I read this thread
and it inspired me to write about some stuff I have been thinking
Representation of consciousness from the seventeenth century, Robert Fludd.
The modern, materialistic viewpoint is that consciousness is the result of processes taking place in the brain. I am not opposed to this, but it
raises some questions.
The brain can be thought of as an object or perhaps a space with certain properties. There are particles in it and electrical flows and so on that are
necessary to create a consciousness. But a rock, or a blob of water for example, also contains particles and electricity, matter and energy. Still a
rock is not conscious, so there should be a fundamental difference.
What differences are there? What is it that sets the brain apart from other objects? Why is consciousness present only in the brain?
The brain is hotter than some rocks but colder than others. Some rocks may have more electricity going on than a brain, others less. I could write
more examples like this but there is one unique thing about the brain. It is more complex than any other object we know (there is probably some
scientific term for this, not sure if it is complexity, but I'm gonna use this here).
So, it seems plausible that a high amount of complexity is necessary for consciousness. The brain is complex. You could see the brain as a pocket in
space characterized by extreme order. The processes going on in the brain are highly ordered compared to the disordered state of a glass of water or
the vacuum of space.
But this is just a difference of degree. The brain is more orderly than a rock but it is not fundamentally different. There's just a degree of
difference. So why is there consciousness only in the brain? And if we create a pocket of space with as much order as a brain, will it be
Is there a minimum amount of order needed to create consciousness? Could be, but it seems arbitrary.
If not, then does consciousness exist in rocks as well? It seems that rocks are not aware, but again there is no fundamental difference. If we would
take a human brain and gradually manipulate it to be lass brainy and more rocky, at which point would it stop being conscious?
A rock is not able to communicate or feel anything, but these things are not necessary for consciousness, are they? Can a consciousness exist without
anything else we humans have? Without having anything to be conscious of? We would not know because of it's immaterial quality.
However, if consciousness exists everywhere then why does it seem to be so sharply defined to one being at a time? Could it be that it is only
noticeable where there are nerves and grey matter and sensory input and output going on? If we could somehow unite the nervous systems of two humans,
would their minds meld? This doesn't seem to be the case in Siamese twins, although maybe they are not sufficiently connected.
And what happens when you sever the right and left hemispheres? Does the consciousness "live" in one of them, or is it split? The are recorded cases
of this, here is one article
edit on 28-6-2014 by
Subnatural because: (no reason given)