Introducing the brain: where the spiritual happens (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, June 11, 2018, 10:06 (191 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have never agreed that animals/bird/insects have consciousness. They are conscious. I still think that the Jewish view of an animal soul is correct. But the animal soul is only conscious. A very complex frontal lobe can receive a mechanism for consciousness from the universal consciousness.

dhw: I’m afraid I cannot see any distinction between having consciousness and being conscious. As I said above, there are degrees of consciousness, ranging from rudimentary to human self-awareness. If you think consciousness stems from God, and you accept that animals are conscious, then presumably even a very simple complex frontal lobe can also receive “a mechanism for consciousness from the universal consciousness”. But what exactly IS a mechanism for consciousness? A mechanism is a structure or system that performs a particular function. So you might just as well say your God provided organisms with a system or structure which performs the function of producing consciousness, and the name of the structure is “brain”.

DAVID: No animal has the ability to develop the concept of self-awareness. They may look in a mirror and recognize themselves, but have no concept of self. We disagree on the definition of 'consciousness' and it is an important disagreement. Animals are conscious, no more than that, and it requires a brain to have that much awareness.

I did not say that animals were self-aware. I said “there are degrees of consciousness, ranging from rudimentary to human self-awareness.” Since you agree that animals are conscious (able to perceive and think, but in their case not to the degree of self-awareness), there is no disagreement between us on the definition of consciousness. You have not explained the difference between being conscious and having consciousness, and since animals have brains, I presume you believe that they too must have received their “mechanism for consciousness” from your God. But you have not explained what you mean by a “mechanism for consciousness”, which I have suggested might be called “brain”. You have ignored my post and set up a straw man of your own invention. Ts ts!:-(


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