John Mikes wrote on 28 July 2004:

QUOTE-
You can call this consciousness thing mysterious, but we know it >results
entirely from the electrochemical activity in these 10^10
little bags of salty water; start scooping out bits of brain, and you >will
eventually end up scooping out the consciousness as well. <
Good for you, if "you know it". The little bags of salty water form tools in
a complex process (beyond 'physical' concepts) of mentality and if you
destroy the tools, the process will suffer.
To call it 'mysterious' means: we don't know how it happens. The complexity
human extends beyond the qualia covered by 'your' physical laws of past
observations within the past (scientrific) set boundaries. A transition from
"included" to "not included" cannot be brushed away by "it is mysterious".
(Others say: "somehow")
Nor can it be exclusively assigned to ONE alternate, the childish ancient
belief system of supernatural agencies, saying: if that is 'not', then
nothing is.
I have no (better) explanation, just feel that such closed-mindedness is
wrong.
-ENDQUOTE

I am not sure that I understand what you mean, or that you understood what I meant. I don't claim to know exactly how the human brain works, but I do know (and so do you) that it works as the result of the complex organisation of its constituent parts, which, like everything else in the universe, interact according to the laws of physics, whatever those laws might be. As a matter of fact, I believe that consciousness (or qualia, or subjective experience) is something irreducible, because even if we knew every detail at the finest level of the workings of the brain of a bat, for example, there is still something we would not know: what it actually feels like to be a bat. But it does not follow from this that there is something magical - meaning beyond the laws of physics - about consciousness.

Stathis Papaioannou

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