A proof that consciousness is non-physical
I’m not talking about similarity here – I’m talking about whether making a perfect copy of one human being would create a separate, independent awareness or not.”
Firstly – how would you determine whether the awareness’s are separate or not?
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There is a gift in that but it’s too simple for most people to open!
@ijesuschrist, “Firstly – how would you determine whether the awareness’s are separate or not?”
I’ve already responded to this in my original post:
“Of course, no one could know which of these two would be true (not even A/B), but it is intuitively clear that only one can hold.”
“Secondly – why would you even consider that the two awarenesses aren’t separate?”
Because this is a theoretical possibility. I’ve tried to be systematic and cover all possible results of the experiment.
“I see nothing that would point in the direction that these two conscious minds aren’t separate. ”
Great, could you read case 2) from the first post then and see if you can spot a flaw in it? This refers to the case when two entities have two independent sets of consciousness.
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@eliot, “On the other hand, 2) would also lead to contradiction, because two identical physical entities produce two different awarenesses. If you can’t immediately get your head around this, imagine that A’s brain was instantly replaced with the newly created brain of B’s. From the physical point of view, nothing in A’s physical composition has been changed, but his awareness has been replaced with that of B’s. This implies that consciousness must be based on something that is outside physical.”
First: “Because two identical physical entities produce two different awarenesses.”
Again if they were completely identical – “His awareness has changed to that of B’s” Yes, tah dah, because you switched the brains… why would this be based on anything but the physical. But if the two brains were identical, there would be no change in perception/awareness – the awarenesses would be the same, just what holds them would be different.
The same concept could be applied to any program on a computer.
Computer A downloads Microsoft word and writes up a letter based on an string of letters pre-loaded (experienced) by the computer.
Now we switch the two hard drives. The letters are the same (the experience) and the programs are identical (perception).
What you are saying is that
The real contradiction is in your logic – you make a claim that the experiences would be exactly the same, but then switch it to being different, thus producing what you think is proof that things are non-physical, but actually a flaw in that you thought that the experiences would be exactly the same, and different at the same time.
@ijesuschrist, I’m not sure the computer programs would be the best analogy in this case, because they don’t have self-awareness which is crucial here.
Let’s put it this way: someone makes an identical copy of you. You say that this copy would have independent awareness, that’s fine. Now, what would happen to YOUR self-awareness, your sense of self, your own consciousness if I was to take a brain from this copy and put it inside your head (while permanently destroying your original brain)?
@eliot, My awareness would be gone… minus the slight bit of unconscious thought that happens in the spinal cord.
@ijesuschrist, But from the physical point of view, nothing has changed: every neuron, every molecule, every single atom remains in its place because your brains was instantaneously changed with its identical copy. How is this possible, if your consciousness is based only on those basic physical units?
@eliot, Please see above computer program analogy… it won’t be long until you can program a computer to recognize itself in the mirror…
but I think this last scenario you describe is better…
If your brain was replaced with identical configuration of new atoms, instantaneously, would you still be aware, or would your awareness disappear. Now I’m starting to think.
@eliot, SO i think I tried to split the topic, using your last response as the first post, but I don’t know if it worked… I think its a more interesting question and a lot easier to contemplate than the first examples.
@healingchime, i like the way you experience it…..
@eliot, “Every proof that has every been constructed is based on a certain set of assumptions (called axioms). These are usually so obvious and intuitive that there is actually no need to prove them at all.”
-Not all proof is constructed. Gravity is real no matter what set of assumptions you filter it through, throw something and it falls, you can’t deny it. A tree absorbs water and nutrients from the ground no matter what set of assumptions you filter it through. It keeps doing its thing whether you believe it or not. That’s because it’s hard fact, true reality, beyond bona fide.
That’s real proof. Not just a poorly rationalized, wishful conclusion based upon nothing but belief.
“I don’t see a gap in there. Assuming that everything in existence is based on physical matter and then having two physically identical entities which posses different qualities certainly sounds like a contradiction to me.”
This comes as no surprise, if you could see the gap nobody would have to tell you. It’s tricky to see the gaps in what you’ve constructed yourself, because of that part of the self that doesn’t want you to question your own beliefs.
Doesn’t matter if two things are identical, they’re still separate. Two things are two things, not one thing.
That’s like me asking you if you have a lawnmower, and you answer no, so I conclude that you’re a homo. Where’s the connection?
Just like yours, but actually not as badly.
“Because the assumption is that everything, including thought and behaviour, is based on physical matter and those two entities are physically identical.”
Identical doesn’t mean united. They’re still two separate brains. Two separate brains thinking, perceiving, reacting to the world, etc. They don’t even stay identical for more than a very short moment, because the brain is always adapting.
“And what exactly is free will? We assume that our awareness springs from interactions between neurones, but we know that neurons are deterministic systems (i.e. if their current state and input remain the same, their output will also be the same). And at the same time we know that we somehow have indirect control over those neurons. Doesn’t this sound odd to you?”
Free will is just that, free will, the ability to choose. Does it need further explanation?
It doesn’t sound the least bit odd to me, because it’s reality. Reality isn’t odd, reality is real. Theories are what’s odd, when reality contradicts assumptions things seem odd. But that’s of the theory, not of reality. Reality isn’t the least bit odd.
As for the physical vs non-physical thing, it seems you don’t fully grasp those terms. There is nothing non-physical, nothing other-worldly, nothing supernatural. Real is real, and physical. Just because we have yet to find a way to chart and measure it, doesn’t mean it isn’t physical. It’s just like light, sound, thoughts, electricity.
There is nothing non-physical, that doesn’t mean I’m denying the existence of things that a lot of people choose to call non-physical, only denying that stupid assumption.
Ever heard of things like quantum physics, string theory, and such? They’re discovering some really strange shit that could explain all this “non-physical stuff.”
Everything is maso. The one fabric of reality, out of which all forms and “non-forms” are carved and moulded.
“As for the change/injury in the brain causing the change in awareness – this is perfectly fine and I’m not trying to oppose this claim. But it still doesn’t reveal a mistake in the original experiment.”
Yes it does.
This is a universe of cause and effect, and it is just that, the universe. It means “the one verse” simply put, all that is, AKA “the word of god.”
The separation between the aspects of the world is an illusion, a figment of YOUR IMAGINATION.
The way I simply put it is…
Consciousness dictates our actions, or non actions.
So it is synonymous with our being.
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I have thought through this scenario a bunch of ties. Never had a good conclusion. However, About it, I always run into the thought that your atomically a 100% different person every 2 years or so.
This also led me to a video called the primacy of consciousness which describes consciousness as perhaps more fundamental than time & space or even light. He explains how consciousness fits outside current science, but science will one day be forced to include it if science is to remain a pursuit of observable truth, consciousness exists and so it cannot be ignored, or written off so easily has a chemical or quantum property.
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