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Old 03-07-2018, 10:26 AM
Location: Germany
2,454 posts, read 416,632 times
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Originally Posted by jonesg View Post
If everything reduces down to atoms, what is mind? Im not sure anything will be revealed except what mind isnt.
From Wikipedia - The mind is a set of cognitive faculties including consciousness, perception, thinking, judgement, language and memory.

Break down time.

Consciousness - The biggy. Latest research suggests this is the whole brain working together. The problem is it requires input from various disciplines, from psychology, anthropology, neuropsychology and neuroscience. But just because we don't understand fully the concepts behind it does not lead to a soul.

Perception - Clearly a function of the brain. The ability to fool the brain in to seeing something that is not there is explained by our brain functioning in an evolved, materialistic way. I'd demonstrate with a colon and right bracket, but I would just get a smiley. So let's try this:

, ,

The above is NOT a face, your brain just says 'face' because it evolved to see in generalizations.

Thinking (1) - the fore brain. I use the term as a generalization as it does not sit literally at the front of the brain. This is a small section of the brain used for rational thought. We can monitor this when we solve problems, and can manipulate it physically (alcohol for example). Sounds like a function of the brain to me.

Thinking (2) - the mid brain. This is the big part of your brain that filters out most of the external input from eyes, ears, usw. It thinks before the fore brain thinks, and processes information at around 1,000,000 bits per second. Your intelligent brain manages a mere 80. It too can be influenced in a way a soul would not be expected to be. If you're a man, you will more likely buy a beer held by a beautiful woman in an advert. This too is explained by the science of how our brain works on a physical level.

Judgement - Mid brain. Your mid brain works on generalizations. It fits what information it has to what it has learnt in life. That is why you are more likely to help a man in a suit who has collapsed in the street than someone who looks homeless. This is explained by an evolved, physical brain better than the idea of a soul.

I can build an artificial brain that makes judgements about the weather, or what people will buy. I even make money from the latter.

Language - A man made construct. Just like maths, logic, morality, usw. We have improved on these through experience, seeing what works, what helps. This is much better explained from an evolved brain instead of a soul.

Memory - A physical brain function. Again, I can build an artificial brain to do this on my computer. No soul required.

And most of the above is the essence of my reading of science papers that date back over 50 years. That's a lot of science you seem to be unaware of.
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:46 PM
Location: Boston
3,714 posts, read 1,264,497 times
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Originally Posted by Nepenthe View Post
No, not really. I do believe consciousness is information processing and could theoretically, eventually, be both fully understood and instantiated in synthetic information processing, and I do believe humans are extraordinarily complex machines that have emerged from the set of rules that govern both the physical world and the quantum realm. I think it's more that we're still only a few inches into a mile-long journey. We are talking about understanding the most complex 'thing' we know of, and how it produces self, perception, ideation, memory, action, etc. It seems impenetrable due to monumental intricacy (not to mention the sheer difficulty involved in studying it). It's very, very early... yet we seem to already be taking a stab at visualizing thoughts. An astonishingly complex and dynamic phenomenon emerging from the most ordered and purposeful arrangement of atoms in the known universe.

I think it may be imprudent to use metaphysical assumptions to deny and avoid discussing the study or potential usage of technologies that may wind up contradicting some of those comforting assumptions. You could say the particular technology shown here isn't very "good," and I certainly wouldn't disagree, as it's been shown so far. But to say it'll never be "good," because it's impossible for it to be good on the grounds that it's impossible to understand the mind and interface with it digitally, or because there's something non-physical and therefore non-observable about the mind, seems short-sighted to me.

No offense intended, after all, my purpose in posting the thread was mainly to inform and show something wacky, kind of cool, yet potentially concerning. I am personally landing on the more pessimistic, concerned side. It has a long, long way to go, but I don't believe this idea of reading thoughts, in all its forms, is simply going to stagnate and disappear. I think it's going to be refined relentlessly.
They said the same thing about metaphysics when quantum mind was proposed, it seems to be doing quite well along with quantum biology.

Its going to be interesting...
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