Originally posted by melatonin
and I would expect such life forms to have biological mechanisms underlying emotion.
Same as on earth. The conciousness expresses through a biological vehicle.
You really think an ant and worm have a similar understanding of their place in the environment as we do? For example, do they have the ability for self/other distinction and self awareness? Does bacteria have the same ability, if not why not?
I think an ant and a worm have a certain degree of awareness ,yes.
Not to anywhere close to a degree comparable to human .
Self/other distinction, yes.
Bacteria, not sure.
The reason I ask is because most cats and dogs don't seem to possess self-awareness. Hence the reason they show aggression to their mirror image. However, higher primates do recognise their reflection as themselves. For instance, chimps will try to remove painted marks on their noses when seeing it in a mirror. But lower primates do not.
Just because a cat or dog may not recognize or appear to recognize their own physical forms reflected in a mirror does not mean they are not self-aware.
They know there is a difference between themselves and another animal or human and it is in evidence when one observes them.
They are merely fooled by that simple illusion where as a chimp or a human is generally more capable (due to a higher degree of intelligence) of realizing it is a reflection.
So when we give schizophrenics clozapine it blocks the connection with the evil spirit and allows connection to a good spirit? Maybe the drug just dampens down the overactive neurotransmitters associated with psychotic symptoms...
It may block the unwanted spirit(s) from expressing through the physical vehicle and interfering with(being detected/perceived by the brain of) the primary occupant of the body.
The drug in that case may reduce the awareness of the person to a level where the brain no longer is aware of non physical communication ('the voices' for example) with adjacent dimensions.
The 'voices in the head' could be real. Subjective evidence of heightened awareness but uncontrolled and misunderstood by, detrimental to the persons well being.
A doorway is open or maybe just ajar in the patient where it is usually closed in others. The drug closes that door/chemically blocks access.
Do these disembodied consciousnesses exist fully formed, or do they start undeveloped?
It just seems that children's understanding of the independence of mental states of self and others (known as theory of mind) develops as their brain develops.
It's the brain that is undeveloped.
The conciousness can only 'express' within the limitations of the brain.
Primates have a fairly large frontal lobe, we have the largest of all animals. Dogs and cats have a pretty underdeveloped frontal lobe, worms don't have one at all. The state of an animal's cognition and learning abilities are related to brain size. Even IQ is related to brain development in humans.
I largely agree. The conciousness can only 'express' within the capabilities of the vehicle it occupies.
When the frontal lobe is damaged (such as in the phineas gage case) personality and social cognition suffer.
Obviously, see above.
[edit on 30-3-2006 by point]