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Is Consciousness an Emergent Property


Edgarcito
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1 minute ago, walterpthefirst said:

 

Then why would you treat the claim that people float above the operating table where surgeons are working on them as valid?

 

Surely your starting position for inquiry is scepticism, not acceptance?

Because we can't adequately define consciousness?  And no, not really, my more personal level of hunch stems from religious faith.  Specifically, children's accounts

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26 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

 

In other words, we have no cause/Cause, nothing relative except our sphere of experience and capability.

 

Let me try again here.  We've discussed this before.  Our existence would seemingly be relative to a cause.  It's out of our grasp at this moment to define cause, or Cause, or any other reasoning.  At some point, due to our subjectivity, we have to settle for faith.... not specifically religious faith, but some do.  

 

I don't really understand what you mean here.  So, I'll take a stab at answering.

 

We don't have any kind of direct access to information about the cause of the universe, if that's what you mean.  But when direct access fails we make do with inference.  Everyone does this.  If my car has a flat tyre I can reasonably infer that something sharp punctured it.  There's no way that I can go back in time and watch myself driving my car to see exactly when and how the tyre was punctured, so instead I make a reasonable inference about it.  

 

In much the same way cosmologists infer certain things about the beginning of the universe.  But they cannot infer enough to precisely say what the cause of it is.

 

About subjectivity.

 

No, subjectivity plays no role in science either.  For similar reasons to why religious faith plays no role.  Because the subjective is strictly personal and cannot be shared, if science used the subjective, how could a scientist in Ottawa share their work with one in Shanghai?  The Canadian scientist cannot join the Chinese one in a kind of Vulcan mind-meld, where their two personalities briefly become one.

 

Therefore, just as scientists agree not to bring their religious faith into the science work, so they also agree not to bring their subjective experiences into their work.  Instead, every scientist tries to be as objective as possible, with everyone conforming to the same standards and same procedures, no matter who or where they are. 

 

I'm sorry Ed, but neither religious faith nor subjective experiences have any place in the way science works.

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11 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

Because we can't adequately define consciousness?  And no, not really, my more personal level of hunch stems from religious faith.  Specifically, children's accounts

 

No, because if we do not begin from a position of scepticism, then we must accept some things as true without evidence.

 

But what should we accept as true?

 

You said that you don't treat all claims as valid.

 

Which means that you do accept some as valid.

 

Which ones?

 

And why?

 

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11 minutes ago, walterpthefirst said:

 

I don't really understand what you mean here.  So, I'll take a stab at answering.

 

We don't have any kind of direct access to information about the cause of the universe, if that's what you mean.  But when direct access fails we make do with inference.  Everyone does this.  If my car has a flat tyre I can reasonable infer that something sharp punctured it.  There's no way that I can go back in time and watch y=myself driving my car to see exactly when and how the tyre was punctured, so instead I make a reasonable inference about it.  

 

In much the same way cosmologists infer certain things about the beginning of the universe.  But they cannot infer enough to precisely say what the cause of it is.

 

About subjectivity.

 

No, subjectivity plays no role in science either.  For similar reasons to why religious faith plays no role.  Because the subjective is strictly personal and cannot be shared, if science used the subjective, how could a scientist in Ottawa share their work with one in Shanghai?  The Canadian scientist cannot join the Chinese one in a kind of Vulcan mind-meld, where their two personalities briefly become one.

 

Therefore, just as scientists agree not to bring their religious faith into the science work, so they also agree not to bring their subjective experiences into their work.  Instead, every scientist tries to be as objective as possible, with everyone conforming to the same standards and same procedures, no matter who or where they are. 

 

I'm sorry Ed, but neither religious faith nor subjective experiences have any place in the way science works.

I'm using subjectivity in a broader sense please.  We as humans are subject to limiting factors.  Science is collectively subject to our abilities.  Infer was a word you used.  Does infer have any faith mixed in?  I believe it does.  Even in our realm of abilities, I'm not understanding some absolute.

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18 minutes ago, walterpthefirst said:

 

No, because if we do not begin from a position of scepticism, then we must accept some things as true without evidence.

 

But what should we accept as true?

 

You said that you don't treat all claims as valid.

 

Which means that you do accept some as valid.

 

Which ones?

 

And why?

