1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Consciousness On/Off Switch

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by The Hammer, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. The Hammer

    The Hammer Virtue, Piety, Study
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,780
    Ratings:
    +1,947
    Religion:
    Druidry
    • Informative Informative x 4
  2. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Messages:
    3,274
    Ratings:
    +1,562
    Religion:
    My Own
    It's a matter of perspective. Some people think the brain is like a computer. Some people think the brain is like an analog radio receiver. Since there's a lot of evidence to suggest there is more to how the mind works that what is contained in the brain it seems to me consciousness may be something far more elusive than just a location of the brain. To me your referenced article is like saying we discovered if you poke someone really hard in both eyes they can't see anymore. What consciousness is, why it even exists, how it exists, is still a pretty good mystery.

    You might like this video:



    Most scientists are philosophical materialists so they only accept one definition of consciousness based on extreme prejudice of their dogma. Here's a really cool video talking about the dogma of philosophical materialism and how our consciousness seems to be connected to a much deeper reality than just basic materialism:



    I think we live in a really strange Universe. It's almost as if the Universe is a living breathing animal giving birth to unimaginable possibilities for the purpose of keeping reality just beyond our full comprehension no matter what we focus on. The Universe is really strangely defiant to our full understanding of what it is and how it works. For example, what is the IT the decides something is being observed in a double slit type experiment in quantum mechanics. Whatever the IT is I do not believe we can ever capture an understanding of it.
     
    #2 dfnj, Feb 14, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Asinine, socialist-leaning, puerile filth
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Messages:
    6,423
    Ratings:
    +2,928
    Religion:
    The one we are born with; therefore being none.
    Once the researchers pinpointed this area, they tested what happened when the central lateral thalamus was activated while the animals were under anesthesia, stimulating the region with a frequency of 50 Hz. "We found that when we stimulated this tiny little brain area, we could wake the animals up and reinstate all the neural activity that you'd normally see in the cortex during wakefulness," Saalmann says. "They acted just as they would if they were awake. When we switched off the stimulation, the animals went straight back to being unconscious."

    Obviously the portal for consciousness to enter and exit (not my belief). :rolleyes:
     
    #3 Mock Turtle, Feb 14, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    8,599
    Ratings:
    +7,488
    Religion:
    RC (culturally at least)
    Firstly, what is the evidence there is more to the mind than the operation of the brain? I am sceptical about this claim. Can you produce any references or links to some of this evidence?

    Second it is a sweeping and erroneous statement to say most scientists are philosophical materialists. This applies to fewer than half of them, even in the USA, according to Pew research : Scientists and Belief

    Please do not peddle falsehoods.

    So you are quite unjustified in claiming the science on this is prejudiced by a particular worldview.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  5. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,107
    Ratings:
    +2,402
    Religion:
    None
    Why do people keep spouting this divisive trash? Most scientists don't work in or have any experience in this field at all. I'd suggest that most scientists don't have any kind of definitive definition of consciousness and most scientists working in that field keep an open mind as to the nature of it, hence the precise kind of work highlighted in the OP. Regardless, all scientists are human beings with the same biases and flaws as anyone else. Individuals making mistakes doesn't automatically render entire concepts false dogma.

    The whole anti-materialism concept is flawed IMO. If something beyond what we currently understand does exist, it would just be part of the whole "stuff that exists" and therefore essentially part of materialism, certainly if it is something that has a direct physical impact on the universe such as changing the flow of electricity in the human brain. There is absolutely no justification in presenting this as some kind of completing ideas, they're all part of the same bigger picture.

    We all know what the ultimate source of the conflict is and it has nothing to do with anyone raising idea about consciousness to be considered and studied but those who make definitive assertions about it (and everything else), typically based on religious faith. And yes, the push-back against that can unfairly impact legitimate philosophy to because, as I said, we're all flawed human beings who make mistakes.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    8,599
    Ratings:
    +7,488
    Religion:
    RC (culturally at least)
    You raise a good point that has bothered me, off and on, about what meaning we can attach to "supernatural".

