Question for materialists

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posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 12:48 AM
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reply to post by tgidkp
 


Could you also argue in favour of the choosing self (as consciousness), prior to a judgement or a choice to differentiate, isolate, localize and set apart - as itself a non-localized, holographic quantum phenomenon, which, being a prior state of consciousness only appears to collapse the wave of probability in measurement, when in truth, reality itself cannot be localized except as a conventional frame of reference for the convenience of having what appears to be an indivudalized experience in the illusion or holographic projection of creation, but one within which even the idea of a "self" must also be an illusion with the only exception being that the non-localized, holpgraphic no-self self is free, to make a choice. This would imply then that it is only inherent in the freedom to choose and in the possibiity of freedom, that any REAL observing self can have any being, meaning or significance, with everything else being nothing but a large complex set of learned behaviors and automatic response mechanisms ie: the machine self, which has no access to freedom or to authenticity, which to be authentic must be creative in the free space of infinite possibility and therefore resident in the domain of novelty - freely self expressed, without knowing who or what we really are...




posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 12:51 AM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


I think you are thinking too deep in to things and should worry about LIVING and being more productive



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 01:13 AM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


that was quite a mouthfull, NAM.


i do not think that the perspective you are speaking of is workable. consciousness as a floating ground state just doesnt make a lot of sense to me. the most basic definition of consciousness i can think of would involve the willful manipulation of "stuff". emphasis on STUFF! of what purpose is ANY definition of consciousness if it does not inherently include stuff?

"is"ness is useless.

muzzleflash stated this perfectly with his early reply to the OP.


therefore, the best that the ground state of consciousness can hope for is dualism. IMO.



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by bluemirage5
 


Thank you. Yes, that's what I'm choosing, and there are many ways to be productive too you know, but I hear you and you're right, but it's ok to think too there's nothing "wrong" with that.



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 01:25 AM
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reply to post by tgidkp
 


I find that self does panic a bit at first over the idea of no self of no within or without, of nothingness, but it's not nothing either and when we lose our life so to speak, for the sake of truth and reality, we regain it or pick it back up again, but at a whole new order of being, which doesn't care as much anymore about the localized particulars (places and things) of locality, merely making use of those frames for purposes of survival and maintenance of the body, which as Gandhi has pointed out, can also be done in such a way that any and all attachments to outcomes are given up, the fruits of our labours surrendered to God to to speak, so that we can remain in a state of prior enjoyment, even prior humor! We don't know who or what we really are however or what reality is, the whole thing resides in the realm of an unknown unknown or what we don't even know we don't know and therefore cannot know. So I'm talking about a complete surrender then, yes to a type of free floating spirit of creation, wherein everything IS spirit and nothing else, nothing more or less than that and thou art that as well, the one stuff of the whole of all existence.
In other words, if we lose our life for the sake of truth and reality (which is an unknown unknown) something of course requiring much courage, we FIND it again, as we are re-cognized in and by consciousness itself in eternity, and then we at last begin to pass into a new domain, and find "pasture" after which we may freely come and go as we choose, now liberated in eternity, not localized and imprisoned in a purely materialist monist reality of thingness, nor simply following the robotic pre-programming of reaction/response to stimuli or of learned behavioral patterns, neither of which allow a person access to freedom, or authenticity (to be real).
At the same time however we don't want to become anything overly special in our nothingness, or we lose the reward!


Best Regards,

Anonymous.



edit on 4-2-2011 by NewAgeMan because: typo slight edit



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 09:32 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
it must surely depend on a definition of what 'raw conscious experience' is. An important aspect of this definition, as I am sure you will allow, is that it must contain nested within it a well-defined concept of what is conscious. Muzzleflash has already noted this, hence his 'quirky question'.

Provide a workable definition or raw conscious experience, then we'll talk.

This is and has always been a dodge, IMHO.

Conscious experience is the only thing we actually know for sure. The entire existence of the physical world and everything in it is an inductive inference derived from experience.

Can it be defined in terms of the things it observes? I think Gödel might have something to say about that. This primacy of experience is actually kind of the whole point of this thread.

So to provide a workable definition (which would necessarily be in terms of observables), is kind of what I'm asking you to do in the OP.

