General Question

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Which would be the bigger miracle, Consciousness arising from Non-Consciousness, OR Consciousness arising from Eternal Consciousness?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30938points) August 7th, 2010

You know what’s funny? You’re an Atheist because you don’t believe in miracles, and I’m a Theist because I don’t believe in miracles.

This is not a religious argument. This is a philosophical argument. Try your best to leave religious prejudice out of this discussion please.

For me, that would be a pretty miraculous feat if conscious awareness arose from non consciousness, basically, a mind sprang forth from a rock? I don’t buy it. Yes yes I know the common answer that it took millions of years and all that. But it still requires us to believe that mind comes from mindlessness nonetheless. And millions of years is a blink of an eye in eternity.

Doesn’t the Atheist mock the Theist for believing in an illogical God being? The first Q to them being “Then what created god?” seems just as illogical to me, for it assumes that an Eternal Conscious Agent (ECA) must fit within our limited perceptions of space/time. I don’t believe in that god either.

In fact it wouldn’t be an ECA if it was created.

Please don’t lock this discussion up with a tribute to the antiquated complexity argument without referring to a single proven mechanism that can account for it creating mindful thought, literally out of thin air. That would be an utter miracle breaking all natural law. It would be super natural.

I propose that if there is an ECA, then it is perfectly natural for that being to exist.

Which would be the bigger miracle, Consciousness arising from Non-Consciousness, OR Consciousness arising from Eternal Consciousness?

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68 Answers

jackm's avatar

Well we both agree that conscience sprung forth. That being said you claim it was from an all knowing being, and I claim it was because of random chance.

Random chance has been proven as possible in this world, and God has not. It is in your court to prove God, not in ours.

Please don’t lock this discussion up with a tribute to the antiquated complexity argument without referring to a single proven mechanism that can account for it creating mindful thought, literally out of thin air. That would be an utter miracle breaking all natural law. It would be super natural.

This argument does not make sense. If you think random conscienceless can not arise from nothing, then how can god? What ever method you pose for gods intelligence, i pose for mans intelligence. Either way we both believe intelligence sprang from nothing. I just skip the middle man.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

But I never said consciousness or an ECA arose from nothing. I said it arose from an Eternal Conscious Agent, beyond our limits of space/time. Eternal… beyond creation. I also am not arguing from the limited Atheist perspective of arguing against the typical religious God concept.

Please also consider, that if conscious awareness did indeed arise from random chance of chaos, then the blind deaf and dumb universe has somehow spoken. That’s a revisit of the Infinite Monkey Theorum, which Kittle and Kroemer soundly defeated as absolutely impossible. Randomness has never been shown to author anything, ever, never. There is no demonstrable mechanism.

A code of life exists within our DNA. It is a code. And all codes say something. Another interesting thing about codes… They ALL have Authors.

How does a blind deaf and dumb universe say something?

Alright, lets go against accepted, proven, repeatable, predictable science and reject that DNA is a genuine code that conforms to Purlwitz, Burks and Waterman’s definition and satisfies the Claude Shannon protocols of Information Theory that Hubert Yockey used to model the DNA/RNA transcription process with… let’s just say DNA isn’t really a genuine code.

Let’s call it a pseudo-code, or a template, or blueprint. For the sake of discussion, fine.

We’ll assume (for the sake of discussion) that this pseudo-code has pseudo-authored biological living beings into existence. But many of these beings are indeed capable of authoring new code beyond their innate genetic structure. The Wolf Howl, the Whale Song, The Figure 8 Bee Waggle, The Gettysburg Address…

Shall we deny any of these as being genuine codes as set forth by Claude Shannon protocols of Information Theory?

If we cannot deny this, then we must accept that the very words you see upon this OP are ultimately the Voice of the Cosmos. We must conclude that these scribbles on your monitor are ultimately Star Speak.

Does this not provide unwitting support for ancient myth and folklore of talking trees, whispering streams, and burning bushes that give instructions to birth a violent nation? If IT truly is as hard Marxist Dialectic Materialism would have us believe, then that belief begs us to accept the very mysticism that it would otherwise deny. Is the Atheist a parody of the Religious fanatic they would otherwise mock?

gasman's avatar

We don’t even understand how consciousness springs forth from our own living brains. So the question is moot, mechanistically. Within the constraints of apparent physical reality, however, spontaneous emergence is the simplest explanation.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Spontaneous emergence is yet another placeholder word from science that means “We don’t have a fucking clue, but if we make you think we do, we’ll get lots of grant money”. They may have as well called it “Random Mutation” or “Singularity”. They all mean the same thing, and that meaning is a meaningless non-answer, that begs for one free miracle and then science can “explain” everything from there thank you very much. Those words are lies.

@gasman “the question is moot, mechanistically”

You got it. It can’t be answered with Marxist Dialectic Materialism. It can’t be answered with just the material agents of energy matter cause/reacting to chaos. And if it can’t be answered, then we should not accept non answers that sound like answers with special placeholder words.

There is a missing element beyond energy/matter that is required to answer this question. And this missing element is non-physical.

That’s why Norbert Weiner claims:
“Information is information. Not energy and not matter. Any materialism that does not allow for this cannot survive in the present”.
Cybernetics, p147

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@gasman “We don’t even understand how consciousness springs forth from our own living brains.”

That’s because our own living brains spring forth from consciousness, not the other way around.

LostInParadise's avatar

The biggest miracle would be the existence of a universal consciousness. It makes no sense to explain something complex by invoking something even more complex. The idea is to explain the complex in terms of simpler concepts.

Rarebear's avatar

First of all, I have never mocked a theist. I will challenge beliefs that some theists hold, like Creationism, but I never mock the core belief in God.

Second, I’m not an atheist because I don’t believe in miracles. I’m an atheist because I see no objective evidence of a divine being. I have no problems with people who don’t have a problem with that lack of evidence, (and YES, RERRL, I realize that you believe there is evidence and that’s okay, too. I just don’t personally agree with it. But let’s not get into that again here.)

Just setting the record straight on some of atheists. I have more respect for a respectful theist like you and Matt, than I do for a disrespectful atheist like many on Fluther (not going to name names here).

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear Point taken and thanks.

@LostInParadise I never spoke of a universal consciousness. I spoke of an Eternal Consciousness.

Complexity is satisfied by explaining it with pure materialism and physicality of energy/matter. It does not address issues of information or eternity. I have no reason to believe that complexity has anything to do with immateriality whatsoever.

