I would like to post a conversation I just had on Google+. I understand how my statements may sound offensive but I see things as I see it. My opinion is not unheard of but I am not saying it is fact. However, my issue really isnt about what I said it is about the response it received from a guy who didn't like what I said but posted his opinions. I don't understand them and I was wondering if someone could explain what he means by his definition of consciousness and "objective reality"

Me-Many people are superstitious and will have their religions. They will believe things and blindly "drink the koolaid" if they are offered anything that is better than everlasting death of themselves and their loved ones. This is just my opinion. Just think about it. You, the very essence of you has a finale. And some people don't want to believe that. Some people will appear to claim to have telepathy and can speak to this invisible person (hallucination) they believe watches over them and what they do (paranoia) which by the way is the same theme as Santa Claus. Key in "You better watch out. You better not cry" . And some make bargains (prayer/telepathy) to obey and be good so it wont send them to the scary place. Oh and get no gifts like a mansion in the clouds. Looks cool but i don't know how that works. My point is it keeps me in awe how weird our culture is and how far behind we are from other cultures (overseas) who understand evolution and will accept it as a more factual explanation of we became and how we die."

Him-Personality and memory will (almost certainly) end. Those things are not "the very essence of you." Nor are they consciousness.

What I was talking about before, which was different from that, was the fact that we cannot model consciousness and so have no  business thinking we know much about it. There's an unbridgeable qualia gap. We have no reason, looking at objective reality and all its processes including those occurring in the brain, to conclude that subjective consciousness should be occurring at all. As I said, in objective reality there is no I and there is no You -- there is only he, she, and it. We can describe all kinds of things about how the brain functions, but no one has ever posited any hypothesis about how any of this gives rise to someone inside -- an "I" -- experiencing anything subjectively. And I would suggest that no one ever will, that it is impossible.

As consciousness cannot emerge from brain activity by any conceivable mechanism, it must pre-exist brain activity, at least as a potential, and be a fundamental characteristic of existence comparable to space or time.

Do I believe that consciousness (although not memory or personality) endures beyond death? Yes. I as an individual will not, but I as an individual am an illusion anyway, a kind of distorted mirror thrown up by my brain. I -- the real I -- am the cosmos, and the cosmos was here before this body was born and will still be here, experiencing reality through all vehicles available (of which at the moment this body is one), after this body dies.

What is he talking about? Thanks.

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Also, when I asked him what illusion of I and objective reality meant he disappeared. So I am lost for explanations. Thanks.

It sounds like he was just throwing stuff out there on the internet wall to see if it would stick.

I think he is saying consciousness is like any form of naturally occurring energy but only able to be fully realized through the human mind. It then persists even after its biological vessel has expired, having already existed prior to the human mind.

I dont know how he came up with that but it does not sound like a hypothesis based on anything except his imagination.

It's an interesting theory but I've seen no proof that the consciousness existed prior the human mind and will exist after. I'm not saying there is no proof, I just haven't heard of any. What amazed me was that he made it sound as if he was stating factual information. As if it was common knowledge. When I asked for more info he disappeared. Maybe because he realized he sounded like an idiot. 

He is an eternal, time-traveling alien who is only temporarily occupying his body. I should move to Colorado.

That's one way to explain it. 

Perhaps he is a "new age" sort..I stopped at that station for a few days and then just got right back on the train. ;)


I stopped at that station for a few days and then just got right back on the train.

I'm stealing that.

Thanks for responding. I really liked your post and agree. 

Yes, Nate and the rest of the members here are quite insightful and speak from reason, IMHO. The person on the Google blog sounds like some sort of new age whacko to me. Like you basically said, "Where's the proof?".

He is spouting new age mysticism to hang onto his belief in the soul. Whenever I've seen someone use the word "qualia", they are spewing newage mysticism. Where some people embrace the "god of the gaps" to hang onto god, he is embracing the "soul of the gaps" to hang onto the idea of a soul.

We are still learning about how our brains produce our minds but that should not be taken as a gap in which to stuff the idea of a soul. I was going to pick apart his claims but everything he said is wrong or very close to wrong. He almost gets close to some facts but then dances away from them.

The problem with talking to someone like him is that he thinks his ideas (or someone else's ideas that he adopted) are profound. Really, it only sounds that way. Because we can't point to a specific portion of the brain and go "there's the mind; there is the I / you", some people choose to see that as meaning that there is no I / you. It would be like trying to say there is no lawn in your yard because the individual bits are grass, not lawn. Said the right way it sounds profound. Examine it a bit and it sounds like garbage. (Rhyme deliberately avoided.)

There is information out there on "emergent complexity" that is showing us some interesting things about how our brains and minds might be working. And, unlike what he was spewing, it is based in reality.

The technical term for it is "Woo Woo". :)

Damn, beat me to it.


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