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Stevo

What is consciousness?

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How do i know that i am me? How do you know you are you? Why and how am i aware of my surroudings? I DO NOT want the typical christian response of, "Because that is the way God intended things to be." This is not a valid response in my opinion. Is there some kind of chemical explanation for awareness? Does it have to do with having a "soul" (for lack of a better term). If so where does that come from?

 

I'm just looking for some answers. :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

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it`s unlikely to have a "Chemical" answer, I`de expect the answer would be more Psychologicaly based instead.

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How do i know that i am me?
If you don't know, do you truly believe that an outside observer could define who you are?

 

How do you know you are you?
Because I know I'm not anyone else.

 

Why and how am i aware of my surroudings? ... Is there some kind of chemical explanation for awareness?
I believe that there would have to be a generally agreed upon definition of awareness first. Is it simply recognizing one's image in a mirror? Or something more complex?

 

I'm just looking for some answers.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but philosophical questions rarely have satisfying answers. If you focused your questions on more specific issues, such as "What causes one to recognize a mirror image as a representation of themselves?", then they would most likely fall into a scientific field, such as cognitive neuroscience, and more definite answers could be provided.

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I like the theory of consciousness being located in the sub-quark levels, being so small that it is able of superpositioning (being in two places at the same time, explaining "expanded consciousness").

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As far as a definition for awareness. I'm talking about the ability to detect, and respond to stimuli, meaning dreams count as they produce stimuli.

 

But is there not even a single theory out there on how a lump of nervous tissue that has a some electricity running throuhg it can in and of itself know about the fact that it is attached to a body and it is effecting the environment around it by telling the body what to do and how to do it. I was just wondering if anyone had any theories, even far-feached ones, on how that could happen. Then, if any of those theories could be in any way backed up scientifically.

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If you don't know' date=' do you truly believe that an outside observer could define who you are?

 

I'm not asking for someone to tell me who i am; i'm asking, how do i know i am me, (i.e. self-awareness). It is the same question as the second one. How do you know you are you? Not who you are, but the ability to comprehend that you are a sentient being.

 

Scenario:

 

Bob is sitting at his computer. Bob hears sirens passing outside. Bob is not frightned because he is [i']aware[/i] that he is insode his house and the noise is coming from outside. The stimuli, the siren, was taken in by bob and proccessed. If bob had been outside he would have probably felt a degree of discomfort from hearing sirens.

 

Bob's mind can differentiate between responses to the sirens depending on what stimuli his surroundings are giving him, triggering his awareness in different ways.

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I believe that its an effect of the brain running multiple programs which are linked and exchange information and the nervous system giving spacial and internal information to these programs that causes a loop of self observation.

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Guest Sporogenic

Consciousness doesn't lie in the brain. The brain is just a mechanism for collecting, catalouging and recalling data. Not to mention sending electrical messages to the body so that we can function, do work and have babies. Consciousness I would think is an energy signature and that energy signature would be your soul. Maybe consciousness is part of the entire universe and all its energies. Just maybe consciousness isn't a single thing, it is many, like the life of the earth, the human ego and the higher self, compiled together to create feelings like love, hate, compassion and greed. Also, there are levels of conscious awareness. There are harmonic levels and discordant levels, just like keys on a piano. Humans today are in a discordant level, thats why were destroying the earth.

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If you don't know' date=' do you truly believe that an outside observer could define who you are?

 

I'm not asking for someone to tell me who i am; i'm asking, how do i know i am me, (i.e. self-awareness). It is the same question as the second one. How do you know you are you? Not who you are, but the ability to comprehend that you are a sentient being.

 

Bob's mind can differentiate between responses to the sirens depending on what stimuli his surroundings are giving him, triggering his awareness in different ways.[/quote']

 

the closest thing I can think of right now is a Nova special I saw concerning the brain. A man who suffered head trauma in an auto accident was "normal" in every way, except he would think that his parents were imposters. He would also think his house wasn't HIS house. He would recognize that the people, things LOOKED correct, but they weren't HIS. If he only talked to people, he believed they were the REAL people, but if he saw them, he thought they were imposters.

 

Pretty interesting...

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Consciousness doesn't lie in the brain. The brain is just a mechanism for collecting, catalouging and recalling data. Not to mention sending electrical messages to the body so that we can function, do work and have babies. Consciousness I would think is an energy signature and that energy signature would be your soul. Maybe consciousness is part of the entire universe and all its energies. Just maybe consciousness isn't a single thing, it is many, like the life of the earth, the human ego and the higher self, compiled together to create feelings like love, hate, compassion and greed. Also, there are levels of conscious awareness. There are harmonic levels and discordant levels, just like keys on a piano. Humans today are in a discordant level, thats why were destroying the earth.