LostInParadise's avatar

You are saying then that consciousness is immaterial. How then does the immaterial interact with the material? There has to be some place where the tire hits the road.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Information… the process of manifesting thought in-to-forminform. The “ation” makes it an action. The end result is codified language. This very moment, you and I are sharing our immaterial thoughts by codifying them into a physicality by way of photons firing on our screens in the form of symbolic representation.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Code is a material lens that allows us to view the immaterial realm of thought.

Code is a material straw that allows us to drink from the immaterial pool of thought.

LostInParadise's avatar

Does the immaterial depend on the material? Where does it go when someone dies?

mammal's avatar

This sounds suspiciously like a simple case of Cartesian indigestion, a regurgitation of that which is indigestible.

What is seemingly perplexing here, is for Science to dissect existence in two, two classifications – Mind and Body and then in a moment of angst at something irretrievably lost, have Modern Scientific theory frantically attempt to graft them back together again, with crude black stitches and reanimate the thing with a defibrillator.

chocolatechip's avatar

Your argument would be easier to understand, and thus more compelling, if they were not all metaphors.

Also, one could argue that we don`t act on our thoughts. Rather, thoughts are the way in which we interpret and experience material, physical interactions, just like how we interpret different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation as “colour”.

chocolatechip's avatar

In fact, your question assumes we know what consciousness is. Unfortunately, we don’t. The only consciousness you experience is your own. I can’t even be sure if you or anyone else around my actually has consciousness like I do. Or maybe everything, including rocks, have consciousness.

chocolatechip's avatar

Basically, unless we agree on an arbitrarily definition of consciousness, you’re not really saying anything.

LostInParadise's avatar

@mammal , It is a regurgitation, but it is not science that made the split between mind and brain. Science sees no distinction. There is nothing for it to put back together because it never took anything apart.

mammal's avatar

@LostInParadise it is a mentality that Science heartily subscribes to, in fact, science can only function without contradiction, paradox and absurdity if it does indeed separate mind from body, even if only in a deferred capacity, this thread seems to suggest that there is a dichotomy between consciousness and non-consciousness..and that science can somehow reconcile this.

mammal's avatar

i guess what i am getting at, is that idealism is comfortable in it’s holistic appreciation of the world. Where as Science is materialist and thus disputes that the strictly mind oriented, idealism can claim validity, NB. validity according to it’s criteria of validity. Therefore allying itself to the body or matter in terms of the positively verifiable. Ok, but this, in effect, is a philosophical prejudice or bias toward materialism, as opposed to idealism, or preference toward the body over and above the mind, which is why i ultimately see Science as fundamentally Cartesian Dualism despite it’s claims to the contrary.

Of course Science claims that as nonsense because the mind with all the rich diversity of it’s functions, ultimately has a physiological explanation. Even if some of these are conveniently unavailable to the scientific community, right now, or are proving ellusive, see the explanatory gap for example.

But we are continually reassured that Science will resolve these conundrums. That attitude is nothing but an act of faith, or a gamblers optimism, based on a certain degree of success and positivism (a peculiar quirk of science and the scientific community) In fact there is nothing clinical about this attitude, it isn’t even scientific, it is merely a matter of faith (or rather faith in matter) one would at least, expect a neutral approach from the devotees of science.

So we are strangely left with a Scientific theory that denies that the Mind exists separately from the Body and has in effect picked a side that it understands i.e Body/Matter over that which it doesn’t understand as yet, if ever – Mind. So we still are not currently rid of the Cartesian crisis.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@LostInParadise “Does the immaterial depend on the material?”

Only to be expressed into the physical realm.

As Marshall McLuhan recognized:
“All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values. “

The IM is completely independent from the M. The Medium is not the Message. The Medium is a tool… Code, and we use this tool to express and access the Message… Thought… through the process known as Information.

The Medium is interchangeable. Smoke rings, color codes, binary, quaternary, Chinese, Pig-Latin, sign language… None of which express any Message on their own. There is no Message innate to French, no more than a hammer may express architectural plans to build a house. Code is just a tool, as all Mediums are tools. Even Mathematics, and likewise, Poetry.

However, as partial physical creatures, we do not have direct access to the IM. In our current form, we are hybrid creatures, consisting of both Thought/Info and Material/Substance. One foot in the grave, so to speak. The Material Realm consists of energy/matter. We must harness that energy/matter and form it into the tool of Code in order to access and express our other nature, that being IM Thought/Info.

The dependence is only for awareness. No different than our dependence upon a radio, a telescope, or an electroencephalogram to access and infer the existence of other unknowns.

@LostInParadise “Where does it go when someone dies?”

Language breaks down terribly when discussing these notions. We are, after all, attempting to describe the Immaterial with Material perceptions. I do not suppose than Immaterial Agents are subject to notions of “going”.

A common mistake amongst the Materialist Scientist, is to make statements such as:
“The Information IN DNA” or “The Information IN a hard drive”.

These statements are misleading, and send us down the wrong path as to recognizing what Information actually is. Information is not like water in a bucket. It is not held accountable to concepts of “IN” or “OUT”. As Norbert Weiner points out, Information is NOT Energy or Matter. Thus it should not be held liable to the properties of Energy or Matter. It is non-physical. How then may we claim that it “goes” somewhere?

Metaphor is the only Language tool that I am aware of which may properly illustrate the nature of Information. As humans, with less than 50 years to consider our digital age of Information, we are slowly discovering that our first observations of this phenomenon are not capable of being accurately depicted by the conventional terminologies of hard Marxist Dialectic Materialism. We need new words to fully describe Information, and what it actually is. And whether it be Norbert Weiner, or Dawkins Meme, or the Sphota of Bhartrihari, or Plato’s Forms, or the Greek Quintessence and/or Noumena, or even the typically misunderstood Biblical principles of The Word… humanity has struggled to define the very nature of that which we currently speak of. That being, what we currently call, Information.

The problem is compounded by our human propensity to personify objects, and likewise objectify personage. We need to get a better handle on our language usage in order to properly identify and describe Information.

Example: A scientific mind will typically claim something like: “The REASON it snows, is BECAUSE of…”. This is errant redundancy. It is a conflation of REASON and CAUSE. It unwittingly personifies clouds and temperature, for clouds and temperature have NO MIND to REASON with. There is no Reason why it snows. There is only Cause. Reason comes from Mind. And thus, Human Mind Reasons the Cause of Snow as determined by observation and description.

@mammal “This sounds suspiciously like a simple case of Cartesian indigestion, a regurgitation of that which is indigestible.”

Indigestible to some. I cannot force feed from the tree of knowledge. I may only offer it. There are many among us who find it quite tasty and nourishing.

@chocolatechip “Your argument would be easier to understand, and thus more compelling, if they were not all metaphors.”