I should add that I strongly sympathize with bsbray11's viewpoint on this. I don't think this stuff can really be discussed logically, which is what I'm trying to get at. The basic materialist assumption here is that through inferences derived from experience (that is, all of science), they can explain how that experience works. I am not sure this is even possible in principle.

edit on 4-2-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by tgidkp
the next thing to do is take a video camera and a television and direct the input of the camera to the output of the television. you will see quite easily that when a sensory apparatus becomes highly developed enough to detect itself as a categorical unit, this produces a type of "infinity" effect which is so very often associated with living consciousness. a video camera is not alive, but certainly has no difficulty producing this illusion of boundlessness. another significant artifact of the video feedback loop is that, given a proper sensory interruption (like the hand in the photo below), it can produce stationary regularities. if the video feedback were alive, then it might consider these stationary regularities to be "ME".

Okay, so let's focus on that last part. "If the video feedback were alive." What would make it "alive"? How come the camera pointed at the TV is not "alive", if that's all it seems to take?



Originally posted by tgidkp
so, finally, all we must do is combine the two above examples wherein a self-detecting sensory mechanism creates a feedback loop which is coupled to self-modifying behavioral program.

the "I" of conscious experience, then, is simply a stationary regular artifact of the feedback mechanisms of your bio-sensory apparatus which has been enabled to modify its own parameters

So is a self-modifying computer program conscious? What might it feel like to be such a program?

edit on 4-2-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 10:44 AM
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We are that which we perceive.



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 02:50 PM
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Originally posted by Tearman
What I took away from the later part of muzzleflash's post, is that "spirit" is not a valid explanation for consciousness because it explains nothing. Why is it easier to believe that some spiritual process you don't understand is responsible for consciousness than it is to believe that some material process you don't understand is responsible?

Whoops, missed this post. However, see my response to Astyanax; there I believe I have already adequately answered your question.



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


a computer may be able to generate and run a script. but this does not qualify it as self-modifying. it does not have a category for itself at the user-level, and so it cannot make any modifications to that category. if you figure out how to write a software that is capable of doing this, please let the AI folks know immediately. but more likely, self-awareness is an intrinsic factor at the hardware level.

the video loopback is also not living, but it does have certain conspicuous aspects of living-ness. the reason that it is not alive is because information within its system moves only in a single direction. it is only re-ceiving. it is not per-ceiving.

perception, which is a qualitative aspect of any potentially conscious system, requires that messages not only be brought-in, but also manipulated and sent-out. you might be able to construct such a device, hypothetically, by pointing a camera-television setup at another camera-television setup, creating a super-loopback. but you would still need a meta-level processing unit which is able to detect and willfully direct the state of either system in order to achieve a desired result (or equilibrium).

the emergence of the meta-level processing unit is, of course, a tough nut to crack. but i do not think it is impossible. again, it is probably a factor of hardware engineering.





posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by SystemResistor
We are that which we perceive.

To be is also to be percieved.

All there is is spirit aka consciousness, the material world is ephimeral and illusory ie: nothing special.

But when nothing is special, everything is.

It's a paradigm shift. It cannot be understood or appreciated from the old materialist monist (matter alone is primary) POV, which needs to be released as outmoded and no longer workable in light of our own human experience, or the "qualia" of our own conscious experience, which can NEVER be measured by any external instruments, ever.

Away with materialism and just look around at where it's gotten us..!


Let the re-enchantment of the cosmos begin anew, and let us participate, as the whole of creation cheers us on in our new pursuit of life as it was meant to be lived and to be experienced.

edit on 4-2-2011 by NewAgeMan because: typo



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 06:43 PM
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And for those seeking a scientific framework with which to begin to understand the new paradigm, and if possible (which it is) make good use of it for healthier and happier living for ourselves and by extension everyone everywhere, this publication may prove helpful.


Originally posted by GrisGris
I just came across this report supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office High Energy and Nuclear Physics.

You can download in PDF directly from the gov here :
Here
Or here www.osti.gov...

It starts with Newton and how that understanding is fundamentally wrong. Then they delve into the brain as a quantum machine.

Enjoy! I look forward to comments.



