[FoRK] The State of Consciousness Studies
<lionkimbro at gmail.com> on
Mon Jul 16 12:20:33 PDT 2007
Honestly, when I read your post, I think you're just
as confused as you seem to believe that I am.
* You regularly confuse behavior for consciousness.
* You don't understand the difference between the hard
problem from the soft problem.
* You don't even care about the question of Consciousness;
You simply are operating from, "Science has the answers
to everything; What's important here is that people aren't
confused, and talk about consciousness confuses people."
You don't even know the first things about these debates.
You don't even see "the point" in any of this? This is as laughable
as your belief that Greek philosophers have nothing worth
understanding. As far as I can tell, you, like Megatron, believe
that there's nothing but accumulation of power, utility, and "rationality."
Again, you fail to see that all rationality is towards irrational ends.
I see clearly why many anti-transhumanists distrust the
transhumanists. I'm not one of those, but I can see their point.
You leap to conclusions; No, I don't believe that "God" is
Consciousness, though I can understand how people might
name Consciousness God. I have no single definition of God;
God is a term that is applied in many contexts for different
You appear to me like a scared little boy, or like young Francis
Crick, furious with his elders, striving to do science to prove
them wrong. I'm glad he found DNA, it was a wonderful
contribution. But I'll look to Chalmers and crew for the discoveries
in Consciousness, which will require equal parts philosophy and
hard science to make any headway into.
On the subject of Consciousness--
You guys REALLY need to get a grip. One guy here said
that "The actions of Neurons **IS** Consciousness."
Thus there's no explanatory gap, and thus there's nothing
to be understood. It's just false dualism.
This is an absolutely absurd argument, and I can't believe
that Jeff Bone labeled it "cogent." (Or at least, I infer that he
An experience in the head is a **dramatically** different thing
than a brain in the hand.
If you're holding a brain, that's one thing. A brain is a material
thing. It has weight, substance, and so on.
An experience is another thing entirely. We cannot point
to an experience. We cannot locate it in space. It's the most
intimate part of our existence.
We understand clearly that the organ of the brain is tied
to our experience. We have good reason to believe that for
every thought we experience, every vision we see, that there
is a circuit moving in the brain, and that, furthermore, we will
be able to track it down and watch it happen.
Is all this talk of consciousness "unnecessary dualism?"
Are we positing a mental world of mental stuff, that then
transmits information down to the brain?
When people dismiss dualism, they are dismissing this
notion of an "other world."
But a new distinction has come, called "property dualism."
And it says, "Conscious experience" is a different thing
than "The motion of brains."
This is NOT talk of a "mental plane of existence," or anything
like that. But it is a recognition that conscious experience
is actually a different thing than the neural correlate of
Your temper is hot, I know that. "This doesn't even matter.
I JUST WANT RELIGION TO DIE! You're confusing people!"
I understand that you're thinking this way, I hear you.
I'm even somewhat sympathetic to your line of thought.
But I think it's clouding your understanding of the problems of
Consciousness, and you're coming unhinged from reality.
When people stubbornly insist that Consciousness is
the same as the brain, end of story, no further explanation
needed, FULL STOP, --
That's just wrong.
That's not science.
That's not the science I signed up for, at least.
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