consciousness or unconsciousness?

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 2nd, 2017, 2:05 pm 

Braininvat wrote:No case has really been made that a time delay in our perceptual systems would actually prevent us from planning and deliberating what we are going to do next. I don't see any great importance in a slight delay between me hitting the curveball with my bat (to go with the baseball analogies here), and my awareness of the "crack!" I saw the curveball coming and there was sufficient time for me to decide that it going to be over home plate and that it was a pitch worth swinging at, and that I shouldn't take a strike and wait for a fastball.... and so I decided to take a swing. My reaction/response time was good enough to do the job. The entire chat about time delays and "everything we perceive actually happened a few milliseconds ago" seems not too germane to the forum topic.

BIV, first of all, I don’t appreciate the strawman attack. I don’t appreciate you misrepresenting my view for the sole purpose to attack/condemn it (and me).

If you have been following along with this discussion you would clearly see that this “time delay” has NOTHING to do with the time delay between one conscious event to another conscious event (as per your strawman examples above).

The time lag that we are discussing here is between an event occurring in reality, to the “knowing” of this event. This is about ‘real-time’ versus ‘conscious-time”, and NOT about the time difference between one conscious event to another conscious event.


Braininvat wrote:Also, a couple members who went through some of this with RJG a couple years ago, should be aware that they are chatting with the same person, in case that would affect their level of commitment to doing this all over again.

I detect an anti-RJG theme here. Maybe I should take all this hostility as flattery? Even so, I would much prefer you and the other anti RJG'ers to argue with reasoning rather than with insults.


Braininvat wrote:Here's one of the RJG threads on this same topic, in all its 9 page glory:

http://sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.p ... ilit=delay


It may be worth looking at, if this all seems rather familiar.

Good one. Different argument, but same conclusion.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby doogles on May 3rd, 2017, 6:47 am 

OLD RASPUTIN Thank you again. I'll respond directly to this comment, because I think it's the most pertinent - “Note: we don’t and can’t see (experience) ‘real’ objects. What we see (experience) is actually a mentally painted/constructed representation (image) floating in our heads. This recognition consumes time and memory to translate sensory inputs into a recognizable copy/picture/image floating in our imagination.”

Okay. I’m sure I’ve agreed with this several times. So we have no problem there. But I’ll try to paraphrase your case.

My understanding is that you rationalise that because of this internal “delay” in processing and ‘recognising’ the stimulus from any event that has occurred in the environment outside of our skins, we can only be aware (recognise, identify, be conscious of, etc) of these events (real happenings in real time outside of our bodies that have caused the stimuli on our sensory receptors) AFTER they have happened.

Because of this internal delay in recognition therefore, we cannot be conscious of ‘doing’ anything during the real time that we are doing it. Therefore there can be no such thing as a ‘conscious act’ in the present tense..

I hope I’ve got that right. And at face value I would have to say that this statement is pedantically correct if our neural processes consisted of a simple linear transmission of impulses down axons and across synapses to our ‘mind’s eye’. In that case, what you are claiming could be said to be correct in principle.

But there is a very real possibility that our brains allow and correct for these delays and that to all intents and purposes, our final corrected processes virtually experience events AS THEY HAPPEN. Benjamin Libet published a number of papers on this time-correction in the 1970s (See for example https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.10 ... _11#page-1 ) and narrowed the possible real lag time as something like maybe 20 ms. This means you could be said to be pedantically correct, but to no significant practical purpose as far as conscious acts are concerned.

The probability of built-in time-corrections in our internal processing is very high when we realise the complexity of this processing. There may now be dozens of research projects that demonstrate that billions of neurons are involved in simple processing. I will give one example, and this, by the way, is actually a study of subjects performing the CONSCIOUS ACT of observing someone grasping an object.

In 1996, SM Grafton and others, using a technique called Positron Emission Tomography (PET), (See https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 83?LI=true ) reported that many areas in the brain become activated when we do such a simple thing as observing someone grasping objects, or even when we think about ourselves grasping objects. There was evidence of oxygen uptake in the left rostral superior temporal sulcus, left inferior frontal cortex, left rostral inferior parietal cortex, the rostral part of the left supplementary motor area, and the right dorsal premotor cortex. Widespread areas of our brains are involved.

I've had a couple of attempts to rationalise your statement "Our future has already played out in front of us, and we just don’t know it yet!" without success so we just have to respectfully agree to disagree on that.

I feel we have reached as far as we can go in this diversion of this thread Old Rasputin, and as Braininvat correctly pointed out “The entire chat about time delays and "everything we perceive actually happened a few milliseconds ago" seems not too germane to the forum topic. No one would disagree we are "seeing" mental representations with our "mind's eye."

I think we are at the stage where we need to design a special experiment to determine whether we are capable of perceiving the position of moving objects at the time we first glanced at them in order to really judge whether we ‘see’ them at that first glance or not.

But for all intents and purposes though, enough contributors to this thread have identified concrete examples of what they consider to be conscious acts in the present tense for us to say that most of us are communicating in a meaningful way about conscious acts to continue with the thread.

I'd like to leave that for now and move on with the original question as to whether there is such a thing as unconscious planning and strategizing.

