The Circus of Consciousness

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posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:39 PM
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PhotonEffect

How do we know for sure that those animals that are known to be self-aware are not capable of abstracting? Like great apes, dolphins, & elephants for instance. Or even, the non-mammalian, magpie, which is considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world and is also known to be self-aware.

I wonder if this elephant knows what he is painting...


Sorry, I wasn't clear. Animals do abstract with their various nervous systems and senses just like humans, however, they cannot know that they do. To know this you need to have science.




posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 04:57 PM
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reply to post by saneguy
 



saneguy
Sorry, I wasn't clear. Animals do abstract with their various nervous systems and senses just like humans, however, they cannot know that they do. To know this you need to have science.


How can we possibly know for sure that they "cannot know". Each animal has it's own subjective experience, as humans do, which we are not privy to ever understanding. Just like I can never know what it's like to be you, and you me. It's what the so called "Hard problem of Consciousness" is all about.

I think we should only assume that they can in fact know these things on some level, rather than assume that they don't. We all evolved from the same thing. In fact animals have been here a hell of a lot longer than humans, so perhaps it's possible they know more than we think.

Just tossing it out there...



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 07:59 PM
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PhotonEffect

How can we possibly know for sure that they "cannot know". Each animal has it's own subjective experience, as humans do, which we are not privy to ever understanding. Just like I can never know what it's like to be you, and you me. It's what the so called "Hard problem of Consciousness" is all about.

I think we should only assume that they can in fact know these things on some level, rather than assume that they don't. We all evolved from the same thing. In fact animals have been here a hell of a lot longer than humans, so perhaps it's possible they know more than we think.

Just tossing it out there...


Well, for example, an animal couldn't possibly know that what they 'see' is an image manufactured in their visual cortex. To them, what they see is 'out there'. They have no knowledge of 'light rays', 'retinas', 'neurons', 'transmission', etc.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 08:01 PM
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reply to post by saneguy
 


Then how would you explain pets having personalities.
You might be surprised to learn that humans can learn wisdom from animals.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 08:15 PM
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TheDualityExperience
reply to post by saneguy
 


Then how would you explain pets having personalities.
You might be surprised to learn that humans can learn wisdom from animals.


I will elaborate further.
A human can love their pet but never be able to be equally 'physically compensated'. This act can teach us to develop an unconditional bond with something outside of our ego existence.

One of the most fascinating things I have observed in nature (not directly but through a media), is how dolphins have been known to save humans from shark attacks. The sharks are instinctively afraid of the dolphin because as evolution would have it, the dolphin can send out a high frequency ultrasonic pulse wave. Now a shark has an incredible sense of "smell" underwater so these pulse waves completely scramble the shark's sensory input.
Sorry I am rambling lol



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 08:57 PM
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PhotonEffect
reply to post by saneguy
 



saneguy
Sorry, I wasn't clear. Animals do abstract with their various nervous systems and senses just like humans, however, they cannot know that they do. To know this you need to have science.


How can we possibly know for sure that they "cannot know". Each animal has it's own subjective experience, as humans do, which we are not privy to ever understanding. Just like I can never know what it's like to be you, and you me. It's what the so called "Hard problem of Consciousness" is all about.

I think we should only assume that they can in fact know these things on some level, rather than assume that they don't. We all evolved from the same thing. In fact animals have been here a hell of a lot longer than humans, so perhaps it's possible they know more than we think.

Just tossing it out there...


I agree 100% of the notion.
Animal psyche is a lower state of consciousness driven by lower, reduced from human POV, state of mind. They act more on emotion and ever alert. Whilst humans can evaluate degree of 'danger', free scarce brain recourses and pass it as code to offsprings.

Offsprings that have endured harsh conditions at the age of maturity will pass to their own offsprings state of elevated alert. Will take generations of 'good life' to start adopting to new challenges.

Cat that grew up in harsh conditions will pass level of alertness to kittens who were born into good, loving life
conditions.


Ufff...your turn)



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


Sorry for the late reply.


Actually, if I may- Thought (as a verb) is the action of creating thoughts, ideas, opinions etc (the nouns). We certainly create thoughts. So I will have to disagree with your assessment, simply on the grounds of it being incomplete.


That’s like saying swimming is the act of creating a swim, or jumping is the act of creating a jump. Try holding on to a thought or an idea. Seriously try it. It is impossible unless one writes them down, or at the very least, subvocalizes them in some sort of inner-monologue, thereby making them tangible. Ideas, thoughts and opinions are always expressed in some physical form. This is why we write things down as reminders, because “thoughts” are nothing but an ever changing process.


I get what you're trying to say here but I'm not sure the analogy is accomplishing what you want. We may be able to see the results of digestion, the mechanical process, in progress. Ideas and thoughts are the results of thinking, but will never be things we can see, unless we consciously bring them into physical existence in some way. We don't idea an idea. We conjure ideas, and the mind is the "theatre" that allows us to visualize them, and ponder them.


Ideas and thoughts are easy to see. You’re reading some right this moment.



You're logic would seem to suggest that thoughts or ideas don't exist.


