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LH Merlo

About life and consciousness.

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17 hours ago, Hrvoje1 said:

I can comprehend that possibility that not both exist

In fact, I believe that every living being must be aware both of itself and of its environment, in its own specific way, dependent on the species it belongs. The latter is conditio sine qua non of survival, and the former, well, pretty much also. The fact that biologists conducted some experiments and observations from which they concluded that not all species are self aware, doesn’t mean their conclusions were correct, and methods of observation adequate. In fact, such conclusions seem totally illogical to me, so that I must doubt their methods.

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49 minutes ago, Hrvoje1 said:

In fact, I believe that every living being must be aware both of itself...

Can you describe how a potato is "self aware"?

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26 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Can you describe how a potato is "self aware"?

Maybe through the eyes?

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33 minutes ago, iNow said:

Maybe through the eyes?

Har! :P

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Posted (edited)

Can you “describe” how the eyes are prerequisite for self awareness? Or a nervous system?

On the other hand, what would drive a potato to survive if it doesn’t have “self”, as a motive for that?

Is your definition of self awareness of a living being “the one I can communicate with”?

Or the one that “behaves according to my idea of self awareness”? None of that is very objective.

Baldrick came up with more intelligent definition, when he defined a cat as a “not a dog”, that was certainly more intelligent than your har argument, so I hope you will not present any new, because I doubt it will be any better.

 

 

Edited by Hrvoje1

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8 hours ago, Hrvoje1 said:

Can you “describe” how the eyes are prerequisite for self awareness? Or a nervous system?

On the other hand, what would drive a potato to survive if it doesn’t have “self”, as a motive for that?

Is your definition of self awareness of a living being “the one I can communicate with”?

Or the one that “behaves according to my idea of self awareness”? None of that is very objective.

Baldrick came up with more intelligent definition, when he defined a cat as a “not a dog”, that was certainly more intelligent than your har argument, so I hope you will not present any new, because I doubt it will be any better.

 

 

Probably best that you move to the shallow end of the pool.

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8 hours ago, Hrvoje1 said:

Can you “describe” how the eyes are prerequisite for self awareness? Or a nervous system?

On the other hand, what would drive a potato to survive if it doesn’t have “self”, as a motive for that?

I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

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13 hours ago, iNow said:

Maybe through the eyes?

Interesting. I wonder if people that are born blind initiate self-consciousness a bit later than sighted children.

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1 minute ago, StringJunky said:

Interesting. I wonder if people that are born blind initiate self-consciousness a bit later than sighted children.

Pretty sure, no. They essentially just reallocate the resources from the occipital lobe for use in other tasks (often other senses relied upon more... like hearing, touch, smell, etc.), and the occipital doesn't appear necessary for either consciousness or self-awareness.

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1 minute ago, StringJunky said:

Interesting. I wonder if people that are born blind initiate self-consciousness a bit later than sighted children.

I see no reason why, They're essentially born with the same sets of data input, and the noise is roughly the same...

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10 hours ago, Hrvoje1 said:

On the other hand, what would drive a potato to survive if it doesn’t have “self”, as a motive for that?

I think that ascribing “drive” or “motivation” to a potato is not useful. 

Does water have drive or motivation to flow downhill?

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3 minutes ago, Hrvoje1 said:

I know you cannot describe it in sensible way, so I don’t insist on your explanation.

How do you know this?

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1 minute ago, iNow said:

How do you know this?

Because you would already have done that.

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!

Moderator Note

Further posts, containing insults, have been removed. The next step will likely be suspension, so dial it back.

 

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1 hour ago, Strange said:

Does water have drive or motivation to flow downhill

Gravity, it behaves different in low gravity.

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3 minutes ago, FreeWill said:

Gravity, it behaves different in low gravity.

It needs strong gravity to motivate it.

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3 minutes ago, FreeWill said:

Gravity, it behaves different in low gravity.

Are you saying that gravity is equivalent to "drive" or "motivation"?

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1 minute ago, zapatos said:

Are you saying that gravity is equivalent to "drive" or "motivation"?

In this case yes.

Without gravity the water would not flow since there is no motivator influencing that motion of water. 

Does the water aware of its physical properties?

It can not behave on any other way as water if the physical circumstances do not change. A simple level of physical awareness I would say.

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4 minutes ago, FreeWill said:

In this case yes.

Without gravity the water would not flow since there is no motivator influencing that motion of water. 