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 06:48 PM
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Originally posted by tgidkp
the emergence of the meta-level processing unit is, of course, a tough nut to crack. but i do not think it is impossible. again, it is probably a factor of hardware engineering.

Your "tough nut to crack" is the subject of this thread.
Any inkling of how hardware can be engineered in this way? And more importantly, how such hardware would give rise to experience (since presumably in your worldview the hardware gives rise to the experience)?

I also wonder the mechanical logic by which such hardware might have a philosophical discussion concerning subjective experience.

edit on 4-2-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 09:27 PM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


Originally posted by Astyanax
Provide a workable definition or raw conscious experience, then we'll talk.


Originally posted by NewlyAwakened
This is and has always been a dodge, IMHO. Conscious experience is the only thing we actually know for sure. The entire existence of the physical world and everything in it is an inductive inference derived from experience.

How about defining 'experience', then? Could you manage it without a working definition of what it is that experiences?

To regard the physical world as merely an inductive inference is to advance down the road towards solipsism and madness. And in an argument about the relationship between mind and matter, the real dodge is making a priori claims to preeminence on behalf of consciouness. They are easily disposed of anyway, thus: we appear to have some control over the environment we perceive, yet despite this, unpleasant things happen to us, all unwilling, and at some point or other, we die. Perhaps consciousness persists after death, but that does not erase the pain and helplessness of actually dying. If consciousness were the ultimate ground of reality, it should be able to create a better world than this. The only way to explain why it does not is to posit the existence of entities other than the subject. Either that, or judge that the subject (oneself) is self-destructively insane.

Are you agreeable to that judgement? And if not, why not?

As the old philosophers understood well, the only way to sustain an idealist position is to invoke the existence of a master of ceremonies who is not oneself. From Plato, who believed in a world of ideal forms immanent in the mind of God, to Bishop Berkeley, who insisted that God was present as the immediate cause of all experience, none of the mind-over-matter-mob ever tried to promote idealism in the absence of an Ideal – they knew very well it was a mug's game. However, the concept of God is fraught with difficulties of its own, too well known to require explication here. I trust you don't want this thread to degenerate into an atheist/theist slanging match.

Berkeley, by the way, summed up your position on the material world in a single Latin phrase, esse est percipi. But esse est percipi is a claim easily disposed of by modern science. We turn our telescopes to the heavens and observe events that took place aeons before the first human consciousness arose. We leave a movie camera out in the forest and record the sound of the tree that falls when there is no-one around to hear it. The only way to refute these data is to claim that they are illusory – which takes us back to solipsism, or else to the conclusion that God is a conjurer and a deceiver.

No, I'm afraid shoving the burden of defining your claims onto your interlocuters will not wash. It is up to you to provide the definition. Please remove the suspicion that you are avoiding the issue by doing so at your earliest convenience.

*



Can (consciousness) be defined in terms of the things it observes? I think Gödel might have something to say about that.

Quite possibly. But Gödel's mathematics and Gödel's philosophy are not the same thing. The incompleteness theorems speak to the incompleteness of axiomatic systems in mathematics. They may be regarded as proved. His philosophy, derived from that other great mathematical dreamer, Liebniz, and fraught with the same contradictions and difficulties as his mentor's, may not be so regarded.


This primacy of experience is actually kind of the whole point of this thread.

Debunked above. Now, where were we?


edit on 4/2/11 by Astyanax because: of 's.



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 10:49 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


Yes, the external is also the internal, and without an object to perceive, there is nothing to exist within, and thus, no existance.



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 11:15 PM
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What about the sensation of being alive as the definition of a conscious experience. You sense that you are alive. A wild animal must sense that it's alive at least subconsciously in order to make decisions like to run from danger to preserve itself. But a rock or a computer doesn't.

How could a machine begin experiencing itself as being alive?



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened
...Any inkling of how hardware can be engineered in this way?....



it just so happens that i am writing up a bit of research for school on a subject which may help to understand the harwaresoftware conundrum. i am very glad that you pushed me to answer this, because i can now see the answer has been staring me in the face for a long time.

