Logical Proofs of Infinite External Consciousness

1.  n /∞ = 0   and   ∞ / n = ∞
The argument that you exist now but cease to exist in the future requires that at some point infinitely in the future you are perceived as not having existed infinitely into the past.  If you have not existed into the past from some future perspective and do not exist infinitely into the future from your current perspective then you never have and never will exist for all infinity.  Obviously this is a logical paradox that  can only be resolved by saying consciousness is external and infinite in nature.

2.  If you believe in the theory of Quantum Mechanics, then you believe that conscious observation must be present to collapse a wave function.  If  consciousness did not exist prior to matter coming into existence, then it is impossible that matter could ever come into existence.  Additionally, this rules out the possibility that consciousness is the result of quantum mechanical processes.  Either consciousness existed before matter or QM is wrong, one or the other is indisputably true.  Regardless, it is a logical paradox to conclude that consciousness is the result of QM processes.

Decoherence as an explanation results in either a many worlds or many minds interpretation.  Decoherence on its own explains nothing.  A many minds interpretation leads to a continuous infinity of minds existing in an infinite number of universes.  This leads to a system that is unable to explain single photon interference patterns in experiments such as the double slit experiment, which clearly means this is not a logical or rational description of this present physical universe.

From wiki on decoherence:

“Decoherence does not generate actual wave function collapse. It only provides an explanation for the appearance of wavefunction collapse, as the quantum nature of the system “leaks” into the environment. That is, components of the wavefunction are decoupled from a coherent system, and acquire phases from their immediate surroundings. A total superposition of the global or universal wavefunction still exists (and remains coherent at the global level), but its ultimate fate remains an interpretational issue. Specifically, decoherence does not attempt to explain the measurement problem. “…

To quote wiki on the ‘many worlds’ interpretation:

“decoherence by itself may not give a complete solution of the measurement problem, since all components of the wave function still exist in a global superposition, which is explicitly acknowledged in the many-worlds interpretation. All decoherence explains, in this view, is why these coherences are no longer available for inspection by local observers. To present a solution to the measurement problem in most interpretations of quantum mechanics, decoherence must be supplied with some nontrivial interpretational considerations (as for example Wojciech Zurek tends to do in his Existential interpretation). However, according to Everett and DeWitt the many-worlds interpretation can be derived from the formalism alone, in which case no extra interpretational layer is required.”

Further:

“The many-worlds interpretation should not be confused with the similar many-minds interpretation which defines the split on the level of the observers’ minds.The many-worlds interpretation leads to a deterministic view of nature in which there is no special role for the human mind.[71]”

oops, I guess we are back to determinism.  I might also add that if you hold the ‘many worlds’ view to the standard of classical QM, it would require an infinite number of observers in an infinite number of universes to cause an infinite number of wave collapses.

3.  Given that we have established that consciousness is either infinite and external to the brain, QM is wrong, or all processes are deterministic, we know that any attempt to explain consciousness as being local to the brain must do so using only deterministic biochemical processes.  If biochemical processes are truly the source of consciousness, then you have no free will because all chemical processes are deterministic in nature.  If this is the case, then you aren’t actually choosing to read this article.  Nature has pre-destined you to read this article.  Your life has no meaning since you don’t actually control it.  It’s either that or consciousness is infinite, eternal and external to the brain and this physical universe.

4.  Strong emergence, the supposition that new properties can emerge from component systems, is a logical impossibility.  This means that either subatomic particles must be conscious or consciousness must arise from outside the brain.  Given that there is no evidence to suggest subatomic particles are conscious and that attempting to do so by way of QM results in a logical contradiction, it is illogical to conclude consciousness is a product of biochemical processes.

5.  The number of synapses in the brain is not large enough to hold all the memories of the brain.  There is no known mechanism of memory transport in the brain.  There is no center point in the brain that can be observed to initiate conscious thought. Any attempt to explain memory as being local to the brain requires a retention of state.  If matter changes state, information is lost.  This is a fundamental proven law of the universe.  Because we know QM is not logically capable of explaining consciousness and because we know LTP is the only physical mechanism of state retention and because we know there are not enough synapses to account for human memory, it is illogical conclude that all memory is local to the brain.  If consciousness is a product of deterministic biochemical processes, this again violates logic on grounds of emergence as well as invalidating free will.

