Passive Consciousness: Exploring the Paradox of Human Decision Making

In summary: You need to be aware of something2. You need to be able to act on that awarenessIn summary, the paradox between consciousness and laws of physics can be solved in 2 ways. One is that the physical world actually is not closed, but spiritual things can affect it. The second is that we are not really aware of what is happening, but the decisions are made in our brains in a computer-like manner.
  • #1
jostpuur
2,116
19
Here's a brief explanation of the paradox between consciousness and laws of physics: Suppose there is a consciousness in a human's brains, that makes decisions about what the human does. Since muscles are controlled merely by nervous system, this means that the consciousness must somehow send messages to the muscles through the neurons. But the neurons instead function according to the laws of physics, and everything that happens in the neurons is a consequence of some previous physical events. Ultimately nothing spiritual should be able to affect neurons.

I think there is two directions about how this paradox could be solved. The easier one is this: The physical world actually is not closed, but spiritual things can affect it. And these non-physical interactions are so weak, that they are not detectable directly, but only indirectly in brains, from which very small things can cumulate to become quite macroscopic effects on our muscles.

Personally, I don't like this solution. It is unpleasantly mystical.

The solution attempt I like more, is on the other hand also more difficult. As the topic says, it is about passive consciousness. I'm not sure how to explain it the best, and since people usually don't want to read too lenghty stories, I'll just try to put this briefly: Idea is that the consciousness is not making any decisions, but the decisions are made in the brains in computer like manner. The consciousness instead is something that merely observes this passively.

You might think that this is in contradiction with our experience. You don't feel like you are passively observing your brains making decisions. You feel like making decisions your self. But this is not like looking a television. Just suppose your consciousness is passively observing computer like thinking in the brains. If your consciousness does not observe anything else, shouldn't it gain an illusion of actually performing the thinking?

Does this make sense to anyone? :smile:
 
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  • #2
Hey there ...

Interesting theory but wouldn't you still need a consciousness to passively observe it and run into the same problem again?

I'm not a trained scientist by any stretch but I'd think that your theory has little on the dualist one and vice versa.

In fact, I thought the way you laid out that "mystical" hypothesis was very convincing!

Marco :-)
 
  • #3
Could it be that consciouness is result of a physical process within the neurons or to turn it around the physical process within the neurons give us a "sense" of consciouness.
 
  • #4
What if the decisions we make are made physically by the brain first and then we sense this consciously and become aware of it?
There's no reason to believe that we can think about something before our brain thinks it.
 
  • #5
Bonteburg said:
In fact, I thought the way you laid out that "mystical" hypothesis was very convincing!

I think that that is what the majority believes in, although they probably find it insulting, that I call it mystical.

arul_k said:
Could it be that consciouness is result of a physical process within the neurons or to turn it around the physical process within the neurons give us a "sense" of consciouness.

I have difficulty seeing the message behind this. To me the consciousness and physical processes sound like different things. But that could be true, if the "physical processes" mean something more than what they mean to me now.

octelcogopod said:
What if the decisions we make are made physically by the brain first and then we sense this consciously and become aware of it?
There's no reason to believe that we can think about something before our brain thinks it.

This sounds like we are on the same track with this thing.
 
  • #6
You might do some reading on the cerebellum. Generally, we think of conciousness as residing more in the cerebrum. Yet we perform many tasks without bothering the cerebrum (some have even suggested that certain tasks can be performed locally without bothering the brain at all).
 
  • #7
Bateson and conciousness

http://www.springerlink.com/content/r6w682145126552p/?p=9640a3cca87748bb91dc429e4ddbcaca&pi=4

I redcommend this link and also the works of Gregory Bateson, the grandfather of systemic theory. Although mainly a biologist, Bateson had some fascinating ideas on life and conciousness.
See also www.jillrees.com[/URL] for educational links. If anyone on this site is involved in trying to get the buggers involved they may wish to look at sustainable education.
 
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  • #8
jostpuur said:
But the neurons instead function according to the laws of physics, and everything that happens in the neurons is a consequence of some previous physical events. Ultimately nothing spiritual should be able to affect neurons.

The brain can be fooled easily. In fact, 100 years ago and even before that, people made a living traveling from town to town deceiving the mind. Optical illusions, stories that spark the imagination and all the way up to today, where TV fools the mind every day. If these are not questioned… then your mind changes it’s perception of reality.
In my personal opinion you need 2 things in order to experience reality; Intelligence and experience.

Intelligence: Understanding of physics and how the rules apply to the world.

Experience: Without it, your imagination fills the gap for you and your subconscious. Leaving more possibilities to misinterpret reality.
 

Related to Passive Consciousness: Exploring the Paradox of Human Decision Making

What is passive consciousness?

Passive consciousness is defined as the state of being aware of one's surroundings and inner thoughts without actively controlling or directing them. It is often characterized by a sense of detachment and observation rather than active engagement.

How does passive consciousness relate to decision making?

The paradox of passive consciousness is that while we may believe we are making conscious decisions, the reality is that much of our decision making is influenced by unconscious processes and biases. Passive consciousness allows us to observe these unconscious influences and understand their impact on our decision making.

Can passive consciousness be consciously achieved?

While passive consciousness is often associated with meditation and other mindfulness practices, it is not something that can be actively achieved. It is a natural state that can be enhanced through intentional practices, but ultimately it is a byproduct of our brain's functioning.

What are the benefits of exploring passive consciousness?

Exploring passive consciousness can lead to a better understanding of ourselves and our decision making processes. It can also help us become more aware of our biases and make more informed and intentional decisions. Additionally, it can aid in reducing stress and increasing overall well-being.

How can passive consciousness be applied in practical situations?

Passive consciousness can be applied in various situations, such as in the workplace, relationships, and personal growth. By becoming more aware of our thoughts and actions, we can make more conscious and mindful decisions, leading to more positive outcomes. It can also help us better understand and empathize with others, improving our communication and relationships.

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