Perhaps you missed my initial statements to @jackm where the science of Norbert Weiner, Claude Shannon, Kittle & Kroemer, Hubert Yockey, Purlwitz, Burks & Waterman was referenced. The Metaphor of straws and lens came much later, and only served to illustrate the implications of scientific research.

@chocolatechip “…one could argue that we don`t act on our thoughts…”

Codifying observations is the act of manifesting thought into form. In this way, we create Information.

@chocolatechip “thoughts are the way in which we interpret and experience material, physical interactions…”

Stop right there. You’ve leapfrogged and conflated two separate notions. Experience is not Interpretation. No thought is required to experience. And experiences are not interpreted… They are described. Big difference between interpretation and description.

And this is exactly what I spoke of in the OP. We do not interpret Chaos. We describe it. Chaos has no mechanism to transmit a message to humans. Thus there is nothing whatsoever to interpret. There is no meaning to interpret from Chaos for Chaos has no mind to form meaning upon. Sentient observers describe their experience of Chaos, and in that description, meaning is created by the process of forming thoughts into form.

Clouds don’t speak. So there is nothing to interpret from them.

@chocolatechip “your question assumes we know what consciousness is. Unfortunately, we don’t”

Not all of us feel as you do. There are many reasons to attribute consciousness to language.

The Cognitive Studies department of Washington University uses no less than 70 language tests to determine a patients conscious awareness.

I propose there are many levels of conscious awareness, and they all depend upon a beings ability to use and express language. A child is less consciously aware than an adult because the child may only describe the ball as “big, red, round, bouncy…”. But an adult has an entire lexicon at their disposal to reason concepts of big, and how light reflects and absorbs to manifest color spectrum, as well as spherical, elliptical, slope, diameter, circumference, and bounce effect, plasticity, polymers, toxins, molecular recombination, and rubber trees.

Consciousness is expanded with language descriptions. We are more consciously aware of the cosmos currently than we were 100 years ago, simply because we have observed and described new phenomenon beyond the initial tag of “THAT!”

A bee is only consciously aware to the degree that his Figure 8 Waggle dance can encode for distance, direction, wind drift, suggested route, and quality of pollen. But the same bee has no conscious awareness of a common coffee cup because he cannot observe and describe it. A coffee cup is nothing more than Chaos to the bee. It is entropy, which only serves as a blockade for the Information that he does have to communicate.

Whale Song, Wolf Howls, Cat Mews, are all illustrative of different levels of conscious awareness directly proportional to an entities ability to express and use language.

The difference that Humans have over animals, is that we have the uncanny ability to expand our lexicon infinitum to express descriptions of new observations. Animals are stuck with the languages that they currently utilize, with no hope to expand it, thereby never expanding their conscious awareness.

@chocolatechip “The only consciousness you experience is your own.”

Your codified description of your thoughts on the matter have just been shared with me.

@chocolatechip “I can’t even be sure if you or anyone else around my actually has consciousness like I do.”

Sure you can. Traffic control unifies conscious awareness with the Pilot every time a plane lands. They accomplish this task with Code. They have an extremely precise agreed upon symbolic convention of communicating their conscious thoughts to one another.

Of course, we all have our private inclinations and experiences which prejudice us to any given scenario. But Claude Shannon protocols have mechanisms of redundancy and noise reduction to overcome the confusion, thereby allowing the Essence of Meaning to be successfully transmitted above the entropy of personal experience.

@chocolatechip “Or maybe everything, including rocks, have consciousness.”

Without receiving a codified message from rocks, we cannot confidently assert that proposition with any degree of confidence.

“Nothing… It’s what rocks dream about”.
Plato

@chocolatechip “…unless we agree on an arbitrarily definition of consciousness, you’re not really saying anything.”

It is always appropriate for sender and receiver to agree upon their convention of symbols and definitions. Yet the sender is very capable of transmitting a meaningful message regardless if the receiver is capable of receiving it or not. Ask SETI.

Hopefully, my description of consciousness will allow us to communicate more effectively. If so, you have just expanded your conscious awareness by way of decoding and receiving my comments to you. You may not agree with me, but you are consciously aware of my thoughts nonetheless, and thereby, your own conscious awareness has been expanded. This was all accomplished with codified descriptions.

@LostInParadise “…it is not science that made the split between mind and brain. Science sees no distinction. There is nothing for it to put back together because it never took anything apart.”

“Information is information. Not energy and not matter. Any materialism that does not allow for this cannot survive in the present”.
Norbert Weiner, Cybernetics p147

@mammal “this thread seems to suggest that there is a dichotomy between consciousness and non-consciousness..and that science can somehow reconcile this.”

By noting a third immaterial element of Information alongside Energy and Matter, yes, it may be reconciled.

Organic Matter = Energy + Matter + Information

Inorganic Matter = Energy + Matter + Chaos

@mammal “…we still are not currently rid of the Cartesian crisis.”

We must have different perspectives of this. I view dualism as a necessity for Science, if it is to address issues of mind/body relationships accurately. Language is an image/object relationship. Dualism at its finest. The problem arises when science and materialism does not allow for Information to exist beyond the shackles of energy/matter.

Science reduces all to a process of cause/reaction or cause/effect. Fine for Chaos. But to address the mind, we must carefully distinguish cause/effect from thought/affect, and cause/reaction from thought/action.

LostInParadise's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies , I am having trouble understanding what you are saying, though I think that we are at least somewhat in agreement. If you are saying that there are limitations to reductive science then I am in complete agreement. Norbert Wiener was one of the pioneers in thinking in terms of systems and in recent years there has been a lot of research in this area, particularly at the complexity research center in Los Alamos.

There has been much talk of emergent properties, which are properties of a system that are not centralized in one location. A frequently used example is the use of pheromones by an ant colony to guide the colony to the shortest path to a food source.

I believe that if consciousness is ever figured out it will be shown to be an emergent property. There is no little man in our heads making decisions, but a complex of parts working together. We can get into an argument over whether emergent properties are material. The point is that they have to be realized in a material fashion. There is nothing mystical or non-scientific about them.

I believe that it is possible to set up a secular spirituality based on the notion that our collective efforts are more than the sum of the total. Societies are emergent properties just as I believe that consciousness is. We are parts of something larger in a very real sense.

jackm's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
You are using big words, but they mean nothing. Everything you are saying is meaningless.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@jackm Everything I say is meaningless to a dog. Dogs can’t look up the meaning of big words in a dictionary. You can. Please do your homework before attributing your ignorance to my perceived meaninglessness comments.