So here in lies a choice.  You can choose to believe that consciousness is the product of biochemical processes (which is illogical) and that you have no free will, or you can choose to believe that consciousness is eternal and external to the brain which allows for free will.    No matter what, you can not say that consciousness is internal to the brain and that you have free will.  This is not a logical option.

Chose wisely atheists… oops!  I’m sorry, you don’t have a choice.  Deterministic chemical processes already made that decision for you

Further supporting evidence: Lancet 2001; 358: 2039-45

http://profezie3m.altervista.org/archivio/TheLancet_NDE.htm

With lack of evidence for any other theories for NDE, the thus far assumed, but never proven, concept that consciousness and memories are localised in the brain should be discussed. How could a clear consciousness outside one’s body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death with flat EEG?22 Also, in cardiac arrest the EEG usually becomes flat in most cases within about 10 s from onset of syncope.29,30 Furthermore, blind people have described veridical perception during out-of-body experiences at the time of this experience.31NDE pushes at the limits of medical ideas about the range of human consciousness and the mind-brain relation.


Credit to William Bray for his logical rigor in helping me form these arguments, along with countless other philosophers and physicists.

  • http://ordningochanarki.blogspot.com/ Carl Jakobsson

    “The argument that you exist now but cease to exist in the
    future requires that at some point infinitely in the future you are
    perceived as not having existed infinitely into the past.  If you have
    not existed into the past from some future perspective and do not exist
    infinitely into the future from your current perspective then you never
    have and never will exist for all infinity.  Obviously this is a logical
    paradox that  can only be resolved by saying consciousness is external
    and infinite in nature.”

    I do not see any obvious logical paradox.

    However, this is a strange argument. First of all it says that my existing and – we suppose – dying in a minute, can only happen if someone from the future has some certain observations regarding my existence. That is, the argument says that for something to be true, it requires that someone observes something. That doesn’t seem to make sense; a phenomen can not exist or not exist whether or not someone observes it. (They say – although I know nothing about it so I wouldn’t know – that this is true for the underlying mathematical equations that determine the path of electrons, according to GM-theories, but from what I understand it doesn’t hold true for large objects.)

    But, maybe I’m missing your point. The argument is maybe that if I exist now, and die in a minute, a correct future observer (at some point in the future) would determine that I did not exist infinitely in the past. That is, my existing and dying does not require that some people in the future have to make certain observations, but only that if they do, they would turn up in a certain way.

    In that case I would agree, but that observation (that I do not exist infinitely back in the past – that is, existence had no starting point and I have been with the existence since forever) does not depend on me existing or not.

    Anyway, the next step in your argument is a little fuzzy. What does it mean to have “existed into the past”? I have no idea.

    The rest of the argument is maybe true, if one is somewhat sympathetic, but then it is only a truism. That is, the argument seems to say “If you do not predict yourself to exist for all eternity, then you will not do so, nor have ever done it”. But I’m guessing you were trying to say “If you do not certainly know – which is the same thing as saying, ‘It is true that’ – that you will exist for eternity, you will not do it (nor have done it)”. This second argument is obviously true.

    Which brings us to the paradox. Where is it?

    “3.  Given that we have established that consciousness is either infinite
    and external to the brain or QM is wrong, we know that any attempt to
    explain consciousness as being local to the brain must do so using only
    deterministic biochemical processes.  If biochemical processes are truly
    the source of consciousness, then you have no free will because all
    chemical processes are deterministic in nature.  If this is the case,
    then you aren’t actually choosing to read this article.  Nature has
    pre-destined you to read this article.  Your life has no meaning since
    you don’t actually control it.  It’s either that or consciousness is
    infinite, eternal and external to the brain and this physical universe.”

    One can make choices and still be determined to do make whatever choice one finally makes. To make a choice is to make predictions about the future on which course of events is most satisfactory to you. It is to weigh advantages and disadvantages of different courses of action, and taking one course instead of the other. According to this definition, there is nothing strange about being determined to make a choice.

