Ten oz

Instinct vs Consciousness

Recommended Posts

Dear Tar, thank you for the answer

In Russia we have games we call Kauzal Intellect. It's an event for several people and a coach. Each person tell a problem of himself he doesn't see an answer for. Then with the help of game rules all the participants play and find these answers from theirs own subconscious.

For me it's an interesting thing but i don't know any of foreign analogue. Sorry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 0:53 AM, Evgenia said:

Dear all, i reread the conversations of this top again. And remember one aspect we didn't mention yet.

A game. The image of Gee's daughter playing with her grandmother reminded me that we have 1000 of types of different games. Some of them are logically constructed and are connected to consiousness, but some, as 1-year old kids with falling the food down,are not. Are these games an example of instinct? It's discussable.

Evgenia;

A very good point. I had not considered games in this context, but have read many articles that explain play in other species. An example might be an article that showed a group of kittens stalking each other, pouncing on each other, and attempting to catch something. This specific article explained that this is instinctive behavior as they are practicing to become predators. If this is instinctive behavior, then what is the instinct that causes this behavior?

One would think that their DNA would cause them to be excited by the sounds and movements of prey and to be attracted to the taste of prey, so why do they have to practice? If being a predator is innate, then do all predators practice? Does a spider? Does a Venus flytrap? I am not sure. On the other hand, I had a little trouble finding a cat that was a mouser. I needed a cat to keep the mice out of my old house and found that many of them were not mousers. My veterinarian explained that the mother cat has to introduce the kittens to prey and show them that it is food, or they do not become mousers. So if they were raised in an apartment or a cage, they won't mouse hunt. They will play with the mice, like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, but will not eat it.

So if being a predator is innate, except when it isn't, then what is this play? We know that games are play, and we know that play is for the purpose of learning, or practicing, which is the same thing. Is it possible that some of the behaviors we think are instinct, are really just learning?

Is learning innate in species? I think that it is possible, and it could nicely explain evolution.

On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 5:03 AM, tar said:

But we absolutely should not think our conscious mind can master our Id.  The ego is a go between, a moderator between the Id and the Superego.   The master of ones own condition, able to put the body/brain/heart group in the best position for survival and happiness...but as the opioid epidemic shows us, we are very subject to the emotions, to misreading the pleasure, and life and victory we feel while high as actual victory.   An addict, high on his drug of choice can "feel" on top of the world, victorious, and alive, while lying penniless, friendless and loveless in his own filth in the gutter.

Tar;

I don't think that anything could frighten me more than the idea of the conscious mind mastering the Id. I know that there is this fad, where we think that we are smarter than nature, but doubt the veracity of that idea. People see "thought vs emotion" and "thought vs instincts" as something that the rational mind should win, but I see that as mostly a short-cut to extinction.

So don't scare me by even thinking statements like that again. Yes, I know you said "not", but it still scared me.

On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 5:44 AM, Ten oz said:

I previously started a thread which specifically discusses the conscious & unconscious mind. Much of your response is addressed there at length so I am not going to delve into it here. When you have time and if your are interested we can discuss it there:

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/105499-consciousness-and-the-illusion-of-choice/

Ten oz;

I gave your other thread a cursory look and may study it when I am finished playing here, but can not post in two threads at the same time. I am just too slow and barely manage to not offend people, with my late responses, when I only work in one thread. For the record, you should know that both threads are about the conscious and unconscious mind, whether you intended it or not.

Quote

1 - This is exactly to the point of this thread. Ants do have a brain. They also have distinct behaviorsand are capable of problem solving. Why is it ridiculous to think they have a thoughts? Their ability to build colonies, collect food, work together to cross water and opennings, and etc came from somewhere. If it is purely instinct which is programed into them than where did it come from and how'd it get in them. To me the simplier solution is to accept that they think. Obviously they lack human levels of ability to process information but it isn't human level or nothing is it? Modern day computers are significantly more capable then computers where 40yrs ago. That doesn't mean that the basica fundamentals are different. It is still one and zeros. Ants do have brain cells.

Remember when I stated earlier that brain and mind are not the same thing? Well, having thought and thinking are also not the same thing. A DVD can have lots of thought in it, but it does not think, we can not even be aware of the thoughts in a DVD unless we have a player.

