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quantam110

chickens and fish

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darkshade, three hundred years ago WE(humanity) didn't know it was an electrical impulse, heck, before YOU went to school and learned about the nervous system YOU didn't know it was an electrical impulse. why does the fact that pain is an electrical impulse factor into this at all.

 

as said before, our reactions to pain are instinctive as well. only with training can we supress them and you can teach animals to ignore stimuli as well.

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I agree that it feels pain, but its reaction toward pain is just instinctive, not conscious. I've been saying that for ages!!!:doh:

 

And you've been asked for evidence for ages.

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You want me to bring you a chicken and pinch it with a needle?

 

You want me to pinch you with a needle?

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You want me to pinch you with a needle?

I am conscious that I will feel pain, but is the chicken aware of that???

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So, poking a chicken with a needle and it reacting proves it is instinct, but poking you with a needle and you reacting proves you are conscious of it?

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Of course something stuck with a needle both feels pain and suffers. The ONLY way that it wouldn't is if you restrict your definition of "pain and suffering" to an illogically narrow and inaccurate window to suit some purpose.
That’s not true. Pain is a psychological state (International Association for the Study of Pain). It is an experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, but the experience depends not on the stimulus, but on the interpretive ‘equipment’ (i.e. higher CNS functions). There is no dedicated ‘pain centre’ in the brain. The experience of pain is a function of circuitry and so the ultimate experience will depend upon the components of that circuit.

 

In humans, the experience of pain involves three components: The sensory discriminative (a/w locating the sensory experience in time and space and estimating relative intensity), the cognitive-evaluative (a/w evaluations of the meaning of the experience and probable outcome) and the affective-motivational (a/w negative affect and avoidance motivation).

 

In humans, the medial and lateral divisions of the pain matrix both play a role in the experience. The lateral division involves the primary somatosensory cortex and accounts fully for the sensory-discriminative component of pain. The medial division projects incoming nociceptive signals through medial thalamic nuclei into the limbic brain and prefrontal cortex (a/w Scheme Retrieval, motor inhibition and attention Supervision) and anterior cingulate cortex (a/w Emotion/Memory, attention and response selection), also the hippocampus, the insula and the periaqueductal grey area. The medial division is responsible for the cognitive-evaluative and affective-motivational components of the experience.

 

Not all animals possess all these ‘components’ (fish in particular), so it cannot be said that the experience of being stuck with a needle is the same for everything because not everything possesses the same neurological ‘equipment’. In short, it doesn’t matter if a TV broadcast is high-definition and colour, if your TV set is an old black and white set, then you’ll just experience a low definition black and white image. You might even be able to pick up TV signals on your radio, but you'll only hear the sound, you'll never see the picture.

 

If something causes us pain in one occasion, then we learn from that and try to avoid that something. But chicken and fish can suffer pain from the same thing many times and yet they don't try to avoid it!
Learning is the most basic adaptive function of pain. Through a very basic association mechanism even fish learn to avoid places/behaviours that result in pain (or, shall we say, nociceptive activity). The exception is feeding. If a fish gets caught on a hook that will trigger activity in the nociceptive system, but it would be maladaptive for the fish to develop an aversion to feeding behaviour, so it doesn’t happen.

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So, poking a chicken with a needle and it reacting proves it is instinct, but poking you with a needle and you reacting proves you are conscious of it?

The fact that I know it hurts shows I'm conscious of it!

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The fact that I know it hurts shows I'm conscious of it!

 

The chicken knows the pain signal hurts as well. i'm starting to think your just trolling now.

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if you catch a fish and mark that fish with something so you can identify it from the others, you will still end up catching it again.

 

Why expect from a fish to never make the same mistake twice when we humans happily do the same mistake twice. A problem is clearly how to deduce from a single experience that it IS a mistake, this isn't easy even for something as (*cough*) intelligent as a human.

 

An organism who immediately respond to everything with an immediate correction would probably not live long either. Learning needs intertia, or otherwise you could easily "learn" the wrong things - you mistake actual mistakes from normal fluctuations for example.

 

It amazing how single cells learn and adapt. They have both short terms and long term responses, and I for one is deeply impressed by the construction of something so small that it easily escapes the naked eye.

 

I may agree that humans are quite a bit more clever than many animals, but I think the difference is exaggerated by our own incapability to communicate with them.

 

/Fredrik

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If consciousness can be formulated just as the capability of sensing and responding to world, then this can be applied to other creatures (except human) too, but I strongly believe that the concept of consciousness is far more complicated (I'm tired of singing the same song over and over:doh:)!

