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I Oversimplified, But The Premise Is The Same

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Posted by Mario Dovalina on July 6, 2001 02:08:18 UTC

"If you reduce human consciousness to "if-then" statements, they will not be as simple as you explained. You explained instincts or reactions, far different from consciousness."

I would suggest that the higher the number of potential if-then statements (in other words, the higher the intelligence) the higher the sensation of consciousness. For example, humans with our complex brains are the only known species that thinks actively about its own mortality. "If I die, then I will no longer exist." Humans, and a few species of ape and dolphin are the only species that can truly recognize themselves in a mirror. "If that other guy looks like me and moves like me in every way, then it must be me." See what I'm getting at? It's incredibly complex, and I AM oversimplifying it, but I think the mechanics are the same.

"For example, some people like the feeling of pain. Someone might shove their hand on a hot iron because they feel like it, or as a dare."

If the impulse to impress your pals (and improve your "standing") is greater than the impulse to protect yourself from pain, then you will inflict some type of wound upon yourself. Note than the degree of pain involved is a factor here. If someone dared his friend to drink hot coffee, it might be done, depending on his desire to be accepted. If someone told his friend to cut on his hand with a rusty hacksaw, chances are that would not be done, because the desire to preserve your hand is greater than the desire to preserve your "friendship." Its stil the same premise.

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