Yes @LostInParadise, we are finding limited accord. I do not deny emergent properties of complexity. But there are two different types, and I hope that those researchers interested in the study will note this accordingly. Emergence of stars, galaxies, planets, may be attributed to Chaos, with no Information or Code required until an observer creates Information about the system by codifying descriptions into Information.

The other emergence is accomplished with sentient authored meme viruses infecting society and passing through the gauntlet of natural selection. May the best meme survive, for every thought battles for its existence just as genes battle for theirs. In both cases, they are driven by code. One creates my green eyes. The other creates democracy. As you say, there’s “nothing mystical or non-scientific about them”.

But to believe that Emergence from Chaos can eventually attain Consciousness without a single precedent nor the mathematical probabilities to support such a hypothesis, well quite frankly, that is believing in miracles. Alas, we believe what we will.

Void's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, “Which would be the bigger miracle, Consciousness arising from Non-Consciousness, OR Consciousness arising from Eternal Consciousness?”

It would be a bigger miracle if consciousness came out of non-consciousness, only if that non-consciousness had no physicality to it. This way, something truly came out of utter nothingness, unless that nothingness is functional, in that case, there would be nothing miraculous since nothing would be the source. If the non-consciousness does have physicality, as you gave an example with the rock, then the rock would be the source, therefore, it wouldn’t be miraculous. Eternal consciousness is a source, therefore, it wouldn’t be miraculous.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I like your mind @Void. Nicely stated.

So all we have to prove is that non-consciousness can achieve consciousness, regardless if it be physical or not. Alas, we have no demonstrable mechanism or precedent to even form a valid hypothesis. However, we do have demonstrable mechanism and precedent to hypothesize consciousness arises from consciousness, regardless if it be immaterial or not.

Therefor, the biggest miracle would be to suppose that consciousness may arise from non-consciousness, regardless of the essence or substance it consists of.

Void's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, “However, we do have demonstrable mechanism and precedent to hypothesize consciousness arises from consciousness, regardless if it be immaterial or not.”

Do we? What would that be? The only example I can think of, would be thinking in a dream.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, _“Therefor, the biggest miracle would be to suppose that consciousness may arise from non-consciousness, regardless of the essence or substance it consists of.”

I don’t think this will every be possible as long as we are alive since we exist and nothing doesn’t.

Void's avatar

If you go by science, well then the first law of physics says that energy is everything and nothing since energy cannot be created nor destroyed. The way I understand it then, is that the first law of physics fits the criteria of what God is, nothing and everything. Since everything is a form of energy, then everything is God, including us. Well if we are God, then that’s the end of all the philosophy.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

If your parents were conscious, and you are conscious, then we have precedent to suggest that consciousness arises from consciousness. The demonstrable mechanism is sexual reproduction.

And when you say, “nothing doesn’t” exist, we must analyze that term “nothing”. Nothing being no thing. Therefor, no thing does not exist. Therefor, things do exist. So when speaking of things, are you speaking of material things such as chairs and cars, or immaterial things like hope, mathematics, and unicorns?

I do not suppose that all science teaches that energy is everything. Norbert Weiner for instance teaches that Information is a separate agent from energy/matter. It is unfortunate that physics has adopted their own private definition for Information. No one knows why really,

In 2003, J. D. Bekenstein claimed there is a growing trend in physics to define the physical world as being made of information itself
___________

That’s why I abide by a Discipline Independent Definition of Information.

“This discipline independent definition may be applied to all domains, from physics to epistemology.”

And I would encourage physics to catch up with the rest of the Information Sciences before they create their own dogmas which prevent scientific progress.

Void's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, “If your parents were conscious, and you are conscious, then we have precedent to suggest that consciousness arises from consciousness. The demonstrable mechanism is sexual reproduction.”

By saying this, you are certain that the consciousness always existed. How do you verify that? I was referring to the original consciousness of the first man, women, as to whether or not it came into consciousness from consciousness or from X. Just because we can observe now that consciousness comes from consciousness doesn’t necessarily say that consciousness always comes from consciousness because if we predate back before man, women, then consciousness could have came from X.

It seems I would have to correct my meaning of nothingness. I suppose then that nothingness applies to both material and immaterial things. Nothing is just nothing, non-functional and non-existent.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, “It is unfortunate that physics has adopted their own private definition for Information. No one knows why really,”

Well, you may abide by what you like, but I’m sure there is a reason why it isn’t excepted by the scientific community. I’m sure if it held up strong enough, then the law would change.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

We know that consciousness exist currently. At least what we call consciousness. And we know that one conscious agent may give birth to another.

So all we can validly hypothesize, is that consciousness arises from consciousness. Anything less is conjecture.

The Information Sciences have adopted what I propose. It is accepted by Science. Please check the bibliography of the paper I linked to. It is ten miles long. Physics is the truant. Physics abandons traditional definitions of Information, but not because of any newly appointed definition based in reason. They abandon it because they’ve never paid the established definition any due respect. It is out of ignorance.

Void's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, “We know that consciousness exist currently. At least what we call consciousness. And we know that one conscious agent may give birth to another.”

In that case, first law of physics should be out. Energy should have a creator since we can observe that something get’s created from something, but then it will be an endless loop of creation because we can’t observe where it stops.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, “The Information Sciences have adopted what I propose. It is accepted by Science. Please check the bibliography of the paper I linked to. It is ten miles long. Physics is the truant. Physics abandons traditional definitions of Information, but not because of any newly appointed definition based in reason. They abandon it because they’ve never paid the established definition any due respect. It is out of ignorance.”

Where do you draw the line then? You and the information science community claim to be right, (checked out the bibliography) and then you have the physics science community claiming you aren’t right? Seems like favoritism on your part (with research, of course), unless you can explain to me exactly how the physics community is corrupted?

Void's avatar

To add, if it’s an endless loop of creators(immaterial or not), then in any case, this non-consciousness would have a source, depending on which creator, therefore, it wouldn’t be a miracle. If using my refined definition of nothingness(that which is non-functioning and non-existent), then if non-consciousness or anything for that matter came from nothingness that would be one hell of a miracle.

Void's avatar

Woops, I meant to say _“then if consciousness or anything for that matter came from nothingness that would be one hell of a miracle.

Void's avatar

The problem is it’s unfair to make such hypothesize on what’s current and apply it to all. Meaning that saying since we can observe consciousness coming from consciousness, therefore, that’s the way it’s always been and always will be until further evidence tells otherwise. The past could of functioned entirely different, we don’t know, and since we don’t know, how can we make such a broad statement that consciousness comes from consciousness when we didn’t take into account all that which came before us. I don’t think it’s possible to know where consciousness comes from, however, it would seem logical to think that consciousness comes from the physical brain, since it’s the thinking machine. Makes more sense to me then non-consciousness or eternal consciousness.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I wouldn’t dream of denying the possibility of a black swan. I wouldn’t dream of holding up scientific progress by waiting for one to appear.