    The latter part of your argument seems to be meaningless; that is us being determined for some action or not does not have anything to do with you believing that someone else’s existence is meaningless. Like the natural laws of existence would be upset because someone would find them disconformting, or nasty.

    “4.  Strong emergence, the supposition that new properties can emerge
    from component systems, is a logical impossibility.  This means that
    either subatomic particles must be conscious or consciousness must arise
    from outside the brain.”

    Why is it a logical impossibility? Your deduction seems totally wrong. It should that if one’s consciousness indeed is a form of strong emergence, then it is indeed coming from one’s brain.

    “Chose wisely atheists… oops!  I’m sorry, you don’t have a choice.
     Deterministic chemical processes already made that decision for you…”

    Haha. Does it scare you to consider the possibility that you ARE (a part of) these chemical processes? I find the thought fitting my general worldview; I know that whenever someone messes with the chemical balance in my head I think differently, people can lose their memory by having their brains zapped with electricity, and scientists claim that they can measure brainwaves that seem to correlate very well with different types of action.

    A recommendation:

    http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Sequences

    • Jestrada

      youtube.com/watch?v=YDqaMFHGEZ8

      • Jestrada

    • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

      1. Any number divided by infinity is zero, always.  Given that time extends infinitely into the future, there is no way to justify your existence today unless either time does not extend infinitely into the future or you extend infinitely into the future.  There is no other logical alternative.

      You skipped 2.

      3. Your reply to three is a logical fallacy.  You can not chose anything if your consciousness is deterministic.  You can only “think” that you have a choice, when you actually do not.

      4. Any good natural philosophy book will explain why strong emergence is logically impossible for you.

      5.  If you believe your consciousness is deterministic, then why are you bothering to argue with me?  My future and your future are pre-determined.  This argument doesn’t matter and will accomplish no real change for either of us. Neither of us have a choice of believing anything different.

      • http://ordningochanarki.blogspot.com/ Carl Jakobsson

        1. So, would zero multiplied by infinity be that number? No, it wouldn’t. It seems you are mistaken, and that if you divide any number with infinity, you do not ge zero but something that is infinitely close to, but not the same as, zero.

        So, if I exist, then time must at some point in the future stop. Or I must exist indefinetily into the future, So, why is it impossible for me to simply cease to exist, and for time to continue? You simply state that something is the case, you do not argue for it. And if you believe you have already demonstrated it in your original blog-post – I have already answered that and given a critique of it.

        2. Yes, I have really no knowledge of the subject. I do not really understand what the collapse of a wave-function means.

        3. You do not engage my argument, you simply evade. Is it that you disagree about the definition of choice? Is it so that you define choice so that it must involve an agent that has “free will” (whatever that is)?

        4. Ah, I see. I looked only briefly on wikipedia, and I mistook the word. But, then, your argument seems strange. Because, weak emergence is still possible, so that is not illogical that consciousness arises out of a biochemical process.

        5. I do not have an inner mental sign that says “Stop doing things you enjoy because everything you do is predetermined”. Maybe that this argument doesn’t matter in any real sense – like, I do not convince you, you do not convince me, and neither of us has gotten any useful information – (but that is simply not true – I have been reminded of the difference between strong and weak emergence, so this has not been without value for me) but if either of us were informed by each others words, or if the process of thinking of the issue made us realise something, then that is something good.

        Why bother about such things as “Stop doing anything because you have no real FREE WILL-type choice”? If you really can imagine this world as deterministic, would those things that move you, your disposition, your feelings, your reasoning, never again matter to you?

        Anyway, my main impetus for debating this issue is because I found your reasoning incorrect, and therefore somewhat not in place for a libertarian news-site. So if I commit philosophy on you succesfully, you would change your mind. =D

        • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

          1.  No, you get zero.  Infinity does not allow for anything other than zero in division.  Close means infinity must have an end point, which is a logical contradiction.  Any good math text will explain this for you.