Although I believe we have gone as far as we can go with our diversion on conscious acts, on the positive side, I found the exercise somewhat enlightening.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 3rd, 2017, 3:33 pm 

doogles wrote:My understanding is that you rationalise that because of this internal “delay” in processing and ‘recognising’ the stimulus from any event that has occurred in the environment outside of our skins, we can only be aware (recognise, identify, be conscious of, etc) of these events (real happenings in real time outside of our bodies that have caused the stimuli on our sensory receptors) AFTER they have happened.

Because of this internal delay in recognition therefore, we cannot be conscious of ‘doing’ anything during the real time that we are doing it. Therefore there can be no such thing as a ‘conscious act’ in the present tense.

Correct.


doogles wrote:But there is a very real possibility that our brains allow and correct for these delays and that to all intents and purposes, our final corrected processes virtually experience events AS THEY HAPPEN.

“AS THEY HAPPEN” doesn’t cut it; it doesn’t help you salvage your argument.

You can’t consciously do (act) something unless the 'consciousness' PRECEDES the 'doing'. Otherwise you are still behind the looking glass, just watching the events “as they happen”; making you just a passive observer.

And as a further thought, is "as they happen" even possible? Is it even possible for consciousness to be 'perfectly' in sync with reality? Is it possible for anything to be perfect? Is a delay of .0000000000000001 seconds considered "as they happen", or must we get to .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds? Is "AS they happen" even possible? Or are there ONLY "befores" and "afters"?

"AS THEY HAPPEN" is NONSENSE.


doogles wrote:
Braininvat wrote:The entire chat about time delays and "everything we perceive actually happened a few milliseconds ago" seems not too germane to the forum topic.

Doogles if you wish to end this discussion on flawed logic, then so be it.

But first tell me, do you also believe that because 0.01 is so miniscule, that 1.01 can be considered "for all intents and purposes" LESS THAN 1 ? (...this is an example of your flawed reasoning).

You are so overly obsessed with the 'size' of the delay that you fail to recognize the ramification of the time delay itself.

OVER AND OUT
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 4th, 2017, 12:10 pm 

>

Do we consciously move our bodies about?
    …or are we just conscious of our bodies moving about?
Are our beliefs based in 'religion'?
    …or are they based in 'logic'?
If we desire 'religion', then our means of satisfaction, is in the ‘blind faith’ of the impossible.
    ...if we desire 'truths', then our means of satisfaction, is only in logical possibilities.

There are a lot of smart people here on this forum. Unfortunately, most of them can't seem to get past their religious (blind faith) beliefs.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Braininvat on May 4th, 2017, 1:05 pm 

"....religious (blind faith) beliefs...."

This would appear to be the real ad hominem in this discussion.

No one was condemning you. Only your arguments (consciousness as a passive observer) have been challenged. And pointing out that you were a banned user who, in violation of forum rules, snuck back in under a different name, is not "hostility." Several members spent quite a bit of time discussing these issues 2 years ago, and it is only fair to them to know that you are the one who was posting then. This kind of full disclosure would be expected of anyone here, and is just common courtesy. If I make a special exception for you, I would not be acting in accordance with the basic egalitarian principles of this website.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 4th, 2017, 1:55 pm 

Braininvat » May 5th, 2017, 1:05 am wrote:"....religious (blind faith) beliefs...."

This would appear to be the real ad hominem in this discussion.

No one was condemning you. Only your arguments (consciousness as a passive observer) have been challenged. And pointing out that you were a banned user who, in violation of forum rules, snuck back in under a different name, is not "hostility." Several members spent quite a bit of time discussing these issues 2 years ago, and it is only fair to them to know that you are the one who was posting then. This kind of full disclosure would be expected of anyone here, and is just common courtesy. If I make a special exception for you, I would not be acting in accordance with the basic egalitarian principles of this website.


And another forum member even took up the challenge on another forum. Again though, RJG fails to bother reading material relevant to the discussion and I will continue to ignore him for that reason.

Everyone should attempt to debate with RJG and I think his position is a good counter to many ideas voiced by people new to these kind of forums.

I want you to stay. I still think you need to read material to apply your ideas to. By this I don't think you'll learn anything different, only that you'll be equiped with the language you need to clarify your thoughts for others to understand (agreement is unimportant to the philosopher. Its strength lies in being able to understand different perspectives and arguments for and against on all sides. If you only want answers do science! Philosophy will not provide you with answers!)

Like I said PM when you've read something and I'll unfoe you ;) I am guessing the above comment was something to do with me (not looked tbh). I pm's biv to ask if you returned to the forum woudl you be banned ... he then said that you were RJG which you'd already told me. It is VERY unfair to expect people to go over the same old ground with you when you've nothing (literally nothing) new to bring to the table. You expect the onus to be on us to bring you around to understand the issue with your dogmatic approach rather than putting in any actual work (by reading philosophical works) to help equip you with a better/different way of expressing yourself.

bt wwhat did RJG stand for anyway? PM me ;)
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 4th, 2017, 1:59 pm 

Old Rasputin wrote:Do we consciously move our bodies about?
    …or are we just conscious of our bodies moving about?

Braininvat wrote:
Old Rasputin wrote:....religious (blind faith) beliefs....

This would appear to be the real ad hominem in this discussion.

This was not intended to be an “ad hominem”. I apologize if it came across that way. But I meant it in it’s true sense of the meaning. When I say “blind faith”, I mean there is no scientific, nor logical basis.

