Consciousness, New Thinking About

DJ DJ at hotmail.com
Sat Jun 15 08:14:11 EST 2002


John H. <John at overhere> wrote in message
news:apsO8.1$ea5.294 at ozemail.com.au...
>
> Not new thinking about consciousness, the idea of Wegner re the illusion
of
> "I" is well discussed amongst neuroscientists wide and far. I virtually
take
> it as a given and I'm no neuroscientist, more a vagabond setting up camp
> here. Gazziniga will blow your mind re the illusory aspect and in Pinker's
> How the Mind Works, he devotes a subsection with the title "Kidding
> Ourserlves", wherein he in his usual erudite way summarises the research
> indicating that our brains really go to a certain amount of trouble to
keep
> us Misinformed. Anyway, Libet sortta killed the poor little fella in my
> skull and that's a long time ago now.
>
> Most if not all neuroscience evidence is against free will, I find the
idea
> absurd. It's a bit like defining the 'executive functions' in the brain,
as
> if we don't have enough ghosts in the machine we have to go and create a
few
> more. As I once said to a friend, the whole universe is the executive
> function ... . How can we be in control of ourselves? Brains create us,
not
> vice versa. Its one hell of an illusion though and raises the question as
to
> why evolution went to so much trouble to create an 'information
processing'
> device that then deceives its 'owner' as to what is really going on!
>
Maybe the deception that you speak of is necessary because the illusion of
free will brings with it the illusion of individual responsibility.  If our
society was to truly embrace determinism anybody could go and kill whoever
they liked without fear of legal retribution.  It's fair to assume that the
laws of the jungle also incorporate the individual responsibility factor.
i.e. We might not have evolved to this point without the illusion of free
will.  If you kill your enemy you're held responsible so someone kills you.

> The feeling is not illusion, I do read the sentence, but the I that reads
> the sentence is an illusion.

Hmmm... Maybe each of us is a different "instance" of the same conscious
entity.  Nonetheless real both physically and mentally.  Unique, individual
consciousness might result from "filtering" that single conscious entity
through each unique physical entity.  This possibility raises the question
of how each individual consciousness is able to interact with the single
conscious entity.  In computing terms, can they update eachother's data?
Sorry, I'm just pissing into the wind too.

DJ





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