          2.  Apparently you don’t understand.  Would you like me to quote wiki for you?

          “In quantum mechanics, wave function collapse (also called collapse of the state vector or reduction of the wave packet) is the phenomenon in which a wave function—initially in a superposition of several different possible eigenstates—appears to reduce to a single one of those states after interaction with an observer. In simplified terms, it is the reduction of the physical possibilities into a single possibility as seen by an observer. It is one of two processes by which quantum systems evolve in time, according to the laws of quantum mechanics as presented by John von Neumann.[1] ”

          3.  Saying consciousness is deterministic is not an argument since you have no choice in making it and I have no choice in rejecting or accepting it.  

          4.  Weak emergence assumes that subatomic particles must be conscious.  Do you believe that subatomic particles are conscious entities?  What leads you to conclude this is the case?

          5.  It doesn’t matter if they matter to me or not if consciousness is deterministic.  I have no choice in deciding if they matter to me or not. 

          • http://ordningochanarki.blogspot.com/ Carl Jakobsson

            1. Even if you are correct, it says nothing about the point about only existing for a brief time. And from what I’ve heard, a good math book should say that it is undefined.

            2. Yes, I do not understand this subject. My understanding has not increased by you citing wikipedia. Is it normal in your part of the internet for people to be familiar with that theory? If not, another recommendation: http://lesswrong.com/lw/kg/expecting_short_inferential_distances/

            3. Ah, a great way to become immune from critics. “If what you say is true, you are not arguing, and I do not have to respond to anything but arguments (which are impossible for us to communicate)”.

            4. That I have never heard of; from my understanding emergence means only that a system is based on some simpler parts. These parts do not have to have the same qualities that the system which emerges from it.

            5. Please, I would be embarrassed if I really believed you felt sorry for me, especially when you say it like that.

          • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

            1.  good math books say any number divided by infinity is zero.

            2.  If you do not understand, then you are arguing from a position of ignorance.  Logically speaking, you should enlighten yourself before you commit to an opinion on the matter.  It is illogical to have a “belief” when your beliefs are predicated on ignorance.

            3.  The logic makes the statement true, not my personal beliefs.

            4.  Emergence says new novel properties can emerge from component systems.  This is simply invoking magic.

            5.  It’s not a matter of choice if your consciousness is deterministic.  I have no choice but to feel sorry for you and you have no choice but to not believe me.

          • http://ordningochanarki.blogspot.com/ Carl Jakobsson

            2. … It is entirely possible to point out other peoples mistake in one (or, as in your case, several) area, without being informed of their, supposed, strenghts in another area. That is what my arguments have been all about.

            Regarding my own position, it is not illogical to believe something when still not fully informed on every aspect of the question. It would be absurd to not believe that apples fall to the ground, even though one is not informed of the ultimate forces that explain gravity. The same with consciousness and quantum physics; it is perfectly reasonable to have certain opinions on the matter without having studied that.

            Regarding your other statements, there is nothing more to say.

          • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

            You can’t point out mistakes if you don’t know what you are talking about.

          • http://ordningochanarki.blogspot.com/ Carl Jakobsson

            Taken out of context, that is a correct statement. However, taken in context, it implies that I did not know what I was talking about when I critized your statements. And your answer would have been correct, If I’d only been talking about all your mistakes in quantum physics. However, that was not the area in which your beliefs were questioned, where your mistakes were pointed out. Just wanted to point that out for you.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/YCRNGFBUHNCJGVYDE57ABOVHDA landon M

            Sorry hoss. you got owned. it was a noble try. I think a lesser man would have bowed out much sooner.

  • Mike Ellis

    You are basically trying to use science to prove magic.  I don’t disagree with the assertion that consciousness exists outside the brain.  However, trying to prove it logically is I believe a futile exercise.  Lets say for the sake of argument that all of your proofs are correct.  The implication of what you are arguing is that consciousness affects matter.  Again, I don’t disagree with this statement but, you are not going to convince anyone with this argument.  First of all, you are trying to use science to prove something that would overturn much about what is assumed to be true about science.  How can we know that sub-atomic particles are not conscious? If consciousness exists outside of matter, then conceivably anything could be conscious. Personally I believe that consciousness is universal and that an atom can indeed be conscious. 