When someone claims they can “consciously move their body about”, then this claim is without any scientific/logical basis, it is being claimed purely on "blind faith" or “pure speculation”.

Currently there is no scientific (nor logical) proof of a causal connection between a mental activity and a physical activity. (In fact it can be experimentally proven as false). Any belief in this “mental causation” is purely speculative and requires “blind faith” to accept it as one's gospel truth; hence why it is called a “religious belief”.


BadgerJelly wrote:I still think you need to read material to apply your ideas to. By this I don't think you'll learn anything different, only that you'll be equiped with the language you need to clarify your thoughts for others to understand (agreement is unimportant to the philosopher. Its strength lies in being able to understand different perspectives and arguments for and against on all sides. If you only want answers do science! Philosophy will not provide you with answers!)

As you know, I’m not your typical philosopher. I’m not interested in all the varying views, positions, and beliefs in philosophy. I’m more concerned in cutting through all the crap, and looking at the logical relationships and logical truths of all the crap, so as to better grasp what the hell is really going on. Although it may be interesting to you, dwelling upon subjects like “Being” as Heidegger does is totally wasteful energy IMO. First of all this “Being” only exists as an ‘experience’ of being, which makes ‘being’ itself as speculative (and uncertain) as any other object of experiencing. I have little desire to speculate on fantasy (non-certain) things. Sorry, it’s just not my cup of tea. I’m not interested in the amazement of everything. I just want to know the real truths of it all (good, bad, or ugly).

Now if you can suggest some good reading that doesn’t start from a point of fantasy (uncertainty), then I am all ears. My hero was Rene Descartes, I believe his approach to knowing objective truths was the correct path, unfortunately he got stuck and was unable to accomplish his goal. All the other great thinkers of the past were handicapped to achieving objective truths. Although they were good writers, they were psychologically unable to deny the very thing that made them great, and it is why we shouldn’t rely on them and their writings to give us any real truths.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 5th, 2017, 2:30 am 

I’m not interested in all the varying views, positions, and beliefs in philosophy.


You said it.

Also, many people have pointed out that you don't even understand what basic logic is and how to apply it.

I don't find laziness/apathy to be a worthy reason to ramble nonsense.

By all means discuss Rene Decartes ... somehow I cannot believe that you've actually read his work. My impression is you read "I think therefore I am" some where I found that sufficient to say "I've read Decartes work". As a natural progression from Decartes there have been numerous philosophical positions. What is this "fantasy" you talk about? What you say is pure drivel and makes no sense at all, yet you delude yourself into calling it "logic"?

Personally I think for the most part Heidegger's work's lacking. There is within it ideas that can be used to express yourself though. The same goes for every philosopher I imagine. I have only looked into a few, being more inclined toward metaphysics in relation to "consciousness", cognition and language.

I will say one LAST time. Make an effort and put some work in if you want people who are interested in philosophy take you seriously. I don't expect anything because you've said you are not a typical philosopher, being the type that doesn't find philosophy interesting? That is like saying you are a musician who doesn't bother playing musical instruments and is not concerned about music. That is your "logic" and I am starting to think you simply lack the basic ability to work past this due to either ignorance or arrogance combined with apathy and laziness which you seem proud to show off to all.

Stick around though by all means and others will learn from your continuing mistakes.

I am going to suggest some things to read but you've already decided (so it seems) that what I suggest is going to be "fantasy". I would suggest taking a look at "Being and Time" because there are ideas in there (concepts) that are of use. I would not suggest reading the thing all the way through, but you may find use in reading some critics about it? Other than that History of Western Philosophy by Russell is a good thing to look at in order to get an idea of what the title suggests and you can look at some brief accounts of philosophers mention in there that may lead to further reading. Critic of Pure Reason is a must read for philosophers, but I don't expect you to read that because you don't express any serious interest in philosophy generally. Right now I am reading Philosophical Investogations by Wittgenstein, it is a very nice, and reasonably short work. I would recommend it because it is easy to digest being cut into little pieces.

As for consciousness and free will simply refer to Chomsky about whag neuroscience has to say about this. He interests me because I am interested in linguistics and its relationship with the conscious and unconscious.

You express interest in areas covered by Dennett, Pinker and the Zombie guy (just remembered, Chalmers) ... what you need to guard against is confusing scientific research as evidence to supply your position with authority. Philosophy is about arguing positions not adhering to them dogmatically. Given that you've admitted that you are not interested in the different philosophical positions this will hinder you and stop you from progressing your argument because you have literally no understanding of the history of the argument or the opposing/differing positions (and there are many subtle differences of these).

Sadly philosophy is about subtlties. It is really not possible to explain some of the concepts in a few succinct lines of text. People don't write hundreds of pages just to look prententious. They do it because language is limited and they aim to express their positions with as much clarity and accuracy as possible through language. Maybe you'd find Neitzsche more approachable? I find him a little difficult myself, but he is certainly worth looking at because his style is very unique IMO.

Pretty sure you've been over Chalmers before. We've already been over Alice and colour too (Dennett) on this forum. What you are arguing in directly in the area of phenomenology.

As for basic linguistics try and understand what it means to VERB.

For the hell of it I'll unfoe you because I am on holiday soon. After that I let it lie until I can think of another way to approach you. It is good practice afterall :)
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby neuro on May 5th, 2017, 6:27 am 

OR,
your argument is centered on the time delay between events and the conscious realization thereof.