Since the brain is a thinking machine, we’d do well to acknowledge a programmer, for machines do nothing without a program. Black swans have never been shown to program anything.

Void's avatar

Well, if we go by the first law of physics, then the programmer always existed, thus, we are the programmer in different form. If you go by information, then that leaves the possibility for a programmer that made the program, however that also leaves the possibility of an endless loop of programmers.

chocolatechip's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLieslong post with too many things to pick apart individually so I won’t even try”

What do you say to people that physically can’t express themselves in anyway (i.e., paralysis)? Are you telling me they are devoid of conscious thought? Obviously there is no way for us to tell, which is exactly my point. Because consciousness is not something physical and measurable, there is no way to be sure it exists at all.

The ability to communicate information is not a indicator of consciousness. No doubt you know of the Turing test. I might be a computer program designed to impersonate a real human being and debate philosophy. Am I then conscious? We generally don’t consider inanimate objects to possess consciousness, but how do we KNOW for sure? What about a rock? It communicates information. Clouds communicate information. They speak about weather conditions, but are they consciousness?

Void's avatar

Ah, furthermore, you also can observe that everything that has a beginning has an end. We obviously can’t see in the future or past, but currently, this is how it works.

chocolatechip's avatar

It follows that, if there are no parameters by which we can define consciousness, the next best thing we can do is assume that everything has consciousness, or nothing has consciousness. Arbitrarily defining unprovable definitions of consciousness is meaningless, yet is a requisite to answer your question.

Void's avatar

@chocolatechip, “Because consciousness is not something physical and measurable, there is no way to be sure it exists at all.”

I use this very same argument against psychology and psychiatry.

Void's avatar

@chocolatechip, “Arbitrarily defining unprovable definitions of consciousness is meaningless, yet is a requisite to answer your question.”

Wouldn’t all of philosophy be meaningless then since the answers are based on an individuals angle of thought, rather then facts? If science is utilized in philosophical discussions, as we did, then it’s no longer a philosophical discussion, but rather a dispute on facts.

chocolatechip's avatar

@Void

Essentially. But there’s a difference between a question that can be answered but is ultimately meaningless, and a meaningless question.

Void's avatar

@chocolatechip, “the next best thing we can do is assume that everything has consciousness,”

If you go by the first law of physics, then based on assuming that all has consciousness, consciousness would be eternal (cannot be created nor destroyed). This would sort of apply to the second part of the question, (“if consciousness comes from eternal consciousness?”), except that it doesn’t come from external consciousness, but rather it always was and always will be an eternal consciousness. If you go with information theory, then consciousness, if we assume it exists in all, could of been created by X in endless loops and has the possibility to end.

Void's avatar

@chocolatechip, “But there’s a difference between a question that can be answered but is ultimately meaningless,”

Despite the fact that it can have different answers, if ultimately the result is meaningless, then why waste time engaging in it?

chocolatechip's avatar

@Void “Despite the fact that it can have different answers, if ultimately the result is meaningless, then why waste time engaging in it?”

It’s a fun exercise for the mind.

Void's avatar

@chocolatechip, “It’s a fun exercise for the mind.”

Then this would apply to @RealEyesRealizeRealLies question as well.

LostInParadise's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies , There can be programs without programmers. That is what emergent behavior is all about. Consider Adam Smith’s invisible hand regulating economies. Capitalism is far from perfect yet even an unregulated economy relying only on the profit motive of millions of individual agents results in a means for delivering goods and services that is far better than any planned economy.

chocolatechip's avatar

@Void

Like I said though, there’s a difference between an answerable question that is ultimately meaningless, and a question that is unanswerable because it is simply meaningless from the start.

I’m waiting for RealEyes to tell me how he differentiates consciousness from non-consciousness.

Void's avatar

@chocolatechip, “What do you say to people that physically can’t express themselves in anyway (i.e., paralysis)? Are you telling me they are devoid of conscious thought? Obviously there is no way for us to tell, which is exactly my point. Because consciousness is not something physical and measurable, there is no way to be sure it exists at all.”

Alright, I found some scientific articles explaining how consciousness is possible with the brain, therefore, someone in paralsys, although he/she cannot express themselves, aslong as the brain has no abnormalities, the person is conscious.

link

link

link

@chocolatechip, “The ability to communicate information is not a indicator of consciousness. No doubt you know of the Turing test. I might be a computer program designed to impersonate a real human being and debate philosophy. Am I then conscious?”

Computers was created by a human, if a human didn’t create the computer, there would be no consciousness, therefore, we know were consciousness comes from, the human.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@LostInParadise ”There can be programs without programmers… an unregulated economy relying only on the profit motive of millions of individual agents results in a means for delivering goods and services that is far better than any planned economy.”

Key term “profit motive”. That is the programmer, and it is guided by sentient agents who desire such a thing. In this case, profit motive is the mechanism that Natural Selection acts upon. There is certainly nothing random about profit motive. It is driven by intelligence. But this is only for the corporation.

It is in competition with the customers perceived value, which is the mechanism that Natural Selection acts upon from the consumer. Both are always directed by sentient agents. And they are both always manifest upon code.

Profit Motive = new designs, attaining resources, economizing production… all accomplished with code.

Perceived Value = what the customer wants/needs vs what the customer will spend… all accomplished with code.

There is nothing random in any of these scenarios. It is extremely controlled and designed to fit the motives of each competing selection. This competition is the mechanism on which the free market evolves.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@chocolatechip ”What do you say to people that physically can’t express themselves in anyway (i.e., paralysis)? Are you telling me they are devoid of conscious thought?”

Not at all. If they can form an image/object relationship in their mind, then they are conscious.

Although we may not be capable of detecting their ability to do this, their conscious awareness is not dependent upon outside detection.

I’m trying my best to keep this short.

If a doctor holds a red card, and the patient can formulate “red” in their mind to associate it with the card, then the patient is conscious of the red card regardless if they can communicate that information back to the doctor. But here’s where it gets tricky. Consciousness comes in different levels. Just because that patient is conscious of the red card, or a vacation last summer, they are not conscious of what type of shoes I’m wearing. Neither are you. They, and you, are unconscious to the shoes I have on my feet. You both must either observe and describe, or receive a description. I’m wearing black sneakers. You are now conscious of the type of shoes I’m wearing. This was accomplished with language, thus consciousness is very measurable, for language is a precise tool that quantifies meaning.

