Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism

More rubbish on consciousness: “not a nonphysical phenomenon”

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From Harriet Hall, in a review of Daniel Dennett’s book, Bacteria to Bach and Back, at CSICOP:

Consciousness is not a nonphysical phenomenon. It is an evolved user-illusion, “a system of virtual machines that evolved, genetically and memetically, to play very special roles in the ‘cognitive niche’ our ancestors have constructed over the millennia.” There can be competence without comprehension, and comprehension is expensive, so nature uses the “need to know” principle. Most animals don’t need to know. Are there degrees of consciousness? Where might we draw a line? We draw a line for moral reasons and try to prevent animals from suffering, but what is suffering? We euthanize dogs when we think they are conscious of suffering, but do fish suffer? Do mosquitos suffer? We are willing to exterminate rats but not squirrels; why? Dennett warns that in trying to understand consciousness, “We mustn’t let our moral intuitions distort our empirical investigation from the outset.”

It’s hard to understand how uncomprehending neurons could give rise to comprehension, but they do. We can think about reasons and let these reasons influence our behavior, something no other animals can do. “We can perform many quite adroit and retrospectively justifiable actions with only a vague conception of what we are up to, a conception often swiftly sharpened in hindsight by the self-attribution of reasons.”More.

Ideas are a non-physical phenomenon by their nature.

One wonders why anyone pays attention to this stuff. What failures in their own lives are people trying to avoid if they believe things that are so obviously false and require such transparently obvious fictions to maintain them?

See also: Thomas Nagel: Daniel Dennett “maintaining a thesis at all costs” in Bacteria to Bach and Back

and

The illusion of consciousness sees through itself.

3 Replies to “More rubbish on consciousness: “not a nonphysical phenomenon”

  1. 1
    Nonlin.org says:

    Yes, “one wonders why anyone pays attention to this stuff”. Especially from retards like D Dennett and S Harris to not mention the Dawkins and the Hawkins.

  2. 2
    LoneCycler says:

    “What failures in their own lives are people trying to avoid if they believe things that are so obviously false and require such transparently obvious fictions to maintain them?”

    I have often asked myself the same question. But it’s impossible to know what someone else really thinks and holds in their heart. By their actions you can usually reach valid conclusions. What we see here is that there is evil in this world. It comes from an evil heart that is expert at creating confusion and contention. It is expert at fooling others with smooth words and speech. A heart that craves control and whose highest authority is self-reference. It has no conscience and no remorse.

    If Conscience doesn’t exist any sense of conscience is meaningless, is what we’re being told. We try to make sense of this but that’s a mistake. You might as well try and discern why water is wet or ice is cold. Evil needs to be confronted not reasoned with. And I think you are doing that here at UD.

    “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” A. Einstein.

  3. 3
    JDH says:

    Somehow I felt constrained to declare this opinion by D Dennett to be complete rubbish. Poor me – it really feels like I actually chose to do this by a free choice.

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