I will try and be straightforward:

1) EEG activity that signals our cortex has detected the occurrence of an instantaneous event (perceived visually) follows the event by some hundreds of ms. I.e. our cortex "perceives" instantaneous events with a time lag.

2) EEG activity in the motor cortex precedes the actual initiation of movements by tens of ms. I.e. our cortex (forget about consciousness for a moment) needs to program the movement BEFORE the movement occurs.

3) If we are able to hit the ball with our bat, this means that the movement must be perfectly timed with the journey of the ball, although the brain perceives the instantaneous position of the ball with a delay and must program the movement in advance. How is this possible?

4) our brain actually perceives INSTANTANEOUS EVENTS with a delay, but it can take in account such delay in internally representing an external PROCESS. Thus the external process is internally figured with perfect synchrony.

5) our brain must send the command for a movement BEFORE the movement actually occur, but it can take into account this such time-lead in internally representing the PROCESS of performing the action. Thus the motor process is internally figured with perfect synchrony.

6) we REALIZE that an INSTANTANEOUS EVENT has occurred only AFTER it actually occurred, be it an external event or a movement of ours.

7) still, we REALIZE a PROCESS is occurring in perfect synchrony with the process, be it an external process or a movement of ours. This, because our brain can take into account the delay in perceiving and in programming.
Obviously, the brain may be wrong in predicting and/or adjusting time lags, so the external process may surprise us because it diverts from expectation, or the movement might disappoint us because it does not turn out as we expected (for example because a load was greater than expected, or an object we wanted to grasp was slippery). This we will obviously realize only AFTERWARDS.

8) the result is that the monitoring activity of what we call our consciousness may well be delayed with respect to INSTANTANEOUS EVENTS, but it is in perfect synchrony with external PROCESSES and with the internal representation of our movements (which also are processes and not events).

9) this internal figuring what is going on, in perfect synchrony of what actually is going on, is a process that we call consciousness. If anything in this process does not function correctly, we face a disturbance of consciousness (a dissociative phenomenon), which is in all cases associated to a quite unpleasant feeling. Consciousness is not a spectator, which sees with the due delay a broadcast TV program. It is a process which manages to remain in synchrony with the external reality (processes, not unpredictable events) and our motor behavior.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Positor on May 5th, 2017, 9:40 am 

neuro » May 5th, 2017, 11:27 am wrote:8) the result is that the monitoring activity of what we call our consciousness may well be delayed with respect to INSTANTANEOUS EVENTS, but it is in perfect synchrony with external PROCESSES and with the internal representation of our movements (which also are processes and not events).

The problem with this is that our consciousness is not in synchrony with the corresponding part of a process. If a process is only considered as a whole, then OR's argument seems to be refuted; but if is broken down into small enough time periods, I think his argument still stands.

Suppose our bodily movement within a particular process (e.g. trying to hit a ball) suddenly changes – e.g. in response to an unexpected change in the flight of the ball, or a correction of an earlier inaccuracy in our body movement. We are not conscious of this change (which is an event) until after we have made it. So I think OR would argue that we have no free will in making it.

And what applies to changes of bodily movement also applies to non-changes at any instant, or in any arbitrarily small period. Our decision to continue a particular body movement at any given moment is likewise something we are not conscious of until later (if we are specifically conscious of it at all).
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby vivian maxine on May 5th, 2017, 10:02 am 

Worrying about a delay of a tiny fraction of a millisecond is equivalent to the absolute "need" to buy the first new computer that goes faster than the last one. Ever and ever faster we must go. My ISP tells me my new modem has speeded up my computer by some huge amount that I do not remember. Maybe so but I can't tell it. And, if I could, what's the hurry? It was instantaneous several modems ago.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 5th, 2017, 4:34 pm 

neuro wrote:If we are able to hit the ball with our bat, this means that the movement must be perfectly timed with the journey of the ball, although the brain perceives the instantaneous position of the ball with a delay and must program the movement in advance. How is this possible?

This is precisely why most of us can’t hit a 90+ mph fastball. We have two timelines going on here. We have the ball moving in reality (real-time) and we have the ball that we perceive (in conscious-time). The ball that is moving in reality is closer to us than the ball that we see with our consciousness (our perceiving). If we wish to hit this ball, then we must “reactively” swing the bat prior to seeing the ball out in front of us. The faster the ball moves, the sooner we must swing.

This “reaction time” to swing the bat (and the resulting “difficulty” to hit the ball) is EXACTLY THE SAME whether we view this event ‘consciously’, or (if it were possible to) view it in ‘real-time’. We must coincide the hitting of the ball in ‘real-time’ with the swinging of the bat in ‘real-time’. BUT, since we don’t live in real-time, we must therefore coincide the hitting of the ball that we perceive in ‘conscious-time’ with our ‘conscious’ swing of the bat.

Now if the pitcher could throw 135 mph (or move 30 feet closer), then we would have to swing before the ball left his hand.


neuro wrote:It [consciousness] is a process which manages to remain in synchrony with the external reality (processes, not unpredictable events) and our motor behavior.

Not possible.

Firstly, any process or attempt at “synchrony” consumes ‘time’. And by the time any adjustment/correction/synchronization is made, those 'real' events are long gone. Reality has taken off down the road. We are forever chasing this thing, always lagging it. There is no way to catch it or synchronize with it.

