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Author Topic:   The consciouness paradox
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.3


Message 31 of 44 (478076)
08-11-2008 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Agobot
07-31-2008 7:21 PM


Well, let's look at some analogous questions. How come none of the atoms that make up a corkscrew are twisty? How come none of the atoms that make up limonine taste of lemons? How come none of the atoms that make up a duck can go "quack"?

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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 44 (478078)
08-11-2008 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by onifre
08-11-2008 4:21 PM


But intelligence isn't special, its the result of randomness.

There's nothing special about it, in and of itself.

But us humans are special because we are soooo intelligent we're off the chart. Not being on the chart is being special.

Its special for us but how great has it been for our enviroment? Not many things on this planet have benefited from our rise to intelligence other than us, so it seems rather self-centered to say that we are special. We are just another species.

Fuck the environment for the purpose of this discussion.

Yes we are another species, but we are not just another species.

That we have evolved to be so much smarter that the other species don't even compare to us means we are something more than just another one.

I'm not talking about some metaphysical sense of specialness.

If everyone else has $1 and you have $1000, then you are special even tho its just other dollars. They are stil jus dollars but that you have so much more makes you special.

And sure its self-centered, but do you here any of the other species complaining about it ;)


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onifre
Member (Idle past 1287 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 33 of 44 (478094)
08-11-2008 11:34 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Dr Adequate
08-11-2008 5:03 PM


How come none of the atoms that make up a corkscrew are twisty? How come none of the atoms that make up limonine taste of lemons? How come none of the atoms that make up a duck can go "quack"?

Dr you just blew my mind...


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 Message 31 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-11-2008 5:03 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1287 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 34 of 44 (478097)
08-11-2008 11:59 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by New Cat's Eye
08-11-2008 5:13 PM


But us humans are special because we are soooo intelligent we're off the chart. Not being on the chart is being special.

So a chart created by humans to test other species' intelligence tells us that we are the smartest, hmmm, that test seems fuckin bias...

Fuck the environment for the purpose of this discussion.

Im sure Al Gore would love to ;)

That we have evolved to be so much smarter that the other species don't even compare to us means we are something more than just another one.

Ok, if wings were evolved for a purpose and/or neccesity, and intelligence was evolved for a purpose and/or neccesity, then what makes one more special than the other? The way you are presenting it seems to mean intelligence was a gift of some kind that merits a hierarchy in evolved traits. It's just a trait, it was useful and was selected.

If we were making a chart for the ability to fly naturally we'd be shit. How about a chart for swimming under water, we would suck. So it only depends on what you think is the greatest evolved trait of all time, or is that even fair to do since traits are adaptations that are dictated by the enviromental conditions each species finds itself in? I go with the latter.

If everyone else has $1 and you have $1000, then you are special even tho its just other dollars. They are stil jus dollars but that you have so much more makes you special.

What if money became of no value? Then you'd just have a 1000 things to wipe your ass with...now is that really special?(I'll let you finish the punchline on that one;))

And sure its self-centered, but do you here any of the other species complaining about it

This I cannot argue, you are correct, we are the shit when it comes to shit talking ;)


"All great truths begin as blasphemies"

"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks

"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky


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 Message 32 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-11-2008 5:13 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 35 of 44 (478125)
08-12-2008 9:52 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by onifre
08-11-2008 11:59 PM


So a chart created by humans to test other species' intelligence tells us that we are the smartest, hmmm, that test seems fuckin bias...

But the other species aren't even capable of making a chart. That right there shows how un-special they are.

Ok, if wings were evolved for a purpose and/or neccesity, and intelligence was evolved for a purpose and/or neccesity, then what makes one more special than the other?

To be analogous, we'd have to have a gap in the flying ability that resembles the gap in intelligence. So yeah, if some bird could fly to outer space, then they'd be special too. But there is no gap. And there's not really a gap in any ability except intellience. And then its the biggest gap we've seen. It seems like something special to me.

The way you are presenting it seems to mean intelligence was a gift of some kind that merits a hierarchy in evolved traits. It's just a trait, it was useful and was selected.

