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Reply #53


Response to Speck Tater (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 08:47 PM

53. I'm pretty sure space/time is an aspect of mass/energy...

... as is information/consciousness. It's all mass/energy, nothing else. We can't see all of it, but that's not surprising because our brains are so tiny in comparison to the universe. There is no possibility that humans will ever figure it all out. We'll know more than dogs or carp do, but this knowledge will never amount to more than a tiny insignificant fraction of possible "knowledge."

Every dog I've ever known has been a conscious being, even those dogs that are only slightly smarter than carp. Carp are conscious beings also. Consciousness is a vertebrate trait. We can't relate to plants, invertebrates, or fungi, so in those cases we just don't know if they are conscious or not. Maybe, maybe not.

Frankly I don't think we're that special. Consciousness is simply a programming trick that keeps us from giving up in utter despair. Without consciousness reasonable beings would simply lie down in the dirt and stop living. Dirt to dirt. There would be no reason to continue. The more brain power you've got, the more consciousness you need to counteract rational motives for not living.

I've suffered major episodes of depression in my life so I'm very familiar with the sensation. Fortunately for me at my very worst, "No reason to live" ranks equally with "no reason not to." I might not eat for a couple of days, but I don't like the sensation of thirst or lack of oxygen, so I keep hydrated, and I keep breathing. Eventually I'll eat too. I've never felt any need to hurry the process of dying along. We all die eventually. Maybe I'm just lazy.

Sex is another one of those programming tricks discovered by natural selection. People are always having sex and reproducing even when there's no rational reason to do so, and very rational reasons not to. If we didn't have sex drives there wouldn't be any people. Same goes if we didn't have consciousness.

I don't have a good opinion of mystical experiences either. The most vivid I've experienced are those the police and health services called "psychotic episodes."

That doesn't mean I don't look at the universe and my fellow humans without a sense of awe and wonder, or that I don't have a spiritual side. I do. This stew of mass/energy inspires within me a great curiosity. But yet again, curiosity, like consciousness or sex drives, is just another programming trick stumbled upon by natural selection.

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LineLineReply I'm pretty sure space/time is an aspect of mass/energy...
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