Discussion World Forum  


Go Back   Discussion World Forum > Discussion Forums > Science

Science From your kid's science project to relativity, this is the place to discuss it.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 01:51 PM
Donkey's Avatar
Donkey Donkey is offline
Official Forum Mascot
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 7,771
Default Re: Consciousness

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHC View Post
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.
I kind of got hung up on how creepy it was for a high-schooler to ask a nine year old if she's a virgin.
Quote:
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?
I'm a little confused as to what you mean by wager. If I wager on something being conscious? Or dead?
__________________
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
Theodore Roosevelt
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 02:10 PM
The Drunk Girl's Avatar
The Drunk Girl The Drunk Girl is offline
This wine needs more whisky
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,488
Default Re: Consciousness

"Cold is the water
It freezes your already cold mind
Already cold, cold mind
And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance"
__________________
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King Jr.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 02:30 PM
JHC's Avatar
JHC JHC is offline
World Citizen
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: under the delphiniums blue and geraniums red
Posts: 581
Default Re: Consciousness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
I kind of got hung up on how creepy it was for a high-schooler to ask a nine year old if she's a virgin.


I'm a little confused as to what you mean by wager. If I wager on something being conscious? Or dead?
It was your wager:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
Perhaps death is not a a clear threshold either, though I would wager it is clearer than consciousness.
On what would you base this wager?
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 02:34 PM
JHC's Avatar
JHC JHC is offline
World Citizen
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: under the delphiniums blue and geraniums red
Posts: 581
Default Re: Consciousness

Also, I'm fairly certain that the boys guessed that I wouldn't understand what the word meant and were teasing me. It was little different than the boy that chased me around with a snake's head on the end of a stick. It was done for the pure joy of the reaction and the reaction was based purely on the behavior of the boys- having nothing to do with any real threat or implication.

It is the way that it is presented (the inflection of voice, the gestures, the setting), that results in the reaction - a problem with natural language.

This is why I'm asking what you based your wager on. I'm wondering if your inclination is a result of the way you've learned to think about consciousness and death rather than any real evidence that might be available.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 02:38 PM
Donkey's Avatar
Donkey Donkey is offline
Official Forum Mascot
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 7,771
Default Re: Consciousness

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHC View Post
It was your wager:

On what would you base this wager?
Well if death is "Death is the termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism," we at least have a working definition. I think once you can define something, it is easier to identify what it is. If someone is put through a wood-chipper, they are dead.
__________________
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
Theodore Roosevelt
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 03:02 PM
JHC's Avatar
JHC JHC is offline
World Citizen
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: under the delphiniums blue and geraniums red
Posts: 581
Default Re: Consciousness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
Well if death is "Death is the termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism," we at least have a working definition. I think once you can define something, it is easier to identify what it is. If someone is put through a wood-chipper, they are dead.
Approaching zero one more time...

They are alive before they go into the wood chipper and they are dead when they come out. But we still say "they" in reference to the once live person. That's interesting in itself.

It is also interesting that you use present tense in both instances: "If someone is put through a woodchipper" then "they are dead". Is it possible that the antecedent and the proposition both exist at the same time? No. One cannot be alive and dead at the same time. Right?
If you don't see what I'm getting at, change the antecedent:
"If someone is being in a car accident then they are dead"
It doesn't work. Since there is no certainty of death, we wouldn't use the present tense for both the antecedent and the proposition. Rather, we would say something like "If someone is being in a car accident then they will be dead". Although it still looks a little strange, it makes much better sense to say that the result of the accident will, at a future time, be death.
"If someone is being put through a wood chipper, they will be dead when/if they come out the other side."

The implications of your chosen speech (the presupposition), is the certainty of death by wood chipper. But this intentionally avoids the moment of death and thereby, the entire discussion of what constitutes consciousness.

As one approaches death, they are more and more dead-like but at what point do we define that person as being (present tense), dead?

So your wager is based on several presuppositions really:
1) that death is a biological cessation,
2) that an organism is defined by it's biological functions,
3) and that life and death can be defined in finite terms. One is alive and then one is dead.
4) that consciousness is not defined in finite terms - it is less clear when one is conscious than when one is dead.

Then I am assuming that you believe that consciousness exists separately from biological functions. If my assumption is correct, we might be making some progress.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 03:13 PM
Donkey's Avatar
Donkey Donkey is offline
Official Forum Mascot
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 7,771
Default Re: Consciousness

Consciousness dependent on biological functions, unless we find a way to "download" a consciousness on to something else, a la the Cylons.

I presume at some point in the wood-chipper unsurvivable damage has been dealt. At that point the individual is dying, but not yet dead. Approaching zero, absolutely. My only point is that we can get a lot closer to zero with death than we can with consciousness.
__________________
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
Theodore Roosevelt
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 03:20 PM
JHC's Avatar
JHC JHC is offline
World Citizen
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: under the delphiniums blue and geraniums red
Posts: 581
Default Re: Consciousness

Wood chippers and death:

If someone is being put through a wood chipper but the machine is turned off after the person's foot has been consumed, they are not dead but what about their foot?

Is the foot dead? Was it ever alive?

We could use the same logic on an arm, a torso...but not quite a head. Why?

If someone is being put through a wood chipper head first and the machine is turned off after the head has been consumed, are they dead or is only their head dead?

If, Donkey, you would wager that only the head-first example results in death of the individual, and you would also wager that consciousness is separate from the biological entity, then you must also wager that the consciousness is physically housed in the head. Right?

One does not cease to be conscious when one loses a toe in the lawn mower (although they might lose consciousness in another sense, they would not lose their "soul", right?).
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 03:22 PM
JHC's Avatar
JHC JHC is offline
World Citizen
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: under the delphiniums blue and geraniums red
Posts: 581
Default Re: Consciousness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
Consciousness dependent on biological functions, unless we find a way to "download" a consciousness on to something else, a la the Cylons.

I presume at some point in the wood-chipper unsurvivable damage has been dealt. At that point the individual is dying, but not yet dead. Approaching zero, absolutely. My only point is that we can get a lot closer to zero with death than we can with consciousness.
Only if you think that consciousness is not dependent on biological functions.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 03:25 PM
Donkey's Avatar
Donkey Donkey is offline
Official Forum Mascot
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 7,771
Default Re: Consciousness

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHC View Post
Wood chippers and death:

If someone is being put through a wood chipper but the machine is turned off after the person's foot has been consumed, they are not dead but what about their foot?

Is the foot dead? Was it ever alive?

We could use the same logic on an arm, a torso...but not quite a head. Why?

If someone is being put through a wood chipper head first and the machine is turned off after the head has been consumed, are they dead or is only their head dead?

If, Donkey, you would wager that only the head-first example results in death of the individual, and you would also wager that consciousness is separate from the biological entity, then you must also wager that the consciousness is physically housed in the head. Right?

One does not cease to be conscious when one loses a toe in the lawn mower (although they might lose consciousness in another sense, they would not lose their "soul", right?).
If you wood chip the foot, the rest of your body can continue to function biologically and eventually heal. Not so if you wood-chip the head.

Yes, I would wager that the consciousness is housed in the head. It may or may not be separate in entity, but it seems to be inseparable in function.
__________________
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
Theodore Roosevelt
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2008 - 2017, DiscussionWorldForum.com