Consciousness, New Thinking About

tony.jeffs tonyjeffs2 at
Wed Jun 5 04:35:27 EST 2002

Hi John

Well, our views aren't quite the same, but there's some similar thinking.
I suspect conscousness might be  a matter of degree, and cant see any reason
for a cut off point......
More below...

"JGC9" <jgcasey at> wrote in message
news:3cf4c432_1 at
<in part>

> What I meant is we can make better decisions (acts of will) than say
> a wolf because we have a better intellect. The subjective experience
> (consciousness) of pain for a wolf may be as strong as my own. The
> difference is I am conscious of more things. That is I have a much
> better 'world model' than the wolf.

Does " to be conscious of more things"
mean "to be more conscious". in your view?
That would mean I'm more conscious when thinking intensely  than I am when
relaxing in the sun.

> It does appear consciousness is related to some kind of brain activity.
> For that reason I don't believe rocks are conscious and I suspect I
> may not be conscious in a very deep sleep. Until we know if being
> conscious requires a certain kind of brain activity we cannot determine
> the conscious status of animals.

But as far as we know, our brains aren't particularly different to other
animals other than by degree  & a few plug-ins & add ons  . (OK room for a
huge debate, but never mind..)
If we're conscious, I'm  sure animals must be too.

> When I am dreaming I believe I am conscious but not connected to
> my body and part of my brain is not functioning.

Now that I might agree with. But also, dreaming could be a non-consciousless
experience....Perhaps we don't know about it until we wake up, and see it
lying there in short-term memory. Perhaps at that point, we rationalise and
assume we must have been conscious when the dream occurred.

>For that reason I
> confuse my thoughts with actual experiences.


> Most of the time people are not conscious of the fact they are conscious.
> When I have asked some people to think about it and experience it
> they find it eerie and even scary. Others don't seem to get it.

Yes. We'd be forever walking into lamp-posts and parked cars if we thought
about thought too much

> > What are the necessary criteria for something not to be conscious?
>  I don't know.

Me neither, but I'm going to push it with a few possibilities.. perhaps for
Possbile criteria for not being conscious:----
a) not complex enough
b) not got an immortal soul
c) not got a memory
d) not carbon based
e) not containing microtubules (!!!)   not having a  bicycle.
f) lacking a specific brain component.

Only the first one really  appeals to me. The second 'could be'.
'C' could be.  d & e are vacuous & have no substance of
merit.  F is viable, but a bit like e unless we can speculate on the
function of the missing brain component.


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