Why is your consciousness only attached to the matter that comprises your body?

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So, can you explain why your consciousness is only attached to the molecules that make up your present body? Why wasn’t your particular self-awareness realized into different life circumstances. Why weren’t you born with rich parents and endowed with extreme wealth, beauty, talent, and intelligence? Why did the molecules that make you up give you the sensation of self-awareness in this particular time in history? If you do believe in a God, how is it fair that one person is born into favorable circumstances while another is born into disadvantage? If you don’t believe in God, can you honestly tell me that you believe the self-awareness that you are experiencing now is only because of your Dad’s sperm and your Mom’s egg? Are you saying that you believe if a different one of those millions of sperm had been the winner you wouldn’t exist right now? Wow? Did I still get it wrong? So, are saying then that if sperm 1 million and 1 had been the winner you’d still exist but just be different? Okay, but that doesn’t explain why your consciousness is here at this point in history and why you didn’t exist 100 years ago or 100 years from now, does it? 🙂
Okay, there is my question; here is what I think:
Science would lose credibility if it were to say outright that we do not have a soul. However, it doesn’t recognize the possibility that we might be more than just atoms either. Science asserts that the brain is the focal point of our sensory input and provides the sensation of self awareness or what we know as consciousness; essentially purporting that matter organized in a particular way can be self aware. My question is: exactly how does matter achieve self awareness?
If you were to lose a limb your ability to receive sensory input from that limb is also lost, right? Moreover, the limb itself is not self aware; it does not have a will of its own. If matter by itself can achieve self awareness shouldn’t part of your consciousness still reside in that severed limb at least until all biological functions within it ceased? Instead, people report what is called “phantom limb syndrome” where they experience the sensation of still having the missing limb attached. The matter isn’t there, but the sensation is – – wow?
There isn’t enough room here for me to explain this premise, but I believe that life is the animation of matter and not matter itself. The closest parallel would be the difference between the dream and the dreamer. In the world of science only that which is measureable by our 5 senses is real and everything else, like the existence of a soul, is merely a creation of the mind. In the world of the Spiritualist, there are only two things that exist: that which is created by one’s own mind and that which is created by the mind of others and the physical plane is where the two meet.
Put on your amour, mount your steed, and let the intellectual jousting begin!

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KingFrog.

I’ve been pondering that question for years. But to no avail.
Recently I’ve bought a book on it, but it doesn’t really explain it, it just tells about the parts of the brain that have to do with it.
Truthfully, it’s one of the main reasons I believe in a Divine Creator.
But, Riddle me this, If a carbon copy was made of you in the future, atom for atom accurate, With your memories already implanted in it’s brain, would it be you?

Ross

We think this physical world is something outside of ourselves, and controls us, but it is of our own making. It and our bodies are an attempt to make a dream world separate from God, to try to make up truth on our own instead of listen to Him.
Those who are starting to let go of this belief and open to truth have out of body experiences that show mind is not dependent upon body but in control of it.

