A reasonable if not well supported assertion...
"Reasonable" works well for me. Having been disappointed many times by the belief systems and dogmas that abound in this world, I distrust "well supported." Phlogiston theory was "well-supported."
Your very own consciousness is a discovery. Many people can recall the moment in which they first recognized the reality of their own consciousness. Whether there was a specific moment of self-awakening for you or not, you were not self-aware at birth. Consciousness came to you as the result of many little learning experiences. This progression from knowledge to consciousness is gradual, in that self-awareness is not the first thing you learned. At the time of your birth, you knew nothing.
This assertion cannot be assumed with out some support, a citation is needed... In fact you were born with knowledge or at least behaviors already pre programmed instinctually... I have taken the liberty to emphasize some of my questions about this assertion. I do not think an accumulation of knowledge makes you self aware, in fact fetuses show sings of both awareness and accumulating knowledge before birth... I doubt you can point to an instant and say that is where a human became self aware... In fact I would like to know what you mean by self aware, on some level protozoa are self aware...
Please reconsider one of your positions, while keeping the good ones. I'll try to explain.
I agree with you completely that an accumulation of knowledge does not confer consciousness. Neither the Cray II nor IBM's "Big Blue" machine ever printed, "Cogito ergo sum,"
in he middle of a more mundane task. However, I do not believe that consciousness can occur without
knowledge. IMO there is an informational threshold that must be reached. The information must be more than simply memorized or stored data. It must be conceptual knowledge, meaning, thoroughly understood abstract ideas. I do not know how to define this threshold.
As for pre-birth knowledge, no argument. Such evidence cannot be dismissed. I once took dancing lessons from a superb dancer and teacher who, her mother swears, would dance in her womb whenever music was played, keeping the beat, six months into gestation. I have concepts which integrate her, Mozart, and others, self included, who seem to have come into life knowing things that they had not been taught.
You are correct that I cannot point to a moment in anyone's life, not even that of my offspring, which precisely marks the onset of consciousness. I think that there are two levels of real consciousness. The most common one appears gradually, as it did in me. I would call this level the "First Derivative of perception," and it consists of the ability to control one's environment and thus one's perceptions. Consciousness at this level develops gradually.
The consciousness level of which I spoke in the OP might be labeled the "Second Derivative of perception." It is the moment at which an entity who is already conscious enough to occasionally choose his mental environment (e.g. a book to read, or a course to take or not) becomes aware that he is an entity making such choices. Everyone to whom I've spoken who has experienced this "2nd derivative of perception" (and 1st derivative of basic consciousness) recalls the moment and surrounding circumstances with utmost clarity.
Here is where I invite you to reconsider an assmption---
I propose that my assertions above, or any other assertion, can be freely assumed without cause, justification, or reason-- by anyone-- if only for the sake of argument. One can simply accept the assertion and see where it goes. If it goes someplace interesting, one can always come back and check out the assertion more carefully.
This is an efficient way to deal with new ideas. If done honestly, one can suspend existing beliefs while temporarily trying on a new idea. The process is exactly like shopping for the perfect suit or dress. Most people will take whatever is on the rack, however ordinary and imperfect. The physically "stylish" will abandon a store that sells only mundane apparel and find another that suits his or her taste.
Analogously, most people will take their most fundamental and critical beliefs about the nature of reality and themselves from the same store in which their parents shopped-- ideas from Woolworth's and canned goods from the A & P. Why?
There is no Ph.D certificate on my cabin wall, and I have no professorship to defend. I am allowed to think freely and speculate accordingly. Nonetheless, I have chosen to bind my guesswork with common logic and scientific fact, while not giving a rat's sphincter about unsupported pseudo-scientific dogma. Perhaps that accounts for the occasional moments of reasonableness that you have noted, which I appreciate.
I am proposing a highly speculative, but coherent theory intended to explain some mysteries of physics and human consciousness, while promoting insights into the beginnings of things. I cannot provide citations because none exist-- at least none that are interesting.
And that's not exactly true either, as you know. Let me put my position thusly--- I provide occasional citations throughout all my works when they seem to be helpful to a serious reader, but I don't bother with incidental citations that only exist to bolster my credibility. You, for example, are perfectly capable of determining the sensibility of an idea by examining it for yourself, with an open mind.
My speculations above are largely related to the question of human consciousness, and any citations I might include will have to be from the annals of psychology. In my honest and practiced opinion, there has never been a pseudo-science so full of bunk and hokum as that of psychology. Look at the model that these nits have chosen for the human mind--- conscious and subconscious. And they claim that the human brain is the only mechanism for mind. Yet if you ask one of these dolts to point out the location of the mechanisms that define conscious and subconscious, on, let's say, a detailed textbook brain map, or on a sequence of CT scans, they cannot do so.
