Can consciousness interfere with physical things?

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Can consciousness interfere with physical things?

Postby HaggisBishop on November 1st, 2017, 11:48 pm 

If I talk to my friend and figure out that we both have consciousness then that has just interfered with physical things. It has changed how the neurons in our brains are firing.

So if there was a alternate universe where consciousness didn't exist that conversation with my friend never would've happened. Would this alternate universe turn out different just because consciousness isn't a thing?
What would be different?

This only blows my mind because I've always thought in the cause and effect relationship ALL of the causes are physical things (particles, what direction they are moving and how much energy they hold).

Am I mistaken?

I just like to ask questions and was watching 2001 so this happened.
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Re: Can consciousness interfere with physical things?

Postby Positor on November 2nd, 2017, 12:50 am 

You may be interested in this Wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_mental_causation
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Re: Can consciousness interfere with physical things?

Postby someguy1 on November 2nd, 2017, 1:07 am 

I think to myself, "I'm going to raise my right arm." Then my right arm goes up in the air. How does that work? One answer is that thoughts are physical. But then we're just machines. If we have free will, it's a real mystery.
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Re: Can consciousness interfere with physical things?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 2nd, 2017, 1:15 am 

Philosophical zombies?

If you're assuming consciousness is non-physical then I am not sure what you mean. I would consciousness is a physical phenomenon, as is all phenomenon. The issue is likely a semantic problem in selecting what you mean by "physical".

Some people struggle with the concept of a "process" being a physical process, and this is my general view of consciousness. It is physical and how I can measure it is a different matter entirely. In this sense everything we can conceive of is physical.

In another way I may choose to use "physical" as a meaningful distinction between my thoughts and the neural process that I can physically measure. It is a limited convenience and often we overextend such useful concepts and become somewhat confused by our own semantic landscapes.

Maybe if you asked if consciousness does not "interfere" with "physical things" then is it anything at all? This probably will not help you much directly, but hopefully you'll see certain underlying problems we all have when expressing our thoughts and questions.
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Re: Can consciousness interfere with physical things?

Postby mitchellmckain on November 2nd, 2017, 2:40 am 

HaggisBishop » November 1st, 2017, 10:48 pm wrote:If I talk to my friend and figure out that we both have consciousness then that has just interfered with physical things. It has changed how the neurons in our brains are firing.

So if there was a alternate universe where consciousness didn't exist that conversation with my friend never would've happened. Would this alternate universe turn out different just because consciousness isn't a thing?
What would be different?

This only blows my mind because I've always thought in the cause and effect relationship ALL of the causes are physical things (particles, what direction they are moving and how much energy they hold).

Am I mistaken?

Yes. The argument is invalid. Substitute "unicorn" for consciousness and it changes nothing, but clearly the conclusion that unicorn(s) exist is bogus. Hell.... substitute anything, even a logical contradiction or something you can prove doesn't exist like a solution to a particular math problem. Why is it invalid? Because talking about something does not mean the thing itself is doing anything. There are only your thoughts and ideas which are doing anything. So the only valid conclusion from the above argument is that the concept or idea of consciousness exists in your thinking. It doesn't even establish that this is a meaningful concept or idea.
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Re: Can consciousness interfere with physical things?

Postby HaggisBishop on November 2nd, 2017, 4:49 am 

[quote="I think to myself, "I'm going to raise my right arm." Then my right arm goes up in the air. How does that work? One answer is that thoughts are physical. But then we're just machines. If we have free will, it's a real mystery.[/quote]

Okay so thoughts are definitely physical, and definitely effect things physicaly. But im not talking about thoughts in general. im talking about thoughts about conciousnious(thoughts that probably only exist due to conciousness) Im sure we have all thought about the big questions before. One of course is what is conciousness? why do i experience this ultra hd movie with surround sound and smellovision? I assume these thoughts are made because conciousness is real so in that case the existence of conciousness effects our thoughts. And as you said thoughts are physical. So the existence of conciousness can affect the position of matter in the universe, it can affect whether someone decides to be a neurologist.
^this blows my mind^
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Re: Can consciousness interfere with physical things?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 2nd, 2017, 5:08 am 

I guess it is quite "mind bowing". I imagine we tend to not pay attention to the fact that we can do stuff very much.

In that respect I am with you 100% :)
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