Gray laces, Sketchers, extra wide size 10.5, runners style, and a rock stuck between the third and fourth row of tread beneath my heal… You are now more conscious of the shoes I’m wearing to a much greater degree than before. Shall I tell you where I bought them, how much I paid and how long ago? Do you want to hear the story of how the leather ripped by my little toe while walking the dog last night? Just how conscious do you wish to become of my shoes?

If you were in a terrible accident tonight (God forbid) and lost all ability to communicate, there is still a good chance you might be capable of forming these descriptive sentences from your mind. You would still be conscious of my shoes.

@chocolatechip _—”Obviously there is no way for us to tell,...”

That is correct.

@chocolatechip ”...consciousness is not something physical and measurable, there is no way to be sure it exists at all.”

I’m glad we agree that consciousness is non physical. Therefor we both agree with Norbert Weiner when he implies that there is more to our reality than a material realm of energy/matter. We may now address an immaterial agent with equal veracity.

Language (Code) is the tool used to determine and quantify the immaterial realm of conscious thought and information. I’m proposing that conscious thought and information are synonymous. In-form-ation, the process of manifesting thought in-to-form, physical form. That physical form is Code. And that is why Washington University Cognitive Studies Department uses at least 70 different language tests to determine a patients conscious awareness.

@chocolatechip ”The ability to communicate information is not a indicator of consciousness.”

True. But it is a test of conscious expression. We have no indication of what a comatose subject is capable of expressing within the confines of their own mind space… (as if mind has a space).

There are however other methodologies which are being pursued. Scientists are currently experimenting with mapping electrochemical associations between different human subjects via electroencephalogram output. Neurons firing can be considered as the physical medium expressed as alphabet A mapped to binary alphabet B, allowing images to be rendered upon a computer screen. It is a complete image/object relationship. The same is being pursued with dolphins, which make specific vocal noises when addressing different objects. These vocalizations are played against a sand coated metal plate, and the vibration creates a unique shape in the sand upon the plate. Each shape is representative of the image/object that the dolphin is thinking about. An alphabet is being formed by cataloging these shapes as words.

@chocolatechip ”No doubt you know of the Turing test.”

Computer programs may be written with the express intention of sensing stimuli and reacting accordingly within a given set of predetermined parameters. In every case, they are programmed with this capacity from the very beginning by a sentient author. So consider the Turing test an extension of the original programmers consciousness much like a baseball glove is an extension of a players arm. It can only do what the original controller programmed it to do. The pseudo-sentient computer is no more aware of me than a baseball glove is aware of a world series pennant.

@chocolatechip ”What about a rock? It communicates information. Clouds communicate information. They speak about weather conditions…”

Shall we allow science to lend unwitting support to ancient myth and folklore of whispering steams, talking trees and burning bushes that instruct Moses to birth a violent nation? Please, please consider the implications of suggesting that rocks and clouds can speak. They can’t. The laws of the universe were written by humans to describe the cosmos. But they were not revealed to us BY the universe. The universe is blind, deaf and dumb. It cannot communicate. Humans describe it and that is all.

@chocolatechip ”...if there are no parameters by which we can define consciousness, the next best thing we can do is assume that everything has consciousness, or nothing has consciousness.”

Language is the mechanism that determines an agents conscious awareness and conscious expression. If you do not accept this, then your argument is with the Cognitive Studies Department of Washington University and many others… not me.

Assumption will be the undoing of science. Science is not a game of assumption. It is a game of qualified inference, and there are rules established to qualify the inferences. Assumption is a game for religion, and it suggests talking mountains and angry gods who hurl monsoons against humanity to send them a message of repentance.

@chocolatechip ”Arbitrarily defining unprovable definitions of consciousness is meaningless, yet is a requisite to answer your question.”

There is nothing arbitrary about Cognitive Studies. It is a rigorous discipline founded upon centuries of precedent.

@chocolatechip ”Like I said though, there’s a difference between an answerable question that is ultimately meaningless, and a question that is unanswerable because it is simply meaningless from the start. I’m waiting for RealEyes to tell me how he differentiates consciousness from non-consciousness.”

Like I said from the beginning… Language. Rocks don’t have it. Consciousness is directly proportional to an entities ability to express image/object relationships, even if only unto themselves.

No thought may be thunk without a language structure to think that thought upon.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Void ”In that case, first law of physics should be out. Energy should have a creator since we can observe that something get’s created from something, but then it will be an endless loop of creation because we can’t observe where it stops.”

I agree that energy needs a creator. Science calls it the Big Bang. That was supposedly the beginning of energy/matter space/time. That marks the genesis of the physical realm. I propose it was created by something from a non physical immaterial realm… you know, something like thought.

And our ability to observe a thing has no regard to the true nature of that thing. An endless loop is conjecture. A good one, but unsubstantiated, especially when considering that an engine cannot oscillate under the amount of entropy that our universe is subject to. The “Big Bounce” theory has been soundly defeated.

@Void ”...unless you can explain to me exactly how the physics community is corrupted?”

Lack of respect for other established disciplines, with no regard for adhering to predefined words. The meme took off in physics. No one really knows why.

Physics defined information as: The state of a system.

Unfortunate, for Information is actually a description of the state of a system, not the system itself. Before we know it, that def gets taught to physics students who take off on a wild goose chase with no regard for what Info really is. It seemed so right for it supported Marxist Dialectic Materialism to the tee. They think Info is everywhere, and just by observing a thing, one can gather information from it. Little did they realize that meant clouds could communicate messages to them. One cannot glean information if it is not communicated. Therefor, nature speaks to the physicist. The Magi have created a new religion, all for lack of rigor.

Information is created ABOUT the Universe through observation and description. Information is not communicated FROM the Universe to Humans.

@Void ”...observe that everything that has a beginning has an end”

There is no evidence to suggest that Information has an end. Destroying one medium does not affect the Information in any way. I cannot suppose that destroying all mediums would thus affect Information further. The medium is only our tool to access Info. It is not the Info itself.

I do not suppose that the Immaterial may be affected by the Material.

@Void ”We obviously can’t see in the future or past, but currently, this is how it works.”

Architectural plans envision the manifestation of a building before it ever exists in physical reality every bit as much as your DNA predetermines your existence before you ever manifested into physical reality. The future is established upon code. It is quite viewable.

We also use code to look into the past. Refer to my comments above and see my thoughts from two days ago. Refer to the Declaration of Independence and see the thoughts from men who lived over 200 years ago. Don’t you get it? The thoughts live!