It is not ridiculous to think that ants have thoughts, it is an assumption to think that ants have thoughts. How does one prove it? You can say that ants "problem solve", but as I pointed out earlier, so can a new bean sprout. Are you willing to state that beans have thoughts? You can say that they have "distinct behaviors", but we know that we can modify their behavior with pheromones, and we know that we can change behavior with hormones, so that does not prove thinking.

Neurologists are not stupid, they are scientists, so they need proof in order to state that something is so. They need to test something repeatedly before they will concede that it is so, and all of the tests that I have seen so far deal with some type of pheromone which directs behavior in ants. There is nothing that indicates a rational aspect of mind, which is what is required for self-directed thinking. As I noted about the raven, planning involves an understanding of time, so the tests that proved that ravens could and would plan, indicated a rational mind -- but I am not sure neurology will accept my thinking on this. (chuckle)

I read an article that stated that all mammals and some birds have the same consciousness as humans. This article made the claim based on structures within the brain and was signed by 20 or more scientists. I have no idea of where I could find it now, but can assure you that mainstream science did not accept it with open arms crying, "Hosanna".

As I stated before, this is a vast and complex subject. I suspect that all life has a "self" because that is what survival instincts are trying to preserve. I suspect that all life that has senses, hearing, vision, etc., also has a brain for this information to feed into, so there is the possibility that this life is self aware, as it can distinguish itself from it's surroundings through it's senses. But all of this can be accomplished while working with an unconscious reactive mind. Taking this idea to the next level of a rational self-directed mind is a little difficult to prove.

Quote

2 - I have told this story before but don't recall in which thread. About 10yrs back my wife and  I were in a fender bender. A van came into our lane and hit us. Low speed, no one was hurt, very little damage. I remember, in my mind, everything about it crystal clear. A year or so back I mentioned the fender bender to my wife is casual conversation. I recalled the van that hit us as being black. My wife recalled it as being tan. My memory was, is, crystall clear on this. The van was black and I even recall a chrome pin stripe along the side. I see the van in my mind as black and it is picture perfect. My confidence that the van was black was 100%. My wife dug up her old phone, charged it, flipped through her pictures, and found pics of the van she had taken. The van was tan and didn't have a chrome stripe. I have no idea why I remember it as black yet even after my wife showing me pictures I still see a black van in my mind. Memory simply isn't reliable.

Emotional memory is not reliable. It is important to make the distinction. Do you think that your wife's memory is more reliable than yours? Does she think so? If so, I would like to disabuse you of that idea. We do not KNOW emotion; we can not know it. We experience it, but do not have any knowledge of it to put into our memory banks. There are no pictures, no thoughts to remember. But we do experience it, so what we do is associate it with some memory or thought, and that is what we put in our memory. When you think of love, you may think of a specific person, of being hugged, of Mom's apple pie, or a thousand other things that remind you of love. The same is true for hate, fear, danger and every other emotion. So I would guess, that at some point in your life, a black van with a chrome pin stripe looked dangerous to you, so when the accident happened, your mind took  the image of the "dangerous" vehicle and posted it in the memory of a potentially "dangerous" accident.

Years ago, I worked with the mentally handicapped and was required to write out an incident report before leaving my shift if anything happened. When I asked what the hurry was, it was explained that an incident can be traumatic, so going home and coming in the next day for my shift was long enough for my mind to corrupt the memory of the incident. Psychology understands this phenomenon, and this is a lot of the reason for debriefing, to get the information before it is corrupted.

Your wife's memory was valid because she took the pictures. She documented the incident before she had a chance to corrupt it. This is usually an easy problem to resolve. Just document the incident in as much detail as you can, and it will prevent you from corrupting the memory. You can take pictures, write out a report, or even just tell it to yourself as a story to document it.

It is more difficult to resolve when the incident does not actually happen. If you go to YouTube and look up "emotional memory" you may be able to find a video where a man explains his reactions to President Kennedy's assassination. It is very enlightening.