Our level of intelligence is unique. I can certainly put my religious hat on and call it a "gift", but it doesn't really seem necessary.

And I do see a hierarchy of evolved traits. There are some very primative traits (sexual reproduction) and their are highly evolved traits (echo-location). That all mammals sexually reproduce and only a couple have echolocation suggests a hierarchy. Sapience could easily be placed at the top of this hierarchy. I mean, we are the ones who are naming the hierarchy in the first place. Its not like we can ask the dolphins if they agree.

This I cannot argue, you are correct, we are the shit when it comes to shit talking

Bill Hick writes:

Now THAT, is special.


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onifre
Member (Idle past 1287 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 36 of 44 (478180)
08-12-2008 5:18 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by New Cat's Eye
08-12-2008 9:52 AM


To be analogous, we'd have to have a gap in the flying ability that resembles the gap in intelligence. So yeah, if some bird could fly to outer space, then they'd be special too. But there is no gap. And there's not really a gap in any ability except intellience. And then its the biggest gap we've seen. It seems like something special to me.

Sure, within intelligent species we are clearly the most intelligent but the means by which we became intelligent was nothing short of luck. To me this would imply that intelligence, even though it is a great trait to posses, isn't special. It was also dependant upon many factors to get us to this level of intelligence, factors that were outside of our control. I could see your point if we originally worked toward more intelligence, but we really didn't, we became intelligent because of evolvement and now we bask in its glory...lucky us.

And I do see a hierarchy of evolved traits. There are some very primative traits (sexual reproduction) and their are highly evolved traits (echo-location).

The 2 are dependent upon other factors, and each other. IMO, both of those traits were the result of something which caused those traits, so they aren't independently special, or placed in a hierarchy, they are just traits.

That all mammals sexually reproduce and only a couple have echolocation suggests a hierarchy.

To me this would suggest that the species who don't have echo-location didn't evolve it for a reason. Why would a mammal have such a trait if that trait wasn't benefitial to that mammal? Why do species have specific traits to begin with? Isn't it simply for necessity?

The question I would have would be,
At the molecular level, is echolocation any more complex than sexual reproduction?

At that point I could see it being in a hierarchy, if it is more complex, like single-cell organisms vs. multi-celled organisms. But it would just be a hierarchy that we made up for the purpose of giving value to a natural phenomena.

I mean, we are the ones who are naming the hierarchy in the first place. Its not like we can ask the dolphins if they agree.

Right, but if we could I believe they would say 'what is hierarchy?', which is basically what im saying.

There is no hierarchy. We are all equally advantageous to our enviroment. Each trait is unique, none better than the other because they are not independent of their surroundings.

To go back to the OP, consciousness is cool, but its not 'more special' than flight, or echolocation, or night vision etc...

I know you argued earlier in the thread for sapience being the actual special trait, and its hard to argue against that but, I think thats only through our perspective that we see it as special.

Edited by onifre, : No reason given.


"All great truths begin as blasphemies"

"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks

"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky


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 Message 35 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-12-2008 9:52 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-13-2008 11:02 AM onifre has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 44 (478262)
08-13-2008 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by onifre
08-12-2008 5:18 PM


Sure, within intelligent species we are clearly the most intelligent but the means by which we became intelligent was nothing short of luck.

So it seems, but I'm not totally convinced.

Jesus could have used his magic powers to guide our evolution ;)

Or the Viracocha could have genetically manipulated gorillas with their own genetics.

To me this would imply that intelligence, even though it is a great trait to posses, isn't special.

I was saying that its not the intelligence, itself, that was special but that our amount of intelligence is special. But not necessarily in some metaphysical sense, in the sense that a bird that could fly to outer space would also be special. Its in the sense of "wow, that is extra-ordinary"

Now, if a bird could fly to outer space, it might make me think that there was something more to it than "nothing short of luck", like in the metaphysical or extraterestrial sense. That we are soooo intelligent could also suggest that there was something more than luck involved.