 

Why is it illegal to ask if consciousness entails an experience outside of the body if we can't define it inside the body?  Back to the relativity question, no?

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12 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

I'm using subjectivity in a broader sense please.  We as humans are subject to limiting factors.  Science is collectively subject to our abilities.  Infer was a word you used.  Does infer have any faith mixed in?  I believe it does.  Even in our realm of abilities, I'm not understanding some absolute.

 

Then you are using language in a highly personal way, changing the meanings of words to suit yourself.

 

But I've now given you two examples of why scientific inquiry cannot proceed along these lines.

 

Why religious faith and why subjective experiences cannot be allowed into science.

 

Scientific inquiry is an international enterprise that must be shared and therefore it cannot recognise private interpretations of words or personal interpretations of meanings.

 

But what you seem to want is a method of inquiry that works only for you, using the terms you want and operating according to your preferences.

 

That's not science.

 

That's something else.

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5 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

Why is it illegal to ask if consciousness entails an experience outside of the body if we can't define it inside the body?  Back to the relativity question, no?

 

Nothing illegal going on here, Ed.

 

If you don't want to start from a position of scepticism, then that's up to you.

 

But doing that means that you have to treat some claims as being valid.

 

 

 

I was merely asking you which ones you do treat as valid.

 

And why you do that.

 

 

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Just now, walterpthefirst said:

 

Then you are using language in a highly personal way, changing the meanings of words to suit yourself.

 

But I've now given you two examples of why scientific inquiry cannot proceed along these lines.

 

Why religious faith and why subjective experiences cannot be allowed into science.

 

Scientific enquiry is an international enterprise that must be shared and therefore it cannot recognise private interpretations of words or personal interpretations of meanings.

 

But what you seem to want is a method of inquiry that works only for you, using the terms you want and operating according to your preferences.

 

That's not science.

 

That's something else.

The data I generate daily, I use calculations that are meant to validate subjectivity in the sense you are describing.  I perform an analysis differently even than the analyst in the next lab.  It's NOT illegal to use subjectivity in when it comes to our collective abilities.....but rather, acknowledge them.

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1 minute ago, walterpthefirst said:

 

Nothing illegal going on here, Ed.

 

If you don't want to start from a position of scepticism, then that's up to you.

 

But doing that means that you have to treat some claims as being valid.

 

 

 

I was merely asking you which ones you do treat as valid.

 

And why you do that.

 

 

That's fine, but you seem mostly fixed that there is only one valid front of discovery.  I typically don't set out to disprove but to prove given an observation.

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1 minute ago, Edgarcito said:

The data I generate daily, I use calculations that are meant to validate subjectivity in the sense you are describing.  I perform an analysis differently even than the analyst in the next lab.  It's NOT illegal to use subjectivity in when it comes to our collective abilities.....but rather, acknowledge them.

 

But what units are you measuring?

 

Ones that have a special and entirely personal meaning just for you?

 

Or standardised ones that can be shared with other people?

 

Which procedures are you using?

 

Ones that work only for you?

 

Or ones that would work for anyone else performing the same procedures in the same way?

 

 

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1 minute ago, Edgarcito said:

That's fine, but you seem mostly fixed that there is only one valid front of discovery.  I typically don't set out to disprove but to prove given an observation.

 

It's up to you, Ed.

 

I'm just happy with the way science does it's work.

 

If you want to invent an entirely new way of investigating reality that works just for you, don't let me stop you.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

That's fine, but you seem mostly fixed that there is only one valid front of discovery.  I typically don't set out to disprove but to prove given an observation.

 

Hmm... we've here before, Ed.

 

The empirical sciences don't prove anything.

 

Proofs only exist in mathematics and logic.

 

That's because a proof is absolute and any measurements or observations made by humans are subject to human error and instrumental error.

 

As such, nothing observed or measured by anyone can be used to prove anything.

 

The empirical sciences employ evidence, not proof.

 

 

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It's getting late here Ed, so I'll leave you with this to think about.

 

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/supernova-des16c2nm.942435/page-2

 

I'm a member of physicsforums and last week I noticed this exchange between Viopia, Orodruin and weirdoguy about general relativity.  Fyi, weirdoguy and Orodruin are the professional scientists and Viopia is the non-scientist trying to make sense of what she's being told.  Here is a snippet of their dialogue.