     Further if someone accepts that consciousness comes from outside the brain, and by extension that consciousness can affect matter, then consciousness can affect practically everything.  This would mean, to a die hard materialist, that nothing can be trusted to be true.  No physical law would be safe from the effect of consciousness.  Most scientists and most materialists would never agree to the reality of that conclusion.  Your logic seems flawless to me but you are basically using logic to refute a logical universe.   And by the way… Many physicists do in fact believe that we live in a deterministic universe.  That universe is however so vast and the number of “limited” choices available so varied that when measured against a single human lifespan of less than 100 years, that determinism makes little difference to our experience of life.

     Keep up the good fight though, maybe your words will sway some to our side.  I prefer to appeal to mans love of beauty, peace and love to show that consciousness must be universal.  Besides, I don’t think convincing atheists of the reality of non physical consciousness is all that pressing of a matter. No pun intended.  In case you haven’t noticed, its the hard core religious types that are causing most of the problems in the world today.  I think I could happily live with everyone believing in a deterministic universe if it meant they would stop bombing each other over who worships the One True God.  Religion has been so much more detrimental to society than atheism ever could be.   Wouldn’t you agree?

  • Mliuzzolino

    I’m compelled to respond to argument 1, so here it goes…

    1.                                   n /∞ = 0
    This mathematical relationship is the foundation of your argument. This equation states that any number divided by infinity is equal to zero. Your application of this states the following:

    (definite me)/(infinite time) = (nonexistence) 

    The error is quite simple, and I will briefly explain it for those who do not have an understanding of limits.Let’s say you have some number, n, which can be arbitrarily defined as some constant, definite number. For simplicity, let n = 10.We then have a variable, T (for time), for which we can arbitrarily chose values.Let us now divide 10 by T, and do so by ever increasing values for T. For simplicity, chose the sequence 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 100.10/1 = 1010/2 = 510/5 = 210/10 = 110/20 = 0.510/100 = 0.1Intuitively we can notice a trend. As T increases, the value get smaller and smaller, and if we were to keep plugging in ever increasing values of T, we would see that the value begins to approach the value of zero.To say it succinctly, as t approaches infinity, the value approaches zero.The key word, and implicated concept, is “approaches.”As the value of time approaches some grandiose value, the evaluated value may be something like this: 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001.In the applications of mathematics (engineering, chemistry, biology, etc) we can approximate this as being zero, as it would be tedious and nonsensical to do otherwise. However, there arises a significant error, especially within philosophical issues such as these, and attempting to apply the same approach. 0.000000000000000000000000000000001 does not equal 0.My point is that if time is indeed infinite, then our incredibly minuscule fraction of the timeline does not fade into nonexistence, but instead remains as that ever increasingly small fraction of existence – NOT nonexistence.Following from this, it is shown that no such logical paradox exists, and in no way has it been shown that consciousness is infinite and external.Additionally, you have made argument 3 contingent upon the validity of argument 1; therefore, argument 3 is invalid.I also want to point out a piece of conjecture that just popped into my head – if time was infinite,  then our mathematics would be invalid. Also, if time was infinite, wouldn’t that be just as deterministic as definite biochemical processes? There would still be no point and no free will. An infinite existence would dictate that all infinite possibilities must be pursued and exhausted, rendering no choice in the matter. Why would we magically, all of a sudden have free will with an infinite existence and not in a biochemically definite one? It seems very illogical to me, and I’ve noticed a lot of emotional bias in the “purely logic” arguments of yours.I’m 25 and still have much to read and much to think about, so if I’ve come off as stupid, incoherent, irrational, etc, then I apologize.

    • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

      Please, allow me to debunk your bullshit.

      It does not approach zero, it is zero.  If it were not zero, then infinity wouldn’t be infinity, it would simply be a really big number.  Infinity is not simply a “really big number.”  Any decent math text will demonstrate this concept for you using limits.
      See:

      http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Infinity.html 

      • Mliuzzolino

        You’re correct in saying that infinity is not simply a really big number, but in mathematics, infinity is very often treated as such. To make the statement “any number divided by infinity is equal to zero,” you must use limits to validate the statement as you have stated. However, limits are a mathematical tool used to describe the value that a function approaches as the input approaches some designated value. Look up the definition of a limit in any of those mathematics texts you keep referring to.

