What is ' consciousness ' ?

Creationism, Evolution, and other science issues

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Thomas123
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What is ' consciousness ' ?

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Post by Thomas123 »

This word appears to be at the centre of many discussions on this forum. It also appears to mean different things to different people and, therein lies the root of our miscommunication. What range and definement do you attribute to, ' consciousness ' ?

Is there an external consciousness in the world?. Can I tune into a shared consciousness. I am listening to Prime Minister's Question Time, ....is Boris tuned into a universal human consciousness as he delivers his address. Is his brain working ,simultaneously and in tandem with my own consciousness and with that of others?

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Re: What is ' consciousness ' ?

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Post by Thomas123 »

If you ask the team about its performances, the defence will mention goals conceded and the forwards will mention goals scored. Consciousness writes it's own script, in the same way


It is perceived by itself as vital and central. What if consciousness was less than that. What if physical action and change is just as relevant. Alot of spontaneous actions of young people appear to just happen rather than be planned. Watch a 2 year old sprint for the first time. They do not know what they are doing. What if action and physical experience is considered and elevated to be at least on a par with controlled consciousness or thought.
I was watching the American mustang's of Nevada as they gallop across rough terrain.They are descendants of the Spanish horses of the early explorers but they have reverted back to a free oblivion that is their natural original state.

They live on instinct and vigour and appear to be unladen with the apprehension and fear of their domesticated counterparts.

Are we, in similar fashion, a wild primate in a suit of conscious concerns?

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Re: What is ' consciousness ' ?

Post #3

Post by Thomas123 »

'I think therefore I am'

what about

'I am, therefore I think.'

...what if genetics and action create thought and are the proper drivers of our being?

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Re: What is ' consciousness ' ?

Post #4

Post by William »

Thomas123 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:59 am
This word appears to be at the centre of many discussions on this forum. It also appears to mean different things to different people and, therein lies the root of our miscommunication. What range and definement do you attribute to, ' consciousness ' ?

Is there an external consciousness in the world?. Can I tune into a shared consciousness. I am listening to Prime Minister's Question Time, ....is Boris tuned into a universal human consciousness as he delivers his address. Is his brain working ,simultaneously and in tandem with my own consciousness and with that of others?
I understand consciousness to being that which is - even at a very basic level - able to perceive itself as existing - as being - as the mechanism enabling self awareness.

Often that equates to activity [movement] which can easily enough be explained as motivated by the need for self preservation [survival].

Other words used which I consider the same are 'spirit' 'essence' and the like.

I understand that consciousness is the only real 'thing' but is not a thing as an object is a thing. It is what defines objects. It is what experiences objects. It is not a thing we have [like a body] but is what we are.

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Re: What is ' consciousness ' ?

Post #5

Post by Thomas123 »

[Replying to William in post #4]

Why is consciousness not just a consequential part of physical existence, William? Are all living things 'self-aware '? If not ,then why not? Thank You for engaging in this discussion as it is a bit like isolation on the forum at the moment. What do you think??

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Re: What is ' consciousness ' ?

Post #6

Post by William »

Thomas123 wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:21 pm
[Replying to William in post #4]

Why is consciousness not just a consequential part of physical existence, William?
I have not argued that it is or isn't Thomas. I simply answered the question as to what I think consciousness is.
Are all living things 'self-aware '? If not ,then why not?
It appears to be the case all biological things are imbued with consciousness. If that makes them 'living' then obviously consciousness is the key ingredient.
Thank You for engaging in this discussion as it is a bit like isolation on the forum at the moment. What do you think??
As you know, I also think of the planet earth as the form of a conscious entity. I also think that the universe is a Situational Holographic Experienced Simulation that only consciousness can experience as real.

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Re: What is ' consciousness ' ?

