Originally posted by Barcs
reply to post by ImaFungi
Now with your example of the cat; would you say that cats have consciousness? You mentioned that they don't fully understand the "big" picture as
we do. What does that indicate about their consciousness? I'd argue that they are indeed conscious and self aware (despite failing the mirror
test). If you think they are not conscious, I'm interested in the differences that make humans conscious and cats not conscious. Afterall, cats DO
make decisions and control actions.
Yes I would say cats have consciousness. It gets tricky distinguishing between different types of life and consciousness. When you get down to micro
organisms, insects and then to plants. This is the mysterious nature and ability to exist that is consciousness, it is what gives us our being. You
are in charge of your body, you are you. You are aware of your thoughts and movements and environment. (though some make the claim plants have some
form of consciousness), looking at nature we see the evolution from inanimate, and biology controlled by chemical and physical reactions, to the point
of creating an organ in a mass of biological matter, that can control chemical and physical reactions.
I would say a cat and insect are conscious in the sense that, you have to wake up in the morning, you look through your eyes, and move your legs, and
(maybe) seek a mate or have one, you are hungry and you have desires. I think a cat is aware of its bodily states and urges, and acts on them with
its will. This is the interesting part. Is there such thing as a 'being' controlling the cat, or is the totality of cat, light a plant, like a
molecule, in that it is a conglomerate of chemicals, that react according to laws? This I believe is deemed instinct. So would you say there is no
conscious entity of the cat, there is no central intelligence agency in the mind, perceiving information, and personally reacting, but that given the
physical circumstances of said cat, what ever occurs in the environment, there are limited probabilities of how that cat will react, and it is really
the chemical reactions driving the cat, not some self rationally controllable chemical reaction called consciousness. Is this perhaps the route you
were getting at with humans? When you were saying consciousness may not exist? That would mean everything every human has ever done, from inventions
and engineering to art has only been the environment causing natural chemical reactions to occur?
This seems like an argument of free will, and if there is free will, then there is an agent making the choices free will grants. I believe in free
will. Right now your body is limited in the directions it can move by laws. But given those limitations, there are no physical or chemical laws that
will force you to move your body in any given way in any given order right now. If you wanted to you could dance in any number of random movements,
and you would be expressing the fact that something about 'you', is controlling you. I believe in a subtler manner cats make their own choices, I
have two cats who are brothers with very differing personalities. They seem to do what they want when they want, as if they were aware they existed
as an entity with a body and needs and emotions.
You say "stupidity and accidents", I say natural forces. Terms like that are poor descriptors when we know the causes of many of these events.
I say that in attempt to express what I think the opposite of intelligence or intelligent design would be. Stupid accidents. I think this is one of
the cruxes of the problems, the nature of intelligence, the nature of math and order, patterns. Intelligence is just a sophisticated algorithm,
pattern recognition and reconfiguring program, as the laws of nature are semi sophisticated algorithms and patterns. The repetition of natural laws
beating down on biological material for much time, imprinting the patterns and regularities, and life seems to be the call back, the response to
natures call and laws, or just a fractal singularity, where all the big and small, and regular, boil down to the left over digits of some irrational
number, and that is life.
If I was correct, technically you wouldn't fear me at all, because you wouldn't exist It doesn't matter if you think it's silly. You cannot
prove that you have consciousness to anybody but yourself and that is a fact. I'm not saying I believe that everyone is imaginary, I'm just going
based what people can prove about consciousness (pretty much nothing at this point in time).
Hm, you arent correct, you cant be. Because me and every other person can say the same thing, and then the logical conclusion would be that we are
all existing people, in a similar situation.