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 Is consciousness a property of matter?

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:17 pm

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At this stage in the study of consciousness, any "theory" is pure speculation. What follows is pure speculation, but based on logic. I make very few assumptions about consciousness, mainly: 1. It exists; 2. It is hosted in a body; 3. It includes emotions.

I argue that a simple theory of consciousness can be advanced by accepting that the mental is a property of matter. I argue that we can reconstruct how consciosness developed (evolved) from unconscious organisms. I argue that, rather than studying the evolution of the brain or the evolution of language or the evolution of tools, we need to study the "co-evolution" of memes, language, tools, emotions, brains. They influenced each other. Mind "is" the result of that co-evolution. Finally, I argue that a reductionist approach to consciousness is feasible.

The article goes on here...
http://www.thymos.com/science/2001.html

So do you think that consciousness is really reducable and is a property of matter?

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Travis Clementsmith
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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:41 am

In a word: nope. I think consciousness may be a fundamental aspect to the universe, just ot as matter.

-TC

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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:41 pm

Now this is interesting. Rocks and Water don't have a consciousness. But maybe the planet as a organism does. But where does consciousness begin? In the womb? Can a tree have consciousness? I don't think that consciousness is necessarily a unique human characteristic. (quality?)
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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:09 pm

Perhaps consciousness is something that co-emerges along with life and matter?

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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:45 pm

I read a book a while back called "The Physics of Consciousness: The Quantum Mind and the Meaning of Life" by Evan Harris Walker. It was a bit over my head, but the jist is that consciouness is in the sub-atomic level of matter. I think that is what it said. There were a lot of formulas that, as I said, splattered on the wall as they went over my head. I read the book twice. Maybe one of you highly intelligent folks can read it and tell me what I read.

Rodg
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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:23 pm

Sounds like an interesting book. Once you get to the quantum level things get pretty strange physically. Which would explain a lot with me. Wink Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:10 pm

Exactly! Walker inplies that somewhere at the quantum level of matter lies consciousness. And since matter cannot be created or destroyed, consciousness always was and always will be (soul?). And since matter and energy are basically the same thing, consciousness has energy, so (this is Rodg speaking now) we are able to interact with one another at that level (ESP?). So, can my consciouness energy affect cancer cells? So that intense "prayer" can cure cancer? OK, I know, you're thinking, "Rodg is off his nut!" No...just a topic of discussion, that's all. I would see a doctor for my cancer, if I developed it.

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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:22 pm

eh60driver wrote:
Exactly! Walker implies that somewhere at the quantum level of matter lies consciousness. And since matter cannot be created or destroyed, consciousness always was and always will be (soul?). And since matter and energy are basically the same thing, consciousness has energy, so (this is Rodg speaking now) we are able to interact with one another at that level (ESP?). So, can my consciouness energy affect cancer cells? So that intense "prayer" can cure cancer? OK, I know, you're thinking, "Rodg is off his nut!" No...just a topic of discussion, that's all. I would see a doctor for my cancer, if I developed it.

Rodg

Yeah I don't know if consciousness is really so much a property of matter. I think matter/energy and (very primitive) consciousness probably work together in a symbiotic manner however and help to organize things into the different parts or "holons" that they are made of.

Also, I don't know if consciousness "has" energy so much as consciousness "uses" energy to convey and manifest itself.

So regarding the question, "can my consciousness affect cancer cells?" My answer would be probably yes, consciousness can probably affect your cancer cells, but just how much I don't know. Because if consciousness is at the quantum or sub-quantum level, it's "free will" effects on the cellular level are going to be limited by a few "holonic" layers within the overall system.

FYI... A "holon" is a system (or phenomenon) that is a whole in itself as well as a part of a larger system. It can be conceived as systems nested within each other. Every system can be considered a holon, from a subatomic particle to the universe as a whole. On a non-physical level, words, ideas, sounds, emotions—everything that can be identified—is simultaneously part of something, and can be viewed as having parts of its own.

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stretmediq

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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:22 am

First greetings I finally made it here!

Second I think the question is backwards. It should read, "Is 'matter' a property property of consciousness?"
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:11 am

I think we are still fairly ignorant about quantum mechanics and weirdness, so to attribute consciousness to it is like sweeping it under the rug since we have no idea what such an attribution would really mean. When we die, is there any change at the quantum level in any of the matter composing our bodies, other than that attributed to its chemical decomposition? I don't think so.

It's an interesting question and one that I think we are no closer to answering than we are to understanding where the universe come from. Instead of quantum mechanics, I prefer to sweep such questions under the multi-dimensional rug. Our four dimensions are our natural universe, and the rest of the 28 dimensions from which our four have been extruded, is the...realm?... of the super natural. If there is divinity, that is where I believe it will be found, as well as the repository for our consciosnesses or souls, if they survive.
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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:10 am

stretmediq wrote:
First greetings I finally made it here!

Hey good to have you here. Smile

stretmediq wrote:
Second I think the question is backwards. It should read, "Is 'matter' a property property of consciousness?"

I like the nondual position that says that consciousness (or proto-consciousness) and matter are distinct aspects of the same thing.

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michael1111

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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:51 am

does it matter? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:58 am

michael1111 wrote:
does it matter? Smile

Hey Michael! Smile

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Schizophretard

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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:31 am

Aaron wrote:
stretmediq wrote:
First greetings I finally made it here!

