The Arts (Art)

by Carl, Wednesday, October 01, 2008, 17:34 (5713 days ago) @ George Jelliss

George says about consciousness, "There is no great mystery about it. It is just a function of our complex nervous systems in combination with our senses through which we gain awareness of our environment, and ultimately awareness of our selves as selves."
I'm a little fuzzy on the mechanics of "gaining awareness of our selves as selves." This sounds like another way of saying "conscious". Perhaps it is a tautology. It doesn't answer the "how".
George: "Because we know of craftsmen creating watches or furniture or engines we think the Universe has to have an artificer."
We can all agree that there is a cause which is necessary and sufficient to produce what we observe, but there is disagreement on what is necessary, what is sufficient and what we observe. George observes mainly a physical world while Mark observes an additional spiritual world. We can label the necessary and sufficient cause "God", if we choose, and even attach anthropomorphic attributes such as intelligence, will, foresight, benevolence or jealousy. Even atheists must decide what kind of god they don't believe in. The word "create" can also cause confusion. It seems to imply intent, but earthquakes create tsunamis. So we can say this cause creates what we observe, and I think we can agree there is a cause.
I am a little dissatisfied with the word "emergent", because it sounds a little faddish, like a word everyone uses but means something different to everyone, but it is the closest word I have found to the idea of a complex entity arising from a collection of simpler things. Just as our consciousness arises from the simpler entities of our brain cells, some entity could arise from larger groupings of the matter of the universe. Could it have consciousness? Nothing in our experience forbids it. 
George says "Frankly you all seem me to be getting more and more desperate to imbue your fantasy with some meaning, no matter what meaning." I don't feel increasingly desperate. As an agnostic, I enjoy taking the puzzle apart and putting it together a different way to see if I can come up with another plausible arrangement.


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