Secondly, since it is not possible to be conscious of that which we are not yet conscious of, we don’t know what it is that we want to synchronize with, until it is too late. And by the time we know, it has already happened/exists, and therefore impossible to sync with.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Braininvat on May 5th, 2017, 6:15 pm 

My date is pulling up to the curb. I am going to pop in the breath mint now, so the whisky on my breath has been covered up by the time I open the door and kiss her. Or I could just admit to her that I had a hard day at the psych ward and needed a shot to calm the nerves. Consciously, I am aware of my decision process as I direct my cognition to the choice I will make. And I am aware of future possible outcomes of each choice and how they may impact our relationship. If I choose the breath mint, it will be dissolving in my mouth before I open the door. Hmmm, good thing there is an holistic aspect of this process!
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby neuro on May 7th, 2017, 1:01 pm 

Old Rasputin » May 5th, 2017, 9:34 pm wrote:
neuro wrote:It [consciousness] is a process which manages to remain in synchrony with the external reality (processes, not unpredictable events) and our motor behavior.

Not possible.

You may play with sophisms as you wish.
Still, if there were no processes in our brain that manage to maintain in synchrony the external reality (processes, not unpredictable events) and our motor behavior (although the former is perceived with a delay and the latter has to be programmed in advance), then you will never see anybody to manage to bat a baseball.

If such a process exist, let's call it consciousness.
But, if you prefer to call "consciousness" an external (possibly spiritual) entity/spectator that watches (and perceives with a delay) this process, then you are right, it is bound to systematically be late.
I simply do not what use to make of such a concept of consciousness.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 8th, 2017, 9:51 am 

neuro wrote:You may play with sophisms as you wish.

First of all, there are no “sophisms” here, …there are only inabilities to accept unpopular (disliked) logical truths as truths.

neuro wrote:Still, if there were no processes in our brain that manage to maintain in synchrony the external reality (processes, not unpredictable events) and our motor behavior (although the former is perceived with a delay and the latter has to be programmed in advance), then you will never see anybody to manage to bat a baseball.

Are you implying that something 'special' (i.e. “synchrony”) is needed to be able to hit a moving ball in real-time with our bat swing occurring in conscious-time?

If so, then your first error is in forgetting that the bat that we are conscious of swinging has already swung in 'real-time'. There is nothing more special needed to hit a ball than there is to put one foot in front of the other (to walk).

We must coincide the hitting of the ball in ‘real-time’ with the swinging of the bat in ‘real-time’. BUT, since we don’t live in real-time, we must therefore coincide the hitting of the ball that we perceive in ‘conscious-time’ with our ‘conscious’ swing of the bat.

Your second error is implying that the brain can somehow defy logic and detect in real-time and then adjust/synchronize our conscious experiences/movements to match reality (in real-time).

We live in a conscious bubble. We can’t see/experience real-time. We only know it exists through logic. Anything and everything that we (and our brains) know/detect has already happened. We can’t know/detect something that has not yet already happened. The 'happening' comes first, and then the 'knowing' of this happening. The difference in time (time lag) is our ‘recognition’ processing time - approx. 150 millisecond for us human entities.

If the "real events" of our bodily actions occur before our "knowing" (of these events/actions) then, our future actions have already played out, ...we just don’t know it yet!

This means that "conscious acts" and conscious control, (aka free-will, voluntary memory) are just feel-good myths; are not logically possible.

To conclude: Conscious acts are impossible. We don’t consciously move our bodies about, …we are only just conscious of our bodies moving about.

Unpopular truths are still truths. Whether we accept them, or not, is dependent upon our desires (for truth or religion).
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 9th, 2017, 2:16 am 

OR -

Logically (meaning actual logic not whatever you are using) and truthfully (whatever you take that to mean) if you are 'correct' then you must understand that you are writing nothing for no reason of any use to anyone because it doesn't actually matter.

The urge you feel to write what you write is not 'yours' by the way you define it (even though you don't define it). The "truth" you claim to expose is a self defeating argument that reveals nothing and conceals everything. It is quite simple beyond reason and lacks any kind of logical coherance.

Simply stating something as "logic" or "truthful" does not make it so.

Your proposition is that there is no proposition. It is worthy of "absurdism", a philosophical positon you seem to have a lot in common with (take a look at it on stanford you may find something useful there to express yourself better).

I think generally speaking what is being said, and what you are not hearing being said, is that an "act" is carried out and we are consciously aware of this. In our states of consciousness we feel like we are the authors of said actions, we regard them as "our" actions and "our" thoughts. My brain (this conscious part being a piece of said brain/body) does stuff. Said stuff I regard as stuff being done by me (not your brain my brain).

Consciousness is the expression of the feeling I have about stuff. Also understand that that is just a sentence and that the words individually have no meaning if alienated from each other. I would chose to use the word "about" in a very plastic way. My "choice" is a poor attempt to look at the use of the word "choice" and "about" as being synomynous in this special occasion to hopefully lead you toward seeing the difficulty I, and I assume others, have in trying to get you to stretch further.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 9th, 2017, 11:21 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:Logically (meaning actual logic not whatever you are using) and truthfully (whatever you take that to mean) if you are 'correct' then you must understand that you are writing nothing for no reason of any use to anyone because it doesn't actually matter.

