News:

When one conveys certain things, particularly of such gravity, should one not then appropriately cite sources, authorities...

Main Menu

consciousness

Started by billy rubin, May 10, 2022, 04:33:43 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

billy rubin

what is consciousness?

in my opinion its the main thing that separates life from non life, but i could be persuaded otherwise

 im saying that because i believe consciousness exists on a continuum


i wpuld not be surprised at all to learn that rocks think, probably very slowly and in a simple manner. or stars.

but consciousness is something tbat science is really squirrely about. i dont hear a lot of confidence about understanding it.  what does it mean to be aware, or to be self aware?

i also think its tbe clinging to consciecness that spurs people to worry about an afterlife, in that they dont want to accept the possibility of oblivion. 




more people have been to berlin than i have

Icarus

Help me understand what your conception of, or meaning of, consciousness is. 

I stubbed my toe this afternoon and I am conscious of the pain that it has caused. Meanwhile those churchy people, across the street, might be conscious of the fact that my toe injury is a result of Gods will. 

I suspect that we humans are still pretty ignorant about how the world came to be, or why and how the birds and fish and bugs, and bright lights, or starry nights influence our consciousness.

Heady stuff really.

This probably belongs in the philosophy section. 




billy rubin

everything belongs in the philosophy section.


more people have been to berlin than i have

billy rubin

#3
to be conscious id the state of being aware, not necessarilly self aware, but of recieving and processing stomuli. so a mouse smelling a lump of peanut butter has conscious ness. as does a brain in a vat that can do nothing but think.

but does a piece oflimestone  have conscuousness? it can dissolve in hydrochloric acid. is that enough to call it processing? if we are chemical creatures, wheres the line to drae?

the noisy churchy people are conscious of gods will, but that V is not exactly what i mean. but tbey have knowledge, so they have the ability to process data tho, so they would be conscious.

this runs into the same questions regarding whether something is alive or not. i dont think i know what jt means to be alive. most definitions are reverse engineered, just taking something we wAnt to call livin g and then listing its characteristics


more people have been to berlin than i have

Icarus

I am truly appreciative of the opportunity to be exposed to deep thinkers who have the ability to express their thoughts. There are far too few of you out there. We have more than a few on this forum who qualify.

I am desperately trying to hang on to my sensibilities. Age is taking its' toll and I am aware of that reality. It is helpful to associate with others, like HAF people, who are, I believe, a cut above the ordinary.   

 

billy rubin

I aRE Not A DEep tHiNKer

i just sit all day and have nothing else to do

age has messed with.my short term memory too, especially with labels. like names of things. its a constant struggle


more people have been to berlin than i have

Recusant

Quote from: Icarus on May 11, 2022, 05:12:06 AMHelp me understand what your conception of, or meaning of, consciousness is. 

I stubbed my toe this afternoon and I am conscious of the pain that it has caused. Meanwhile those churchy people, across the street, might be conscious of the fact that my toe injury is a result of Gods will. 

I suspect that we humans are still pretty ignorant about how the world came to be, or why and how the birds and fish and bugs, and bright lights, or starry nights influence our consciousness.

Heady stuff really.

This probably belongs in the philosophy section. 

I agree with your perspicacious assessment, Icarus. Following your wise guidance allowed me to test out a basic function (moving a topic) with the updated forum software: All good. Thanks  :thumb:
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


billy rubin

its all one conversatoon, in the end


more people have been to berlin than i have

Ecurb Noselrub

It can be helpful to distinguish between consciousness and self-consciousness. The latter is possessed by humans and maybe occasionally a few of the higher animals. The former is more widespread and, as you say, on a continuum. At a very basic level attraction between atoms could be said to be a form of rudimentary consciousness. So, in a sense, consciousness at that level is a fundamental part of the universe. As organisms evolve they become more complex, and their consciousness becomes more involved, to the point where self-consciousness arises and we can think/say "I am", or look in a mirror and say "that's me."