It was also dependant upon many factors to get us to this level of intelligence, factors that were outside of our control. I could see your point if we originally worked toward more intelligence, but we really didn't, we became intelligent because of evolvement and now we bask in its glory...lucky us.

But if the aliens did specially create us, your claims wouldn't be totally correct. They wouldn't be false, but you'd be wrong in failing to recognize their involvement.

Or if Jesus did it, or whatever.

Right, but if we could I believe they would say 'what is hierarchy?', which is basically what im saying.

Think of the phylogenic tree:


Click to enlarge

The traits that are common to many species, those at the trunk of the tree, are at a lower hierarchy than the traits that are uncommon, those at the tips of the branches.

There is no hierarchy. We are all equally advantageous to our enviroment.

That's not true. Some species are better adapted than others.

To go back to the OP, consciousness is cool, but its not 'more special' than flight, or echolocation, or night vision etc...

So it seems, but I'm not totally convinced.

Jesus could have used his magic powers to guide our evolution ;)

Or the Viracocha could have genetically manipulated gorillas with their own genetics.

Consciousness's uniqueness could be suggesting that it is "more special".


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 Message 38 by onifre, posted 08-13-2008 5:59 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1287 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 38 of 44 (478291)
08-13-2008 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by New Cat's Eye
08-13-2008 11:02 AM


So it seems, but I'm not totally convinced.

What would convince you?

I was saying that its not the intelligence, itself, that was special but that our amount of intelligence is special. But not necessarily in some metaphysical sense, in the sense that a bird that could fly to outer space would also be special. Its in the sense of "wow, that is extra-ordinary"

Ok, I can agree with that.

But if the aliens did specially create us, your claims wouldn't be totally correct. They wouldn't be false, but you'd be wrong in failing to recognize their involvement.

Or if Jesus did it, or whatever.

But aren't we going with the premise that life occured naturally? If it did then I win ;)

The traits that are common to many species, those at the trunk of the tree, are at a lower hierarchy than the traits that are uncommon, those at the tips of the branches.

Well you are pointing to 2 different time periods. One of early life with not much diversity, then one millions of years later with lots of diversity. It seems unfair to compare the 2. Its expected to see alot more diversity millions of years later were the common traits would be minimal.

That's not true. Some species are better adapted than others.

Sure, but what fault is it of the lesser adapted species? And the fact that it hasn't become extinct due to natural causes is a sign that the species is a survivor. But, my point was that species don't control the traits they evolve, the traits they have are based off of enviromental pressure, therefore none, IMO, merits a hierarchy.

Consciousness's uniqueness could be suggesting that it is "more special".

But, only in the POV of the person with consciousness, in the whole scope of traits consciousness has not been anymore advantagous for us than wings have been for birds.


"All great truths begin as blasphemies"

"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks

"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-13-2008 11:02 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-14-2008 10:20 AM onifre has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 44 (478328)
08-14-2008 10:20 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by onifre
08-13-2008 5:59 PM


What would convince you?

That it was nothing short of luck? How are you going to prove a negative?

I was saying that its not the intelligence, itself, that was special but that our amount of intelligence is special. But not necessarily in some metaphysical sense, in the sense that a bird that could fly to outer space would also be special. Its in the sense of "wow, that is extra-ordinary"

Ok, I can agree with that.

If you can agree that humans' intelligence is extra-ordinary, then why can we not use that to suggest that it might, just might, be a result of something outside the Theory of Evolution?

You're convinced that it was nothing short of luck. How can you be so sure?

But aren't we going with the premise that life occured naturally? If it did then I win ;)

The premise is that a natural process could describe the occurance. If spacemen genetically engineered humans, that would still be a "natural" process, no?

Well you are pointing to 2 different time periods. One of early life with not much diversity, then one millions of years later with lots of diversity. It seems unfair to compare the 2. Its expected to see alot more diversity millions of years later were the common traits would be minimal.

If nothing else, it'd still be a chronological hierarchy :p

But, my point was that species don't control the traits they evolve, the traits they have are based off of enviromental pressure, therefore none, IMO, merits a hierarchy.

