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At Mind Matters News: The day philosophers started to take consciousness seriously

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Of course, once they did, they found themselves deep in huge conundrums:

We sometimes forget how far we are from solving the mystery of consciousness.

An anecdote from 1994 might help us understand. Picture an utterly boring, pointless conference in Tucson, Arizona, one of whose attendees was an obscure philosopher from Australia, scheduled to give the third talk. And shook everything up:

News, “The day philosophers started to take consciousness seriously” at Mind Matters News

That was David Chalmers and the “Hard Problem of Consciousness.”

Some useful work is being done. We are discovering, for example, that

— people in a persistent vegetative state can have active conscious lives

– people can control artificial limbs by thoughts alone

– in, perhaps, the strangest development, the mind can sometimes discover information when detached from the clinically dead brain.

None of these discoveries confirms the materialism with which the academic world had become so comfortable.

News, “The day philosophers started to take consciousness seriously” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: We have learned a great deal about consciousness in the past half century but none of it supports materialism.

See also: Claim: “Spirituality” circuit in the brain has been identified Really? Is that even possible? No single definition fits all spirituality which is why there could not be a brain circuit that explains all spirituality.

6 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: The day philosophers started to take consciousness seriously

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    We have learnt a little more about consciousness than we knew before but it is still an exceedingly complex and poorly-understood entity. And, apart from some unconfirmed anecdotes, there is nothing to suggest that the mind can exists apart from the physical brain. When the brain stops, so does the consciousness. And, if the brain is not the generator of the mind, why would we have evolved such an immensely complex and metabolically expensive organ at all?

  2. 2
    ET says:

    We will never understand consciousness as long as the failed dogma of materialism rules science.

    But thanks to the overwhelming number of cameras we know that consciousness can exist absent a physical brain.

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    Well, that was 27 years ago and I still haven’t seen any actual philosophizing from the entities that possess the job title of “philosopher”.

    I was keeping close track of the Terry Schiavo tragedy in 2005, and EVERY SINGLE ACADEMIC ETHICIST demanded instant death for Terry. “Ethicists” are simply serial killers. Mass murderers. Universe-obliterating zombies.

    Ordinary people understand clearly that soul and brain are not the same thing. Academics are stupider than a bacterium.

  4. 4
    BobRyan says:

    There was nothing quick about Schiavo’s death. It was not machines keeping her alive to be disconnected to bring about death. She was starved and deprived of liquid as dehydration slowly killed her.

  5. 5
    doubter says:

    Seversky@1

    …apart from some unconfirmed anecdotes, there is nothing to suggest that the mind can exists apart from the physical brain.

    Not so fast. It is of course to be expected that a confirmed materialist would deliberately gloss over on ideological grounds the large body of strong empirical evidence of the ultimate independence of human consciousness from the physical brain, that is constituted by investigated confirmed veridical NDEs.

    I challenge Seversky to rather than simply dismiss on ideological grounds the over 100 cases of thouroughly investigated and confirmed veridical NDEs documented in the book The Self Does Not Die by Rivas, Dirven and Smit, instead, put his money where his mouth is by debunking each one in plausible detail. Even just one that cannnot be plausibly explained and debunked that actually happened as described would invalidate the skeptic materialist position.

    A good summary descripton from Amazon:

    This book contains over 100 reliable, often firsthand accounts of perceptions during NDEs that were later verified as accurate by independent sources. These near-death experiencers were everyday people from all over the world—many of whom were clinically dead, unable to see or hear, and yet able to perceive new vistas of a world beyond the senses and even beyond death.

    The Self Does Not Die is a trailblazing effort to present the most confirmed cases of consciousness beyond death ever compiled. In these cases, the authors have gone back to the original sources, the people involved in each case, whenever possible, rather than relying on secondhand sources. In so doing, they have assembled a unique collection of empirical data that any scholar worthy of the name must take into account.

    By carefully studying and describing many convincing and corroborated cases, during cardiac arrest and other cases, the authors conclude that there are good reasons to assume that our consciousness does not always coincide with the functioning of our brain: Enhanced consciousness can sometimes be experienced separately from the body.

  6. 6
    zweston says:

    It is amazing how unscientific the naturalists are…. they aren’t willing to search for the truth wherever it leads…they hold in their trench of self-refuting worldview that can’t even anchor their ability to reason or think clearly or that they are even conscious…. It’s very dogmatic and religious. NDE’s are super compelling. The fossil record basically refutes evolution empirically without even looking at DNA… Atheists indeed hold faith in their worldview.

    Any naturalist/atheists on here…how confident are you that Neo-darwinism explains the diversity of life?

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