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What is consciousness?

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ldashi | 15:51 Wed 06th Apr 2011 | Science
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Why am I me and you are you? Is consciousness implemented in the brain, meaning that it is just a construct of reality generated by the brain after devouring our experiences through the five senses, or is it beyond the processing of the brain? What I am interested in discussing is what do you think consciousness is and where does it originate from, and if it is beyond our ability to logically explain it, then can we say that consciousness will live on and we will be reborn in different bodies with the same consciousness? Dating back to the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism about reincarnation?

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For reincarnation to be correct implies that consciousness/soul is a discrete "energy pattern", that can exist outside of the corporeal body without degradation, and then settle into a new body ( when? at conception? at birth? at some other random time?).

Philosophically speaking, this could be viewed as dualism, one famous proponent of which is...
17:40 Wed 06th Apr 2011
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For reincarnation to be correct implies that consciousness/soul is a discrete "energy pattern", that can exist outside of the corporeal body without degradation, and then settle into a new body ( when? at conception? at birth? at some other random time?).

Philosophically speaking, this could be viewed as dualism, one famous proponent of which is Descartes. Problem with dualism is this; We have never been able to measure or record this consciousness/soul "energy pattern". So, no objective or empirical evidence to support it. Very little explanation of how such an "energy pattern" could retain its coherence either. Precious lilttle anecdotal evidence, beyond some people claiming to remember past lives - so the "energy pattern" that constitutes this ID is somehow subsumed when it enters a new body?

Too many ifs and buts and speculatives. No such thing as a soul. Consciousness and our sense of self is an emergent property of the brain biochemistry and electrochemistry, and our uniqueness stems from memory and life experience. When we die, that all stops. Full stop. :)
Being. . . thats the answer . . . well part of it . . maybe . . . . . also awareness too !
Consciousness is awareness.

It may just arise naturally from the activity in the brain, or it may have a spiritual aspect where we are experiencing the world through a physical body oyet are ultimately separate from it. It's a question no one has proven.

If it is the latter then science probably can not comment on it for it is separate rom the area it can test and disprove. If it is the former then folk are still working on that. Personally I don’t think it is an answerable question. Maybe we get to find out after death, unless we cease to exist in which case we won't know, nor know we don't know.
Conciousness seems to be a kind of reporting system that ties together the decisions made by the subconcious part of the brain. That is why we survive sleeping. We like to kid ourselves that we make important decisions by thinking deeply and then coming to a conclusion, In reality decisions seem to be made by another part of the brain. If conciousness survived death it would only be a tiny part of your persona and wouldn't amount to much. If a 'soul' could transcend the body why would it need a body at all?
Consciousness is no only applicable to humans. The lowest form of life needs it to survive. Because it cannot be found in our genes you would expect it to be a chemical reaction in the brain. Unstable personalities and mental illness are traits in our chemical composition that have gone wrong
Lower forms of life need no consciousness. Merely to react to stimulation in a way that ensures a better chance of survival. I find it hard to believe an amoeba has consciousness.
I've no answer, just two more questions:
1) We can make computers and, in theory, we can make all the amino acids, proteins, etc. to make a human egg and grow it. At what stage does consciousness enter the human (but doesn't enter the computer?)?
2) Why do elephants have only a single consciousness - their brains are as large as the combined brains of several animals?
Are you a Freudian jomifl? If so you may allow that some of our decisions originate in the Id, or inner being and are "polished" in the ego before being presented by our conscious brain. Bit cut and dried maybe but it seem to work that way

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