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  #21  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness



Does anyone see me "approaching zero" in that last post?
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  #22  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
The axe is not (I don't think) sentient, but its function and use remain the same. In that sense (if it is used as a parallel to the human individual), it is the same axe.
Yes!

Except that I'm saying something more. It doesn't matter if the axe is sentient. What if I were no longer sentient and my body remained. Wouldn't people still refer to me as JHC?

To comment that the axe is not sentient leads us to a near self referential statement or circular reasoning. What is "sentience"? Is it different from consciousness? And isn't that the question to begin with?

Basically, you are saying that since the axe isn't conscious it can't be used to describe consciousness. But then what do we use to describe consciousness? Consciousness! And consciousness is not defined. Yet.
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  #23  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Originally Posted by JHC View Post
Yes!

Except that I'm saying something more. It doesn't matter if the axe is sentient. What if I were no longer sentient and my body remained. Wouldn't people still refer to me as JHC?
Yes, but probably in the past tense.


Quote:
To comment that the axe is not sentient leads us to a near self referential statement or circular reasoning. What is "sentience"? Is it different from consciousness? And isn't that the question to begin with?

Basically, you are saying that since the axe isn't conscious it can't be used to describe consciousness. But then what do we use to describe consciousness? Consciousness! And consciousness is not defined. Yet.
I am loathe to try to pinpoint what consciousness is. But I would be willing to say that I have it, but an axe doesn't. I know that's not helpful at all.
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  #24  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

The mirror!

To further my hypothesis, if consciousness is the result of environmental reflection, then when the reflective device is gone, so is the consciousness.

Isn't this a true statement? WFCY, give us the logical format please.

Wouldn't this explain why we can no longer perceive someone else's consciousness beyond a couple of generations?

For example, I remember my father. I remember the way he behaved which is how I perceived his consciousness. My children remember my father too but they have less evidence of his consciousness. My children's children would only be able to assume that my father was a sentient being - possessed consciousness. They will have had no direct experience and only marginal second hand witness. And so on.

Is this any better than the proposition of soul?

Last edited by JHC; Jun 7th 2011 at 12:59 PM. Reason: "not" vs. "no" typo
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  #25  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
Yes, but probably in the past tense.




I am loathe to try to pinpoint what consciousness is. But I would be willing to say that I have it, but an axe doesn't. I know that's not helpful at all.
I think I could actually demonstrate that your comment about past tense is untrue. I'm thinking of course, about our reluctance to allow "vegetative" people to die. I still don't refer to my cousin in the past tense and she has been vegetative for decades now.

And to your second comment:

I remember attending a high school football game when I was about 9. On my way to the concession stand, a couple of high school boys asked me if I was a virgin. I didn't know what a virgin was but it sounded nasty so I replied "No!"
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  #26  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Originally Posted by JHC View Post
I think I could actually demonstrate that your comment about past tense is untrue. I'm thinking of course, about our reluctance to allow "vegetative" people to die. I still don't refer to my cousin in the past tense and she has been vegetative for decades now.
Yeah, human resistance to their own mortality leads us to talk about vegetative folks in the present tense, even if logically we know they will probably never wake up.

Once they are dead, though, I think it USUALLY becomes a past tense situation.

And to your second comment:
[/quote] It's one of those difficult concepts for which there doesn't appear to be a clear threshold.

Quote:
I remember attending a high school football game when I was about 9. On my way to the concession stand, a couple of high school boys asked me if I was a virgin. I didn't know what a virgin was but it sounded nasty so I replied "No!"
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  #27  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
Yeah, human resistance to their own mortality leads us to talk about vegetative folks in the present tense, even if logically we know they will probably never wake up.

Once they are dead, though, I think it USUALLY becomes a past tense situation.

And to your second comment:
It's one of those difficult concepts for which there doesn't appear to be a clear threshold.



[/quote]
And death is a clear threshold?
If every atom that makes up you is part of something else in 7 years, are you dead?
Are you dead when you stop thinking or when you stop breathing? Or only when you stop both breathing and thinking. What if you weren't thinking and your body remained intact in an iron lung?

Approaching zero...

What if all of your cells died. You'd be dead then for sure.
What are cells? Chemicals.
What are chemicals? atoms.
What are atoms? I don't know but none of the atoms that make up me now were making up me 7 years ago.
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  #28  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

Perhaps death is not a a clear threshold either, though I would wager it is clearer than consciousness.
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  #29  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Perhaps death is not a a clear threshold either, though I would wager it is clearer than consciousness.
Would you really?

My story about the word virgin was meant to illustrate something WFCY tries to describe - a presupposition of natural language. The miscommunication between my 9 year old self and the high school boys happened because I was wagering that the word "virgin" was something with a negative connotation based on the boys behavior. I didn't know the word and misinterpreted the context. My wager was bad. meh. Still funny.

So I'm curious about what it is that leads you to lean one direction and not the other. On what would your wager be based?
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  #30  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
The basic concept seems to be the thought of "hey! I am one thing and the world is different." The complicated idea is the idea of the self.


Only God knows

More seriously, maybe it is the interaction between a person's and/or animal's actions the world around said person/animal



I am not sure it is and even if it was, I am not sure we could be able to conclusively say there is a difference.
Just wanted you to be sure to follow this thread. I think you'll see that you and I are very closely aligned.
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