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Consciousness and Evolution


Gees
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7 minutes ago, iNow said:

Why do you keep conflating illusion with defect? What is it about the term that you deem defective?

The definition makes me think Dennett is talking about a defect.

il·lu·sion
[iˈlo͞oZHən]
NOUN
illusions (plural noun)
  1. a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses:
    "the illusion makes parallel lines seem to diverge by placing them on a zigzag-striped background"
    synonyms: mirage · hallucination · apparition · figment of the imagination · trick of the light · trompe l'oeil · deception · trick · smoke and mirrors · (magic) trick · conjuring trick · magic · conjuring ·
Edited by tar
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5 hours ago, Gees said:

Think. If Dennett sees consciousness as an illusion created by the brain, then all life without a brain is not conscious. If humans have the most advanced and complex brain,

So, instead of supporting your assertion that Dennett "supports the idea that consciousness is ONLY human consciousness," you've responded by telling me to "think" and then followed with yet another assumption. Sorry, but no. That's not good enough. 

I'd further request you support your suggestion that "humans have the most advanced and complex brain," but I know you won't do it. You appear quite content working only from assumption and (despite suggesting otherwise) remain seemingly happy to ignore fact. I cannot respect such an approach. 

5 hours ago, Gees said:

It also allows us to dismiss the parts of it that we do not wish to deal with -- like religion. Dennett's revulsion of religion is almost manic.

How is religion relevant here? We're discussing consciousness, and you seem to be engaging in little more than ad hominem fallacy, suggesting the messenger of Dennett is flawed and continuing your fallacious reasoning by using strawmen to bolster that suggestion. 

13 minutes ago, tar said:

The definition makes me think Dennett is talking about a defect.

That was never unclear. I asked you why. 

Edited by iNow
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iNow,

So why does Dennett not coin a term that suggests human consciousness is an effective and highly workable simulation of the world?  Why does he not frame it in realistic, human terms?  Does he imagine he has a better way to know the world? 

If human consciousness somehow falls short of the mark, what consciousness reaches the mark?

Regards, TAR

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iNow;

 

1 hour ago, iNow said:

So, instead of supporting your assertion that Dennett "supports the idea that consciousness is ONLY human consciousness," you've responded by telling me to "think" and then followed with yet another assumption. Sorry, but no. That's not good enough. 

Well, iNow, you have a point there -- I could be wrong. I have not really studied Dennett in any depth, so I could be mistaking his ideas.

If consciousness is created through an illusion of the brain, that would mean that species with brains create the illusion of consciousness. A flea has a brain and flies have brains, I am pretty sure, so do they also produce consciousness? But that may be pushing it. How about dogs and horses, do they produce the illusion of consciousness? And sheep, because it would not be fair if we excluded herd animals. And goldfish?

So maybe you could produce some reference as to whether or not all species with brains also experience this illusion of consciousness, or if there is some cut-off as to which species experience it and which do not. Since you have studied his work, this information should be available to you.

 

Quote

I'd further request you support your suggestion that "humans have the most advanced and complex brain," but I know you won't do it. You appear quite content working only from assumption and (despite suggesting otherwise) remain seemingly happy to ignore fact. I cannot respect such an approach. 

That is not what I suggested. You cut the quote. Here is the quote with the relevant missing parts: "If humans have the most advanced and complex brain, which most people think we do," You see the underlined parts that you cut off? That "if" and the rest make the point. Most people do believe that the human mind/brain is the most advanced of our earthbound species. This is not an assumption; this is a fact.

If you dispute this, please provide any valid evidence. Fiction is not acceptable.

And I have no respect for parsing people's quotes in order to argue an irrelevant and nonexistent point as that breeds disinformation.

 

Quote

How is religion relevant here? We're discussing consciousness, and you seem to be engaging in little more than ad hominem fallacy, suggesting the messenger of Dennett is flawed and continuing your fallacious reasoning by using strawmen to bolster that suggestion.

Do you actually read anything that I write? Remember way back when I was explaining that consciousness was a vast and complex subject? I stated that consciousness was the subject of ALL religion, more than half of philosophy, and at least half of all science. Religion studies consciousness; they may call it "God", but what they are studying is consciousness. Anyone who does not understand this does not understand consciousness.