No one

It's like the far out, groovy notion that I'm tuned in and turned on.

Magdalena

Quote from: billy rubin on May 11, 2022, 09:51:09 AMeverything belongs in the philosophy section.
;D
How did I miss this?

"I've had several "spiritual" or numinous experiences over the years, but never felt that they were the product of anything but the workings of my own mind in reaction to the universe." ~Recusant

Magdalena

Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on August 07, 2022, 12:18:07 AM.... As organisms evolve they become more complex, and their consciousness becomes more involved, to the point where self-consciousness arises and we can think/say "I am", or look in a mirror and say "that's me."

Fuck. I am. That's me.

"I've had several "spiritual" or numinous experiences over the years, but never felt that they were the product of anything but the workings of my own mind in reaction to the universe." ~Recusant

billy rubin

Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on August 07, 2022, 12:18:07 AMIt can be helpful to distinguish between consciousness and self-consciousness. The latter is possessed by humans and maybe occasionally a few of the higher animals. The former is more widespread and, as you say, on a continuum. At a very basic level attraction between atoms could be said to be a form of rudimentary consciousness. So, in a sense, consciousness at that level is a fundamental part of the universe. As organisms evolve they become more complex, and their consciousness becomes more involved, to the point where self-consciousness arises and we can think/say "I am", or look in a mirror and say "that's me."

yes!!


more people have been to berlin than i have

Ecurb Noselrub

Quote from: Magdalena on August 07, 2022, 01:08:02 AM
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on August 07, 2022, 12:18:07 AM.... As organisms evolve they become more complex, and their consciousness becomes more involved, to the point where self-consciousness arises and we can think/say "I am", or look in a mirror and say "that's me."

Fuck. I am. That's me.


Inspires a song:

The bear looked into the mirror
The bear looked into the mirror
The bear looked into the mirrorrrrrr,
And whaddaya think he saw?

He saw a bear in the mirror
He saw a bear in the mirror
He saw a bear in the mirrorrrrrr,
And whaddaya think he did?

He smashed the fuckin' mirror
He smashed the fuckin' mirror
He smashed the fuckin' mirror , etc.

His self-consciousness is a little under-developed.

 

billy rubin

Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on August 07, 2022, 12:18:07 AMIt can be helpful to distinguish between consciousness and self-consciousness. The latter is possessed by humans and maybe occasionally a few of the higher animals. The former is more widespread and, as you say, on a continuum. At a very basic level attraction between atoms could be said to be a form of rudimentary consciousness. So, in a sense, consciousness at that level is a fundamental part of the universe. As organisms evolve they become more complex, and their consciousness becomes more involved, to the point where self-consciousness arises and we can think/say "I am", or look in a mirror and say "that's me."

i want to take this same argument, and apply it to what we call "life."

what is life?

nobody agrees, once you get down to brass tacks. here's as brif a descriptiopn as i can find:

***************************************


Properties of life
Biologists have identified various traits common to all the living organisms we know of. Although nonliving things may show some of these characteristic traits, only living things show all of them.

1. Organization
Living things are highly organized, meaning they contain specialized, coordinated parts. All living organisms are made up of one or more cells, which are considered the fundamental units of life.
Even unicellular organisms are complex! Inside each cell, atoms make up molecules, which make up cell organelles and structures. In multicellular organisms, similar cells form tissues. Tissues, in turn, collaborate to create organs (body structures with a distinct function). Organs work together to form organ systems.
Multicellular organisms—such as humans—are made up of many cells. The cells in multicellular organisms may be specialized to do different jobs and are organized into tissues, such as connective tissue, epithelial tissue, muscle, and nervous tissue. Tissues make up organs, such as the heart or lungs, which carry out specific functions needed by the organism as a whole.
Left: unicellular bacterium, with the exterior of the cell cut away to show the multiple layers of the cell and the DNA in its interior. Center: multicellular tissues in humans. Small drawings of connective tissue, epithelial tissue, muscle tissue, and nervous tissue. Right: diagram of a human upper body, showing one location where epithelial tissue like that shown in the center panel could be found—the lining of the mouth.
Left: unicellular bacterium, with the exterior of the cell cut away to show the multiple layers of the cell and the DNA in its interior. Center: multicellular tissues in humans. Small drawings of connective tissue, epithelial tissue, muscle tissue, and nervous tissue. Right: diagram of a human upper body, showing one location where epithelial tissue like that shown in the center panel could be found—the lining of the mouth.
Image credit: left, modified from "Prokaryote cell by Ali Zifan (CC BY-SA 4.0), modified image is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license; center, modified from "Four types of tissue" by the National Institutes of Health (public domain); rIght, modified from "PseudostratifiedCiliatedColumnar" by Blausen staff (CC BY 3.0)

