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The self aware universe

  1. Dec 14, 2004 #1
    The universe is self aware because WE are self aware. If anyone argues this then I would then question as to how self ware THEY are.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2004 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    I'd like to point out that this does not meet the quality standards for our Philosophy section. Please see the Guidelines and try to flesh out your argument.

    Thank you,
     
  4. Dec 14, 2004 #3
    I think what he is trying to say is that the Universe is self-aware because some components of the Universe are self-aware. True. Though I think the Universe is far too large in order to be self-aware, or be capable of any type of thought. At most it could be like an organism reacting to stimuli; and that is debatable as well. The Brothers Strugatsky have mentioned something like this in their book about the World Homeostasis, where the Universe would retaliate against things/ideas/people that might bring about the end of the world by tampering with laws of nature (i.e. changing them instead of accepting them).
     
  5. Dec 14, 2004 #4

    Tom Mattson

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    Your guess is as good as mine. But if that is what he meant, then it can only lead to one of 2 dead ends.

    First, he could argue the position that since physical objects and processes give rise to beings that are "self aware", that means that the universe must have been self aware to begin with. But this is just an argument from the fallacy of composition.

    Second, he could simply define a composite structure as "self aware" as long as some part of it is self aware, in which case there's no room for discussion.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2004 #5

    Kerrie

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    RAD, instead of making these claims, why don't you state why you believe this to be true, and please provide some solid arguments.
     
  7. Dec 14, 2004 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I still think the point is missed. We are of the universe and we are self aware, so the universe is self aware. Not the entire universe, and not necessarily in any sense beyond our awareness, but at the least it is aware "as" us. This does not imply that the universe was self aware before we came to be.
     
  8. Dec 14, 2004 #7

    Tom Mattson

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    That would be the second of the two possibilities I mentioned. It still leaves me wondering: How does one establish such a notion, apart from simply defining it to be the case?
     
  9. Dec 14, 2004 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    How can we be considered separate from the universe?

    We are star stuff and all of that...
     
  10. Dec 14, 2004 #9

    loseyourname

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    I don't see how it does. You can say part of the universe is self-aware, but it is fallacious to assign an attribute to an entity simply because some of its constituent parts possess that attribute. The form of the argument: X is p. X is a part of Y. Therefore, Y is p. Clearly this is not valid, as demonstrated by the ridiculous analogy: Sperm are single-celled flagellated organisms. Sperm are a part of human males. Therefore, human males are single-celled flagellated organisms.
     
  11. Dec 14, 2004 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    I guess the only objection is that the statement did not require that the universe was conscious before we came to be. It is not proof of eternal consciousness, but at least as long as we exist it does.
     
  12. Dec 14, 2004 #11

    loseyourname

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    If self-awareness is an attribute of star stuff, then Moses conclusion would be true. If, however, self-awareness is an emergent property of star-stuff that only exists when star-stuff is organized into human brains, then his conclusion is not true. I've seen decent arguments for panexperientialism, but panpsychism is another story entirely. For one thing, what kind of a "self" would star stuff be aware of?
     
  13. Dec 14, 2004 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    ...sounds anthropocentric to me. We are just complicated star stuff.
     
  14. Dec 14, 2004 #13

    Tom Mattson

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    Bingo. That's precisely the fallacy of composition, which I mentioned earlier in this thread. The only other way I can think of to say that "the universe is self aware" is to define self-awareness to be an attribute possessed by a whole if it is possessed by one of its parts. But in that case, you trade in a logical fallacy for an empty tautology.

    We can't. That's why the definition of self awareness I stated above works. The problem is that it only works in a way that is trivially true.
     
  15. Dec 15, 2004 #14
    Mmmm...even it will sound odd, i will say it:

    First, i agree with loseyourname about his statement about, i have another example to strenghten the arguement: Four balls, three yellow and one black, if one is black, never means the other three yellows are black! We are the balck ball, and the unverse is the four balls in this example...

    I do think that the universe is sel-awarse, stopens, trees, all of the atoms and waves, since they "apply" some laws. I do beleive in a Universe-Master, by logic of course, if he created the universe and "programmed" the laws there, so his creatures should be aware of these laws in order to apply, from chemical to biological to physical laws, from trees to stones to stars. We are, the human being, in a very high level of awareness, this is why may be The Universe Master may send a religion to us....[actually i do beleive He sent one already, which it is not out topic here...]
     
  16. Dec 15, 2004 #15
    I suppose then we are committing a fallacy to say that human beings are self-aware. After all, our toes aren't conscious. Instead we must say that human brains are self-aware. But then, we don't know if consciousness emerges from brains, so to be accurate we must say that some part of the universe is self-aware, but we don't yet know which part.
     
  17. Dec 15, 2004 #16

    Tom Mattson

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    Well that's true, but there's a difference. My toes aren't conscious, but I am conscious of my toes. That is, I receive what you philosophers call "qualia" through them (right now I can feel my shoes pressing against them). Surely then we can attach a meaningful difference between my toes and a cloud of interstellar dust, no?
     
  18. Dec 15, 2004 #17
    Why would you assume your toes are not conscious? I assume my toes are conscious.
     
  19. Dec 15, 2004 #18
    Guidelines

    I will go over the guidelines as you suggested. I hope I didn't breach any type of forum etiquette. I do apologize.
    I didn’t mean to make it sound like “put up your dukes and lets go at it”
    It is VERY interesting to see the path this thread is starting to take. It makes me see the different facets of how people perceive this statement and opens up my mind to other possibilities.
     
  20. Dec 15, 2004 #19

    Kerrie

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    thank you for clarifying your stand RAD4921...this forum has had it's share of crackpots, thus our reason for making guidelines...sometimes the context or tone isn't conveyed accurately through our posts too.
     
  21. Dec 15, 2004 #20
    I agree

    How do we know what is conscious and what isn't? How do we know what is self aware and what isn't? How do I know if an atom in the belly of a star is aware of itself? It may sound absurd to some but it is certainly a possible. Of course all of this is making assumptions. I see what Tom and Loseyour name are saying. Maybe the "self awareness" I am speaking of is not as self aware as I thought. Maybe there is greater self awareness or what the self wareness I speak of is an illusion of some type and the universe is not self aware at all. I don't think going to a dictionary and looking up "self awareness" is going to solve these questions I have.
     
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