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Where does consciousness come from?

Do you think that conscious experience is brought into existence by matter, such as the brain? Or do you think consciousness is some inate feature of the universe that is only shaped by the different structures and processes of the universe?

chris5832 4 Aug 8

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Part of the evolution of cells that make up the human being.


It is a difficult question, it all depends how you define Consciousness. There are many models in neuroscience that make the attempt of defining consciousness, most of them then to subdivide them, different classifications based on different factors. On one hand it is based on the brain, this we can see in evolutionary biology, where all animals have consciousness but different degrees. Most animals would have different degrees of awareness of their environment, of their body and some like Chimpanzees, Elephants, dolphins would have self-awareness. Humans have self-awareness to a higher degree. Consciousness would be awareness of self, environment, with the function of regulating and processing and integrating informations from inner, environmental stimuli and to modulate different brain regions in order to react and adapt adequately to the environment. Other think that Consciousness is awareness that depends on integration of information, that all beings including atoms have consciousness, this would appear to be a spiritual, but there are measurement of information integration in all objects of matter including human beings, so it might be that Consciousness is a major part of the universe, this of course if you add the quantum measurement problem where you need an external observer to collapse the wave function, so it appears that you need consciousness for the universe to exist.


I think consciousness is equivalent to working memory, which is continually sampling the unconscious for information pertaining to ambient environmental stimuli.

Gmak Level 7 Aug 8, 2018

It comes from the brain.


Consciousness is an emergent characteristic of certain biochemical / electrical processes in a physical brain. 100% of avaliable evidence points that way, 0% points away from it.

That is not to say that new evidence in the future couldn't theoretically modify that conclusion, but it IS to say that this is highly unlikely.

@chris5832 If my brain were significantly damaged by a blow to the head it would change my consciousness, generally for the worse. There's no reason to think that my brain no longer living and rotting would not finish the process once and for all.

I guess we'll find out eventually if general-purpose "hard" AI can be human-like enough to prove that consciousness is what the preponderance of scientific evidence says it is. Even then, I suspect that some will claim that AIs, like humans "must" be tapping into some universal consciousness.

I will grant you that panpsychism is the only remotely plausible alternative hypothesis but I do not see how it is falsifiable at present. Related to that: the mechanisms it would work by are entirely unknown and undetected. A whole new branch of science would have to be discovered and explored. It's happened before and could happen again but I'm not holding my breath. To me panpsychism is just another way words like "quantum" get invoked as hand-waving explanations for random hypotheses.


I am firmly in the camp that consciousness is a function of the brain. Neuroscience has made leaps and bounds in the past couple of decades and has answered a lot of the questions. It’s is now possible to map out thoughts and dreams and even extrapolate accurate images from the sequences that are measured. I’m not sure exactly what was meant in the previous comment that our thoughts can shape the world around us, but if the point was that thoughts alone can make physical changes, I heartily disagree. On the other hand, our thoughts and beliefs inform our actions and in that way we can definitely create change.


The brain.


I don’t know for I am stoned.

Me too! And l don't care.


I think it is an innate feature of the universe, we are a part of it and we can shape our world by our thoughts.


I think it is an inate feature of the cosmos that is accessed by the human brain and is the repository for every thought that came into the mind of man since time began. As our mind processes thoughts taken in from the cosmos, the processed thoughts go back out there for storage.

@KissedbySun Excellent lol!

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