1. Subscribersonhouse
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    24 Oct '08 08:59
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026793.000-creationists-declare-war-over-the-brain.html
    Now they say consciousness is not in the brain. Maybe in our left knee?
  2. Donationbbarr
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    24 Oct '08 09:26
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026793.000-creationists-declare-war-over-the-brain.html
    Now they say consciousness is not in the brain. Maybe in our left knee?
    If they are truly attempting to resurrect substance dualism, then they are not claiming anything about the location of consciousness. Rather, they are claiming that conscious states are not token identical to brain states because conscious states are fundamentally metaphysically different than physical states (i.e., they are comprised of a different basic ontological substance). This is perfectly compatible with conscious states occurring within the brain, though substance dualists tend to claim that one defining feature of conscious states is that unlike physical states they lack precise spatial location. This is also perfectly compatible with brain states causing conscious states. Of course, it is very difficult to understand how two radically different types of substances could causally interact (and if conscious states can cause physical states to change, then they seem to violate conservation laws of physics). In any case, this is a view with a pretty distinguished pedigree, and it even has very sophisticated modern adherents. If you're interested in the best philosophical defense of such a view, see John Foster's "The Immaterial Self".
  3. Standard memberPalynka
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    24 Oct '08 09:352 edits
    Originally posted by bbarr
    If they are truly attempting to resurrect substance dualism, then they are not claiming anything about the location of consciousness. Rather, they are claiming that conscious states are not token identical to brain states because conscious states are fundamentally metaphysically different than physical states (i.e., they are comprised of a different basic ont d in the best philosophical defense of such a view, see John Foster's "The Immaterial Self".
    I think they're going much further than that if they imply this is "Darwinism's grave".
  4. Donationbbarr
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    24 Oct '08 09:39
    Originally posted by Palynka
    I think they're going much further than that if they imply this is "Darwinism's grave".
    Yikes, it is even worse than that. The idiot heading the charge completely fails to distinguish between intelligence and consciousness. In any case, if consciousness is immaterial but causally efficacious, then there is no reason why in principle it could not be selected for. Case closed.
  5. Standard memberPalynka
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    24 Oct '08 09:47
    Originally posted by bbarr
    The idiot heading the charge completely fails to distinguish between intelligence and consciousness.
    I tend to think of intelligence as a relative measure of the abilities of consciousness. Do you know of a more formal distinction?
  6. Donationbbarr
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    24 Oct '08 09:581 edit
    Originally posted by Palynka
    I tend to think of intelligence as a relative measure of the abilities of consciousness. Do you know of a more formal distinction?
    Intelligence is often characterized philosophically as the ability to perform computations over mental representations by virtue of the formal or syntactic properties of those representations. See the Computational Theory of Mind for more details. Consciousness, in the context of debates about substance dualism, refers to the intrinsically subjective, qualitative or phenomenal character of certain states (e.g., the 'ouchiness' of pain, the 'what it is like' for an organism from the point of view of that organism). Instantiated turing machines may be intelligent, and there is no reason in principle they couldn't evolve, and for all we know there are entities that possess conscious states but that do not ever engage in anything like inference.
  7. Cape Town
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    24 Oct '08 11:45
    Surely one of the key intentions of the argument it to claim that the consciousness can exist without the physical brain. Considering that it is a clear and obvious fact that the brain heavily influences thought, intelligence and consciousness, one would conclude that at a minimum consciousness without a brain would be a very different entity.

    I have often wondered whether my consciousness actually exists when I am in a deep sleep, or otherwise 'unconscious'. Is it non-existent or in a frozen state?
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    24 Oct '08 13:18
    When a person has a stroke and part of their brain is destroyed, some corresponding part of their consciousness is destroyed -this can be observed. For example, if the part of the brain known to be important for mentally forming words in one’s head is destroyed, then that aspect of consciousness is also destroyed. In this way, all aspects of consciousness can be mapped to various parts of the brain and without any known exception. So it seems to me to be a perfectly logical extrapolation to make that, GIVEN the fact that destroying PART of the brain destroys PART of the consciousness, destroying ALL of the brain destroys ALL parts of the consciousness. When you die, all the brain is destroyed, therefore, you should conclude all of your consciousness is also destroyed when you die.
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    24 Oct '08 13:40
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    When a person has a stroke and part of their brain is destroyed, some corresponding part of their consciousness is destroyed -this can be observed. For example, if the part of the brain known to be important for mentally forming words in one’s head is destroyed, then that aspect of consciousness is also destroyed. In this way, all aspects of consciou ...[text shortened]... troyed, therefore, you should conclude all of your consciousness is also destroyed when you die.
    well dont you know Andrew Hamilton, quoting biblical scriptures in an anti creationist post, whatever next?