        You can’t just look at the finalized equation without the method used to derive it. How do you propose that the increasingly large real numbers in the variable of the limit just decide to forfeit their real property and dive on over into the realm of infinity, and at what point does this happen? 10^34, 10^45, 10^954? I think it comes down to a fallacy of equivocation. You are treating the infinity symbol as a variable and replacing the mathematical notions of infinity (and consequently voiding the result by replacing foundations on which it was derived) with philosophical ones.

        I also don’t understand how life would be granted meaning by default if it happened that we did live within an infinity system. This notion is anything but logical to me and I see no logical statements provided that validate any of the vast quantity of overtones throughout the article.

        Additionally, I’ll use the words of my friend and physicist Kyle to dispute claim 2. 

        “…there seems to be a misunderstanding of what the wave function is and what the collapsed wave function represents. The collapse of a wave function causes an observable aspect of a quantum system to be known, before the particle was observed the observed aspect did not have a definite value, only probabilistic values. Collapsing the wave function does not cause the existence of the particle.”

        He also points out that he was surprised to not see mention of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in your article, given the discussion pertaining to QM and determinism. The H.U.P. leads directly to the logical conclusion that if quantum mechanics is correct, then determinism is not in effect.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle 

        • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

          I think my infinity argument is the weakest of the bunch, but still the point of infinity is that there is no end to it. This is in itself the cause of the paradox.  So while there is no definitive point at which people cease to exist in the past, the system itself is paradoxical which means it should not exist in the first place, yet it does.

          “Collapsing the wave function does not cause the existence of the particle” – this statement is only applicable to certain interpretations of QM.  The standard interpretation is that it DOES cause the existence of the particle under the Copenhagen interpretation or others which are similar.  Otherwise you are left with the many worlds interpretation which has its own problems that I covered in my response.

      • Bryce Thorne

        it’s not zero, it APPROACHES zero, you’re both right in a sense, you really need to not stick to that gun of it IS zero because that’s just going to polarize the argument

  • http://twitter.com/chris_merritt Chris Merritt

    This is the first article I read on libertariannews.org.  I disappointed because it’s pseudoscience nonsense.  It shows a lack of understanding of (and a lack of desire to understand) concepts like infinity and quantum mechanics.  Consciousness is still not understood entirely, but the solution isn’t to invent god-like spiritual answers to fill in the cracks.

    Infinity is weird and unintuitive.  But it’s real and common.  There is an infinite amount of space between my chair and my table, but I can make meaningful statements about where they are located, where they end and begin.  Your first argument is so bizarre and poorly thought out it’s incredible.  It would apply to anything…..my computer, this table, the dinosaurs……they will all last forever into the future according to your theory. 

    Quantum mechanics doesn’t require a human consciousness for waveforms to collapse.  It has more to do with particle being ‘fungible’ (where they are completely interchangeable and similar with another particle) and then becoming differentiated.  This happens in many situations, including affecting someone’s physical brain.  There are many things about these phenomenon that are not understood, but will only be understood if we agree that they CAN be understood (which they can be).  But they are more often used as a convenient hiding place for spiritual bull.

    Consciousness is real and special and rare.  But it is not magic – that’s what’s so amazing about it.  It’s completely a physical process, and we still have free will, and can be creative, and will die someday, and our consciousness will cease to exist, and it’s beautiful and sad, but if we start coming up with explanations rather than bogus pseudoscience we could probably solve the problem of consciousness, and death, too.

    I say this with a disclaimer – at least you’re thinking about these things.  It sets you apart from most of the herd already.  But I promise – there is a more interesting world out there of real science….a bit more tragic, maybe, but much more beautiful.

    • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

      I’m citing right from wiki.  If you don’t agree with quantum mechanics that’s fine.  If you think quantum mechanics is pseudo-science, that’s also fine.  But don’t tell me that I’m the one espousing pseudo-science when I’ve cited the theory itself.

