Comment by /u/HolyCitation connecting the dots by magnora7 in pedogate

[–]monkey 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

These are all the dots, but what is the connection between them? (Without having to go on Reddit preferably)

A debate over plant consciousness is forcing us to confront the limitations of the human mind by r721 in science

[–]monkey 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I don't think there is a line, just varying degrees of complexity.

Are you saying there might be varying degrees of consciousness? Interested to hear what that means, as it seems to me one is either conscious or not. Of course, one consciousness may have different "tools" than another e.g. a cat doesn't have the depth of knowledge we humans have learnt from the culture we are born into, an octopus has a much more detailed perception of its environment to a human due to its superior eyesight but in all cases, there is a conscious self that exists.

It's very possible your consciousness is a democracy of lower-level consciousnesses, even down to the sub-atomic level.

From my own subjective experience, the "committee of consciousnesses" idea does seem to have potential validity. I have wondered whether the consciousness I call "me" is not the only consciousness contained within my body. For instance, I might be making a coffee - or rather some part of me is making the coffee while that"me" is daydreaming about some irrelevant nonsense such as the look that cute cashier gave me. The part of me making the coffee is using my senses, accessing my memory, activating my muscles and generally doing a pretty good job of being my personal barista. However sometimes it'll encounter a problem that it doesn't know how to solve, and it will suspend its activity and request my attention. So I wake up from my sweet daydream of that cashier's eyes, and realise that I'm about to put a couple of spoonfuls of rice into my drink instead of sugar. I can then fix the problem and get the coffee I want. It's as if my body has a Tesla-like autopilot system capable of making decisions at a more primitive level than "me". There are other similar cases that I notice that give me the impression that my brain has various subsystems capable of working autonomously yet seemingly all ultimately under the aegis of that conscious "me". I do wonder if any of these subsystems have their own distinct consciousness.

If atoms don't have free will, then how can a brain made of atoms have free will?

I don't believe atoms have free will, they seem steadfastly deterministic - if they weren't, we wouldn't be able to communicate reliably with computers like we are doing now.

I also read an interesting angle of free will on Reddit recently, where someone was proposing that we do not have free will, and we are in fact bound to seek to fulfill our desires. According to this idea, we don't ever make a free choice, rather we make calculated decisions to best satisfy our desires. Those desires are given to us by the physical structure of our brain (which encompasses genetically determined structure and learned knowledge).

A debate over plant consciousness is forcing us to confront the limitations of the human mind by r721 in science

[–]monkey 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

a plant would have an subjective experience than to say the same about an insect or a bacteria even.

Or a rock? Piece of cheese? Where are you going to draw the line?

Consciousness is one of the great remaining mysteries, but it does seem to be produced by the brain, in that it is affected by brain injury, and not affected by injuries to other body parts. Plants lack any centralised organ like the brain, so what part of a plant could produce the phenomenon of consciousness, bizarre and mysterious as it is?