Quote

3 - The juxtaposition in the dog/fence story was that instinct took over and not a process of the mind resulting in no memory or concious control. If you concede education and training impacts fight or flight response than you're acknowledging that the thing being called instinct which jumped over the fence is consciously influenced. If instinct can be educated and trained than isn't really just a type of consciousness?

It is all a type of consciousness. Instinct and emotion process through the unconscious and we are not aware of it or directing it. Thought processes through the rational conscious mind and we are very aware of it. We are just talking about the different ways that the aspects of mind process and use information.

Gee

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Gees said:

 

Ten oz;

1 - I gave your other thread a cursory look and may study it when I am finished playing here, but can not post in two threads at the same time. I am just too slow and barely manage to not offend people, with my late responses, when I only work in one thread. For the record, you should know that both threads are about the conscious and unconscious mind, whether you intended it or not.

2 - Remember when I stated earlier that brain and mind are not the same thing? Well, having thought and thinking are also not the same thing. A DVD can have lots of thought in it, but it does not think, we can not even be aware of the thoughts in a DVD unless we have a player.

It is not ridiculous to think that ants have thoughts, it is an assumption to think that ants have thoughts. How does one prove it? You can say that ants "problem solve", but as I pointed out earlier, so can a new bean sprout. Are you willing to state that beans have thoughts? You can say that they have "distinct behaviors", but we know that we can modify their behavior with pheromones, and we know that we can change behavior with hormones, so that does not prove thinking.

Neurologists are not stupid, they are scientists, so they need proof in order to state that something is so. They need to test something repeatedly before they will concede that it is so, and all of the tests that I have seen so far deal with some type of pheromone which directs behavior in ants. There is nothing that indicates a rational aspect of mind, which is what is required for self-directed thinking. As I noted about the raven, planning involves an understanding of time, so the tests that proved that ravens could and would plan, indicated a rational mind -- but I am not sure neurology will accept my thinking on this. (chuckle)

I read an article that stated that all mammals and some birds have the same consciousness as humans. This article made the claim based on structures within the brain and was signed by 20 or more scientists. I have no idea of where I could find it now, but can assure you that mainstream science did not accept it with open arms crying, "Hosanna".

As I stated before, this is a vast and complex subject. I suspect that all life has a "self" because that is what survival instincts are trying to preserve. I suspect that all life that has senses, hearing, vision, etc., also has a brain for this information to feed into, so there is the possibility that this life is self aware, as it can distinguish itself from it's surroundings through it's senses. But all of this can be accomplished while working with an unconscious reactive mind. Taking this idea to the next level of a rational self-directed mind is a little difficult to prove. 

3 -Emotional memory is not reliable. It is important to make the distinction. Do you think that your wife's memory is more reliable than yours? Does she think so? If so, I would like to disabuse you of that idea. We do not KNOW emotion; we can not know it. We experience it, but do not have any knowledge of it to put into our memory banks. There are no pictures, no thoughts to remember. But we do experience it, so what we do is associate it with some memory or thought, and that is what we put in our memory. When you think of love, you may think of a specific person, of being hugged, of Mom's apple pie, or a thousand other things that remind you of love. The same is true for hate, fear, danger and every other emotion. So I would guess, that at some point in your life, a black van with a chrome pin stripe looked dangerous to you, so when the accident happened, your mind took  the image of the "dangerous" vehicle and posted it in the memory of a potentially "dangerous" accident.

Years ago, I worked with the mentally handicapped and was required to write out an incident report before leaving my shift if anything happened. When I asked what the hurry was, it was explained that an incident can be traumatic, so going home and coming in the next day for my shift was long enough for my mind to corrupt the memory of the incident. Psychology understands this phenomenon, and this is a lot of the reason for debriefing, to get the information before it is corrupted.

Your wife's memory was valid because she took the pictures. She documented the incident before she had a chance to corrupt it. This is usually an easy problem to resolve. Just document the incident in as much detail as you can, and it will prevent you from corrupting the memory. You can take pictures, write out a report, or even just tell it to yourself as a story to document it.

It is more difficult to resolve when the incident does not actually happen. If you go to YouTube and look up "emotional memory" you may be able to find a video where a man explains his reactions to President Kennedy's assassination. It is very enlightening.