I watched a video of Dennett on the subject of religion and was shocked by his ignorance. He seemed to regard religion as a group of people who were determined to subdue the masses through any manipulation available. He completely ignored any spiritual or emotional value in religion. I am not a religious person and see consciousness in a more analytic light, rather than a personalized "God" light, but that does not prevent me from seeing the value in religion. It is necessary, whether I need it or not, other people need it.

Gee

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3 hours ago, tar said:

So why does Dennett not coin a term that suggests human consciousness is an effective and highly workable simulation of the world?  Why does he not frame it in realistic, human terms?  Does he imagine he has a better way to know the world? 

If human consciousness somehow falls short of the mark, what consciousness reaches the mark?

Regards, TAR

I asked you a simple and direct question. Instead of answering it, you replied only with four different questions. That's just rude.

On topic... I don't think he's saying it falls short or is unworkable. I think you are misrepresenting his stance and arguing against a strawman. You've even conceded that you're unfamiliar with his work. Yet... here you are... continuing to comment as if you ARE familiar and have disagreed based on the merits. The mind boggles...

Let's be clear: You're the one suggesting the concept of an "illusion" falls short or is in some way bad. I've asked you why and you keep refusing to clarify.

31 minutes ago, Gees said:

Most people do believe that the human mind/brain is the most advanced of our earthbound species. This is not an assumption; this is a fact.

Let's see your evidence of this claim then. Was it done by a survey? Self-report measures, I assume? What was the sample size? Was it an accurate cross-section of the globe, or specific to a certain country or region? Did the results get split by educational attainment or even area of study (after all, perhaps neuroscientists feel differently than mathematicians). I am excited to see your numbers since (as you say) "this is not an assumption; this is a fact."

31 minutes ago, Gees said:

And I have no respect for parsing people's quotes in order to argue an irrelevant and nonexistent point as that breeds disinformation.

I was not intentionally misrepresenting you. To move this forward, please just clarify: When someone claims humans have the most advanced complex brains, do you agree or do you disagree with that statement? Your posts suggest rather strongly that you agree, but I want to be cautious not to misrepresent you.

31 minutes ago, Gees said:

He seemed to regard religion as a group of people who were determined to subdue the masses through any manipulation available. He completely ignored any spiritual or emotional value in religion

The larger point he made IMO was that, while there is a certain numinous quality and sense of connectedness we all experience, religion is not the source. Instead, religion seems more to steal and co-opt that sense we all share and then further they pretend it's somehow proprietary to them. When powerful people are in charge of religions, this often gets used to control the people identifying with it. Group compliance is a powerful thing, especially when everyone thinks that "god" sanctions their activities.

31 minutes ago, Gees said:

that does not prevent me from seeing the value in religion. It is necessary

Necessary for what, exactly? Please. Be specific.

Or... you know... Instead perhaps we can return to the concept of consciousness now?

Edited by iNow
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iNow,

I am not sure where I have not answered your question...or maybe I don't know which question I have not answered.   It seems to me you were asking me what made me think, or how could I know that Bennett was using the term illusion in a negative fashion.  I have read pieces of work that have some of Bennett's language or references to Bennett, that seem to indicate that our consciousness is less than perfect.  I just watched a short talk of his and he used terms like "fooling yourself" and spoke like we did not know ourselves as well as we thought we did, and that somehow the tests people have run proved that we do not have the command over our own mind that we think we have.   I found the things he said, about not having any way of knowing if we rotated the left figure to match the right figure, or rotated the right to match the left, completely incorrect.   I knew, because I mentally held the left figure stationary and section by section rotated the right to match...so any further statement, attempting to forward the idea that we don't know our own mind, is suspect to me.

I have many of the same interests as Bennett.  Linguistics, the meaning behind language, the way neurology has correlates to human thoughts and emotions, and some others, as you know from being on the same threads with me over the years.   What I don't have in common with him is his interest in AI or his opinion that a machine can become conscious, because our brains are just so many little switches.   Personally I think our brains are much much more than that, and what is more, what our brains hold is not merely of our own creation, but is primarily the patterns and arrangements of the outside world, analogs of, written automatically in the synapses and folds of our brain, and one very important aspect is the timing, the distance between different parts of our brain, that allows there to actually be a working model, of the outside, inside.

Bennett thinks its all information in, information out.

I think it is information in and then being aware of, in connection to, containing the information, and being able to operate within the information, as if you were operating in the actual world.

