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  #41  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Originally Posted by JHC View Post
Only if you think that consciousness is not dependent on biological functions.
Not so. A plant can be alive or dead, but it is unlikely to be conscious.
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  #42  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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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.
And if it is inseparable then why is it less definitive than death?
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  #43  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Not so. A plant can be alive or dead, but it is unlikely to be conscious.
And a human can be alive or dead but my not necessarily be conscious.
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  #44  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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And if it is inseparable then why is it less definitive than death?
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And a human can be alive or dead but my not necessarily be conscious.
Conscious (apparently) needs life. Life does not necessitate conscious.
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  #45  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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But the concept is logically necessary to support the doctrine of heaven. If the church abandons the doctrine of souls, then the whole house of cards comes crashing down.
Well, as I have said before, actual Christian hope is in the resurrection of the dead (bodily and spiritually) so the argument went that we don't go to heaven after we die, but remain in the ground till the end when the dead are raised, Satin is defeated, all evil is healed, the world is remade, etc... It is a minority of protestant theologians who hold this opinion (I can't think of a single Catholic theologian that would agree with this).

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I would be interested in hearing that sermon. Oh, and not off topic at all. Without this discussion of soul, how can we arrive at a definition of consciousness? They seem intertwined - at least in many people's minds.
true enough, however i am uncomfortable with the idea of equating the idea of consciousness with the idea of the soul. Does that mean a person in a vegetative state has no soul?
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  #46  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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...


true enough, however i am uncomfortable with the idea of equating the idea of consciousness with the idea of the soul. Does that mean a person in a vegetative state has no soul?
I understand.

If you believe that a soul is something separate from being conscious then we posses both souls and consciousness. Is this a true summation?

How would you describe soul?
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  #47  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Conscious (apparently) needs life. Life does not necessitate conscious.
Sounds good to me. Not only does it seem right, it seems just as easy or as ambiguous as differentiating between life and death.

A single atom is not dead because it can not be alive either. But the atom has moving parts that are definitely subject to the environment. So much so, that adding several atoms together can result in infinite complexity including life, and thereby consciousness.

The axe is clearly not alive. But it isn't dead either. And it is made of atoms which are moving.

Prions (infectious protein particles) are not considered life things (no nucleic acid), but behave as if they were. As far as I know, prions can not be "killed" but will stop reproducing when the host organism is dead. Are they then "dead"? Probably not.

Viruses are marginally alive. If a virus is alive then it can also be dead at another time.

Bacteria are definitely living organisms as we describe living. They can be both living and then dead.

Jim, my friend the cat, is a living organism that is arguably conscious - aware of himself and his relationship to me.

I am alive and I possess consciousness.

If my foot gets removed in a wood chipper, my foot is not really dead since it was never, by itself, a living organism. My foot never had consciousness on it's own either.

If my head gets removed in a wood chipper, is my head dead or just me? Either way, my consciousness is also gone.

Non Sequitur is uneasy about the comparison of consciousness to soul. How do you feel about that?
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  #48  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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I understand.

If you believe that a soul is something separate from being conscious then we posses both souls and consciousness. Is this a true summation?

How would you describe soul?
Yeah that seems right.

It's a hard word to define. One (among many) that comes from my New Testament dictionaries seems to be: "the soul: The seat and center of life that transcends the earthly"
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  #49  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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Yeah that seems right.

It's a hard word to define. One (among many) that comes from my New Testament dictionaries seems to be: "the soul: The seat and center of life that transcends the earthly"
I promise to try not to make this an infinite regression, but how would you then define life?

If I want to learn what a soul is and it is the seat of life, then I have basically two variables to examine: 1) soul and 2) life. I suppose that "the seat of" could be discussed as well but lets wait and see if we need it.
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  #50  
Old Jun 7th 2011, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Consciousness

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true enough, however i am uncomfortable with the idea of equating the idea of consciousness with the idea of the soul. Does that mean a person in a vegetative state has no soul?
When I believed in the eternal soul, during the Terry Schiavo fiasco, I presumed that in a permanent vegetative state, the soul had passed on to eternal life.
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Sounds good to me. Not only does it seem right, it seems just as easy or as ambiguous as differentiating between life and death.

A single atom is not dead because it can not be alive either. But the atom has moving parts that are definitely subject to the environment. So much so, that adding several atoms together can result in infinite complexity including life, and thereby consciousness.

The axe is clearly not alive. But it isn't dead either. And it is made of atoms which are moving.
The axe handle is probably dead wood.
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Prions (infectious protein particles) are not considered life things (no nucleic acid), but behave as if they were. As far as I know, prions can not be "killed" but will stop reproducing when the host organism is dead. Are they then "dead"? Probably not.

Viruses are marginally alive. If a virus is alive then it can also be dead at another time.
There are things that flirt the margin of what "life" is, for sure.

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Bacteria are definitely living organisms as we describe living. They can be both living and then dead.

Jim, my friend the cat, is a living organism that is arguably conscious - aware of himself and his relationship to me.

I am alive and I possess consciousness.
I think it is fair to say that something cannot be dead unless it has been alive.

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If my foot gets removed in a wood chipper, my foot is not really dead since it was never, by itself, a living organism. My foot never had consciousness on it's own either.

If my head gets removed in a wood chipper, is my head dead or just me? Either way, my consciousness is also gone.
So a tree can't have a dead branch?

If your head gets removed, the rest of your body will die quickly. Only your head is chipped.

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Non Sequitur is uneasy about the comparison of consciousness to soul. How do you feel about that?
Out of the context of religion, I don't think soul has much technical meaning. I use it in the same sense that I use the word "sin."
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Last edited by Donkey; Jun 7th 2011 at 10:19 PM.
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