It is all a type of consciousness. Instinct and emotion process through the unconscious and we are not aware of it or directing it. Thought processes through the rational conscious mind and we are very aware of it. We are just talking about the different ways that the aspects of mind process and use information.

Gee

Thank you for another terrific response.

1 - It isn't about unconscious and conscious. It is about conscious or not. For the sake of this discussion I feel unconscious and conscious are basically the same difference in that both are types of consciousness. Once we, those of us in this discussion, say animals have an unconscious or emotions we have already answered the threads question; animals don't operate purely on instinct. What seems to have followed are attempts to quantify the extent or levels of consciousness but that isn't required.

 

2 - Plants do problem solve and have behaviors however those behaviors appear to be purely reflexive. The grow and move as needed based on where the sun, wind, and water are for example. It is predictable and uniform. It is driven by their chemistry. Ants appear make choices and problem solve beyond reflexive resonses. That isn't to say I believe ants have philosophical thoughts but rather just that they do appear to have thought. Perhaps all an ants every things about is food.

 

3 - The point of my story was that memory is not reliable. Not mine, my wifes, or anyones. Emotion clearly impacts memory but all memory is unreliable. Our brains maintain a  understanding of past events colored by our persceptive. They are not recordings. It is one of the reasons why in science such detailed notes are taken. Memory simple isn't sufficient to store things. Most people understand this which is why we set ourselves reminders, write things down, take picture, make recordings, and etc. From dangerous happenings to borig stuff memory is not accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Evgenia said:

Dear Tar, thank you for the answer

In Russia we have games we call Kauzal Intellect. It's an event for several people and a coach. Each person tell a problem of himself he doesn't see an answer for. Then with the help of game rules all the participants play and find these answers from theirs own subconscious.

For me it's an interesting thing but i don't know any of foreign analogue. Sorry

Evgenia,

The Kauzal Intellect game seems very useful.  We don't have a direct analog game but we have such games as "truth or dare" where you are asked a personal question and you have to give a truthful answer from your heart (emotions) or you can choose not to answer, but if you choose not to answer you have to take a dare from the questioner (daring you to do something else you might rather not do more than answer the hard question truthfully)

But I think, in reference to instinct and consciousness, Kausal Intellect requires that we have a theory of mind, where we can put ourselves in someone else's shoes and consider their problems our problems and our problems their problems.  In a survival sense, this might be why we have the junction in our brain that allows us to put ourselves in other people's shoes, because then we can problem solve together.  Also it might be part of the idea of games to begin with, that you can "play" being the other person.  Role playing, empathy, mirror neurons, feeling another's pain and such all have a similar ring to them, and might have similar basis in brain structure and ability.

The ants we were talking about before and the idea of games remind me of a game I would play as a boy at a summer lake we stayed at,  that was not a game at all for the ants.

Up on a rocky clearing hillside and the end of the road, ants would on occasion have a territory war.  There were red ants and there were black ants and there were these ants with half red, have black bodies.  They would fight and kill each other and drag the dead off the battlefield to eat, I presume.  Anyway my game was to fight with the black ants.  I would step on the enemy red and usually not the half black and half red because they sometimes seemed to be allies to the black ants, or at least both had the red ants as enemy.

But here in the instinct vs consciousness thread, I would have to say that choosing allies to assist in your survival is a good survival strategy.  And making the choice seems to require some ability to choose.  Whether that choice is driven by emotions or by rational thinking I am not sure.   I always wondered why I favored the black ants over the red, and partially favored the half blacks over the reds as well.  Maybe it was in retaliation to when my sister sat on a red ant hill and was getting bit so bad my dad had to grab her, take her suit off and throw her in the lake, to save her from the bites.  But I do not recall whether that incident was before, after, or during the occasional ant wars I would take part in.

Regards, TAR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just remembered I actually had some skin in the game because I was always barefoot, and they could and did bite and pinch me.  Although I am sure I was armed with  stick and could get them without having to step on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our brains could be like a lot of mosquitoes coming together ..?

I mean lots of switching like computers ...

 

Google_glass.jpg

 

i promise i wont post this combination ever again . one last time ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now