2. Metabolism
Life depends on an enormous number of interlocking chemical reactions. These reactions make it possible for organisms to do work—such as moving around or catching prey—as well as growing, reproducing, and maintaining the structure of their bodies. Living things must use energy and consume nutrients to carry out the chemical reactions that sustain life. The sum total of the biochemical reactions occurring in an organism is called its metabolism.
Metabolism can be subdivided into anabolism and catabolism. In anabolism, organisms make complex molecules from simpler ones, while in catabolism, they do the reverse. Anabolic processes typically consume energy, whereas catabolic processes can make stored energy available.

3. Homeostasis
Living organisms regulate their internal environment to maintain the relatively narrow range of conditions needed for cell function. For instance, your body temperature needs to be kept relatively close to 98.6∘^\circ∘degreesF (37∘^\circ∘degreesC). This maintenance of a stable internal environment, even in the face of a changing external environment, is known as homeostasis. [Show example of how homeostasis is maintained.]

4. Growth
Living organisms undergo regulated growth. Individual cells become larger in size, and multicellular organisms accumulate many cells through cell division. You yourself started out as a single cell and now have tens of trillions of cells in your body1^11start superscript, 1, end superscript! Growth depends on anabolic pathways that build large, complex molecules such as proteins and DNA, the genetic material.

5. Reproduction
Living organisms can reproduce themselves to create new organisms. Reproduction can be either asexual, involving a single parent organism, or sexual, requiring two parents. Single-celled organisms, like the dividing bacterium shown in the left panel of the image at right, can reproduce themselves simply by splitting in two!
Left: image of a Salmonella bacterium dividing into two bacteria. Right: image of a sperm and egg meeting in fertilization.
Left: image of a Salmonella bacterium dividing into two bacteria. Right: image of a sperm and egg meeting in fertilization.
Image credit: left, "Salmonella typhimurium" by Janice Carr (public domain); right, "Sperm-egg," (public domain)
In sexual reproduction, two parent organisms produce sperm and egg cells containing half of their genetic information, and these cells fuse to form a new individual with a full genetic set. This process, called fertilization, is illustrated in the image at far right.

6. Response
Living organisms show "irritability," meaning that they respond to stimuli or changes in their environment. For instance, people pull their hand away—fast!—from a flame; many plants turn toward the sun; and unicellular organisms may migrate toward a source of nutrients or away from a noxious chemical. [See a plant respond to touch.]

7. Evolution
Populations of living organisms can undergo evolution, meaning that the genetic makeup of a population may change over time. In some cases, evolution involves natural selection, in which a heritable trait, such as darker fur color or narrower beak shape, lets organisms survive and reproduce better in a particular environment. Over generations, a heritable trait that provides a fitness advantage may become more and more common in a population, making the population better suited to its environment. This process is called adaptation.

***************************************


the problem with ^^^this is that its not a definition, its just a description of the things in our experience that we call "alive." what do we do if an exobiologist discovers something that fits 6 out of the 7? is it not alive because it isnt something that what we already know about?



more people have been to berlin than i have