A. Wolf wrote: >> "..*some subjective experience of personhood or* "being" *that we all >> share*, >> and each of us presumably experiences *something* like that." >> >> I emphasize the 'something': who knows if we experience (share?) the same >> feeling? The words we use to describe it are not more relevant than >> describing 'red'. > > Yes, absolutely. Hence the use of the word "presumably". The fact that > people seem to share an experience we can't directly measure is interesting. > The evidence of mankind's obsession with the experience of consciousness > comes from the amount of philosophical discussion (like this) that exists in > literature, both scientific and recreational. > >> Experience is an undefined mental marvel and conscious? > > What I'm referring to is the fact that so many people believe in a "soul", > that we experience consciousness in a way where we feel like we are the > author of our own destiny, that we experience life as though we are > travelling through time and making decisions. The idea of "me" has a static > implication that persists throughout our lives even as we grow and evolve. > It serves both social and self-preservationist functions, certainly, but the > phenomenon also causes a lot of discussion. Something about these > experiences is remarkable enough that mankind has authored a great deal of > text on it, and it forms the foundation of much of our mythology and > understanding of self. > > So the conscious experience I'm referring to is the commonality of the > experience of self-awareness as reported (orally and in writing) by human > beings...in particular the fact that most people are fully convinced that > their experiences are unique and an accurate reflection of the nature of > time, that they must either persist forever in some ephemeral form or else > the Universe ceases to be from their point of view when they die, those > sorts of things. > >> A 'computer' (what kind of? the embryonic simpleton of a pre-programed >> digital machine >> as we know it?) to "...spit out a bunch of >> symbols related to the experience" of self- awareness itself." - ??? > > What I meant here is this: > > It's not necessarily surprising that people would write a lot of things > about the soul, even if the soul does not exist in the same sense we > experience it. It's quite possible, scientifically speaking, that the > behavior of "write and talk a great deal about the experience of 'being' and > how magical it is" is a natural consequence of any self-aware system. A > common marker of self-awareness might be illogically rejecting the truth of > one's own automation.
From an evolutionary perspective I don't see any good consequence of accepting that one is an automaton. Maybe there would be no bad consequences either, but it would be a waste of neurons to arrange for a brain to monitor its own neural processes (like a watchdog program?). Because evolution doesn't provide this function, we're unaware of most of our brain processes excepting only that small part that appears as conscious thought. Brent Meeker Brent --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---