 

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, zapatos said:

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Instead of calling a motivatoraI could call it: cause.?

I think It says what I mean.

What do you think what I wanna say?

Edited by FreeWill

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13 hours ago, Hrvoje1 said:

On the other hand, what would drive a potato to survive if it doesn’t have “self”, as a motive for that?

I suppose this does raise an interesting point.

It is easy to see that organisms such as plants or bacteria just respond to the environment through (relatively) simple chemical reactions: growing towards the light or "searching" for areas with higher levels of nutrient.

On the other hand, when it comes to humans (or other animals with complex brains) there seems to be, as the OP said, "something more" involved in decision making, emotion, interests, language, etc.

But there is a complete spectrum from non-living things that respond to physical or chemical energy gradients, to simple organisms that do the same (which we can anthropomorphise as doing so "for a reason" because they are "aware" of their surroundings), through lower animals that have a primitive nervous system up to corvids and primates who show signs of what we call "intelligent".

Is there a qualitative change somewhere along that spectrum? Or are they just variations of ever more complex physical and [bio]chemical reactions to the environment? (I don't know the answer to that.)

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14 minutes ago, FreeWill said:

Instead of calling a motivatoraI could call it: cause.?

I think It says what I mean.

What do you think what I wanna say?

Yes, I would agree that "cause" is an appropriate term. "Motivator" implies some sort of organism is involved.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Strange said:

I think that ascribing “drive” or “motivation” to a potato is not useful. 

Does water have drive or motivation to flow downhill?

You think? I think you should really stop using the word “ascribing” that much. Although, I see that you changed somewhat the tone and attitude in a later post, but I am not sure how sincere are you in realizing your errors. Water is not alive, living entities have drive and motivation to stay alive, that’s a big difference, in my book. Plants can fight other plants, animals, unfavourable climate events, which means they must be aware of both their environment, otherwise they would stand no chance in that fight, and they must be aware of themselves, otherwise they would have no motivation for that fight. We cannot imagine how does that awareness look like, but we can say the same thing for bats, or dogs, or whatever. We only cannot assume that they have no awareness at all, because that would be unreasonable and arrogant. And yes, there can be no sharp delineation in the phylogenetic tree between organisms that are very developed in their self awareness and those that are not at all, because that simply has no logic whatsoever.

Edited by Hrvoje1

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4 minutes ago, Hrvoje1 said:

Water is not alive, living entities have drive and motivation to stay alive, that’s a big difference, in my book.

I don't think it is reasonable to say that all living things have "drive and motivation." Many just respond automatically to the environment. In the same way that water does. If you are going to say that a lichen is aware, then I can't see why you you wouldn't say that a rock is too.

6 minutes ago, Hrvoje1 said:

We only cannot assume that they have no awareness at all, because that would be unreasonable and arrogant.

I would say that a nervous system is a minimum requirement for awareness, and probably some sort of brain. 

If the word is used for plants (other than in a metaphorical sense) then I think it devalues the word so much that we would need another for the completely different level of [self]awareness that some animals (including humans) have.

9 minutes ago, Hrvoje1 said:

And yes, there can be no sharp delineation in the phylogenetic tree between organisms that are very developed in their self awareness and those that are not, because that simply has no logic whatsoever.

I disagree. If we say that consciousness and awareness is a function of the brain, then it is logical to say that plants and animals that lack a brain are not aware/conscious.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Strange said:

Many just respond automatically to the environment. 

Descartes thought that people are the only living beings that do not just respond automatically to the environment, ie are capable of something more than just that. Is there a record what biologists thought fifty years ago how many species are there which are self aware, and what do they think now? What data do we have, so that we can conclude that nervous system is a minimum requirement for awareness? Same question for the brain. Again, nobody claims that all species can have the same perception of the world and of themselves, that is not possible already because they don’t have neither the same senses, nor information system/network to process the information from the environment, but all must have something in order to stay alive.

Not to mention that global deforestation is the worst crime people routinely do, without any feeling, or thought, or any other kind of awareness that they are actually criminals. Whatever other damage they do, they regret it at least a bit. I suppose.

54 minutes ago, Strange said:

In the same way that water does. If you are going to say that a lichen is aware, then I can't see why you you wouldn't say that a rock is too

Because rock and water, unlike a lichen, are not alive. That small detail sometimes presents huge difference.

Edited by Hrvoje1

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