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If consciousness can be formulated just as the capability of sensing and responding to world, then this can be applied to other creatures (except human) too, but I strongly believe that the concept of consciousness is far more complicated

 

I see what you are saying darkshade but how can, given that this indeed is a matter of definition, any "sensible"(scientific?) definition of a property of anything be "formulated" in any other way so to speak than in terms of it's interactive properties?

 

/Fredrik

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I see what you are saying darkshade but how can, given that this indeed is a matter of definition, any "sensible"(scientific?) definition of a property of anything be "formulated" in any other way so to speak than in terms of it's interactive properties?

 

/Fredrik

Interaction, yes, something that all known organisms have. But the view of consciousness is a little different.

 

Consciousness is a subject about which has been spoken for a long time and the debate about it between philosophers still goes on. I'm saying between philosophers because I doubt consciousness could be explained mathematically and get simplified into one equation.

The issue of consciousness is a complicated one which goes out of the frames of philosophy and is a subject of study of psychology, medicine, psychiatry etc. One thing that all philosophers agree about consciousness, is that before solving this issue, they must solve another issue which is the relation between spirit and the body (I know that sounds crazy to a physicist or to a mathematician but this is the view of consciousness). And related to the issue of spirit and body, there have been some theories like dualism (Descartes), epiphenomenalism, monoism, paralelism etc.

 

There have also been cases when the existence of consciousness was doubted (Karl Gustav Jung), and as philosophers (or psychologists or psychiatrists) could not find or agree on one definition which would summarize the meaning of consciousness, then they decided to define consciousness only with metaphors.

 

Ignoring other views, the conclusion for consciousness was that, it is a property of only human beings. It is "something" with which we judge the things in our surrounding world, we create impressions about them, when decide whether we want to get close or keep a distance with them. We change the world in the way that fits us.

 

The concept of consciousness has often been related with knowledge. But there are also differences between the two. Knowledge has always a scientific background, is always rational, is always true. But consciousness does not have to complete those features. It can be irrational, it can be imaginary. Think of myths! They sure are irrational, but they do have a kind of logic and for sure anyone who wrote them was conscious.

Consciousness if far more complicated than knowledge. Consciousness is natural (that's my opinion). When we have a headache we are conscious that our head aches, but we have no certain knowledge what caused that!

 

Because of consciousness we have the ability to think far more advanced that any other living creatures. I know other animals (like bees and termites) can do some miracles but they are always the same pattern. In the other hand man-made stuff is always different, it's creative.

 

Consciousness is a dynamic process. It is something that changes with time. We keep having different opinions about people according to the way they act! We keep having different opinions to our cars according to the way they work. Consciousness is affected by the social factor. The circumstances influence in the formation of our character! It's dynamic.

 

And we have the ability to judge, create, destroy, modify, correct and many other because of the high capability of our brain. Everything we do is controlled by our brain (except instincts). Our brain is more developed than the brain of any other organism so far. This is why we are at the top of the evolution! This is why humans control the world instead of other animals. There are lots of animals are stronger than us, of faster that us, of taller than us, or heavier than us, so why don't they control the world? Why don't they rule the world? It's because their brain is not developed enough to do that!

 

Why hasn't any animal proposed a theory yet? Why hasn't any animal solved any simple mathematical equation yet? Why haven't the animals made the concept "consciousness" but humans have? Why?

 

And it is our brain capability that makes us rulers and the only creatures with conscience!

 

Consciousness belongs to humans!

 

Edit: excuse my writing but I didn't check it. If there are any grammatical errors, please ignore them!

 

Cheers,

Shade

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shade,

 

I like you man. You're a bright fellow who is passionate, and you are curious, which makes you even cooler. With that said, though... pull your head out of your ass and realize that you are starting with the assumption that humans are conscious and other animals are not. You are not supporting your arguments with anything more than self-referential circular logic, and you are arguing against others by suggesting they are morons for not seeing it the same way you do.

 

You cannot prove that animals are not conscious.

You cannot define consciousness itself.

You cannot prove that humans have this undefined entity you call consciousness.

 

Any arguments involving those is entirely your own opinion, not fact or empirically derived.

 

Opinions are great, but prove nothing. I happen to disagree with you, and I think that IF we humans are conscious, then so are the animals. That is my opinion, though, and I'm not going to try to force it down your throat. Please show the same respect.

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We discuss here right? And in discussions opinions are shown. Well that's what I'm doing, but it seems that my passion toward philosophy makes that look like I'm forcing to agree with me. No! I can't and don't won't to do that! What I have just posted above is the philosophical view of consciousness!

 

For many philosophy means just words. Perhaps it is like that, but it's got words enough to come to very logical conclusions!

 

But again, MY OPINION is that humans are far away from sharing consciousness with animals. That's my philosophy of consciousness!

 

Perhaps a philosopher could help here!:rolleyes:

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Well... so much for my attempt at friendship.