Any one of us (not blind) can close our eyes and imagine the walk, or bike ride, or train ride, or bus ride, or car ride or whatever to work or school or to the grocery store.   Even a blind person can rehearse the path through the furniture and doorways, to the bathroom.

I do not agree with Bennett that nobody is the expert on consciousness that we think we are.   I think we are absolutely experts.

Regards, TAR

 

Edited by tar
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10 minutes ago, tar said:

Any one of us (not blind) can close our eyes and imagine the walk, or bike ride, or train ride, or bus ride, or car ride or whatever to work or school or to the grocery store.   Even a blind person can rehearse the path through the furniture and doorways, to the bathroom.

I would love to hear you explain in what specific ways you feel these visualizations and imaginations of something happening are categorically different from the experience we have of consciousness and perception of reality itself. If you do not feel they are different, then I honestly don't know what your point is.

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iNow,

 

They are not illusions.  We can see the path to work, without even leaving the house.  My point is they work, our consciousness works...it is not less than what we think of it, it is probably more.

 

Regards, TAR

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iNow,

Because we can be foo led, we can see mirages, we can have visual migraines and see everything with colored jagged lines around it.  My dad can see animals and faces in the leaves of the tree across the street that he swears are there (when there are no cats on the roof across the street.)   These are illusions.  I have no problem with the word, when it is used to refer to things perceived, that are not there.  But its meaning is that there is something false going on, and in this way it is negative and in contradiction to proper perception, which is not illusion.    To call consciousness...proper consciousness, an illusion, a trick, a fooling of oneself, is goofy, patently false and without meaning for a human being that stakes his reality on his perception of the place. 

There is nobody here who has seen the moon, and thinks their eyes or brain or something is playing tricks on them.   They have really seen the moon, and 7 billion or so other humans can verify.

Normal human conscious awareness is not a trick, not an illusion, not a thing we have been doing in some substandard, improvable way.  We have been doing it exactly right.

And nobody you can show me has done it better than a human.

Who or what is more conscious then Bennett or iNow, or CharonY, or Ghandi or Moses or Buddah or Mohammed, or Socrates or Einstein, or Hawkins, or Dr. Zucker or my Aunt Gloria ?

They are all humans, and they are all much more than a collection of NAND gates.

They are all conscious humans and you have no better examples of consciousness than them.

Regards,  TAR

at least no better example that is not a human

word instead?

I earlier suggested that Bennett should coin a term that encapsulated the meaning of "a very good, workable analog simulation of the world"

Of course he won't cause he has convinced himself that binary information covers it.

Edited by tar
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1 hour ago, tar said:

There is nobody here who has seen the moon, and thinks their eyes or brain or something is playing tricks on them.   They have really seen the moon, and 7 billion or so other humans can verify.

Actually, no. Despite you repeating yourself over and over, we don't see "the moon," and that's precisely my point.  

What we do "see" is a dynamically constructed version... a model or representation of the moon in our minds eye. We experience an awareness of the moon only after enough different cells have fired and patterns have activated in the right places.

We essentially "build" a version of the moon in each moment using the stimuli entering our retinas, traveling along the optic nerve, into various areas of the cortex (occipital and otherwise) where it triggers a neural web shaped, strengthened, and pruned by all of our past experiences. 

On top of this, the activation of that biological infrastructure is itself altered and filtered by our mood, level of fatigue, hunger, electrolyte balance, hydration, which specific rod and cone receptors received the photons, whether we were in bright or dark conditions immediately prior, and countless other related factors. All of these things change the actual "moon" that we see.

You and I can both look upon the exact same celestial object and see two completely different things, but we're part of a community where language has developed to call that celestial body the "moon."  As we grew up, moved on beyond childhood, through adolescence, and into adulthood, we've been taught to connect these patterns of neural activation with other completely separate patterns of activation in the language centers of the brain, specifically the pattern we've repeated often enough to have a specific word for it... the pattern we call "moon."

All of this to say, we don't (despite your protestations) see "the moon." We instead each experience our own individual personalized, manufactured, and reconstructed versions of it... Versions that could be dramatically altered with a quick electric pulse... Versions which at their core barely differ and are scarcely distinguishable from those other experiences of the faces in the leaves or the nonexistent cats on the roof you cite in context of your father.

See also: The allegory of the cave from Plato. Or... In other words, what we "see" is just an illusion..

