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Where does consciousness come from?
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21 / M / Southern California
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Posted 7/9/14 , edited 7/9/14

con·scious·ness: [ kónshəssnəss ]
1.awareness of surroundings: the state of being awake and aware of what is going on around you
2.somebody's mind: somebody's mind and thoughts
3.shared feelings and beliefs: the set of opinions, feelings, and beliefs of a group


So I've always been interested where consciousness comes from and I was wondering what your opinions where on this topic, so these are my questions;

1. How can consciousness spontaneously be created, and at the same time how can it spontaneously come to an end?

2. Where do you think humans get consciousness from? Evolution? Aliens? God?

Some might argue, since consciousness is not physical. It is in no way dependent on anything physical for it's existence. Time with it's beginnings and ends is a purely physical construct that consciousness is not constrained by. Therefore they could say that consciousness being non-physical does not have beginnings and ends.

Thanks for answering,

-xMethod
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Posted 7/9/14
hmm interesting.. I'd say consiosnes or consciness or whatever that is (its hard to even type! ><) comes from the soul.. and soul comes from the soul society! .. you know the place where Shinigami live? Ok thank you.. goodbye!
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Posted 7/10/14
I don't think consciousness is spontaneously created. I think it is slowly developed as the brain and sensory organs develop.

If you get hit in the head the right way you're not you anymore. Same if you suffer late stage Alzheimer's. Everything about the mind has a physical basis, or else injury and disease would not affect it. If it were entirely non-physical (like, say, a ghost) then it would not be able to interact with your physical body and pilot it. Memories are the result of physical structures in your noggin, which is why they can be destroyed. This is why I find the idea of "remembering past lives" absurd: even if, and I'm being very generous here, you are reincarnated as a different person, your new brain doesn't have the neurons and synapses your old one did, so none of the memories of your past life could be encoded there.

I don't see any reason to think that consciousness is more than the sum of its parts. It's a very useful evolutionary trait. And it's not unique to us.
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22 / M / MS
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Posted 7/10/14
Your conscious is created throughout your life. It is a giant mystery of how we can think inside our heads even though when you talk those thoughts out you make sounds. But when talking/thinking inside your head. It's... your conscious. I also think its not unique to us(homo-sapiens) all animals think like this just in there native tongue. Birds, monkeys, cats, dogs, etc, communicate through sound and sometimes by just instinct. I think life is a huge mystery. Evolution is a theory, aliens are a myth, and God is a religion. All 3 of these things could have an effect, but on the other hand it could have nothing to do with it.
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21 / M / Southern California
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Posted 7/10/14
Interesting opinions and views that I haven't thought about. Keep em' coming! :
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Posted 7/10/14
A combination of electrochemical signals in your brain and from various receptor cells throughout your body results in the experience of consciousness by giving you characteristics such as body mapping, tactile sensation, depth perception, and balance. The experience of emotion is effectively a stimulus-response signaling chain which functions by regulating your neurotransmitter concentrations. Your cognitive reasoning and risk assessment capabilities are handled by the frontal lobe of your brain. Your memories are regulated by several regions of the brain, and damage thereto can induce amnesia. In other words, consciousness is a full body experience which centers on the brain and is fed by receptors and transmitters across electrochemical networks dispersed throughout the body.

Everything from our development of a central nervous system, to our emphasis on vision above all other senses, to the limits on either side of our specific range of visible wavelengths of light, to our experiences of emotion serve some biological function (or at least don't inhibit any of the important ones). For example, our emotions have developed in a way which has facilitated the establishment and maintenance of social groups (which are of great utility for keeping us safe and fed). For another, our ability to see the colors we see allowed for quicker and more frequent seizure of food items by keeping them visible and distinguishable from non-food items (like poisonous berries and mushrooms). The experience of consciousness is the cumulative action of all your survival mechanisms.
Posted 7/10/14 , edited 11/3/14
nobody knows and anyone who says they do is lying
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Posted 7/10/14
Consciousness? Babies do have it from day A. The question is how much your physical embodiment limits your consciousness.
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38 / M / Kansas
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Posted 7/10/14 , edited 7/10/14
Honestly, I don't know. I don't think it's correct to say that it's purely physical. I also don't think it's entirely correct to say it's non-physical. Some schools of thought divide your consciousness into your id, your ego, and your superego. With rough correlations to mind-body-spirit. I would say the combination of the body's desire for food & sex, the mind's desire for order and reason, and the spirit's desire towards noble virtues, all mix together to form consciousness. That's just a guess tho. I dunno.
Wihl 
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Posted 7/11/14
Consciousness comes from life.
Posted 8/18/14 , edited 8/18/14
I don't know, but it does not come from the brain. It is consciousness that generates the brain, not the other way around. I believe that the body is just a container for consciousness.
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Posted 8/18/14

SeraphSephirot wrote:

I don't know, but it does not come from the brain. It is consciousness that generates the brain, not the other way around. I believe that the body is just a container for consciousness.


Conciousness is definitely a production of our big & powerful brain...
... A brain intelligent to comprehend & understand.
Unlike some animals whose brain is only capable of following instincts...

If like you said, consciousness doesn't arise from the brain, then can you provide an example of a conciousness in absence of a brain ?!
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Posted 8/22/14 , edited 8/22/14
If you and I exchanged neurons 1 at a time, at which point would we switch minds? Just a curious thought.


There's also the philosophical zombie thing though. Maybe only one person or some people are conscious and nobody else is even self-aware.


How would consciousness work in AI though, especially after their intelligence surpasses ours?
Posted 8/22/14 , edited 8/22/14
Some believe consciousness doesn't really exist to begin with except as an illusion and whatnot of otherwise hulking bodies of meat. I doubt flies and most other insects have a consciousness worth speaking of.
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32 / M / Atlanta, GA
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Posted 8/23/14 , edited 8/23/14

themeliorist wrote:

I don't think consciousness is spontaneously created. I think it is slowly developed as the brain and sensory organs develop.

If you get hit in the head the right way you're not you anymore. Same if you suffer late stage Alzheimer's. Everything about the mind has a physical basis, or else injury and disease would not affect it. If it were entirely non-physical (like, say, a ghost) then it would not be able to interact with your physical body and pilot it. Memories are the result of physical structures in your noggin, which is why they can be destroyed. This is why I find the idea of "remembering past lives" absurd: even if, and I'm being very generous here, you are reincarnated as a different person, your new brain doesn't have the neurons and synapses your old one did, so none of the memories of your past life could be encoded there.

I don't see any reason to think that consciousness is more than the sum of its parts. It's a very useful evolutionary trait. And it's not unique to us.

I agree with the points you make about consciousness arising from physical structures, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to assume consciousness is a straightly linear, "sum of it's parts" type construct. If it were like that, then why can't we create consciousness or "repair" people's consciousness when they suffer brain damage? Is it a simple case of people not studying/trying to these things?
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