DNA codes for proteins -> proteins mediate cellular signals -> proteins modify and regulate DNA

this is as good of an example as anything i could have dreamed up with video cameras. this is an excellent example of a program which is capable of modifying itself at the hardware level, complete with the meta-level processing of cellular signaling.

but the exact mechanisms of protein/DNA interaction are not well understood at all, which is what i am writing about. it looks as though the sequence data in the DNA can be read and interpreted in two completely different ways. the first, obviously, is the genetic code. that is the raw sequence. but there is a second level of interaction going on which, according to my thesis, involves acoustic propagation through the crystalline lattice (sugar, phosphate, sugar, phosphate, .....etc). both proteins and DNA are sensitive to such (phonon) acoustic propagation.

the fact that two separate levels of interpretation can be applied to a single sequence of data seems like an essential ingredient to the "hardware engineering" problem you posed.

self-awareness, then, is simply a matter of extending the sophistication of the sensory apparatus upwards by several orders of magnitude. consciousness is built in at the hardware level.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 01:16 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

I differ emphatically from folks like Berkeley. Your whole post is actually somewhat a strawman, but I know it was unintentional as, since I set myself up as the questioner, I have not exposed much of my own philosophy. Let me add the parts of it that are relevant here.

I do not believe that the material world does not exist. On the contrary, I am quite certain it does. However, my certainty is essentially of the same nature of my certainty that the sun will rise tomorrow morning: that is, inductive reasoning. The universe exhibits quite a bit of regularity. If I throw a ball up in the air, it will fall. If I schedule a task on my computer, when I come home it will have executed. If I shoot myself in the head... well I have no idea what I will experience because I have nothing to base it on, but I have a pretty good idea of what others will see.

My education is in engineering. I am quite certain of material reality, and have great respect for scientists (those who practice science, not those who do not but parade its banner around, often in a manner that betrays an obvious existential anxiety that is then denied vociferously... I am not referring to you here; I am just ranting).

When I speak of the primacy of experience, I only mean that is the first and foremost thing available to us. The physical world, although very likely real, is still something we can only infer through our experience.

But this fact has implications. One of them being that, no, I cannot give you a definition of experience. To be blunt, my view is that experience is either self-evident or you're in serious denial, and the same with its undefinability in terms of external constructs including language (not to mention the age-old question, can anything be truly defined?). I understand that you consider this a cop-out. It's an easy thing to attack from a debate standpoint. You can declare victory here, but so will I, and in my view I see intuitively what it is that you're missing. We must agree to disagree.

Some people go so far as to try to "prove" that conscious experience (or qualia) doesn't exist. Dennett basically does this in Consciousness Explained (a book you'd probably enjoy if you've never read it). I find this amusing, but there's a certain logic to this. Working in the framework of strict materialism, when studying conssciousness this is the conclusion you will arrive at. What these people fail to do is take the next step, which is "but consciousness does exist. This is a contradiction. Therefore strict materialism is false. QED." The problem is that the only way to take this final step is to take consciousness as self-evident, something which to me is obvious. But they won't do this because they want a definition in terms of material, not ever considering that materialism itself is what's on trial. A radical paradigm shift is required. The materialist worldview is just that ingrained that they never stop to consider that the material world and its laws are an inductive inference. This is what I mean by the primacy of experience. And you either accept it as self-evident, or you don't. If you don't, we must agree to disagree. We can both leave this discussion with our pride intact, each convinced the other is wrong.

If accepted, then the question of how consciousness can be derived from material comes to the fore. It becomes clear that it can't, and this opens up a whole new world of possibilities for discussion, for while the material world does exist, it does not produce consciousness. Then in attempting to reconcile this you start studying esotericism/occultism
.


Now for a couple little quips, but my main response to the meat of your post is above. Note I have not answered your stuff about consciousness doing whatever it wants or being the only thing in existence because that's all there is, because as I point out above, I do not agree with this and regard it as a strawman. Nor does the concept of an inductive inference imply this; in fact it implies the likelihood of just the opposite (that an objective world does in fact exist and human ability is subject to constraints from it). You seem to be downplaying the power of induction here. But isn't that what all of science is based on?



Originally posted by Astyanax
To regard the physical world as merely an inductive inference is to advance down the road towards solipsism and madness.