 

Viopia

Thanks for your forbearance. I know that professional cosmologists and physicists, who spend all their time studying these subjects, are bound to know far more about these things than me. The only way I can try to understand these concepts is by challenging you to explain them in a way which is logical to me.

 

weirdoguy

And all your posts show that what is logical for you is not necessarily logical for physicists and physics. If you want to learn physics you have to conform to physics, not the other way around.

 

Orodruin

What if the Universe does not care what is logical to you? Many people get into problems when they encounter situations that do not conform to their own mental image of how things work. Certainly, a huge problem in quantum physics but also many times in relativity. But physics is about finding out and describing how the Universe actually works, not to make the Universe intuitive.

 

Viopia

Don't you try to get your physics students to understand what the mathematics is telling them? To understand, your students will have to use their own logic, not your logic. When a subject cannot be logically understood, like in quantum physics, students have been told to ''shut up and calculate''. This only means that the mathematical process is understood.

 

 weirdoguy

No, they will have to adjust their logic, if it doesn't match with physics. The universe does not care about your faulty logic. Every physics student, including myself, had to go through this process, so I don't know why you think it wouldn't apply to you.

 

Viopia

Of course, it applies to me. I haven’t been able to adjust my logic yet but I may be able to do so if I learn more. Have you adjusted your logic to understand quantum physics yet?

 

weirdoguy

Long time ago. I had to, otherwise I wouldn't be able to finish my masters in physics.

 

 

Orodruin

You are using the word” logic” in the wrong way. The theory of GR is logically consistent (although it does raise some questions) and all of the computations follow logic. What you are confusing it with is whether or not it appears to fit into your own mental framework, which the theory has no obligation to do. If that is your use of” logic” then no, students should not use their own” logic” because it will mostly be wrong. The point of teaching GR is to provide the students with the appropriate” logic” and teach them what the theory actually states.

 

 

Do you see how similar this is to our dialogue in this thread?

 

Viopia want to understanding things in her way, have things conform to her logic and to interpret words the way she wants to.

 

But Orodruin and weirdoguy are correctly and patiently informing her that this is not that way that science works.

 

Their message to her is exactly the same as mine to you.

 

If you want to use science to inquire about the nature of reality, then get on board, because it's a collective enterprise, not an individual one.

 

But, if you want to do things your way, that's ok.

 

Just don't call it science.

 

 

Thank you.

 

Walter. 

 

 

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I don’t believe my point is that in depth.  Rather that no proof as you admit suggests points of understanding we will never understand.  
 

Defining our existence appears relative to those points.  I don’t think I’m alone in my perspective.  To dismiss a new perspective appears to dismiss the entire exercise if I’m not mistaken.

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Additionally, subjectivity might actually add to the model.  How may we dismiss perspective when we can’t ultimately prove?  Isn’t subjectivity analogous to placing the new telescope in space here recently?  How is that ultimately different regardless of the significance.  Gheeze sir.

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52 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

Additionally, subjectivity might actually add to the model.  How may we dismiss perspective when we can’t ultimately prove?  Isn’t subjectivity analogous to placing the new telescope in space here recently?  How is that ultimately different regardless of the significance.  Gheeze sir.

 

Science is agnostic.

 

Scientists are not. Scientists are curious creatures that do all sorts of wonderful things because they have passion about stuff. Not cuz Mr Spock says it would be logical to look thru that telescope. But because they get a sciencegasm from it. (lol)

 

 

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1 hour ago, midniterider said:

 

Science is agnostic.

 

Scientists are not. Scientists are curious creatures that do all sorts of wonderful things because they have passion about stuff. Not cuz Mr Spock says it would be logical to look thru that telescope. But because they get a sciencegasm from it. (lol)

 

 

Is he a chemist or physicist.  I don’t know, what color is his lab coat.  

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8 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

I don’t believe my point is that in depth.  Rather that no proof as you admit suggests points of understanding we will never understand.  
 

Defining our existence appears relative to those points.  I don’t think I’m alone in my perspective.  To dismiss a new perspective appears to dismiss the entire exercise if I’m not mistaken.

 

Nobody's dismissing anything here, Ed.

 

I've simply tried to point out that if you want to do things your own way, then that's ok.

 

But if you want to use science, then, because it's a collective enterprise, you can only do it in the same way that everyone else does it.