Hey good to have you here. Smile

stretmediq wrote:
Second I think the question is backwards. It should read, "Is 'matter' a property property of consciousness?"

I like the nondual position that says that consciousness (or proto-consciousness) and matter are distinct aspects of the same thing.


Aaron, do you think it could be possible that your nondualistic approach could be correct while at the same time both matter and consciousness could be thoughts in The Divine Mind like I believe? What I'm saying is could reality be nondualist from our standpoint while it is idealistic from God's? I think your both right. Consciousness is a property of matter, matter is a property of consciousness, and both are thoughts within the Divine Mind.

Schizophretard
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:17 am

Schizophretard wrote:
Aaron, do you think it could be possible that your nondualistic approach could be correct while at the same time both matter and consciousness could be thoughts in The Divine Mind like I believe? What I'm saying is could reality be nondualist from our standpoint while it is idealistic from God's? I think your both right. Consciousness is a property of matter, matter is a property of consciousness, and both are thoughts within the Divine Mind.

Schizophretard

Interesting idea. Frankly I don't know. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:03 am

Do you think it's possible to make a simulation of the universe and program matter/mind to have a nondualistic ,materialistic ,idealistic ,or dualistic nature? I believe you can program it with either of them. In the movie the Matrix the world was simulated. There was matter/mind being simulated and people couldn't tell that it was a simulation. I think it's like that with the Divine Mind of God. We are in his thoughts but can't tell. He can give matter/mind any nature he wants and they still would just be his thoughts. You say that matter/mind are both properties of Tao. I say they're properties of God's thoughts. We are both saying basically the same thing. Matter/mind are the properties of one source.
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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:56 am

Yes there are many panendeists out there who would agree with you on that. In the end there's really no way of knowing for sure however.

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PostSubject: Re: Is consciousness a property of matter?   Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:46 pm

WHAT IS CONSCIOUSNESS?

An article in SKEPTIC Magazine discussed a topic near and dear to Deists and Newageists: What is Consciousness? The author, Henry Schlinger, a psychologist, was responding to an article in the same issue by Deepak Chopra. DC was debating the likelihood of an after-life with Michael Shermer. Shermer, the skeptic, said, "For Chopra, the universe is one giant conscious information field of timeless energy of which all of us are a part." Chopra replied, "It's a shame that he doesn't grasp that the afterlife is about nothing but consciousness." Personally, I can apprehend the "field of consciousness" concept---it's similar to my In-Form-Action thesis--- but in the absence of a divine revelation, I'm still not sure about the afterlife.

Anyway the author titled his article: Consciousness is Nothing but a Word. And that is quite true for a Behaviorist of the B.F. Skinner persuasion, who denies the existence of Qualia, and other Subjective phenomena. Other theorists have tried "to reduce the problem to brain processes"; but Schlinger calls that search for "the neural correlates of consciousness" . . . "Neoreductionism". Instead, he asserts that, "the conscious inner life that so fascinates us may be nothing more than a learned repertoire of verbal (and/or imaginal) behavior." In other words, consciousness consists of "naming" and "self-talk". Since consciousness itself is a myth, he also concludes, "that life on earth was not designed by a Creator".

Schlinger's superficial world is so much simpler than the exterior + Interior world of religious and spiritual people. Since everything that matters to him is made of matter, there is no need to bother himself with that confusing Conscious-mess. But instead of tuning-out the awkward messiness of the Real World---which confuses ideas with things, subjects with objects, and knowing with naming---I find it stimulating. So, I tend to focus on pertinent questions, such as, Which comes first, awareness or words?

In my personal theory of consciousness, most living beings fall into the category of Sub-Conscious. Even some humans, such as blind, deaf & dumb Helen Keller, are not fully conscious until they can produce verbal concepts. Keller said, "Before my teacher came to me, I did not know that I am, I lived in a world that was no world. I cannot hope to describe adequately that unconscious, yet conscious time of nothingness . . . Since I had no power of [verbal] thought, I did not compare one mental state with another." As I see it, her subjective percepts had not yet become objective concepts. In order to know that we know, we must produce static, verbal snapshots from the continuum of flowing, neural percepts.

But Schlinger insists that her inability to label her private thoughts is evidence that they did not exist apart from the names. It's precisely because sub-consciouness is pre-verbal that Behaviorists deny its existence. As Scientists, they cannot analyze the ineffable. But that's probably why meditators attempt to suppress their analytical-verbal consciousness in order to feel the undifferentiated flow of seamless sub-consciousness. I can't speak from experience, because I have never had any of those transcendent, unitary, indescribable experiences. [maybe I haven't tried the right drugs] And yet, I can imagine how it might work in theory.

Schlinger goes on to say, "we simply cannot imagine that we don't have minds or freewill, or that our inner life is nothing more than private stimuli and learned or unlearned covert behavior". Actually, I can conjure-up such an analytical, fragmented, rootless, existence, but I can also imagine a wholistic, integrated, grounded, worldview. So, in the absence of hard evidence either way, I'm leaning toward the one that intuitively feels right to me. However, the hard-nosed skeptic in me is still looking for some rational, verbal [or pharmaceutical] evidence to bolster my irrational belief in a continuum of consciousness. Any suggestions?? drunken
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