The urge you feel to write what you write is not 'yours' by the way you define it (even though you don't define it). The "truth" you claim to expose is a self defeating argument that reveals nothing and conceals everything. It is quite simple beyond reason and lacks any kind of logical coherance.

Simply stating something as "logic" or "truthful" does not make it so.

Your proposition is that there is no proposition. It is worthy of "absurdism", a philosophical positon you seem to have a lot in common with (take a look at it on stanford you may find something useful there to express yourself better).

…or is it YOUR inability to accept a logical truth as truth, that is truly worthy of “absurdism”?

Badger, how about, instead of standing at a distance and taking pot shots at me, …why not move in closer, and show the ‘specific’ words (my actual 'quoted' words) that are logically flawed (or incoherent), and prove it, and me, wrong?

I would love to be proved wrong on this topic, (...as none of us like 'ugly' truths). But truth is still truth, regardless of its ugliness. If we only believe in those truths that are 'pretty', then we are cheating ourselves out of knowing real truths, and exposing ourselves as frauds (or "religion-ists"). So again, please please prove me wrong, …but you gotta use logic (...not insults).


BadgerJelly wrote:I think generally speaking what is being said, and what you are not hearing being said, is that an "act" is carried out and we are consciously aware of this. In our states of consciousness we feel like we are the authors of said actions, we regard them as "our" actions and "our" thoughts. My brain (this conscious part being a piece of said brain/body) does stuff. Said stuff I regard as stuff being done by me (not your brain my brain).

So, even after all the pot shots, you seemingly agree with my logical conclusion:

“We don’t consciously move our bodies about, …we are only just conscious of our bodies moving about.” -- Old Rasputin

…yes, no?
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 10th, 2017, 3:53 am 

"Absurdism" is a philosophical position. I was just saying your position sounds like it has a lot in common with absurdism.

I agree with what logical conclusion? That stuff does stuff? Hardly a pioneering statement. I was trying to point out that my brain produces the thing I am (as far as we can tell). Things happen and I see them happening instantly (instantly in the sense that the measureable difference in time is so minute it doesn't really matter. I do not say that the sea I am looking at now is not there. The moment I feel is a moment of time not a measureable period of time.

You are using empirical evidence to appeal to something that is subjectively felt not objectively measureable. You are trying to make philosophy an experimental science (it simply is not that!).

Just to be clear. When I decide to do something I do so consciously. When I walk across the room I walk across the room. When I hold my breath I choose to hold my breath. Some things I have more say over than others, be they the biological functioning of my body or things external to my bodily being.

You could also start to say something like "I don't eat. My body puts stuff in its mouth and swallows it. Nothing to do with me!". I don't think that though, I do not believe I am being force fed when I see my hand intentionally moving toward my mouth. Maybe it is all a strange ruse. If so doesn't really concern me, whatever it is I call it a conscious act to eat something. I do this quite often when I feel hungry.

I can imagine you may then say "but your stomach made you hungry!". I would simply say I feel hungry and want to eat. There is no use in going over the biochemical mechanisms in my brain that re associated with "hunger", that is an area for scientists. Philosophical questions are not like scientific questions.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 10th, 2017, 4:49 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:Things happen and I see them happening instantly (instantly in the sense that the measureable difference in time is so minute it doesn't really matter).

Yes, the time difference “doesn’t really matter”. But what really matters is the chronological relationship (the before and after).

The belief, that 1.001 is so close to 1.000, that it is therefore LESS than 1.000, is logically flawed.

The belief, that the consciousness-of-a-happening is so close in time to the happening itself, that it is therefore the CAUSER (preceder) of the happening, is logically flawed.

The belief, that one can consciously cause their bodily actions, is logically flawed.

BadgerJelly wrote:Just to be clear. When I decide to do something I do so consciously. When I walk across the room I walk across the room. When I hold my breath I choose to hold my breath. Some things I have more say over than others, be they the biological functioning of my body or things external to my bodily being.

Not so. You have no more control over your bodily actions than you do of the sun rising every morning. Your consciousness of your bodily actions and of the rising sun, are just AFTER-effects/events. Your belief in "consciously doing", is based purely on religious beliefs; blind faith, and lots of false cultural indoctrination.

There is no science or logic to vouch for you! There is only your stubborn resistance, to religiously believe in that which is not logically possible.

BadgerJelly wrote:I do not believe I am being force fed when I see my hand intentionally moving toward my mouth. Maybe it is all a strange ruse.

Anything that contradicts (your emotional attachment to) your religious beliefs will feel like a "strange ruse". Once you recognize the ruse as a ruse, then you will see (a logical) truth.

**********

It is time for the intellectual community to bury the 'religiously held' notion of 'conscious control'; consciously acting/doing, free-will, etc.

There is enough intellectual horsepower (in the members) of this forum, to detach the emotional glue, and move on to solving the next puzzle piece!
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 10th, 2017, 5:32 pm 

What "logical conclusion"?

You just keep saying the same thing over and over for four years. What is the function of consciousness then if there is no willing? Do you not understand that you cannot LOGICALLY prove either free-will or determinism? They are both useful positions to view certain situations from. Ethically free will is rational and strong determinism does nothing other than absolve people of any responsibility. Maybe the universe is clockwork and maybe not.

Me being conscious now does not mean I am conscious of an external now. No one here is saying that as far as I can see. We all know about time delays.