Do you know of any other "science," (except Darwinist biology, of course) that proposes the existence of functions without mechanisms?
I refuse to cite obvious bunk in support of my ideas. Were I to get into the specific mechanisms of mind vs. brain here, I would be citing some extreme research--- extremely interesting, and way out of mainstream thinking. This is not the time or place for such details. I am only trying to get across some general ideas, and will assemble them later.
I think it can be shown you came pre programmed with quite a bit more than this... The only real way to prove this might be less than humane ie raising a human outside human influence (Stranger in a Strange Land was an attempt by Robert Heinlein to describe this fictionally) but we do come instinctively programmed to be a human being, what ever that means... Soul btw is not a well defined term and is in fact meaningless... So, in this context, is the idea of god but do go on...
I'm certain that pre-programming can be shown, and I mention it elsewhere. Suckling, for example. Our brains also come with programs that remain mostly latent until the time is right, such as sexual desires. This issue depends upon the definition of "you," as you employed in the above paragraph. If "you" consists only of a brain-body system, then the subject is closed and you are exactly right.
But my theories proposed that there is another component of the human person. "Soul" is a poorly and vaguely defined term from religious lore that I use only for low-level conversations. My term for the entity is beon.
I attribute specific physical (yes, physical
) properties to beon because if it interacts with the brain, as it must if it is to be interesting, it must by definition be physical. As mentioned elsewhere, beon is pretty similar in concept to Maxwell;'s Daemon, but without the sliding door. Beon does not arrive pre-programmed (yes, another subject for later), but the brain is programmed with a number of basic instincts.
Lots of psychology types deny the existence of most brain programs because they have a belief which tells them that such a program, which they label an instinct, cannot be overridden. They do not account for the fact that a beon, the intelligent and conscious thought mechanism behind the curtain of brain, can override any brain level program if it is determined enough--- including the survival instinct.
I am sure a great many theists would aggressively disagree with this assertion...
I am certain of it. I've met the buggers. They are why I live in isolation. And I must remind you that I am concerned with the discovery of ideas that work, ideas that integrate both "spiritual" and physical reality. I don't know of any religionist who cares about such ideas, so why should I care about whether or not they agree with me? Does it help to realize that atheists disagree with me more vehemently than theists? IMO the only difference between the two groups is that theists are more likely to try to shoot me.
I await this new thread with baited breath...
Please forgive my presumptiousness in saying this, but that is a terrible idea! Last time I baited anything it was with a worm, grub, or half-dead minnow, none of which would be conducive to pleasant breath. And why wait longer than another minute to learn about ideas that will change your life and inspire your mind? Moreover, I'll be going under the knife in a few weeks and may not return, leaving you waiting--- while suffering from near-terminal halitosis, for ideas that will never come . Dreadful plan!
May I gently propose that instead of waiting, risking your entire social life and reputation with nasty breath, all you need to do is buy some breath mints and my book! Then, whether I return or not, you might be another who contributes answers instead of questions to the mystery of human consciousness.
I agree this would seem logical but again most theists would vehemently disagree and in the reality of god I would have to defer to a theist since god cannot really be described by anything but theism... Since god is nothing more than what some theists believe on faith about something they cannot show any evidence for nor in their minds need to any assertion about god can be shown to be true to the person who believes it. The definition of god you are using would be handy as well...
Who says that you need to defer to anyone, or to any belief system? Are you not perfectly capable of competent, independent thought?
Perhaps it is time for you to decide which of your two mental mechanisms you choose to trust--- your brain, programmed with the ideas of men who thought that the earth was flat--- or you, yourself, a mind capable of using logic to separate truth from dogma in every field of human endeavor?
No, the universe is not thought to have originated from an object of extremely small but defined size...
You are correct. My history gets in the way. I was kicking ideas around with NASA astronomers when the Big Bang theory was being assembled, and so know its history-- that began with a tiny particle smaller than a proton, which I call the micropea. It had a "real" diameter that could not be measured. Later when the math did not work out, cosmies morphed the idea into the absurd notion of a "physical singularity," so that they did not have to do the math.
As you'll see from even the pop-sci literature and TV documentaries, not all cosmies accept the singularity notion. Good for them, IMO. I appreciate scientists who have the integrity to declare that they do not know what's going on out there, or in there, because these are the people who will find the great ideas that truly explain things.
It sounds logical but theism is rarely if ever logical... It is an interesting assertion however...
Looks to me like you may be beginning to trust your own mind, which I recommend.
When evaluating my material, kindly keep in mind that while I believe that we live in a created universe, I am not a classical theist.
I look forward to that as well...
Free shipping if you order the darned book from me instead of Amazon!