Re: Consciousness & the soul

Fri, 20 Jun 1997 13:40:53 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 19/06/97 19:59:22, John K Clark wrote:


> Some thing have no cause and so are random. Modern Physics has caused the
> idea of causality to be weakened and that has caused me to write this. If
> like this post then I gladly accept the credit, but if you hate it, don't
> blame me, it's not my fault, it's the results of my genes or my
> or my luck, and I can't control any of them.

The idea of all things having cause and effect is flawed, of course. You're
always going to end up with a first cause, and who knows what caused it!?
But nothing you could observe after that initial cause is random. I would
also argue that the initial cause was not random, because I don't believe
that random events exist.

> >So the essential thing that makes you be you (and me be me) is
> >position and velocity of your atoms.
> Yes.
> >Why should this be information?
> Why should data on the position and velocity of an atom be information?
> I must not understand the question.

Information can exist on it, but it does not exist until we create that
information, until we percieve it. As you said "...according to many of the
most popular interpretations of Quantum Mechanics nothing is anything until
it is perceived". Information only exists on something once we percieve it,
but it exists 'physically'. Our consciousness is the processor of
information, our soul is the infomation we process, as you said this is the
only important thing to you.

As you said in earlier post:

>The soul as I understand it is something important, the only important thing

>about me, the only important thing in the universe, is consciousness.

I believe there are two important things about you (and every conscious

Your physical structure, as created by your genes, which shapes your logic.
The way you process information (your logic circuits). We could call this
your consciousness.

The information you have processed. Which changes the way you process
information and shapes yourself. The information you have processed and who
you are can be considered the same thing. So i'm going to say this is the

I believe both of these concepts fall into what you describe as a soul and
consciousness, but in a more direct way.

> >If the computer reacts the same as a brain, it is a brain.
> I agree.

If a computer processes information, which is an abstract representation of
something physical and alters it's logic according to this information, would
it not be conscious?

> If you smother one brain or blow one up with a H Bomb then obviously they
> are no longer the same. My point is that if the information on how my mind

> operates is put into a computer and then my body is destroyed my
> consciousness does not stop, if two phonographs are synchronized and
> the same symphony and you destroy one machine, the music does not stop.

I was just trying to point out that, even if we do not percieve the universe
it can still have effect on us. If you uploaded your consciouness you would
no longer be conscious because you would no longer have a physical world on
which to accumilate information. As you said, a brain is nothing without
senses, it is also nothing without something to sense.

Peoples perceptions of the universe can be very different. I remember
hearing about a disorder (I forget the name) that makes people 'see' sound.
For instance, when a dog barks, these people can see triangles coming out of
the dogs mouth. I wonder what it would be like to hear what you see? or
smell what you touch?