Like I said. When I eat my hand towards my face. I am conscious of this happening and it relates to me wanting to eat. If the whole process is not consciously led it is still MY process not the process of phenomenon beyond my physical body. My hand is my hand. It is not some "other" part that is external.

I know for a fact that my bodily actions are of great influence over where my body moves and goes. No my body cannot change the rising of the sun other than by moving to a different position on Earth. So what?

And most of the people commenting in this thread (if not all) are well aware of feeling of authorship not being evidence for actual authorship. We are biased to believe we effect what we deem a positive outcome.

Infinite regression into the past is not a stable argument. I decide to go to bed at a certain time and I go to bed around that time. Of course you can regress forever and say things like "but YOU didn't decide, it was your brain", I am not in the habit of thinking my brain is separate from me. I also understand the problem of the words involved here when we use terms like "me", "self" and other similar terms. Some things we say in everyday life are traditions and habits of a language that don't extend into logic. In fact they overextend there colloquial function.

I know you don't grasp most of this because you don't read about it. It would help you if you did and then you'd be able to explicate what you mean with greater clarity (at least to those who have put the work in too).

Again ... what is your "logical conclusion"? Is it that free will doesn't exist? If so your logic is flawed because such a thing cannot be logically proven because you have to use propositions that are contrary to the very idea of determinism because there is "use" where there is actually no "use" possible nor the possibility of determined beings being able to fully grasp their own determined nature. We are limited and our limitations allow us to know (or rather grasp at) the world in general.

Consciousness appears to be a "circular causal" relationship with the 'environment'. This runs back to the whole view of the world as inner and outer rather than as a singular complex system. To assume is the mandate of being human. We understand things by making assumptions and eventually coming across shifts in paradigms that allow us to question our assumptions. Some assumptions are more readily available for us to question and test than others.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 10th, 2017, 6:14 pm 

What SPECIFICALLY have I said (please quote my EXACT words!!!!) that you disagree with or have issue with?

Badger, can you quote my words (in a quote) that is causing you so much consternation? And then reply to that? And then repeat for each issue or item that you disagree with? Otherwise, I find it difficult and unproductive conversing with you.

Thank you.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby RoccoR on May 10th, 2017, 6:23 pm 

Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?
• Old Rasputin BadgerJelly, et al,

Remember that the terminology, and definition and characteristics of that terminology, that separates it from other concepts, are man-made descriptions.

BadgerJelly » May 10th, 2017, 5:32 pm wrote:... ... ...

Consciousness appears to be a "circular causal" relationship with the 'environment'. This runs back to the whole view of the world as inner and outer rather than as a singular complex system. To assume is the mandate of being human. We understand things by making assumptions and eventually coming across shifts in paradigms that allow us to question our assumptions. Some assumptions are more readily available for us to question and test than others.

(COMMENT)

For all we know, the concept behind the use of the word "Consciousness" may be no more sound or valid then the concepts and rituals in "Notory Art of Solomon;" and words of alchemy. THAT IS --- unless of course, you happen to believe in the Holy Trinity, and Most High Creator who's words were revealed by Holy Angels of the Ultimate Cosmic Creator, to King Solomon upon the Alter of the First Temple. If you don't believe, then "consciousness" is but a word with no universal definition. It is a word that conveys many different ideas.

Most Respectfully,
R
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 11th, 2017, 11:57 am 

RoccoR wrote:Remember that the terminology, and definition and characteristics of that terminology, that separates it from other concepts, are man-made descriptions.

…then "consciousness" is but a word with no universal definition. It is a word that conveys many different ideas.

Agreed. And I’ve tried to be clear of my definition/usage of the word “consciousness”, by equating it to “knowing”.

I agree with Neuro that consciousness is not a separate little man (entity) in our head directing our bodily actions. It would be great to have all of us come to consensus on a common definition of “consciousness”. Either that, or we refuse to use the word, until we do. That way we can all say exactly what we mean.

In the spirit of consensus for a common/universal definition of consciousness, I hereby submit the following definition:

    Consciousness is the specific experience of recognition, made possible by memory.
The reason for this short (and sweet, IMO) definition is that ALL the other tenets of consciousness (as spelled out by Chalmers, etc) have all been logically debunked! This includes the notions of a separate entity (mind/spirit/soul), conscious control, self-awareness, and the ability to think (create one’s own) thoughts. Although most of these debunk-ings contradict many religiously held beliefs, it is what it is. Logic (and not one’s religious beliefs) should lead the way to our (logical) truths.

After the debunk-ings, all that remains is the proclaimed "hard problem" itself; i.e. the “experiencing” itself. Though, I take it one step deeper, and further claim that the personal subjectivity of this experiencing only exists in those that “know” or “recognize” (i.e. experience the recognition of) their bodily experiences. Of course, then this requires a ‘memory’ source of past experiences to then compare and “recognize” with.

So, all in favor of this definition being the universally held definition of consciousness, please say “aye”!
Last edited by Old Rasputin on May 11th, 2017, 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 11th, 2017, 12:09 pm 

Aye! --- I gotta have at least ONE vote (for my ego's sake!)
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby DragonFly on May 11th, 2017, 1:03 pm 

Old Rasputin » May 11th, 2017, 10:57 am wrote:the personal subjectivity of this experiencing only exists in those that “know” or “recognize” (i.e. experience the recognition of) their bodily experiences. Of course, then this requires a ‘memory’ source of past experiences to then compare and “recognize” with.