 

I haven't said 'No. You cannot do this.'  

 

I've simply said, 'No. Doing things your own way is not science.'

 

Do you see the difference?

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8 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

Additionally, subjectivity might actually add to the model.  How may we dismiss perspective when we can’t ultimately prove?  Isn’t subjectivity analogous to placing the new telescope in space here recently?  How is that ultimately different regardless of the significance.  Gheeze sir.

 

Subjectivity cannot add to the scientific model Ed, because science doesn't use it.

 

It might add to your model, but how could I comment on that?  (It's not possible for you to share what is subjective for you, is it?)

 

Again, nobody is dismissing anything.  I've just explained why.

 

No.  All the scientists involved with the new space telescope are all using the same, collectively agreed measures and units, the same procedures and protocols.  That's how scientists the world over work together, by agreeing on common standards and common methodologies.  They agree to all use the same meanings of words and to interpret words in the same way.

 

(Just as you do in your work, which must been shared with other people.)

 

This does not eliminate subjectivity altogether, but it reduces it sufficiently for them to get results.

 

As I mentioned earlier, the empirical sciences don't employ proofs because human error and instrumental error cannot be completely eliminated.

 

Nothing can ever be perfect or absolute or proven in the empirical sciences.  End of.

 

 

Walter.

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Very certain we are miscommunicating.  Placing the telescope where they did and the conditions is essentially subjectivity in itself….to expose a view with different conditions.  Is that not correct? And will this new viewpoint likely add to the model?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Edgarcito said:

Very certain we are miscommunicating.  Placing the telescope where they did and the conditions is essentially subjectivity in itself….to expose a view with different conditions.  Is that not correct? And will this new viewpoint likely add to the model?

 

 

 

Ok Ed, I could just go over the same ground as before and try to explain how the subjective plays no role in science.

 

But what would be the point?  You and I have been here before and still we keep coming back to the same issue - subjectivity.

 

So, I'll hand this over to you.  You made the claim that the positioning of the space telescope is essentially subjectivity itself.

 

Now please justify your claim.

 

This means explaining to me in detail the role of subjectivity among the scientists tasked with choosing where the JWST should be positioned.

 

You will need to describe how subjectivity works collectively among the scientists, because their choice of location was a collective one.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

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This tells us where the James Webb Space Telescope is positioned.

 

https://webb.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

 

Partway along the blue line running from Earth, on the left, is something called, L2.  This is where Webb is positioned.  

 

https://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/webb-l2.html

 

This link explains what L2 is.

 

You job Ed, is to explain to me what was subjective about the collective choice of the JWST scientists to position their telescope at L2.

 

Saying that everyone experiences the subjective is not a proper answer.

 

You need to say where in the collective decision-making process subjectivity was involved.

 

Then you also need to say how it was involved in the collective decision making process.

 

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

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Let me explain my thoughts so you might understand where we are having difficulty.  I took the time to look up the rigid definition of subjectivity, which was helpful.  Essentially my mind is assigning subjectivity to objects.  If the mind/brain is as most non-believers would suggest, there really is no subjectivity outside of each person's particular arrangement of matter.  This is synonymous in my mind, and should be in yours, given your approach, that an object is equally subjective.....hence the particular placement of the telescope.  A telescope in space views things differently that a telescope on a mountaintop, subjectively different.

 

I'm willing to listen if anyone would like to correct my use of the word.  I certainly may be using it incorrectly.  YET, given the approach, subjectivity really shouldn't exist, should it?  That's my point as we can't adequately define the objective... it forces it to be subjective.  And does science really demonstrate that?  I believe so.

 

Word salad, clear as mud.  It's ok, just my ponderings.

 

Thx.

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No, I don't understand that, Ed.

 

 

So, let me make you a counter-proposal.

 

I ask you a few really simple questions about Alice and Bob, two unique people with their own uniquely subjective understanding of reality.

 

Your answers should untangle the mess of miscommunication between us.

 

That ok by you?

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8 minutes ago, walterpthefirst said:

No, I don't understand that, Ed.

 

 

So, let me make you a counter-proposal.

 

I ask you a few really simple questions about Alice and Bob, two unique people with their own uniquely subjective understanding of reality.

 

Your answers should untangle the mess of miscommunication between us.

 

That ok by you?

Certainly, thx.

 

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