I know they exist. You’re reading my thoughts at this moment.


This view is too deeply rooted in materialism for my taste. "If we can't see it then it must not exist." Can you see gravity?


All physical bodies attract each other. Physical bodies perform actions and processes. Processes aren’t things that exist, they are actions performed by things that exist. Because you don’t like a view does not invalidate it.


I see myself, in my mind. Where do you think the image of yourself in the mirror is being displayed in the first place? Hint: not in your eyes.


Eyes are a part of the brain.


Maybe you can expound what it is you mean by "my entire being". It's a very broad concept, perhaps too broad for what we are discussing here. In the physical sense- You don't use your feet to think. Or your small intestine to make a decision. So the term "entire being" would seem to not apply then. And I'm fairly certain you're not talking about the metaphysical aspect of "being"


Without feet, you would be unable to know what it’s like to have feet. Without a small intestine, and other organs necessary to life, you would be unable to make any decision. Without hands, you would be unable to know what it’s like to grasp or hold something in them. Without the nose, you wouldn’t understand the smell of a rose, or bread, or perfume. Without eyes, you wouldn’t understand light, shapes, movement, or what something looks like. The entire being, by which I mean everything contained within the outer boundary of a human, is a necessary prerequisite to understanding anything about oneself.


What are the "faculties and abilities" that allow you to be self-aware? You don't feel the need to limit yourself to the non-physical(?), but you're limiting yourself to the physical.


I’m limiting myself to myself. Nothing more.


This seems like another cop out to me. Certainly you have memories of your past, don't you? Certainly they are not blank?
What is your subjective experience of the color red, or the taste of pizza? "Your being"?


Yes. Experience, “mind”, “consciousness”, “body”—they’re all the same thing. There’s no need to assume otherwise. We are merely abstracting ourselves into fictional entities because we’ve been conditioned to do so—thousands of years of conditioning. We’ve never seen or felt a mind. We’ve only ever been taught and indoctrinated into believing we have one.

Like I said, it is assuming the initial point. It is circular reasoning to assume a mind when no evidence shows that there is one.



posted on Jan, 28 2014 @ 12:29 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


We will have to agree to disagree then, but nothing wrong with that.

I would like to understand what leads you to your conclusions though, other than your own musings on the matter. Can you point me to some of your resources or other material that has influenced your ideas?

When you have a few minutes you should read this article- it presents an interesting take on the current state of the Mind-Body-Consciousness problem. It seems to break down mind and body to information flow vs nervous system (if I understood it correctly) ala the cognitive revolution...

To see how we can consider the separation of the information from the actual nervous system itself, think of a book. The book's mass, its temperature, and other physical dimensions can now be considered as roughly akin to the brain. Then think about the information content (i.e., the story the book tells or claims it makes). In the computational theory, that is akin to the mind. The mind then is the information instantiated in and processed by the nervous system.


Cheers



posted on Feb, 6 2014 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


Remember this exchange of ours?

Photoneffect I think we forget sometimes that we are literally the universe. Made from the very same stuff. And out of this stuff, arose beings like ourselves that have become aware of the universe without and within.



AphorismNot even figuratively are we the universe. If you were the universe, I’d be sitting in a chair responding to your post somewhere inside you. It is a horrific thought.


Well I just watched an interview of well known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who's new show COSMOS will air in March. It should be awesome.

But what I wanted you to watch is one segment (aside from the whole video, because it is pretty interesting) about his take on our place in the universe and what he categorizes as "a profound discovery in astrophysics".. Check out from 8:45 in- to about 10:20. Id be curious your thoughts...


ETA:
Another clip about the same idea but in more depth:
edit on 6-2-2014 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 01:52 AM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


Thanks for the vids. I also cannot wait for the show.

You mentioned that everything is consciousness, and when you said "We are literally the universe", I figured you were speaking literally, which would be from the solipsist point of view, as in I am just a creation of a universe that is your consciousness. I may have perhaps taken the word "literally" too literally while trying to connect the dots.

I didn't realize you were speaking metaphorically. I agree with you and Mr. Tyson that we are of this universe and made of stuff from this universe. However, we do not know what the universe is, so it is difficult for me to say "we are the universe" or "we are one".




I would like to understand what leads you to your conclusions though, other than your own musings on the matter.

Oddly enough—although I don't often agree with him—I find one of Plato's most valuable insights to be the Eleatic Stranger's remark on being. This idea constantly resonates with me, makes things easier to understand, and is still the reason I resist ideas such as the mind, consciousness, the non-physical etc. It's a decent metaphysical foundation from which to think from.


The Stranger – I suggest that anything has real being that is so constituted as to possess any sort of power either to affect anything else or to be affected, in however a small a degree, by the most insignificant agent, though it be only once. I am proposing as a mark to distinguish real things that they are nothing but power.

- Plato The Sophist


It sounds so simple, but is actually quite helpful. Mind and consciousness can never directly act, nor be acted upon. We can only think they act in hindsight and that they do so indirectly. All that exists is what acts and what is acted upon. Therefor, mind and consciousness do not exist.

Cheers




edit on 7-2-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)





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