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Re: This May Be A Little Off Topic But It Doesnt Seem Right For The Blackhole Forum

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Posted by David Tate on April 8, 1998 11:15:22 UTC

: : I think the real question here is, Is contiousness : : a product of the laws of physics?" You can try to : : put a biochemical answer to the emotions question : : but there is more to it than a chemical reaction : : there is the "experiance" of it. What is that? : : How can all that "I" do/am simply be exactly the : : same as what you do/are, ie simply the laws of : : physics? If this were true, woudn't there only be : : 1 "contiousness"?

: I don't think you can toss the word consciousness without defining it first. Webster's dictionary say to be consious is to "be aware of ones own existence, sensations, thought and ones own environment". If this is the defination, what about living organisms from the chimpanzee to the corral sponge? What if we find intelligent life elsewhere; will we call them conscious? Even if we say "consiousness is the ability to reason" (hence humans only have consiousness), finding intelligent, reasoning life elsewhere would DEFINITELY say something about whether consciousness is related to physics and brain functions.

: Just because we feel some emotion (even very strong emotion or "experience") does not necessarily infer that it is uncommon to other living things. We assume that other people have emotions because they can comminicate that to us in a method we understand. But many other living things (as we are just beginning to understand)can do the same thing within its species. So by your definition of consciousness, many living things could be conscious (or they have souls). Again, we would then have to say that humans only have consciousness due to their reasoning abilities, and then the previous ET argument ensues. : Sorry this is so long and confusing, comments welcome.

All your points are well taken. Please don't think that I was just talking about Human contiousness! The question is valid for "any" contiousness... ...defining it is the tough one (but again very valid). I guess I was not thinking about it in any sort of "religious" sence. I was thinking about it in the sence that I know that I am me. I cant really define it very well appart from me feeling that there is more to "me" than the the chemicals in my body. (I am trying hard not to use the term spirit or soul!!!)

Maybe I can not ask the question because I can not acurately define what I am saying. I know what I mean, I just find it very hard to define it in words.

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