Edited by iNow
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"iNow,

I don't disagree with that post at all.  I have said the same.  As I have often used the phrase "a workable analogue representation of the outside world, in the synapses and folds of the brain."

Up to the second to last paragraph where you say this is not "seeing".   It actually is seeing.  That is how we see.

When I look across the street and don't see cats on the roof, I can tell my dad is having a faulty representation of reality  where the others in the room looking across and not seeing the cat can verify that there are indeed no visible cats on the roof, and the perception is in his mind.   He "sees" the cats.  We don't see the cats.   We SEE there are no cats,  he SEES there are cats.

All of us are actually seeing the roof.   The cats are an illusion.

I get Plato's cave. I knew about it since college. I understand that what we think of as the world, has to be happening in our brain,  has to be a shadow on the wall.   But along with that comes the fact that there must be a fire burning shedding light on a something that is blocking that light causing a difference between how the wall "looks" where the firelight shines directly on the wall and how it "looks" where something is blocking, causing a shadow.

We would not know my dad was having an hallucination, unless the rest of us were not having that hallucination.

Regards, TAR

And it is evolutionarily proper for us to be able to manufacture whole cats hiding in the forest based on shadow and form and movement, and a little glimpse of fur here and the shape of an ear there, and a tail there.   It keeps us from getting eaten, so we can raise our kids.

Edited by tar
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10 minutes ago, tar said:

All of us are actually seeing the roof.   The cats are an illusion.

Let's see if we can come together here. How about this?

They're both illusions, just different types.

Can you get on board with that?

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11 minutes ago, tar said:

"iNow,

I don't disagree with that post at all.  I have said the same.  As I have often used the phrase "a workable analogue representation of the outside world, in the synapses and folds of the brain."

Up to the second to last paragraph where you say this is not "seeing".   It actually is seeing.  That is how we see.

When I look across the street and don't see cats on the roof, I can tell my dad is having a faulty representation of reality  where the others in the room looking across and not seeing the cat can verify that there are indeed no visible cats on the roof, and the perception is in his mind.   He "sees" the cats.  We don't see the cats.   We SEE there are no cats,  he SEES there are cats.

All of us are actually seeing the roof.   The cats are an illusion.

 

Our eyes aren't camera's downloading an image to a data storage device, our brain fills in the real time, inevitable, gaps in the data stream with what it expects to see; so if the roof generally has cats on it, then a quick glance will contain cats, not through illusion but expectation. 

http://www.theinvisiblegorilla.com/gorilla_experiment.html

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10 hours ago, iNow said:

 

See also: The allegory of the cave from Plato. Or... In other words, what we "see" is just an illusion..

You make good points but it's only an illusion to the degree we don't understand it.  Each individual sees his models, beliefs, or expectations but most individuals have some visceral knowledge of the "moon" and will see this as well.  Perception/ consciousness is just as real as the moon.  Perhaps this is part of the reason for the lack of agreement; consciousness is an individual experience now days.  We each have different language and belief so we each have a different experience.  Other animals have a shared experience and in most practical ways, a shared consciousness that we can't fathom.  

 

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37 minutes ago, iNow said:

Let's see if we can come together here. How about this?

They're both illusions, just different types.

Can you get on board with that?

Not at all iNow. Not at all.  One we are "seeing" properly, in the best and only way we have of seeing.   And the other, the mechanisms in the brain, responsible for telling us the difference between the coherent waking world, and that which we are adding, or authoring, as you say, are misfiring, or overfiring, or in some manner are NOT properly representing actual, coherent, waking world forms and patterns that exist for everybody, outside the brain. 

iNow,

 

My "different" term for what a human is doing when they experience a roof across the street, with no cats on it, would be "seeing".

If you want the term to include the reality of the experience, I would say perhaps "coherent representation".

Getting further back to the topic,  I think, somewhere along the line, in evolution, we had to be rewarded for getting it right.  Thus my dopamine theory, that the dopamine made a person feel good about matching something properly, in terms of the inside model, and the outside world, and thus as our strategies and mechanisms improved to internalize the outside world correctly, we felt good about it, and did it again.  Thus there was a marriage between getting it right and doing it again.  Not only for an individual human, but the same tendencies and likes and dislikes were passed down in the genes to the next generation.