 

 

You haven't done a single thing to support your premise, and your conclusions are consequently also unsupported (and hence worth nothing).

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You know what, I'll stop posting at this thread!

 

And as for the friendship, any time mate;):)!

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I respect your opinon and view, I was just commenting from my viewpoint like everyone else. I didn't mean to pick on anyone, just add my personal view for contrast.

 

The concept of consciousness has often been related with knowledge. But there are also differences between the two. Knowledge has always a scientific background, is always rational, is always true. But consciousness does not have to complete those features. It can be irrational, it can be imaginary. Think of myths! They sure are irrational, but they do have a kind of logic and for sure anyone who wrote them was conscious. Consciousness if far more complicated than knowledge.

 

I would choose to say that knowledge is also far more complicated that you indicated above.

 

IMO irrationality is relative, and so is knowledge, although I can imagine a few people who disagree with this. I'm not sure what you mean by "knowledge is always true". If you mean that everybody (every observer) would come up with the same answer, then I disagree. I would say that even information and knowledge is still somewhat under debate also from a physics point of view. It's not just "facts", because how to you define a fact without proposing a verification and acquisition process, and even the acquisition process itself (the measurement) is IMO related in terms of the questioner. So even plain knowledge is complicated enough as it is. But I think by tradition this is often oversimplified, because to imagine a set of absolute truths is very convenient, no matter how nonsensial.

 

Typically the common meaning of knowledge in society is the knowledge that is collectively agreed upon, but this changes too, but more slowely due to the collective inertia.

 

Everything you describes fits into my view of information and knowledge at least.

 

Consciousness is a dynamic process. It is something that changes with time.

 

So does knowledge as I use the term. I would described that as a dynamic process as well, it's constantly remodelled. It's not just a "record of facts".

 

We keep having different opinions about people according to the way they act! We keep having different opinions to our cars according to the way they work.

 

 

Different observers have different knowledge, but this doesn't mean that some are right and some are wrong, because who is the judge?

 

Why hasn't any animal proposed a theory yet? Why hasn't any animal solved any simple mathematical equation yet?

 

Hmm... theory? I'm not sure the representation needs to be on paper. How about the genome of life? Maybe it's natures own theory for a survival strategy? I don't know the inventor but it's outstanding.

 

Consciousness belongs to humans!

 

What's a human anyway? ;) What about chimps? I am more leaning towards that there are different degrees of consiciousness.

 

/Fredrik

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I am more leaning towards that there are different degrees of consiciousness.

 

Bingo! we have a winner.

 

if you take any complex atribute and apply it to people and other animals you'll see that certain individuals are better at it than others and some aren't realy good at it at all.

 

this is also seen cross species.

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I have reviewed the posts since my last post (#31). There are many built-in assumptions to what people are saying. Consider what you might be assuming by what you are saying. It is there where you will find fodder for improvement of the theory and the basis for experimentation.

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I believe that we'll probably never know for sure whether or not fish/chicken are "concious".

 

I do like to think that humans have higher levels of conciousness than most other animals.

 

There is an argument that dolphins are incredibly intelligent animals (and they are the only other animals to have sex for pleasure! Sorry =P I'm not even sure if that snippet of trivia is true), but they cannot utilise that intelligence to build tools because their anatomy doesn't allow it.

 

Humans, on the other hand, have the intellectual and physical capacity to make things due to our opposable thumbs and manual dexterity.

 

Sorry, I went off on a bit of tangent there.

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I believe that we'll probably never know for sure whether or not fish/chicken are "concious".

 

I'd have to disagree with you there. As INow said, at the current point in time, we cannot define consciousness, and we cannot be sure whether it exists in other animals in a similar manner to the way it exists in humans. But this is because, at the current point in time, the brain, the way it is formed, and the way it functions, are largely unknown to us. However, this is rapidly changing. And the more we learn, the faster we'll learn more. One day these questions will be answerable. We just don't have the knowledge available right now to do so.

 

I do like to think that humans have higher levels of conciousness than most other animals.

 

Most people do. Most humans look for ways to distinguish themselves from the rest of life on this planet, which in my opinion, is a rather useless pastime. I highly doubt that we humans possess any characteristic that is not present to some degree or another in other life that exists or has existed on earth. Thedarkshade clearly disagrees with this. I have, however, recently read about some behavioral studies that attempt to test for a theory of mind in non-human primates, which is a a type of knowing that people excel in. But, not surprisingly, the results are hard to interpret with any certainty and are hardly consistent. They do seem to suggest, though, that people probably do have a higher degree of consciousness than primates. I know of no such tests done on dolphins or elephants, which would be my other non-human candidate for similar-to-human consciousness.

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Don't they have the mirror test or something like that to test for any kind of self-awareness in non-human animals?

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