12 Syllogisms

You are Platonic. Your idea of “consciousness” is a thing that exists without a cause, and exists without that which causes it. That fallacy is called “reification.”
“Reification (also known as hypostatisation, concretism, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a “real thing” something which is not a real thing, but merely an idea. For example: if the phrase “holds another’s affection”, is taken literally, affection would be reified.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy)
Consciousness begins only when a life form capable of consciousness has its first sensory perception; consciousness is the direct result of a central nervous system having been given some sort of input. “A consciousness with nothing to be consciousness is a contradiction in terms.” Rand
The mind is tabula rasa, since “a priori” means that knowledge is built into the mind. The only thing built into the mind is the capacity for the “acquisition of knowledge,” and such “acquisition” is gained from experience, which is gained from sensory input and received in the “knowing subject” (you) as a subjective perception, from which you “abstract” universals and “conceive” of particulars. http://psychweb.psych.duke.edu/department/jers/abl/Chapter14.pdf etc.
Without a physical source capable of having consciousness, it cannot exist, and when that source dies, the consciousness goes with it. What this means for “you” is that “you” could not be who “you” are without the very particular experiences you have had (combined with whatever percentage of one’s consciousness consists of nature; that “nature” being the specific sperm and egg, and the specific things that fed you as a zygote and fetus.
When you say “that which is created by one’s own mind and that which is created by the mind of others and the physical plane is where the two meet” are the only two things that exist, then you demonstrate a contradiction because your mind, existing as the result of sensory input to the mechanism of consciousness that sits waiting for that first input, can not have created the sperm and egg.
But aside from that, it explains another fallacy, called the “primacy of consciousness.” http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com/Mystical_PrimacyOfConsciousness.html
http://www.peterrussell.com/SP/PrimConsc.php
The non-fallacy explanation of existence is the “primacy of existence.” http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com/Metaphysics_RealityIsAbsolute.html
http://www.geocities.com/katholon/poe.htm
ADDED:
You brought up so many unconnected questions I keep finding them by re-reading yours. You say :Science would lose credibility if it were to say outright that we do not have a soul.”
Au contrare! That is at the heart of “naturalism”.
“We don’t have souls that continue after death.” http://www.centerfornaturalism.org/descriptions.htm Look at the list of contributors to this site on its home page and if you know anything about modern naturalist authors you will recognize most of them.
“there’s a growing awareness of the other major thrust of a fully developed naturalism: the challenge to the soul (the “little god”) and its companion concept of contra-causal free will.” http://www.naturalism.org/roundup.htm
“…naturalists say there is no soul.” http://www.sebts.edu/…/pdf…/naturalism_and_the_crisis_of_the_soul.pdf
My own writings argue that the soul exists, but only as a construct of consciousness and it dies with the consciousness that dies with the body. http://www.scribd.com/doc/8550918/Determinism-Vs-the-Individualistic-Naturalism-of-the-Soul
http://freeassemblage.blogspot.com/2009/02/determinism-metaphysics-and-me-myself.html
http://www.blogcatalog.com/blog/the-academy-of-metaphysical-naturalism/b648986db0882517a052dda6827cb721
http://www.blogcatalog.com/blog/the-academy-of-metaphysical-naturalism/2cb61345cdd0bbfd57585afdfea16819
(These are the 5th, 6th, and 9th listing on Google under “naturalism soul”. The 9th is a long group of listings.

Mmmm.... Cheese

That’s what life as a human is. We were consciousness before our body but life is matter with consciousness. There are many accounts of out of body experiences where your consciousness becomes independent from the body.
Until the 20th century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see, and hear. Since the inital publication of the charged electromagnetic spectrum, humans
learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear is less than one millionth of reality.
Science no longer limits ‘reality’ to 5 senses… many tests revolve around unseen waves and wave patterns. Quantum theory suggest reality is far more complex than humans can begin to perceive… I agree with them on that level. Science and spirituality are opposite ends of the spectrum, but their is great progress in merging the two. However I do believe that they can only go so far in explaining spirituality through science… to me, its kinda like trying to explain an ice-cube without acknowledging water was there first.
…as for the majority of your questions in the first paragraph; I don’t know for sure however I do believe what I believe because it makes sense of many of those questions you asked. I’d rather not bombard you with (unprovable) spiritual beliefs, as they vary from each person and usually result in an unresolved conflict.

dolphin314etc

Your question appears to be a crazy-quilt of 1000 fragmentary half-formed inquiries, that has no precise summary or focal point.
So, I’ll just pick out something that’s sort of like your question, write it down for you, and then try to answer it as best I can.
Question: Where would your consciousness be if the genetic shuffle that makes you up had come out different?
Answer: If you aren’t you, then the concept of “your consciousness” becomes meaningless.
“your” can’t be a random variable.
This flows from Ayn Rand’s Principle of Identity A=A
The word “you” denotes a specific particular entity, not a variable that can be millions of possible different entities.
So, if A=A then A=X must not be true
If A is a specific designator (You) then is cannot also be X a random variable (any one of a number of possible people or Someone).
You is what in logic we call a specified noun — like Socrates.
An unspecified noun might be “someone”.
So if I say Socrates ate the apple (or A ate the apple)
that is quite different from saying
Someone ate the apple. (X ate the apple)
“Someone” could be anybody, but Socrates is unique — he is just Socrates.
(A=A — the Principle of Identity — or as Popeye might put it “I am what I am”, or as God would say I am I am, God was a big fan of the Principle of Identity, He was the one that taught it to Ayn Rand, though she never admitted that, and claimed the idea as her own, and Aristotle’s [Editorial Note: some Rabbis have God saying “I am that I am” which would be more like an assertion of self-causation than like the Principle of Identity, anyhow, if He’s the only one around, it works out about the same]).
“You”, for purposes of this question is more complex than your physical body anyway. The “you” that can manifest a self is a process, and not merely a collection of atoms.
Specifically it is a process of experience, memory, and awareness, which in psychophysiology is called brain synaptic connections patterning.
How the pattern of synaptic connections is patterned in your brain is not just a function of your DNA, it is also a function of the nature, quality, and extent of your experiences — which collectively are called your nurture (or, for behaviorists, your conditioning, or for cops, your personal history and background).
Nurture shapes patterning. DNA also shapes patterning. Patterning is what your “self” is made of.
So the “you” that you are talking about is Unique, and is specific, and is nature shaped, and nurture shaped.
Short answer: Your question contains a logical contradiction (a specific noun is presented as a random variable noun). When the contradiction is removed, it becomes clear that “you” is only partially a function of matter and atoms anyway, and is partly a matter of experience, memory, and patterns formed between synapes based on unique paths that you have walked. So the really short answer is nowhere — all the imagined alternative “you’s” were never potentially “you” anyway. The only “you” that can be verified and counted now abides as the actual you. The rest are non-Being (i.e.wholly imaginary).
I hope you will pardon me for answering this like a mathematical logician. Being a mentat is an always-on function. I’m sure other people will give you answers far more filled with “feeling” and “emotion”, probably far more personally satisfying than this.