So, all in favor of this definition being the universally held definition of consciousness, please say “aye”!


Aye, given that "those" and "their" are but the brain.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby doogles on May 11th, 2017, 6:36 pm 

Consciousness is the specific experience of recognition, made possible by memory.

That could be a useful definition. It may need a bit of kicking around before it becomes acceptable. But I can see its potential.

When BadgerJelly says “When I walk across the room I walk across the room. When I hold my breath I choose to hold my breath”, I could paraphrase this to “When I walk across the room, I recognise from my memory residues that I am walking across the room, therefore it is a conscious act.” “When I hold my breath, I recognize from my memory residues that I am holding my breath, therefore it is a conscious act.”
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 12th, 2017, 3:56 am 

Rasp -

So, even after all the pot shots, you seemingly agree with my logical conclusion:

“We don’t consciously move our bodies about, …we are only just conscious of our bodies moving about.” -- Old Rasputin

…yes, no?


No, because I cannot agree with something that lacks clarity. What do you mean by "consciously"? I have already said that I walk because I decide to go somewhere. I don't go somewhere then decide the reason for it after I arrive. I am conscious that my body can move, I would simply call this "me moving" not be being conscious of my body moving about. I would phrase this for other people's bodies and refer to me be conscious of their bodily movements because they are not mine.

Do you see how you improve the clarity of your position now?

When I am unconscious my body doesn't move at all. But I can be conscious and paralyzed. Right now I am not conscious and paralyzed because I am typing.

You may find this interesting:



note: The part where he quotes Russell.

Doogles -

My issue is with the context in which the term is used rather than its meaning. We generally all know what we mean when we say "consciousness". There are some obvious differing meanings depending on colloquial and technical uses (one of which Rasp has displayed above by saying "consciously act", which is colloquial not technical, having a bare minimum of relation to what we call "consciousness", and also where he refers to people here as "religious" when he should probably be using the term "religiosity", but that is not the heart of the topic "consciousness" is, so it doesn't stick out to everyone as a huge flaw just a needless stab at other peoples positions). Rasp/RJG view appears to have changed little from the view he posed years ago. The view being that consciousness is passive. That is why I brought up the cybernetic "circular causation".
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby henriette on May 12th, 2017, 6:26 am 

Dear,

Though it is a compound word, self-consciousness prevails on consciousness, no matter that some animals may be declared conscious "of something" without being self-conscious, because this wording just falls immediately in an apory.

Consciousness comes when a process that records information about topics (e.g. a stone records information about its geological settings) becomes its own topic. The Self is the word for an induced topic of such a feed-back process, the one that gathers information about its current evolution. The latter defines the present time of the Self (its presence is an in-existence), hence defining past-present-future.


Neuro:
4) our brain actually perceives INSTANTANEOUS EVENTS with a delay, but it can take in account such delay in internally representing an external PROCESS. Thus the external process is internally figured with perfect synchrony.

I do not think so though I agree with and benefit from your bottom line in this thread. The point is that when you use the bat , the process is just not figured by the brain. It is all about intuition of the motion and then mechanical inertia of the body. There is strictly no synchrony here except at the triggering of the motion of the bat.

Consciousness and intention are mere concept for my personal use because they are defined as "consciousness of something" or intention "to do some particular and defined act". This yields unbearable apory about the inner and the outside.
My own experience differs : there is pure intentionality and then only this attention focuses on a topic. I want to do and then only the topic of my action is found. Self-consciousness is about nothing.
In my humble experience, the relationship between intention and attention also differs because my intention is first about nothing and my attention is given to the whole perception (the image is the efficient body of the self), the analysis of "unconscious" processes that filter out information in order to limit and focus the task of consciousness is just something that comes latter.

The concept of "free will" may have been of major importance, mainly in Law, to define what is an individual, but may we not be doubtful about the interest of such concept today?
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Braininvat on May 12th, 2017, 9:30 am 

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epiphenomenalism/



The core debate here has been on the validity of epiphenomenalism. Some of the critiques mentioned in the SEP article will seem very familiar here.
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Re: consciousness or unconsciousness?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 12th, 2017, 11:52 am 

Old Rasputin wrote:“We don’t consciously move our bodies about, …we are only just conscious of our bodies moving about.”

BadgerJelly wrote:What do you mean by "consciously"?

I mean “knowingly”.


BadgerJelly wrote:I am conscious that my body can move, I would simply call this "me moving" not me being conscious of my body moving about. I would phrase this for other people's bodies and refer to me be conscious of their bodily movements because they are not mine.

Whether we perceive our own bodies, or perceive “other people’s bodies”, BOTH are perceptions (that we are then conscious of).

If you are conscious of a muscle twitch on “another person’s body”, did you consciously do/induce this twitch? …or were you just conscious of it?

If you are conscious of a muscle twitch on “your body”, did you consciously do/induce this twitch? …or were you just conscious of it?

If you are conscious of your bodily urge to sneeze, did you consciously do/induce this urge? …or were you just conscious of it?

If you are conscious of your body sneezing, did you consciously do/induce this sneezing? …or were you just conscious of it?

If you are conscious of the urge to walk across the room, did you consciously do/induce this urge? …or were you just conscious of it?

If you are conscious of your body walking across the room, did you consciously do this walking? …or were you just conscious of it?
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