Consciousness & the soul
Wed, 18 Jun 1997 16:10:21 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 18/06/97 07:39:34, John K Clark wrote:

> >As for the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

> >there isn't, what we percieve as something is nothing.
> Then why is there nothing rather than something? Anyway, isn't perception
> something?

Something exists in nothing in order for that nothing to observed as nothing,
or is it something!? Okay, you where right I can't answer that question. It
wouldn't help us if we did know. To individuals perception is everything,
that's what we are. To the universe perception is nothing.

> >the only reason you're reading this is because you have no choice

> >(you made a decision to read - but that decision was not your
own, it
> >was based on the trillions of things that went before it).
> Either that or it was random, that is based on nothing. I know of no law
> logic that demands that every effect have a cause.

Think about it, logic *is* cause and effect. There is nothing that exists
that has effect without cause.

> >I have no idea why you would consider the soul and consciousness
> >the same thing.
> The soul as I understand it is something important, the only important
> about me, the only important thing in the universe, is consciousness.

True, without something to percieve the universe the universe may aswell not

> >Information is 'about' physical things. It must be representing

> >something physical and it must be represented by something
> If I am sad, frightened, angry and jealous then I am feeling 4 emotions.

> Are Emotions something physical?

These are 4 emotions that are attached to something physical. All these
emotions are physical reactions, to physical things. They have been evolved
to help you react (although in modern society the triggers for these emotions
have become more complex).

> >How are you defining the soul exactly ?
> The essential thing that makes me be me.
> >If the soul is like information, what is the information on ?
> Information on the position and velocity of atoms.

So the essential thing that makes you be you (and me be me) is the position
and velocity of your atoms. Why should this be information? or is
consciousness the processing of the information, and the soul the infomation
it processes?

> >An abstraction would only seem the same, on a physical level it

> >would not be identical and nor would it react the same.
> I'm not sure what you mean by "an abstraction" but I agree, if something
> does not react the same then it is not the same, I was supposing it did.

By 'an abstraction' I mean a computer simulating of a brain (or functions of
a brain). If the computer reacts the same as a brain, it is a brain.

> >>Me:
> >>It seems to me that the mind is what the brain does, if two
> >>are doing the same thing then there is only one mind.
> >Only if they occupy the exact same space, otherwise they are
> >All of the differences between seperate objects are due to
> >and movement.
> By itself a brain can not detect it's position, a brain can't detect
> only the position of the brain's sense organs is important. It's not just
> space, a brain can't detect time either, I could stop your brain for a
> billion years and then restart it and you would never know unless your
> senses told you.

True, and two similar brains without senses would act the same. However,
even if the brain cannot detect it's position, it's position can effect it
(amount of oxygen, radiation, etc.) But what would the brain care!?

Also: If we could build conscious software to run on other systems
(conscious or otherwise) could it be that other consciouses exist within
ourselves already. Or is it a one per system thing (which would rule
uploading everyone to one super-computer out)