      “In quantum mechanics, wave function collapse (also called collapse of the state vector or reduction of the wave packet) is the phenomenon in which a wave function—initially in a superposition of several different possible eigenstates—appears to reduce to a single one of those states after interaction with an observer. In simplified terms, it is the reduction of the physical possibilities into a single possibility as seen by an observer. It is one of two processes by which quantum systems evolve in time, according to the laws of quantum mechanics as presented by John von Neumann.[1]”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness_causes_collapse#.22Consciousness_causes_collapse.22

      This is the standard Copenhagen interpretation.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/YCRNGFBUHNCJGVYDE57ABOVHDA landon M

        I get to be the Noob in the room! Hooray!! Basically this is a discussion between materialism involving the conscious versus God making conscious infinte? The Materialist is stating conciousness ceases when chemical reactions stop. The other is stating that God is infinte and therefore consciousness is infinte and never stops? how could one or the other possibly be proven true? am I on the right page here?!

        • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

          Close, God doesn’t really come into the picture at all.

          I’m arguing that consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe that is external to the brain.  All chemical processes are deterministic, meaning that in theory it is possible, if all variables are known, to wind the clock back or wind the clock forward.  This means that if chemical processes are the cause of consciousness, there can be no free will.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/YCRNGFBUHNCJGVYDE57ABOVHDA landon M

            ok, like magic. If i knew the right magic words (theories and variables) I can do anything with my consciousness. but if that theory which said that consciousness is external of the material world, what is its point? why would the universe have a need for consciousness? I know this is dumbing down the conversation but I would really like to see the point with this.    

          • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

            Well that’s kind of like asking “what’s the point of life?” – which isn’t really part of the discussion either.  That’s a separate topic in its own right.  I personally think the whole thing is one big joke.  It’s a game.  It’s an amusement park of suffering to teach us moral lessons.  

            If consciousness is external to the brain and carries on into infinity, then we were alive long before we were born on this planet. Either we were forced to come here or we chose to come here and inhabit a body. If we were forced to come here, then we will suffer eternally in an endless process of hopeless despair forever without end amen. If we chose to come here, then we all must have a serious masochistic streak within us, but clearly we must have had some reason for making the decision to inhabit a physical body.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/YCRNGFBUHNCJGVYDE57ABOVHDA landon M

            So with the above listed theories you have come to the conclusion that we exist forever. Are you suggesting that a Christian can use these theories to argue for a creator If consciousness is external of the material based on the mentioned theories? while I am not saying that is the point of your arguement, just a laymans observation. i never looked at these theories prior to this post, but you have given me something to look into and i thank you.  

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  • Niclas

    I’m a physicist and will make a longer comment about your post tonight or so. But briefly:

    1. You clearly do not understand the concept of infinity. There are an infinite number of integers. By your logic the number 3 does not exist? Just because a piece of something is infinitely small does not make it non-existent. For example, lets say you have to randomly pick a real number between 0 and 1. There are an uncountable infinite number of real numbers between 0 and 1. The probability to pick any one of them is zero, yet they sum to 1. Just because the probability of, say, 0.01235 being picked is zero does not mean it doesn’t exist.

    2. QM, or rather QFT, is an incomplete theory. Some physicists/mathematicians, Roger Penrose for example, believe that a quantum theory of gravity will explain the measurement problem.

    Furthermore, why so quick to dismiss determinism? I can’t see how the world would be any different for a truly free or deterministic observer. How can you tell the difference between free will and the illusion of free will?

    • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

      1.  I never said a specific number of things do not exist so your entire argument is pointless.  

      My argument is simply that if you chose a specific time in the future, then you are not at the limit of infinity.  If time runs on into infinity, then choosing the furthest point in time into the future is impossible because such a point never exists.  As soon as you pick a specific time to reference, time has extended beyond that time making it impossible to ever chose the farthest point into the future.

      2.  I don’t believe QM is a correct theory, I’m simply pointing out what the standard theory says about the physical universe.  Clearly QM could be wrong.  I highly doubt quantum gravity theory will solve anything.  Physicists don’t even understand why matter should “bend space” in the first place.  

      Here’s a tip for you:  Space doesn’t bend.  Space is nothing.  Nothing can not bend.  Space is a void in which matter occupies.  Space does not have physical properties that can act upon matter.