My evidence that we want or need to be right, to be in agreement with the outside world, is the fact that you want to find a statement about perception and awareness that I can get onboard with that is consistent with your worldview.    Having a consistent worldview is important...almost central to survival.  The closer your model is to what actually is existent in the outside waking world...and within your brain in terms of models and ideas and theories and such...the better they all match, the better you feel and the better you will actually do in the survival game.

Regards, TAR

 

1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

Our eyes aren't camera's downloading an image to a data storage device, our brain fills in the real time, inevitable, gaps in the data stream with what it expects to see; so if the roof generally has cats on it, then a quick glance will contain cats, not through illusion but expectation. 

http://www.theinvisiblegorilla.com/gorilla_experiment.html

dimreepr,

I saw the monkey and counted 17 passes between the whites.

I was told however to pay attention to both the white passes and to look out for the monkey, so it seems to be an attention thing or a focus thing.   It is obvious, with 8 billion people on a huge planet, that we are not going to be able to go without missing something.

I have looked out in the garage, from the top of the steps, scanned each shelf for tuna fish and reported to my wife that I didn't see any out there,  followed by her going out there and coming back with a can of tuna.

Regards, TAR

 

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50 minutes ago, tar said:

dimreepr,

I saw the monkey and counted 17 passes between the whites.

I was told however to pay attention to both the white passes and to look out for the monkey, so it seems to be an attention thing or a focus thing.  

 

You saw what you expected to see, so why look for an alternative explanation?

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(we buy tuna sometimes from the bulk store, where it comes in plastic wrapped six packs, not in the shape of a tuna fish can, a can shape is the shape my mind was scanning for, looking for a match)

Such is why we have such a thing as a double take.   We see something unexpected and we look again to make sure we saw it right.

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7 minutes ago, tar said:

(we buy tuna sometimes from the bulk store, where it comes in plastic wrapped six packs, not in the shape of a tuna fish can, a can shape is the shape my mind was scanning for, looking for a match)

 

So you didn't see the tuna because you didn't expect it to be in a can? Can you explain how that argues my point?

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dimreepr,

 

I was not arguing your point so much as pointing out, that our consciousness or awareness is not all encompassing and perfect, but neither is it an illusion, per iNow's claim.

Maybe its a half full, half empty situation.   I am claiming that our consciousness is half full.  iNow is claiming it is half empty.

My backup argument is that no matter half full or half empty it is better to have something in the glass.    And no one can claim we are not having this conversation.  Everyone here is aware of the internet and computers and English and characters on the screen, standing for ideas in each other's brain.   It   is actually working rather well and whatever tricks are involved in bringing the patterns to the screen, they are not illusions, but actual photons hitting the back of our eye that result in a coherent signal passed from my brain to yours.

Regards, TAR

as gee says "communication"

well Area54 would argue that my signals are not coherent,  but that is his/her opinion, and has nothing to do with the actual communication that has occurred between the minds of Gee and the rest of us that have participated in this thread

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2 hours ago, iNow said:

I'll ask you the same thing I asked Tar. If you have problem using the term "illusion" to describe this, please propose a better alternative.

I have no problem with the word and find it apt.  But what individuals see varies from virtually 100% illusion to 0%.  I'd even agree that for the main part most experience is far more illusion than it is reality.  For the main part most individuals see their belief, expectations, and experience rather than the reality itself.  I maintain though this is not in any way natural.  It is the result of how we think.  The root cause is our symbolic languages.  Animals don't see their beliefs nor have a language like ours.  Everything they experience is reality itself though, obviously, they have a fairly limited understanding of this reality because none have a sufficiently complex language to pass knowledge through the generations.  It is language that sets humans apart but this separation has no bearing whatsoever on what we are calling "consciousness".  All living things are conscious to some extent.  At the risk of going off topic, humans haven't always had a symbolic language.  We had a natural representative language until it became too complex for the average man ~4000 years ago.

An individual will generally have a weak grasp of what the "moon" is but to the degree he understands it he can see it.  Indeed, even the new moon can sometimes be seen bathed in the light from the Pacific and it can be seen during the day.  While most have a weak grasp of "moon" and it is largely an "illusion" most have a better grasp of "wet" and it is (for most) less an illusion.  

