Talk:Consciousness

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Godot understands things better than the academics at Stanford. Delusions of grandeur? Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:30, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Godot understands things a lot better than you do, like attribution & the distinction between secondary & tertiary source materials. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:44, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
Does she understand better than the academics at Stanford? Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:47, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
We heard you the first time. And you don't even know what you're talking about. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:53, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

I find it ironically irrational for Rationalwiki to way so heavily in the emergentism-panpsychism debate when there's practically no scientific concensus either way, seeing as it's primarily a philosophical issue, perhaps the final fronteir of science. In fact, David Chalmers, whom you've quoted in this article, holds a loose position more akin to idealism than materialism. I believe this article could be greatly improved by simply removing the link to "bullshit". Belief without empirical evidence is faith. — Unsigned, by: 96.45.250.184 / talk / contribs

What "pumps" the brain? A rational "manifesto"[edit]

I think the great distinction between us, atheists, skeptics, freethinkers, humanists, rationalist etc, and believers, new-agers, astrologers etc. is this: we consider that there is a total impersonal rationality in existence, and through evolution we became more aware and more complex and developed a personal self; while they believe that what pumps the brain, what moves the earth and so on is a personal thing. So the choice is, imo, between believeng that first came the egg (nature, with its rational laws) or the chicken (god, or other concious things). In a way, summing everything up, the matter (in a philosophical way) is choosing between the immanent way of looking at things (metaphysical natualism - the being, nature, the cosmos, universe, has always been, always is and always will be; and there's nothing below or above it, there's only a horizontal naturalistic world) and the transcendental way of looking at things (that in every kind assumes that thought gives birth to matter, from ideas comes being, and not, as we think, from being derive ideas). Obviously I've chosen the first for three simple reasons: 1) It's far more rational and realistic than the other. 2) It's the only way through which we, as rational beings, can think freely, and especially in subjective things (thoughts, emotions, etc.) we don't have to follow nobody at all. 3) It takes off the fear and the disillusion of hope and gives dignity to every single thing that is in this beautiful and "horizontal" universe (or is a "structure" the universe), first of all, us.

Now, that's why I think that we as beings of and in the universe , who don't believe in any supernatural thing, are far from being pessimistic or nihistic about life, we came from the egg, but in some ways we are the chicken and know and appreciate the egg. Still the egg doesn't care a whit, in its perfection, of our thoughts, and it's delightful not being observed by a big spirit or being, I think. So "remember your humanity, and forget the rest.", as Russell and Einstein said.

So I think that a real skeptic "cannot not " be in fact a "pantheist" or "humanist", because we wouldn't talk about the truth and thg universe if we weren't in love with them, but at the same time we have "faith" in human reason, love, happiness, and why not, dreams. Let's be objective to wh t's objective, but let's be subjective with what's subjective.

Now a few questions. Is our view of the world more justificated than the irrational ones'? Or is it a faith? Is conscioussness an epiphenomenon of the brain? And what moves the brain cells, the blood and pretty much everything? I think order, Cosmos as the greeks called it.


Gianga23 (talk) 13:07, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

In your introduction you say: "we consider that there is a total impersonal rationality in existence, and through evolution we became more aware and more complex and developed a personal self"
Could you explain the second part of the sentence beginning with "and" ... I'm not sure that I follow.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 13:39, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm no scientist ahah, i'm a law student who doesn't believe in god. I'm just stating pretty much two facts (human consciousness and evolution) and my kind of view of them (i may be wrong, but I think that compatibilism is possibile for conscioussness and the laws of physics, and i think it is linked with evolution and the decision making process of the individual...but again I'm no scientist, it's just a view only in part supported by theories). I mean, we evolved from a fish (I don't believe a fish thinks about wheter he's going to study private law or playing videogames this evening), and THAT is amazing. You know, i think all is matter but the order can become intelligence through life's process, but... The big question is.. How? :D Gianga23 (talk) 14:12, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Advances in artificial intelligence or neuroscience may be able to shed some light on this "how?". Other than that, it's to do with how chemistry/biology/physics functions and applying evolution to that. That would be my best guess. Nullahnung (talk) 23:30, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
It's all gnomes! SophieWilderModerator 23:37, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I think that neuroscience and ai are great instruments to explain the biological way of the goings in our brain and the way it works, but not every scientist or philosoper thinks that they are to explain consciousness in its whole as a phenomenon (e.g. Raymond Tallis, Roger Sperry, AC Grayling...). I too believe that serious studies on evolution can give us a great insight into it (free will as the choice between a vast variety of alternatives is a brilliant way of compatibilism). Still these are beautiful and crucial (and revolutionary!) fields of study, and minimalizing everything as religious folks do ("oooooh, if there's no soul, than you're only a brute animal and a clockwork made of flesh") is imo untrue (look at Steven Pinker's work for example) and doesn't bring us anywhere. Instead treating the implication between the rise of life on earth, evolution (especially of men), the brain and consciousness as natural phenomena and applying to them very different hypoteses is imo one of the most impellent things science and philosophy should do. :) Gianga23 (talk) 07:36, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

This page is terrible[edit]

  • There's insufficient POV. It's mostly a bland recapitulation of facts, like a pointless summary of the WP page.
  • But it's also it's factually inaccurate in several places, like a crap version of the WP page.
  • And there's a loose attempt to portray mainstream philosophy as woo..for instance by linking it Julian Jaynes, who definitely isn't mainstream. Philosophy has some strange theories of consciousness to be sure, but that's because it is a genuinely hard problem, not because philosophers are dumb, or deluded or anti-science. This isn't an area with a clear scientific consensus.
  • Also, there's no attempt to shoot down the real woo, although there is plenty of it, such as Deepak Chopra style Quantum Mysticism.

Peterdjones (talk) 08:34, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

I'll give you the standard answer first: You are hereby officially invited to improve the page. Deepak Chopra and Quantum woo have their own pages. Super Dude,What does mine say? Sweet! 08:39, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
I'll give the standard response: I wish I had the time. Peterdjones (talk) 11:59, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
It is pretty bad. My "favourite" example in the statement in the Scientific Understanding section is: "(this) has led to interesting propositions such as "it may be possible that even rocks are conscious."". While "interesting" links, quite correctly, to "bullshit" it really sounds utterly woo at first reading.
But as there is absolutely no way that I am going to pretend to have the smarts to rewriting this from scratch I'm going to limit myself to this complaint.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:01, 3 November 2019 (UTC)