Thoughts are born out of each other. Mine here born of yours shared with me, and yours to come born out of mine shared with you.

Not only does code allow the telepathy of minds being shared, but it is also a time machine to envision the future and share thoughts with those who lived thousands of years ago.

The programmer who always existed is the Prime Thought… The Proto Thought… A being that IS Pure Thought, sans the confines of the physical realm. A being that not only dwells in a realm of Pure Information, but whom actually IS Information.

What I haven’t figured… Are we inviting this being into the physical realm upon every Code we author, or are we becoming this being upon every Code we author?

LostInParadise's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies , The problem of determining a proper distribution of goods and services at a centralized level is intractable. Planned economies have all been disastrous failures.The problem can be solved by having millions of agents seeking to maximize their individual profits. It is true that this requires intelligence and planning, but at a much lower level than the global problem. This kind of emergent behavior is universal. Ants do not seek to find the shortest distance to food. They just lay down and follow pheromone trails. Birds do not seek to fly in formation. They just keep close to all their nearest neighbors. Snowflakes do not seek symmetry. They just crystallize in the same way at the 6 points of crystal formation. And on and on. Extraordinarily complex behavior at a global level can be generated by individual agents following very simple rules at a local level. Global programming is not necessary. The local rules are simple enough to have been generated by mutation and natural selection.

Void's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, “I agree that energy needs a creator.”

I wasn’t agreeing to this. I was illustrating the problems with this. If, however, we follow the deterministic physical universe, the problem is that if there is something totally nonphysical causing a bunch of neurons to fire, then there is no physical event which causes the firing. This means that some physical energy is required to be generated against the physical laws of the deterministic universe – this is by definition a miracle and there can be no scientific explanation of repeatable experiment performed regarding where the physical energy for the firing came from. Such interactions would violate the fundamental laws of physics. In particular, if some external source of energy is responsible for the interactions, then this would violate the law of the conservation of energy. It violates the causal closure of the physical world. Furthermore, Phylogenetically, the human species evolved, as did all other species, from a single cell made up of matter. Since all the events that later occurred which ended up in the formation of our species can be explained through the processes of random mutation and natural selection. Explain where and why there could have intervened some non-material, non-physical event in this process of natural evolution? Ontogenetically, we begin life as a simple fertilized ovum. There is nothing non-material or mentalistic involved in conception, the formation of the blastula, the gastrula, and so on. Our development can be explained entirely in terms of the accumulation of matter through the processes of nutrition. The postulation of a non-physical mind would seem superfluous.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, “I propose it was created by something from a non physical immaterial realm… you know, something like thought. And our ability to observe a thing has no regard to the true nature of that thing. An endless loop is conjecture.”

You’re telling me that an endless loop is conjecture but you proposing that creation was done out of immaterial thought isn’t?

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, _“Lack of respect for other established disciplines, with no regard for adhering to predefined words. The meme took off in physics. No one really knows why.”

Then everything you wrote is speculative since no one really knows. You can look at this practically, no need to argue points. This is precisely why this isn’t universally recognized. Otherwise, the law and all textbook information being thought to students would have been refined.

Void's avatar

@LostInParadise, regarding emergence, it can very well be the case that particles getting into a certain configuration has contingent effects, but the problem with this particular case, is that there is nowhere for the effects to reside. There isn’t anything that the emergent phenomena could consist in if they don’t consist in facts about elementary particles, given that nothing but elementary particles exists. What would it be like if society exhibited some behavior that was not a logical consequence of the behavior of its members? Suppose a society goes to war: doesn’t this just follow from a large number of its members going off to fight under direction of a certain other group of people in authority, etc.? If someone said, no, the war is something over and above the all of the individual fighting, what could he possibly have in mind – what else could be involved? Is there some possible world in which every individual behaves exactly the same way but the society behaves differently? I can’t see what such a world would be like. Charlie Dunbar Broad discusses the vague sense that non-mechanistic theories are radically unscientific, but all he says in emergentism’s defense is that chemistry and physiology are able to proceed perfectly well without assuming that mechanism is true. This isn’t very satisfactory since it doesn’t address the question whether, despite this, mechanism is supported by some known scientific facts, nor whether emergentism is coherent. There may be plenty of mysterious, unscientific, and incoherent ideas that scientists don’t have to base their work on the falsity of. I think these considerations are simple and intuitive. There is an alternative to the atomist-subjectivist theory, that it isn’t an objective fact that the world is composed of elementary particles or that it is an objective fact that it also contains cats, I think in order to show that emergentism is coherent you need to show that some such view is possible.

LostInParadise's avatar

Crowds behave differently than individuals. Non-violent people volunteer for military service out of a sense of obligation. People do things in soccer stadiums that they would never do on their own. Group mentality is a real phenomenon. Social behavior is definitely more than the sum of the parts.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@LostInParadise “The problem can be solved by having millions of agents seeking to maximize their individual profits. It is true that this requires intelligence and planning…”

I don’t even see us arguing here. “Seeking” is a planned endeavor. The goal is set, though processed on the fly, billions of individual controlled mutations are directed at attaining a specific goal. It is incomparable to your other examples, including ant pheromones, which are simple triggers and switches. There is nothing “random” about “seeking” whatsoever.

@Void ”...if there is something totally nonphysical causing a bunch of neurons to fire, then there is no physical event which causes the firing. This means that some physical energy is required…”

Methinks you should rethink this contradiction.

@Void “You’re telling me that an endless loop is conjecture but you proposing that creation was done out of immaterial thought isn’t?”

Yes. There is no precedent for perpetual motion. Mathematics has soundly disposed of an oscillating engine in our physical realm. Consciousness and Information are widely accepted as Immaterial agents. Energy/Matter must have been created. Therefor, thought is confidently inferred as the creator of the physical realm. Nothing miraculous about it whatsoever, especially when we consider that thought is the creator of cities, tanks, ice cream, ab loungers, and all other physical manifestations. Thought creates physicality.

Void's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, “Methinks you should rethink this contradiction.”

nonphysical*

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, “Consciousness and Information are widely accepted as Immaterial agents. Energy/Matter must have been created.”

Fundamental laws of physics are universally excepted, therefore, energy/matter was most certainly not created.

@LostInParadise,“Crowds behave differently than individuals. Non-violent people volunteer for military service out of a sense of obligation. People do things in soccer stadiums that they would never do on their own. Group mentality is a real phenomenon. Social behavior is definitely more than the sum of the parts.”

I was going to say something but realized you would counter with supervenience,
In that case, there are four main problems with supervenience.