 

 

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2 hours ago, cladking said:

I have no problem with the word and find it apt.  But what individuals see varies from virtually 100% illusion to 0%.  I'd even agree that for the main part most experience is far more illusion than it is reality.  For the main part most individuals see their belief, expectations, and experience rather than the reality itself.  I maintain though this is not in any way natural.  It is the result of how we think.  The root cause is our symbolic languages.  Animals don't see their beliefs nor have a language like ours.  Everything they experience is reality itself though, obviously, they have a fairly limited understanding of this reality because none have a sufficiently complex language to pass knowledge through the generations.  It is language that sets humans apart but this separation has no bearing whatsoever on what we are calling "consciousness".  All living things are conscious to some extent.  At the risk of going off topic, humans haven't always had a symbolic language.  We had a natural representative language until it became too complex for the average man ~4000 years ago.

An individual will generally have a weak grasp of what the "moon" is but to the degree he understands it he can see it.  Indeed, even the new moon can sometimes be seen bathed in the light from the Pacific and it can be seen during the day.  While most have a weak grasp of "moon" and it is largely an "illusion" most have a better grasp of "wet" and it is (for most) less an illusion.  

 

 

Cladking,

The underlined portion smacks of original sin, or falling from grace, or the idea that once we knew the difference between good and evil, we were above and different from nature.

I have always had a problem with understanding where we divide what we make and do from nature.  Like when does something go from natural to man made.  Easy to define in the sense of something that does not exist where man does not, and does exist where man does...but there is much that is slightly changed by man, that is produced mostly by nature.  And man is 100% natural herself.  So in the overall, it is difficult to consider that anything is "not natural".  And in the flow of the thread,  to where and when different aspects of our consciousness naturally developed, it is out of place or at least contrary the thread theme, to   consider conscious "not in any way natural".   It seems logically consistent to instead consider that consciousness must in every aspect be 100% natural...by definition, if one is to simultaneously reject any creator, or magic or illusion.

Instead, I propose that at some point in our evolution we gained the ability to pretend, to practice, to forecast to imagine, and this was an important stage in our evolution, and the bedrock happening that allowed our divergence from relative lifeforms, in the sense that from this we developed language and symbolization and the like, one thing standing for another.   Without this ability we could not make analogies or switch grain size, or imagine the galaxy like we were holding it in our hand.

Regards, TAR

Regards, TAR

13 minutes ago, iNow said:

No. I'm not. I'm simply referring to it as an illusion, which you for some reason conflate with a negative thing.

iNow,

It is so simple and direct to me, that considering the way we have to be experiencing reality, it has to be by analogy, by bringing the outside world in, by sensing the feelings and timings of ones body, and brain, and the beating of ones heart.  This is all actual stuff.  There is nothing wrong or false and no trickery involved.  The moon is real.  It appears as a disc of light, variably lit during the month. to everybody on the planet.  It pulls the ocean into tides, and one can go down to the beach and stand on dry sand in the same place that later will be waves in 3 feet of water when the part of the Earth that you are standing on turns to face the moon.   What we are conscious of, is an important if not crucial aspect of consciousness.   When the thing we experience is part of the waking world that peer reviewed investigation can verify, then the knowledge, or the experience or the perception of, is not illusory.  It is actual.   When the thing is not around for anybody else to test or see or any of its effects are not noticeable to where its existence can be implied, then the thing is part of someone's imagination, or is part of the "authored by" stuff that is in a person's head  The crucial thing that happened in our evolution is when we had the ability to tell the difference between the three.   That which exists and is verified by its being true in more than one way, by the coherence of more than one sense or by the verification of other conscious beings...like if you think you see a  cat coming, and all the birds fly in the other direction.  Secondly that which we remember of the world and manipulate and try and test in our heads without firing motor neurons, but which we know will be, or could be real, if we engage things right.  And thirdly that which appears to be real, but we know is not.

The three are different.  And the ability to know the difference between a dream and a waking experience is crucial to our understanding of the world and our interaction with it.  So the fact that both "things" happen in our head, is not grounds to put both things on the same footing, because we know the difference.   One cannot explain human consciousness, without explaining the ability to tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined.  It is central.   And illusion, is something that Mohammed had in the cave.  It was real to him but an Atheist like me, can tell that what he experienced in the cave was not of the stuff of peer reviewable reality.  The angel Gabriel does not exist outside the cave, and Mohammed's mind, and the minds of those who believe Mohammed to be a prophet of Allah.

There is again, for the fourth time, nothing wrong with us sensing the existence of the moon.  There is on the other hand, something wrong with us seeing cats on the roof, where there are no cats.    One is a sense experience, the other is an illusion.

Regards, TAR

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