Computer programmer and philosopher Bernardo Kastrup provides a surprising answer:
A leading cosmopsychist doubts that computers can be conscious. He doesn’t think consciousness dies with the body; rather, near-death experiences are genuine.
Michael Egnor: Do you believe in life after death?
Bernardo Kastrup: I certainly believe in consciousness after death. I believe that our core subjectivity, that implicit, innate sense of “I”-ness, remains undifferentiated. That’s the reason you still think you are the same person you were when you were five years old even though everything about you has changed. Every atom in your body has already departed, and new atoms are in. Your thoughts are different, your emotions are different, your memories are different. Everything is different about you, but your core subjectivity is the same. That’s why you think of that kid as you, even though everything else about that kid was different.
I think the same core subjectivity… it’s not only that it survives death, death happens within it. Life and death happen within that core subjectivity, that undifferentiated witness that is the carrier of all reality.News, “Michael Egnor: What happens to our consciousness after we die?” at Mind Matters News
Cosmopsychism and panpsychism are taken seriously in science culture mags today because there is no reasonable materialist/naturalist account of consciousness. But look what it’s doing to their brand. Forcing them to be serious about the issues will be their downfall.
Bernardo Kastrup argues for a Universal Mind as a reasonable idea. The challenge, he says, is not why there is consciousness but why there are so many separate instances of consciousnesses. He tells Michael Egnor why his view, cosmopsychism, makes more sense than panpsychism.
Why consciousness couldn’t just evolve from the mud. Kastrup, a panpsychist, is sympathetic to the basic intuitions behind the idea that there is design in nature (intelligent design theory). Philosopher and computer scientist Bernardo Kastrup discusses the problems with such claims with neurosurgeon Michael Egnor.
Why is science growing comfortable with panpsychism (“everything is conscious”)? At one time, the idea that “everything is conscious” was the stuff of jokes. Not any more, it seems.
Does physics today point to mind rather than matter only? A cosmopsychist looks at the universe, God, and free will. Bernardo Kastrup tells Michael Egnor that he does not think God is self-reflective. That, he thinks, is a unique job for humans.