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Post by bluegreenearth »

Admittedly, the explanation for consciousness I am currently considering appears to be an unfalsifiable claim and cannot be proved or disproved at this time (at least as far as I'm aware). However, this explanation does not require an appeal to any unknown forces in order to account for all the currently available data:

To put it simply, consciousness is to the human brain what wetness is to water. A single water molecule does not have the property of "wet," but wetness eventually emerges as an observable property when a sufficient quantity of water molecules are arranged together in a certain way at a certain temperature. Similarly, a single brain cell or neuron does not have the property of "conscious," but consciousness could be reasonably interpreted as a property that emerges when a sufficient quantity of brain cells and neurons are arranged together in a certain way at a certain temperature.

Granted, the wetness of water is not perfectly analogous to the consciousness of human brains but will hopefully serve in illustrating the basic concept. Once again, this hypothesis is based on scientific speculation and not demonstrable scientific experimentation. Therefore, I'm interested to learn if there have been any experiments conducted to try and falsify this hypothesis. Of course, I'm also open to considering where the proposed explanation may be philosophically or logically inferior to another proposed unfalsifiable hypothesis.

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Re: What is ' consciousness ' ?

Post #8

Post by DrNoGods »

bluegreenearth wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:18 pm

To put it simply, consciousness is to the human brain what wetness is to water.
I basically agree with this idea, but prefer to describe consciousness simply as a manifestation of normal brain activity, meaning the result of the interactions of billiions of neurons, memory elements, sensory inputs, etc. As you say, any one of these elements cannot create consciousness, but all of them working together as a system can. It is like many other systems where the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Observations that consciousness appears to vanish for an individual (human or otherwise) when it dies, significant brain damage can alter conscious ability, etc. suggests that the brain is the origin of consciousness, and given what we know about how thought works (another result of brain activity) consciousness being a manifestation of normal brain activity seems to be the most logical explanation, and the simplest even without specifying the exact mechanism at a molecular level.
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown..
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Re: What is ' consciousness ' ?

Post #9

Post by William »

Since the idea we do not exist within a simulated reality [materialism] is not different from the idea we exist within a creation, to the point where the evidence supports one and not the other, I am notably free to express the same sureness for the one as I would for the other.

I am of the opinion that those who side with materialism [this is not a Creation - there is not a Creator] are fearful to 'go there' in relation to "This is a Creation and [by implication] there is a Creator", because it primarily involves imagination and in that materialists in general seem afraid.

Which is not to say that such persons do not use that part [imagination] of the overall consciousness which they presently are, but that they place heavy restrictions as to how they will use their imaginations, and this is achieved through the philosophy of natural materialism.

[accorded to]
  • Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. ... Materialism is closely related to physicalism—the view that all that exists is ultimately physical.
Basically the belief that we exist [consciousness] as a type of byproduct created by the machinery of the material and will each and all eventually cease to be as the byproduct created through our individual experience is no longer produced because the machine ceases to function and dies

The overall machinery itself - of course - carries on...through a process which continues to pump out the byproduct of consciousness as if it were actually necessary.

And apparently it is necessary, for without consciousness life could not evolve in the particular manner that it has.

One can - using the minds eye to project on the minds screen [imagination] - see that it could well be probable that in terms of the materialist position and accompanying parameters that long before life on earth became part of this reality, the machinery [The Universe] had already produced consciousness and since the machinery is still running and likely to run for way longer than it currently has already existed, that the consciousness byproduct will actively remain and continue 'becoming' more and more knowledgeable and able to achieve more and more amazing things.

One of those 'amazing things' said consciousness could have achieved was to create biological lifeforms upon this planet.

And if such a Creature (for what else could the machine be referred to which creates its own consciousness and self awareness) were able to achieve such an amazing thing as that, then who are we to think that it could not also create a means in which to 'save' us individual consciousnesses rather than have that particular byproduct [individuate human consciousness] vanish like smoke in the wind?

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Re: What is ' consciousness ' ?

Post #10

Post by Tcg »

William wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:35 pm

I am of the opinion that those who side with materialism [this is not a Creation - there is not a Creator] are fearful to 'go there' in relation to "This is a Creation and [by implication] there is a Creator", because it primarily involves imagination and in that materialists in general seem afraid.
I'm glad you prefaced this unsupportable claim with the phrase, "I am of the opinion." It alerts readers to the fact that you have presented no evidence to support it and that it has no value in a debate sub-forum.


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