[ExI] Personal conclusions
lacertilian at gmail.com
Tue Feb 9 16:38:41 UTC 2010
Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
> ### Eh, why? Does everything have the quality of "threeness"? Maybe
> there is place in this world for an infinity of qualities, such as
> "being the number 3", "being a quark", or "feeling blue". Experience
> is just one of an infinity of flavors that parts of reality can have,
> and there is no reason to insist that all reality has it.
The trick is that every other quality is pretty much meaningless
without the corresponding experience of that quality. The universe
doesn't recognize three, and three doesn't recognize itself. Something
else has to experience the threeness of three. Otherwise it isn't even
worth considering, regardless of any potential truth in the statement!
My reason to insist that all reality has subjective experience is
simply this: I think of myself as a machine, but I don't feel like a
machine. I feel like a conscious entity, which seems like a
fundamentally different sort of thing. So I have to resolve the
discrepancy between these two views if I want to stay sane.
There are only two options that I can think of: one is that
consciousness is an epiphenomenon, purely an illusion generated by the
underlying workings of reality. The other is that consciousness is a
real substance built into the fabric of spacetime, as atoms were
purported to be, and nucleons and quarks long after them.
I'm inclined to believe both of these things, and that they only
appear mutually exclusive to my limited mortal logic. It seems to me
that a perfectly coherent interpretation of reality could be made from
either stance, just as easily as light can be described as waves or
particles. Two ways of phrasing the same incomprehensible thing.
Supporting that idea to an extent, in a very inconvenient way, both
conceptions run into the very same problem. If consciousness is an
epiphenomenon: of what? If consciousness is a substance: what attracts
The only things I see in a brain that I don't see in a stone are
intelligence and understanding, and only the latter is unique to
brains in general. Both of these are obvious epiphenomena to my mind,
which means there must be some simpler phenomenon underlying them. But
what? The ability to process information? That's only the ability to
exhibit a non-random response to stimuli, and everything in the
universe does that constantly.
Thus: panexperientialism. My hand is forced.
(Everything here is rather compressed, taking all of my personal
axioms as universal axioms. So it would be easy to disagree with. I'm
not looking to convince anyone here, just giving a window into my
worldview. The professorial cadence is an epiphenomenon of my
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