limb will fall on us], if it's important it's like it says "hey, look up" so we're aware of it, if it's nothing, we might now even be aware we heard anything.
2) It may hold the "sanity" or just "who we are" before it's processed (kind of on the fence on this one.... I acknowledge that there are things people want to do and don't, but sometimes without them realizing it, they do things to try and get it to happen anyway), although it could be that dreams involve it just freely passing random crap to the brain, or just what it does/thinks at all times.
3) It could be the preconscious, where everything we do, think, act, etc is thought of without us thinking of it before we do/say/etc it. In a sense, the subconscious could be who we are, and we're just consciously slaves to it. In a sense, we may not have free will because we can't be in touch with the decision making part of our brain, we just follow what it says.

Although in a way #3 includes #1 and #2, so it's kind of a messy thing. And like with my list, it can explain why some people are better knowing when something will happen before it does--they just happen to have a brain wired a bit more sensitive to letting them know "something is going on" whereas most others may be wired for ignoring it.
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09-08-2012, 08:41 AM
Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
(09-08-2012 05:13 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Didn't you see that Secret You BBC vid I posted in the elegant nature of science thread? Sillies. Tongue

No, that thread intimidates my brain. I'll check it out though. If anyone knows about the unconscious, it's The Prophet! Smile

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09-08-2012, 08:53 AM
Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
Thanks, elemts, you have some really good thoughts about this. I'm especially interested in the natural selection factor, so I particularly liked your #1 for why there would be a need for a Pre-consciousness.
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09-08-2012, 09:49 AM
RE: Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
(09-08-2012 08:53 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  Thanks, elemts, you have some really good thoughts about this. I'm especially interested in the natural selection factor, so I particularly liked your #1 for why there would be a need for a Pre-consciousness.
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I'm not sure what to think on the evolution of pre-consciousness but I am interested and see if there is any information out there.

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09-08-2012, 09:57 AM
RE: Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
Worth a read:

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/64403...ns-running

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09-08-2012, 12:16 PM
RE: Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
It's like this unit, running graphics. Whole lotta math make a little picture, yeah? Numbers can do a lotta shit, if they don't hafta explain shit to a conceptualizer.

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09-08-2012, 01:28 PM
RE: Subconscious: Fact or Fiction
(09-08-2012 09:57 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Worth a read:

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/64403...ns-running

Thanks this is interesting!

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