1. Ephiphenomenal ectoplasm,
2. Lone ammonium molecule
3. Modal status problem
4. Problem of necessary beings

1. Epiphenomenal ectoplasm was proposed by Horgan and Lewis in 1983, in which they stated, a possible world, a world that could possibly exist W, is identical to our world in the distribution of all mental and physical characteristics, they are identical, except world W contains an experience called epiphenomenal ectoplasm that does not causally interact with that world. If supervenience physicalism is true, then such a world could not exist because a physical duplicate of the actual world, the world that is known to exist could not possess an epiphenomenal ectoplasm. This was rectified by Frank Jackson, by adjusting the application of supervenience within physicalism to state “Physicalism is true at a possible world W, if, and only if, any world which is a minimal physical duplicate (identical of W) is a duplicate of W simpliciter.”

2.The Lone Ammonium Molecule
The lone ammonium molecule problem provides a problem for Jackson’s solution to epiphenomenal ectoplasm. It was proposed by Jaegwon Kim in 1993 when he stated that according to Jackson’s idea of supervenience, a possible world W was identical to the actual world, except it possessed an extra ammonium molecule on one of Saturn’s rings. This may not seem to provide much of a problem, but because Jackson’s solution refers only to minimal physical duplicates, this allows for the mental properties of W to be vastly different than in the actual world. If such a difference would cause mental differences on Earth, it would not be consistent with our understanding of physicalism.

3.Modal Status Problem
The modal status problem is only problematic if one thinks of physicalism as a contingent truth (not necessary), because it is described in terms of modal notions through modal realism. The problem is presented when from the statement “Minimal physical truths entail all truths”, one derives the statement “S a statement that describes all minimal physical truths entails S a statement that describes the world”. This statement is a necessary truth, and therefore supervenience physicalism could not be contingent. The solution to this is to accept the above statement not as the equivalent of physicalism, but as an entailment of it.

4.Problem Of Necessary Beings
The problem of necessary beings was proposed by Jackson in 1998, in which he stated that a necessary being exists in all possible worlds as a non-physical entity, and therefore proves physicalism false. However, physicalism allows for the existence of necessary beings, because any minimal physical duplicate would have the same mental properties as the actual world. This however is paradoxical, based on the fact that physicalism both permits and prevents the existence of such beings. However, the existence of necessary beings is paradoxical in itself. They are both distinct from the physical world and dependent upon it. This violates Hume’s fork which states, “there are no necessary connections between distinct existences”.

Furthermore, there is a deeper problem with microphysical superveinence (MS).

To much to say, but one problem with the first thesis of MS is an object’s qualitative properties weakly supervene on the features and interrelations of its constituent atoms, this is false. MS is trivial. It amounts to no more than the vacuous claim that an object’s properties that supervene on its atoms (because they supervene on its parts), supervene on its atoms.This implies that any doctrine which replaces MS’s claim of weak supervenience with one of strong supervenience, but is otherwise the same as MS, is also false. (To change MS to include a claim about strong supervenience),

Anyway, seems we are just going back and fourth with the same arguments. In this case, I’m done.

LostInParadise's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies , The point that I am trying to make is that a small local behavior that could have come about through random natural selection has the effect of bringing about powerful global behavior. Another example. Light does not “know” that it is supposed to follow the shortest path in getting from A to B, but the laws of reflection and refraction ensure that this will be the case.

mattbrowne's avatar

According to Bernard Haisch the latter is the case.

mammal's avatar

Are you saying Consciousness is quantitative? i.e a rock has less consciousness than a human, who has more consciousness than a bumble bee? My immediate, and rather lazy response to your dilemma is to suggest that you are not separate from the Rock and it is your thinking faculty, or Cogito that has drawn you into an existence habitually experienced refractively through the subject/object prism. The emphasis on information is interesting but nevertheless unfulfilling, your question is valid, it is philosophical and worthy but it is an itch that you are trying to scratch in such a way that it only ever gets itchier.

mammal's avatar

Arbitrarily defining unprovable definitions of consciousness is meaningless, yet is a requisite to answer your question.

This is something with which i have much sympathy, the semantic wrangling over a term like consciousness alone should be enough to defer the answer to this question indefinitely. Deconstruction has made a fool out of of the pretensions of such questions, so to me the whole enterprise was a non starter.

Jabe73's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies You said “But I never said consciousness or an ECA arose from nothing. I said it arose from an Eternal Conscious Agent, beyond our limits of space/time. Eternal… beyond creation.” Yes, this what I believe many Spiritualists and Wiccans call the “Great Spirit of the Universe”. No outside force/god created the universe because the universe itself is eternally conscious or what spiritualists would call the “cosmic consciousness”.

Even if you believe in the Big Bang Theory for the orgin of the universe you still have to consider something here, if the force of that initial singularity exploding was slightly greater or less by as little as a billionth of a fraction off then life as we know it today could have never of existed to begin with.

I think everything physically evolved but the spiritual element of consciousness was most likely always there. It would be a greater miracle to me as well to believe that consciousness could have arose from nonconsciousness/nothing (even through gradual complex processes that took “eons” of time).

Even if you look at how computers have “evolved” into something better over time there still had to be a conscious effort to put together the original one. Like you and void said, an eternal source of consciousness would not be as miraculous as consciousness arising from nothing randomly by complex physical/chemical reactions. Until science can “prove” this is possible (which it hasn’t even come close to doing) then everything is a guess for something we do not understand yet.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Jabe73 “No outside force/god created the universe because the universe itself is eternally conscious or what spiritualists would call the “cosmic consciousness”.”

I don’t believe the universe is a conscious agent unto itself. I agree with everything else you said though. Consciousness must be present outside the confines of energy/matter space/time of the physical universe. Something must be there. If nothing is there, then something can’t be here.

Jabe73's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies You said “I don’t believe the universe is a conscious agent unto itself.” I actually agree with that myself. It is somewhat hard for me to use words to decribe what I mean here. The thought in my head when I said “because the universe itself is eternally conscious” was related to how delicate that original conditions would of had to be for life to even have a chance to exist to begin with. If you are a Big Bang proponent then you would have to acknowledge that the force of the explosion of the original singularity had to be within a very small fraction for the conditions to create life to have evolved. Was this just a freak chance or did the singularity somehow know exactly which amount of force it needed for the initial explosion? Were there other Big Bangs? I have to read more on the Unified Theory and Multiverse Theory. I’m not a scientist nor an expert on any of this stuff but it still interests me. I always wondered why we are here. Was it by a way of an accident, some form of creation or just always was? Good question either way.

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