    If a supernatural agency were to affect the physical world, then these effects would be an object of study by science and would become just one more natural phenomenon. Our conception of nature would simply be expanded to include it.

    Separately, I also have trouble with the whole preoccupation with consciousness, as if it were a thing. To me this seems like a manifestation of embedded Cartesian dualist thinking, a concept taken from religion and the ancient Greeks, but which I think is seriously called into question by the development of the computer. I have seen no convincing argument that what we call consciousness is anything more than the activity of the brain in more complex organisms - the functioning of the "operating system" of the brain, in other words.

    I see consciousness, not as a thing, but as an activity.
     
    #6 exchemist, Feb 14, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Messages:
    3,345
    Ratings:
    +2,923
    Religion:
    Egregious Cyber Hippy
    They should try it on a corpse.
    I’m watching ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ on TV right now. o_O
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Messages:
    16,591
    Ratings:
    +18,844
    Religion:
    Non-theist
    Truthfully, I think that video completely misunderstands what a physicist claims when/if they claim materialism. In particular, modern physics, while materialistic, interprets that as saying that everything in the universe acts as we know quantum 'particles' act.

    In particular, all the experiments this video talks about have results that were predicted by quantum theory well before the experiment was done. For those who believe quantum mechanics describes the universe very well, there was no real surprise in these results.

    But what these results DO is show that *classical* ideas of particles, waves, causality, etc are WRONG. But, again, we have known that for a century. Paradoxes arise when you attempt to understand quantum phenomena with classical ideas. But that is because you are trying to understand the newer, more correct description with an older, less correct description. That will *inevitably* lead to paradoxes.

    So, what is 'materialism'?

    I would say it is the position that everything that exists ultimately has the same description as what we would call 'matter'.

    And, at the quantum level this is correct.

    For example, if we look at electrons, they show wave properties and particle properties and are defined by their interactions. But this is also the case with photons, quarks, Higg's bosons, gluons, etc. ALL fundamental particles are 'quantum particles' and quantum particles have both (classical) wave and partile properties and are defined by their interactions. They interfere, they entangle, they are detected as units, they can be in superpositions of states, etc.

    And it is having those properties in common with 'matter' that *defines* what a modern physicist means by 'materialism'.

    And that means this video, which is attacking *classical* materialism, is attacking a straw man.

    There is no such IT. There is no decision. What we detect is random and, at base, that means the universe is probabilistic in nature. Whether we observe wave or particle properties depends on how we set up the experiment because setting up the experiment affects the quantum particles. If you attempt to detect them, you influence them. if you influence them enough, the interference patterns disappear.
     
  9. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Messages:
    16,591
    Ratings:
    +18,844
    Religion:
    Non-theist
    This is why I ultimately think the notion of 'supernatural' is self-contradictory. Either you *can* detect it, in which case it becomes something for science to study and is natural, OR you can't ever detect it and it is meaningless to say it exists at all.

    Not just the development of the computer, but the amazing things we have found in the last decade or so concerning how the brain works. In many cases, we can point to specific areas of the brain that handle certain mental activities. We are learning how to 'read minds' by looking at the signals in the brain. We are learning the situations where the brain can *interpret* us as being 'disembodied' or even 'differently bodied'.

    We are still early in our investigations, but much more progress has been made in recent years than most people seem to know. And the results are, well, uncomfortable for some viewpoints.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Messages:
    16,591
    Ratings:
    +18,844
    Religion:
    Non-theist

    I think this is exciting as a way of 'waking up' people in comas or at least to see if they *can* be woken up.

    Very exciting stuff!
     
  11. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Messages:
    3,345
    Ratings:
    +2,923
    Religion:
    Egregious Cyber Hippy
    Well said.
     
  12. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Messages:
    16,591
    Ratings:
    +18,844
    Religion:
    Non-theist
    With corpses, the oxygen supply to the tissues would also need to be present to wake. That is going to be very tricky.
     
Loading...