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More proof that consciousness is not an epiphenomenon or an illusion: 10 Amazing Examples of Mind Over Matter

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Arouet View Post

    But I wonder why there is a feeling in some that if we're not able to describe how a feeling reduces to particles that that must mean that feeling does not arise from particles? I mean, it might not, sure, but why would our ability or inability to describe it be taken to be indicative of it one way or another?
    It might arise from particles, but such an emergence would be different from anything else we witness in the world. It seems that all phenomena can be reduced to the interactions of more elementary parts with the sole exception of consciousness.

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    • #17
      According to Sir John Eccles, a neurophysiologist who won the Nobel Prize for his work on the synapse, promissory materialism is superstition.

      http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8p...archers_eccles

      Sir John Eccles was a neurophysiologist who won the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1963 for his work on the synapse. He did not believe that the brain produces consciousness. In Evolution of the Brain: Creation of the Self (1989) he wrote:

      I maintain that the human mystery is incredibly demeaned by scientific reductionism, with its claim in promissory materialism to account eventually for all of the spiritual world in terms of patterns of neuronal activity. This belief must be classed as a superstition ... we have to recognize that we are spiritual beings with souls existing in a spiritual world as well as material beings with bodies and brains existing in a material world.
      John Carew Eccles - Wikiquote

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      • #18
        Originally posted by David Bailey View Post
        These outlandish claims come (I think) from string theory. As Peter Woit keeps pointing out, this is a theory with no experimental evidence in its support - even from the LHC. Remember, the Higgs is a component of the "Standard Model".
        That is not so, because I did not have in mind any special physical theory, but psi abilities have similar properties to certain quantum phenomena, so that quantum mechanics might say something about psi, and cases of the extracorporeal experiences, apparitions of the living and the dead, etc., suggest that what remains after biological death and that is the seat of consciousness is physical.

        Let's see it differently. We suppose that there can not be physics of psi and afterlife. So this would be the same as admitting that there can be no science of these issues, because we typically use the term "physical" to understand the functioning of a thing.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Kamarling View Post
          I didn't mean to suggest that you personally were being dogmatic but that you were pointing out the dogmatism of materialism (no room for anything but the physical). I knew you would pick up on the word "clearly" but thought, sod it, it is clear to me so why should I pretend otherwise.
          You seemed to be saying that if I didn't find it clear that consciousness was immaterial that I was being dogmatic. But in any event this highlights why I think its silly to have a hard philosophical position on the nature of the universe. By they're nature, philosophies tend to lock you in - ie: if your philosophy says that consciousness is not material how is that any less dogmatic than one that says that it is?

          The various philosophies are useful in conversation as they allow us to quickly get a rough sense of the point of view of the other person. But I don't think anyone should be overly wedded to one philosophy or another.

          And aside from logical impossibilities we should be wary of any philosophy that declares anything "impossible."

          What is clear to both of us, I think, is that feelings - subjectivity - is pivotal in this debate. That's why Koch didn't want to address it and Chalmers calls it the "hard problem". There seems to be no grey areas: either you think it is an emergent property of matter (the material brain) or it isn't.
          I try and think of it more simply: we've got these conscious processes and we'd like to know how they work. Various scientists and others are trying to figure it out and hopefully someone will come up with something with a high confidence value. But that confidence is not going to come from the argument that we just can't figure out how it could be one way or the other. The confidence comes from figuring out what it is, not what it's not. Ruling things out can certainly be helpful in the investigation but still should be done cautiously.

          Clearly, I think it isn't. So does Chalmers. But subjectivity is not the only thing ruled out by materialism. The notion of survival, of psi, of purpose in the universe - all denied a place in physical reality, it would seem. Again, that is the dogma of materialism.[/QUOTE]

          Originally posted by Interesting Ian View Post
          It might arise from particles, but such an emergence would be different from anything else we witness in the world. It seems that all phenomena can be reduced to the interactions of more elementary parts with the sole exception of consciousness.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Juan View Post
            Let's see it differently. We suppose that there can not be physics of psi and afterlife. So this would be the same as admitting that there can be no science of these issues, because we typically use the term "physical" to understand the functioning of a thing.

            'because we typically use the term "physical" to understand the functioning of a thing'
            - this does not mean that we must always use the term "physical" to understand the functioning of a thing.
            For example we may construct a mathematical model which enables us to understand how something functions, but that does not imply that model corresponds with any physical counterpart.

            "this would be the same as admitting that there can be no science of these issues"
            - I think this would be an assumption based upon a belief system, rather than a factual statement.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by typoz View Post
              - this does not mean that we must always use the term "physical" to understand the functioning of a thing.
              So what does "physical" for you?

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              • #22
                I don't see how any of the ten items prove that consciousness is not epiphenomenal any more than straightforward conscious decision-making does.

                (Note that I agree that consciousness is not epiphenomenal.)

                ~~ Paul

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
                  I don't see how any of the ten items prove that consciousness is not epiphenomenal any more than straightforward conscious decision-making does.

                  (Note that I agree that consciousness is not epiphenomenal.)

                  ~~ Paul
                  What 10 items?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Interesting Ian View Post
                    What 10 items?
                    Sorry, should have looked at opening post.

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