You don't have to control the traits to merit a hierarchy. Hell, we could even put these into a hierarchy:


Click to enlarge

Consciousness's uniqueness could be suggesting that it is "more special".

But, only in the POV of the person with consciousness, in the whole scope of traits consciousness has not been anymore advantagous for us than wings have been for birds.

No, even outside our own POV. And its not about being more advantageous. Its about the trait being "off the chart" in terms of how good we are at it. Some fish swim better than others. If one fish swims 100x faster than all the other fish combined, that might lead us to believe there is something special about that fish. It might even be the result of something outside the ToE.

I'm not trying to convince you that it definately is, just that it is a possibility. Because, you seem sure that nothing outside the ToE has affected the evolution of any species on this planet.

I think the level of intelligence that humans possess could be suggesting that there is something else.


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onifre
Member (Idle past 1287 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 40 of 44 (478370)
08-14-2008 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by New Cat's Eye
08-14-2008 10:20 AM


That it was nothing short of luck? How are you going to prove a negative?

Ugh, you and your proper english...How about just 'luck'? :D

If you can agree that humans' intelligence is extra-ordinary, then why can we not use that to suggest that it might, just might, be a result of something outside the Theory of Evolution?

I would have to see evidence to the contrary but, sure it 'might' be outside the ToE...it might, just might, be designed too. ;)

The premise is that a natural process could describe the occurance. If spacemen genetically engineered humans, that would still be a "natural" process, no?

Absolutly, it would still be completely natural...but, wait, how did the Aliens get so intelligent? Maybe, just maybe...

If nothing else, it'd still be a chronological hierarchy

Agreed :)

I think the level of intelligence that humans possess could be suggesting that there is something else.

Ok, I can definitly concede on that statement. The level of intelligence that we possess is quite impressive. If that equals the possibility of 'something else' at work, then I can't argue a possibility.

Good talk CS, always fun to jab with you :)


"All great truths begin as blasphemies"

"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks

"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky


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 Message 39 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-14-2008 10:20 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
olletrap
Junior Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 23
From: Mass, USA
Joined: 10-07-2008


Message 41 of 44 (485465)
10-08-2008 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Agobot
07-31-2008 7:21 PM


I am that I am
Consciousness, The age old question, why are we here? Christ says that your spirit is like he wind, you don't know where it came from and you don't know where it is going. Just for a brief time you can feel it's blowing and hear it's whistle.

Is a rose conscious that it is beautiful? Does it try to be so? Certainly awareness is an unknown entity, not subject to the forces of nature except through a physical body.

Some would call this religion, the reason for belief in a creator. Go with it. It is natural.


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 44 (485467)
10-08-2008 4:50 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by olletrap
10-08-2008 4:38 PM


Re: I am that I am
Certainly awareness is an unknown entity, not subject to the forces of nature except through a physical body.

Are you saying that it's not subject to the forces of nature except through a physical body because it doesn't exist outside the physical body? Or are you trying to make some metaphysical soul-type point about awareness being something that does exist outside the physical body but it is only subject to the forces of nature while within it?


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olletrap
Junior Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 23
From: Mass, USA
Joined: 10-07-2008


Message 43 of 44 (485491)
10-08-2008 8:46 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by New Cat's Eye
10-08-2008 4:50 PM


Re: I am that I am
It is my belief that the spirit and body are one, while the body lives, but it can and will exist independently of the body. I also believe that at some time the spirit will be able to recreate it's body in a new, more perfect way.

Anyone who looks in the physical world for awareness or consciousness will never find it. It exists on a higher level. I believe all matter exists on several planes. Though we see this physical plane as being in control, the reality is that there is a higher level from which it is controlled. Our consciousness bridges those realities.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-08-2008 4:50 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 44 (485503)
10-08-2008 11:30 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by olletrap
10-08-2008 8:46 PM


Re: I am that I am
Its almost like the spirits need a way to interact in order for there to be a proving grounds for the afterlife and that the physical plane is it. Our consciousness seems to be the doorway between the spiritual and physical planes through which the spirits pass through to interact.

/yawn


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