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Brains create consciousness?

by pftest
Tags: brains, consciousness
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Mar29-11, 07:01 AM
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In post #118, I made a mistake writing “links”, I meant what I read of Strawson which wasn’t linked, e.g.

“One can simply declare oneself to be a experiential-and-non-experiential monist: one who registers the indubitable reality of experiential phenomena and takes it that there are also non-experiential phenomena. I nominate this position for the title realistic monism.”

And I think reading on through the thread, Ken G answers my question about the word “create”.

Quote Quote by Ken G View Post
I think pftest is making a basic point about language, which is actually very important to recognize because language is all we have here. Language involves hanging labels on things, but what are these "things"? They are the only things we are in any position to hang labels on: shared experiences. Period, that's what language is, hanging labels on experiences that we (assume we) share. So we cannot actually label the object "table", all we can label are the shared experiences we have around that object. This is quite important when we come to physicalism, and the OP question of whether or not a brain "creates" consciousness.

Both brain, consciousness, and create, are words, so can be nothing but hanging labels on shared experiences. We are looking for connections between these shared experiences, to make sense of them. Just like with cause and effect, we are looking for basic relationships, and also just like with cause and effect, we cannot actually demonstrate that the cause "creates" the effect, all we can say is the former gives us a way to make sense of the appearance of the latter, given that we experience things in temporal order. Using precise language like that saves us from making wrong terms based on assumptions we have made that we cannot actually demonstrate are true, and the same holds for claims that brains create consciousness, or are the "source" of consciousness, whatever we imagine a "source" is.
I was wondering whether it was suggested that brains invent (new) experience from discovered (already existing) information, or some other suggestion, given the idea involves a broad range of existence being both information and experientialists, and has a monist nature.
King Wildog
Mar29-11, 04:39 PM
P: 6
It seems perhaps in the question, too many things are undefined and unstated. Every happening will be due to availability, location, timing, potential difference, etc. All beings, then, would have to be questioned in their decision capability, so you are left with an incomplete question in that you must ask "conscious of what?" So it seems consciousness itself is defined case by case and that "conscious of what?" is always needed in that definition. Do you, pehaps mean "conscious of self"?
Mar30-11, 04:47 AM
P: 239
Guys. Is it already categorically that all the mind function is emergent of the brain? Or is there some part of the mind that is beyond biochemistry and biology?

If your answer is maybe it is possible some part of the mind is beyond biochemistry and biology and perhaps our brain is just antennae to a mind somewhere via the microtubules or some hidden biophysics. It is possible parapsychology has any possibility? Or are you categorical that all of parapsychology is all fraud? If so, why? Is it because it violates lorentz invariance? That is, if the mind is outside the brain and it can move in space and time anywhere. It violates special relativity. So is Special Relativity and Lorentz Invariance the primary reason we categorically reject any claim of parapsychology and so repulsed by it that our blood pressure rise up the moment we hear the word and become so angry, etc.?
Mar30-11, 11:27 AM
P: 232
The second link is all about the study in the Netherlands on NDE's.
Apr1-11, 05:28 AM
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To bad there is so extremely little research in out of body experiences.
Apr1-11, 08:12 AM
P: 232
There has been a lot of research done, it has just not been done through the university system. And mainly because they won't do it. Any person or group can do the scientific method. The university system doesn't hold any monopoly on scientific truth. The evidence is out there, and has been gained by scientific means, but you are not going to find it in a main stream scientific journal, except for rare cases. Like the study in the Netherlands for example.
Ken G
Apr1-11, 08:55 AM
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Quote Quote by Forestman View Post
Memory lapse was the first idea that popped into my head on that second paper, I wonder how those authors could have overlooked it.
Apr1-11, 09:02 AM
P: 178
I think the best answer to this is that brains do in fact create consciousness but they are reliant on more than just that to be a coherent picture, whilst this does not invite dualism into the equation at all it does make for a more coherent picture of consciousness. Consciousness is an iterative process based on feedback from x that is not necessarily a part of the brain. Like evolution relies on the environment, conscious evolution does too.
Apr1-11, 09:03 AM
P: 178
Quote Quote by Forestman View Post
I find NDE experiments are really not that robust. Firstly they can be induced without being near death and secondly they are often plagued with interpretation issues.

I attended a lecture on this from a student at Cambridge who had created all the experiences associated with NDEs by using chemicals. NDE may be a practical evolutionary solution to cope with the fear of death, it is hard to say if it is more than that, so the conclusions become moot. It may only be fairly ubiquitous because like belief in God we have evolved to be open to religious social induction because of the way our brains have evolved in groups by a long term social conditioning that may well be instinctive now too. After all how do instincts form if not by reiterative learning processes that slowly become intrinsic.

A good example is that certain forms of epilepsy in the frontal cortex invoke religious hallucinations even in atheists, some of which can be extremely disturbing. How would this be possible if there wasn't a propensity to be religious in the first place inherent somewhere? What we need to know is what is the reason for this and is it more than just evolution. I suspect not but then not being religious I am biased.
Apr1-11, 12:38 PM
P: 232
Calrid, was the drug that was used to induce NDE elements ketamine? I don't feel that inducing NDE with drugs invalidates their being objectively real at all. If the brain and the mind are two separate things then it would be natural that some drugs would mimic what is going on in the brain near death, thus causing the mind and brain to separate. There is more than one way to interpret the data. For example, ketamine acts similar to chemicals that are released near death that protect the brain from and overload of glutamate. Even LSD can sometimes cause NDE's. IMO these drugs act as a gateway. Never the less I don't feel that people should take them. Simply being because they fry your brain in the process of making it open to higher forms of information. What convinces me is not the tunnel, light, and heaven or hell, but the information gained while a person has a OBE, and also people being able to feel other peoples emotions during their life review. If it were not for this I would believe that NDE's were merely a hallucination.

I am not religious either.

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