    Ecclesiastes 9:5 'For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten.',

    regards Robbie!
  10. Cape Town
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    24 Oct '08 13:47
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    When you die, all the brain is destroyed, therefore, you should conclude all of your consciousness is also destroyed when you die.
    When I have had discussions regarding the soul I bring up arguments of that nature, including the questions of madness or memory loss in old age and whether such madness or memory loss are retained in the afterlife. I often find that people who believe in the afterlife either have not thought about it, do not want to think about it, or find it very hard to reconcile their desire for consciousness to continue after death with the fairly obvious fact that it cannot be a continuous thing. Some people will try to change their stance and claim that the soul is not your consciousness but some other sort of consciousness, but I find they tend to be a bit vague on the subject.

    The refusal of some theists to even discuss the topic is quite interesting in itself.
  11. Cape Town
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    24 Oct '08 13:50
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    well dont you know Andrew Hamilton, quoting biblical scriptures in an anti creationist post, whatever next?
    Which part of his post was anti-creationist? If his post is equivalent to the Bible verse you gave, then can we conclude that that Bible verse is anti-creationist too?
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    24 Oct '08 13:541 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Which part of his post was anti-creationist? If his post is equivalent to the Bible verse you gave, then can we conclude that that Bible verse is anti-creationist too?
    lol, it wasnt the post that was anti creationist, just the original title, and no you may never ever ever ever ever draw conclusions that the bible is anti creationist, although those creationist guys are just as militant as the athiests!
  13. Cape Town
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    24 Oct '08 19:11
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    lol, it wasnt the post that was anti creationist, just the original title,
    Then your post makes no sense at all. It should have read "anti-creationist thread" and I find nothing strange about someone quoting the Bible in an anti-creationist thread - even you did it - and have probably done it elsewhere. And there could easily be Christians quoting the Bible in support of anti-creationists threads as most Christians are not creationists - or at least not members of the group you are probably referring to.
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    24 Oct '08 19:53
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Then your post makes no sense at all. It should have read "anti-creationist thread" and I find nothing strange about someone quoting the Bible in an anti-creationist thread - even you did it - and have probably done it elsewhere. And there could easily be Christians quoting the Bible in support of anti-creationists threads as most Christians are not creationists - or at least not members of the group you are probably referring to.
    how can i describe it so that you will understand, i know, how about i was just messin around!
  15. Donationbbarr
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    25 Oct '08 02:031 edit
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    When a person has a stroke and part of their brain is destroyed, some corresponding part of their consciousness is destroyed -this can be observed. For example, if the part of the brain known to be important for mentally forming words in one’s head is destroyed, then that aspect of consciousness is also destroyed. In this way, all aspects of consciou ...[text shortened]... troyed, therefore, you should conclude all of your consciousness is also destroyed when you die.
    Substance dualists would respond that this claim of yours is confused. Brain damage may restrict our ability to be conscious of this or that; that is, it may narrow the set of possible objects of consciousness, but this does not destroy any part of consciousness itself. You may wonder if it is possible to make sense of phenomenal consciousness without specifying something that is the object of the conscious state, and you would be right to wonder. In any case, the mapping to which you refer merely establishes correlations between known patterns of neural activity and the presence of particular forms of conscious states. Even if you could specify patterns of neural activity that were causally sufficient to elicit conscious states, this would not entail that such neural states were identical to the conscious states. Substance dualists generally believe that conscious states and brain states can causally interact, so establishing such causal relations does not undermine their view.
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