Consciousness and the soul

John K Clark (
Sat, 21 Jun 1997 21:31:36 -0700 (PDT)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- On Fri, 20 Jun 1997 Wrote:

>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!?

Nothing caused the first cause, otherwise it wouldn't be the first cause.

>But nothing you could observe after that initial cause is random.

Why not? If event B has no cause it just means that there does not exist an
event A such that if I see A I am certain to see B. There is nothing
obviously illogical about that and modern experimental results seem to
confirm the possibility.

>I would also argue that the initial cause was not random, because I
>don't believe that random events exist.

If it was not random that means it had a cause so it can't be the initial
cause. Either some things are random or, if you want to preserve determinism,
there in an infinite chain of cause and effect and no initial cause.

>As you said "...according to many of the most popular interpretations
>of Quantum Mechanics nothing is anything until it is perceived".

The Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics may be the most popular
with most but it is not my personal favorite, that doesn't mean it can't be
true but it just seems to me to be passing the buck, it never tells us
exactly what an observer is or what perception is. Can anything less than a
human pass for an observer as far as Quantum Mechanics is concerned, what
about an ape or a dog or a mouse or a bug or a camera or a computer?

Everett's interpretation does not have to explain perception because it has
nothing to do with the it, the same is true of John Cramer's Transactional
Interpretation, or David Bohm's Pilot Wave Interpretation.

>Information only exists on something once we percieve it, but it
>exists 'physically'.

If the Copenhagen interpretation is correct then information can not exist
without consciousness and consciousness can not exist without information,
this certainly doesn't lead to your conclusion that only meat can be

>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.

We accumulate information from our senses, process it with our brain and
store in into memory, we also take old data from memory, reprocess it, and
return it to memory, an Upload would do exactly the same thing.

>As you said, a brain is nothing without senses

I didn't say it was nothing, just that an intelligence without senses can't
detect time or space. And anyway, why can't an upload have senses?

John K Clark

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