[ExI] consciousness and perception

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at comcast.net
Sat Jan 24 20:04:12 UTC 2009


The most popular theories out there now are things like there is no such 
thing as qualia, or that there is some spirit that survives the death of 
the brain in an 'out of body' way.  Many problems in the world, and in 
our philosophical understanding can be traced backed to such terribly 
mistaken theories of reality and what we are.

What we all imagine the future to be is critically based on these kinds 
of assumptions.  The religious people believe that their 'spirit' will 
leave their corrupted dead mortal body and go to heaven to reside with God.

Those that think qualia (or consciousness, really) don't exist, think an 
abstract representation of their brain will be created in some abstract 
super computer.  They will then be happy with letting the original be 
destroyed, and consider this abstract representation to be themselves 
'uploaded'.  They figure the 'Turing test', or that the uploads 
behavior, is all that is important to the 'upload' and to reality itself.

All these obviously erroneous theories are leading people to have very 
mistaken views of reality, of what is important, of what we must do to 
progress or to survive mortality, of how to discover what the mind is 
and everything important about life.  The reason people haven't 
discovered what consciousness is, isn't because we lack the capability - 
it is simply because we are simply looking in the wrong place, or not 
looking for it at all.

If we have the correct theory of reality, we can finally know what we 
really are, we will finally know what is important (things like effing 
the ineffable and merging and sharing conscious phenomenal worlds of 
awareness) and what phenomenal consciously unified heavens will be 
like.  (can you imagine knowing much more than just half of what sex is 
like when two spirits are in the same unified conscious phenomenal 
space?)  People will finally realize that the world is much more than 
just cause and effect behavior - that it is also phenomenal.

We will finally realize that our 'spirits' are just phenomenal 
representations of ourselves in our brains.  We will realize that this 
knowledge of ourselves has no referent in reality, unlike our knowledge 
of the world arround us, the knowledge of our bodies including the 
knowledge of our skulls from which our phenomenal spirits are 
represented as peering out of.  We will finally realize that we can and 
should start merging these phenomenal worlds together.  We will finally 
realize that doing so will finally free our 'spirits' from the mortal 
prison walls that are our skulls....  We will finally know what 
uploading will really be like.

And so on.  In other worlds, our view of the future, what it will be 
like, and what we will be able to do, will drastically change.

We can't get to the next level, if we have completely mistaken ideas 
about what that next level is, and are trying to make it into something 
it can't be.

Brent Allsop

Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 11:27 AM 1/24/2009 -0700, Brent wrote:
>> I think much of the world is missing what is important and obvious 
>> about consciousness, and that this is keeping us from making what I 
>> believe will be THE most important scientific discovery of all time.  
>> And that this discovery will change the world, for the better, more 
>> than any other scientific achievement.
> Stipulating (just for the sake of argument) that qualia are real, why 
> should that reality have these wonderful beneficial effects? I suppose 
> it might do so if one concluded that the reality of qualia did indeed 
> imply something supernatural or transcendent about personality, but I 
> think you deny this, right? You're not claiming that qualia prove the 
> independent survival of personality after material death, say?
> If you're using qualia as a basis for reinforcing empathy ("Look! We 
> are all alike, and share our interests as qualia-laden humans! Play 
> nice! Let's sing Kumbaya!"), why does that get us any further than 
> knowing we all digest our food and fire our synapses much the same way?
> (By the way, I thought we were talking in this thread about 
> representations and mental models, not qualia or souls.)
> Damien Broderick
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