      Why so quick to dismiss determinism?  Because it is fucking retarded, that’s why.  If you want to run around believing that you don’t actually have free will be my guest.  Answer me this oh wise one, if I don’t have free will, and you don’t have free will, how is it possible that the random chemical interactions in our brains just happen to make this interaction between our two minds possible?

      • Niclas

         You are an idiot.

        You don’t know anything about math and physics and are right now the laughing stock of the physics department here. Read a fucking book.

        • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

          That’s OK, the feeling is mutual.

          Here’s some of the shit I’m laughing about that comes from people like you:

          http://knol.google.com/k/einstein-was-wrong-falsifying-observational-evidence-presented# 

          • Taylor

            Niclas is right. Bee colonies don’t have free will, but they make choices as a colony in much the same way brains do. When choosing where to build a new hive, single bees will return to the colony with a direction to a suitable location to build, and an estimate of how well the location fits the criteria for a hive. They store and transmit this by turning and stopping in the direction of the possible hive location, they transmit their rating of the location in the number of times they spin. Then they go about and find other bees doing dances for different locations, they ‘bump’ those bees to say ‘stop’ and the net result of all this dancing is one group of bees ‘votes’ or is stimulated to act in a cluster like neurons, while inhibiting the other voting bees. Eventually one type of bee will dominate and the whole hive will have made a decision on which location to build a new hive.

            Brains do this too, neuron clusters both promote their own pattern of firing and inhibit opposing patterns of firing. Whichever cluster is reinforced the most, by learned imprints, say pleasure makes one decision more likely, and pain makes that pattern for the decision less likely. The pleasure response is usually what you choose. Unless your higher brain functions have reflected on the consequences and override pleasure in favor of pain for some reason, like unpleasant activity that leads to long term pleasure, like exercising is unpleasant, but the higher brain predicted that in the future you would be stronger or more attractive for the effort, which is a pleasurable thought.

            Thus an incredibly complex serious of yes-no-yes-no-yes-no arguments in the brain get made until the final decision is either yes or no, but that outcome is deterministic based on trillions of these interactions, what you ate this morning that fueled strong chemical synergy in one or the other neuron clusters, your memories etc.

            However since we have no idea how quantum mechanics interacts in the process of brain chemistry, and since we really don’t know what’s actually going on with the observer effect, we really can’t say much in terms of consciousness.

            So, this is one gigantic exercise in futility.

          • Taylor

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=decision-making-in-brain

            http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/04/making-choices-how-your-brain-decides/

            Some reading on neuroscience discussing the more ‘top-down’ look at brain functions during decision making. The gulf between the regions of the brain responsible for function (top-down) and the individual neurons and biochemistry that determines what the neural networking is going to end up forming at the large scale (bottom-up) is so vast that to argue that determinism makes your choices meaningless is trite.

            The concept of free-will evolved in philosophy before the brain was valued for what it is, an incredibly complex machine. To say it does not determine what you do physically avoids the fact that without your brain you physically do not have the machinery to create your thoughts and actions. You are your brain.

            AND this a theological non-issue as most interpretations of metaphysical existence in Christianity, the only people that seem to argue about this ill-defined concept of free-will, actually require your physical body to become immortal and join with your spirit in any possible afterlife to be a complete entity. The idea of infinity coming into the equation probably has to do with the idea of eternity, that is we are 3D beings in a 4D world (moving through a dimension of time), eternal beings see all possible 4D worlds and thus we have ‘free-will’ to choose our actions that collapse this world into one of those possible 4D outcomes, which are infinite. You cannot know which universe you live in until you act and observe.

  • Daphne Sylk

    I agree that consciousness is not in the brain, the scientists keep looking for it there, may as well look in the attic. That said, lack of free will does not imply determinism. Neither does external consciousness allow for it, just the opposite. If I am being acted on, then I’m not the actor. If there is free will, why are people so fat, smoke, drive too fast? How come everyone isn’t a PhD?

    • Skywalker

      People get fat, smoke and drive too fast and are not all PhDs because they HAVE free wIll.