Deokanon

it’s very strange when i see people thinking their conscience is separate from their bodies… or more specifically their brains. it’s even funny when they try to justify that conviction with the out of body experience argument. sometimes my dreams give me the impression that i really am capable of flying and shooting light beams out of my hands.
consciousness arises from complex interactions of cells in the brain. that’s what they do, to make you aware enough to observe and influence your surrounding.
just because human brain is made up of atoms and non sentient cells doesn’t make it less complicated an organ and unable to accomplish things that it already is doing anyway… ???

Edd S

Consciousness is not connected to the body, just feels like it resides there for convenience of any particular incarnation. The consciousness continues.

A P

Consciousness is perhaps the incredible extension of a nervous system evolved to respond to the fundamental forces of nature by the process of natural selection and for the purpose of gene survival. In humans, consciousness is allied to intelligence and abstract thought, those other incredible features of our human make-up, but I would argue consciousness came first. Obviously, we can’t experience the consciousness of other living creatures, and for this reason we can’t say consciousness is a peculiar trait found in humans only. We can imagine though that certain animals we consider intelligent, say, other apes, elephants, dolphins etc, do possess consciousness.
One test of self awareness is the mirror test. Place a mirror in front of an ape or an elephant and each will quickly discover the image they see is of themselves. All animals cannot do this, a cat for instance will look behind the mirror to see where the other cat is. Even so I would argue the cat has consciousness, vividly displayed in my opinion when it purposely journeys to and lies in wait beneath the bird table. That cat is thinking about itself in its own reality; it is truly aware of itself.
The reason I mention other animals, is because so often we believe consciousness and the human soul are almost the same, even though unlike consciousness, a soul is only an unsubstantiated belief by certain people. We can’t prove there isn’t a God although the evidence for God is zero, whereas the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.
So if you believe in the fact of evolution, consciousness might well be an adaptation by many multicellular organisms for the purpose of survival. Yes, I do believe each of us owns a separate consciousness which is the lucky chance assembly of atoms via the process of evolution and our parent’s procreation, a process which began 13.7 billion years ago (at least). And it’s the coming together in the here and now that explains why we weren’t born 100 years ago or yet to exist (as some surely will) in the future. Now is our time.
Life is surely the animation of matter, and I believe matter is the essential ingredient of consciousness. The five common senses, together with heat, cold pressure, pain, balance etc, are our window on the world of reality, and it is this reality we find so hard to define, that gives credence to our consciousness.
Consciousness is the most wonderful thing, the luckiest property imaginable because without it we couldn’t imagine.

JJ

Well, I’m functionalist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functionalism_%28philosophy_of_mind%29 The brain is an information processing system. Everything we see, hear, feel, and think is based on the brain’s processing. If you think about the mind like this, all your paradoxes fall away. But there you go.

Eye of Amalek

I think the way things are at this moment in time (or no time) is inevitable. Existence has always existed and will always exist and has created and will always create life. We’re here at this moment because this is the way life has was supposed to happen.
I think we create our bodies through the connection we have in being one with Existence. We are God, and it is you who have created everything, because God is everything. It’ a paradox, to be sure. You are the center of it all, you are the beginning and the end of everything there is. It couldn’t have been any other way given the nature of Existence.

mtheoryrules

That is what is identified as the self, further the sensory input from physical manifestation, tends to be more reliable as far as survival goes.

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