I disagree. But even if I agreed with this conditional, it just means that the genuine truth-seeker must "advance down the road toward solipsism and madness" because an inductive inference is in fact what it is (subjectively anyway - it being an inference of course implies that we believe, due to empirical evidence from our experience, that it is in fact objectively real).



Originally posted by Astyanax
Quite possibly. But Gödel's mathematics and Gödel's philosophy are not the same thing. The incompleteness theorems speak to the incompleteness of axiomatic systems in mathematics. They may be regarded as proved. His philosophy, derived from that other great mathematical dreamer, Liebniz, and fraught with the same contradictions and difficulties as his mentor's, may not be so regarded.

Point conceded. The reference to Gödel was mostly rhetorical anyway.



Originally posted by Astyanax
Debunked above.

I disagree.

edit on 5-2-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 02:34 AM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened

Originally posted by Astyanax
it must surely depend on a definition of what 'raw conscious experience' is. An important aspect of this definition, as I am sure you will allow, is that it must contain nested within it a well-defined concept of what is conscious. Muzzleflash has already noted this, hence his 'quirky question'.

Provide a workable definition or raw conscious experience, then we'll talk.

This is and has always been a dodge, IMHO.

Conscious experience is the only thing we actually know for sure. The entire existence of the physical world and everything in it is an inductive inference derived from experience.

Can it be defined in terms of the things it observes? I think Gödel might have something to say about that. This primacy of experience is actually kind of the whole point of this thread.

So to provide a workable definition (which would necessarily be in terms of observables), is kind of what I'm asking you to do in the OP.

I should add that I strongly sympathize with bsbray11's viewpoint on this. I don't think this stuff can really be discussed logically, which is what I'm trying to get at. The basic materialist assumption here is that through inferences derived from experience (that is, all of science), they can explain how that experience works. I am not sure this is even possible in principle.
edit on 4-2-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)


I think the reason we cannot talk about consciousness logically is because we have not discovered what it is we are talking about! We may say that it is self-evident, but if that were true, we should be able to describe what it is. I think one day we will have a coherent definition of consciousness, and then we will be able to explain how it is made.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 03:41 AM
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reply to post by Tearman
 


I think when we do "discover" consciousness, for REAL, that we will have an immediate and intuitive understanding or "grokking" that it's a prior consciousness, and that we've already been, as if by a quantum leap, emersed within it or enveloped by it, and in that apparent disintegration of the self and the ego relative to the timeless spaceless Absolute, like some sort of Terrance McKenna "trip" built right in to our highest faculties of reason and logic, we will surely be compelled to burst out laughing at the utter absurdity of who and what we USED to think we were, and worse what we thought about of our fellow man! Ecstatic humor then will be the hallmark of the re-discovery of consciousness, and there will hardly be a way of referring to it, without giggling. Imho.

How could it be any other way, since consciousness and conscious awareness, especially the awareness of being conscious of consicousness, is by its very nature transformative.

This is what I call and have labelled "OmegaPoint Logotherapy", but the meaning of our life experience as a STORY, that needs to be fully understood and recognized also, or there's just no moving on, and only a robotic, machinlike continuation of the past projected into the future, out of little more than fear of the loss of self, as presently concieved in the minds eye, only problem is the mind's eye has been filled with too much garbage, and that clearing, when the whole of consciousness is made available for self examination, however painful or fearful it might be at first, can only terminate in self re-discovery, and the complete awareness that we're not who we thought we were at all, but complete awareness of who we thought we were, IS who and what we really are, except now wholly authentic about the degree and the sheer magnitude, of our own falsely motivated inauthenticity, driven by the "itself" or the machine like robot self of learned behavior and all manner of reaction-response mechanisms and reality filters, which WAS "unconscious" being without awareness or a sleeping person, unaware, driven by ego, a false inauthentic view of self, and nothing more, how sad is that..?


This guy (although I've posted this before elsewhere) in this video, explains the dynamic of the re-cognition I'm describing very well imo.



Humorous creative freedom, as the authentic expression of the self is liberation in a higher consciousness, not as a focal point, but as the condition of a recognition, and as an ongoing process in eternity now, or in prior consciousness, as prior freedom, happiness, joy, something which evokes by its very nature this escatic humor about just about anything or everything, or even nothing at all, most certainly nothing in particular.





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