 

So the "soul" you speak of would be a knew from of energy. Like heat or plasma. This energy doesn't really deplete though, or need anything to feed off of (wood to make fire=heat and light). I guess it does do work, (if you count envoking thought). So it meats some of the requirements of energy. Hmmmmmm interesting theory though.

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Very short answer:

 

The brain uses representations of the world, and representations of the body, in order to select a motor response that is beneficial. We have something very close to a homunculus mapping out our bodies in our brains, and incomming stimuli, the representations of the world, are integrated with the representation of the body which creates a perspective- we do not just experience the world, we experience it from somewhere, with a unique, first person perspective. This information is made available to the brain in such a way that it is useful for the selection of a motor response in any given situation. On top of that, we represent some of our own internal processes which gives us a unique perspective on our own internal thinking process which, when combined with information about our place and relationship with the world (and people) around us, along with a bit of a story-like understanding of our own lives, comes to take on the characteristic of what we call "the self".

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I don't think consciousness is really a separate brain function. I believe it is only a product of man's ability to think abstractly and his superior ability to draw conclusions from the available information. I believe there is a range of what might be considered consciousness among the animal kingdom.

 

Very few animals will recognize themselves in the mirror. If you hold a mirror in front of a monkey he will think he is facing another monkey and he will never comprehend that it's his own reflection, no matter how many times you repeat the experiment. If he starts dancing around then he thinks the other monkey is dancing around.

 

If you do the same thing with a dolphin or a chimpanzee he will soon realize that the image in the mirror is his own reflection. He will then amuse himself by performing various actions in the mirror until he becomes bored. He is aware of his own existence and that his existence is separate from the rest of the world. This comes from their increased ability to make sense of the information given to them. It is this function, only greatly increased in man, that allows consciousness.

 

The same reasoning that allows man to study chemistry and draw many conclusions about the world produces consciousness. Only in the case of consciousness the conclusion that the individual is a separate entity comes from every day information and stimuli. When the person is young he learns to walk and when he falls down he experiences pain. He understands that it is his pain and not the rest of the world's pain because he is the only one crying. He learns that it is his reflection in the mirror because the reflection appears after he steps in front of it. From this kind of information it soon dawns on him that he is a separate entity. He soon learns that the thoughts and emotions he experiences are his own.

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It is probably something similar to a hologram in that even a small piece of the whole always generates a good approximation of the whole. To really scientifically find out what consciousness is requires DIRECT MANIPULATION OF OUR NEURAL CIRCUITS. Now very few scientists will ever want to manipulate their own neural wiring to see what the effects are and even if they did, how would they be sure that they are observing the effect without the effect modifying the observation ? It will therefore remain a difficult mystery until we start changing our mental circuits directly and maybe implanting some chips to control what is happening.

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No one can really understand what is consciousness yet.

What i feel that consciousness is that, we are able to feel pain and emotions. From that, i know that i'm conscious.

 

However, i think your question about "How do i know that i am me? How do you know you are you?" is quite a food for thought.

 

so, i think it depends on your logic and creativity to answer these questions. everyone is bound to have different answers. but, i'm curious about your view, how you think you actually evolve and exist.

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If no life was ever to see what was could anything realy be? and is that the reason we are aware to give meaning to what is and why is that ? I believe it is a factor of probability and chaos becoming order that made our thought possible, just think we are stardust that evolved for billions of years into the comlpex life we are.

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I heard of an experiment that put cameras on a persons belt,

 

I'm not sure if they thought they were in their belly rather than in their skull.

 

 

see if you can locate the expt.

 

:eek:

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I heard of an experiment that put cameras on a persons belt' date='

 

I'm not sure if they thought they were in their belly rather than in their skull.

 

 

see if you can locate the expt.

 

:eek:[/quote']

Huh?

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well a way to explore the question more is to find exceptions to the rule.

 

you know.

 

When am I not conscious...asleep...dead...before I was born...in alpha state...etc.

 

where does my conscious center apear to be...in my hands in my head...etc

 

I heard anout this expt where the subject had ears and eyes covered by speakers and tv screens and then cameras and mics were put at his belt.

 

I 'm not sure if his sense of conscious shifted to his belly.

 

Tx, reverse.

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"I 'm not sure if his sense of conscious shifted to his belly."

 

Eh? What makes you think that?

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well for example, do you think of this thread as existing on your screen?

 

where does it really live , and where is our converstauion taking place..I mean at the molecular level and in a phisical sense.

 

it could be the same with human consciousness, where it appears to live may only be the effect caused by the optical interface (our eyes).

 

tx Reverese.

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Spend an afternoon imagining you are in your hand, not your head and you'll see what reverse is getting at.

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