I don't know about anybody else, but I am tired of hearing the claim that consciousness is just a product of the brain. It is like a materialism of the gaps, where we just say, the brain did it!

Here's an example from one member quoting another member:
JK: I'm still firmly in the "product of the brain" camp, but your hypothesis is a fascinating alternate explanation. While it may appear to propose a 'god', to my -ahem- mind, it lacks the baggage of so many such claims.

And here's what I think is one good counter to that view, from Dr. Zakaria Nemeeh:
“when I feel happiness, my brain will create a distinctive pattern of complex neural activity. This neural pattern will perfectly correlate with my conscious feeling of happiness, but it is not my actual feeling. It is just a neural pattern that represents my happiness. That’s why a scientist looking at my brain and seeing this pattern should ask me what I feel, because the pattern is not the feeling itself, just a representation of it.”

For debate...
Which of the above views is correct? Dr. Zakaria or Jk?
 
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I favor Dr. Zakaria's view.

The way I look at it is that if consciousness equals brain or is a product of it, then scientists should be able to discover subjective experience or deduce its existence simply by studying the brain. To date, that seems inconceivable that that would happen.

The facts are that the ONLY way scientists know of subjective experience (or consciousness) is because we all experience it and can report it. Scientists did not discover its existence empirically nor did they deduce its existence. Our knowledge of neural correlates would not exist unless the subject was able to tell us what they're experiencing while observing their corresponding brain activity. SO even our neural correlates of consciousness are simply neural correlates of our subjective reports of our experience.

Here's another version of my thoughts on the DebatingChristianity forum:
the most obvious hole in the materialist position is not being able to define or detect consciousness in any physical way. Consciousness is not something that was discovered empirically nor was its existence even deduced from physical facts, but rather they know about it because us subjects can report it to them.
 

William

Novice Mystic
Jun 9, 2021
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Worldview

We Exist Within A Creation [WEWAC]

The way I look at it is that if consciousness equals brain or is a product of it, then scientists should be able to discover subjective experience or deduce its existence simply by studying the brain. To date, that seems inconceivable that that would happen.
Are you suggesting that scientists should be able to mind-read?
The facts are that the ONLY way scientists know of subjective experience (or consciousness) is because we all experience it and can report it.
Is there ANY experience which can be had, which is NOT subjective?

Another thing which has to be factored in is that consciousness can only experience whatever it interprets via the brain-body [brain inclusive of the nervous system] which produces the signals then interpreted by consciousness.
We know that what the brain is able to sense is limited and does not include the fundamental reality of the universe but only one slice of experience of it, and that slice is is largely conditional upon what the brain-nervous system is able to pick up [signals] and also what the individual consciousness is then able to deduce from that data - so a purely human experience is unaware of the fundamental reality of Reality.
We also know that individual consciousnesses can be freed from the limitation/retardation the brain-nervous system through use of chemicals as well as in circumstances such as OOBEs and NDEs , as well as with disciplines such as deep meditation and Astral related conditions [lucid dreaming et merda.]

JK appreciates that he cannot debunk my particular arguments re a Cosmic Mind [on The Question "Do we exist within a Creation?" but for reasons of his own, still prefers to believe that consciousness is emergent of brains, regardless of the contrary evidence.
 
Are you suggesting that scientists should be able to mind-read?
I am. Physical phenomenon should be discoverable via the third-person point-of-view.

There are the brain scan studies that some tend to use to claim that scientists can observe our thoughts. However, these studies don't involve scientists observing thoughts directly nor do these studies explain the physical nature of thoughts (do they exist like some type of computer code? or like a hologram in the case of mental imagery?). Instead, these researchers rely on correlational data to figure out what someone is visualizing. It's no secret that brain activity correlates with subjective experience so it's possible to create a large database containing our perceived images and their associated brain activity. A researcher can then figure out what you're thinking by observing your brain activity and matching it with the brain activities (and its associated image) in their database. I'm giving you the simple version because now researchers use computers to do most of this work. The main point is that scientists infer our thoughts from brain activity in these studies as opposed to observing our thoughts.

Is there ANY experience which can be had, which is NOT subjective?
I doubt it.

Another thing which has to be factored in is that consciousness can only experience whatever it interprets via the brain-body [brain inclusive of the nervous system] which produces the signals then interpreted by consciousness.
And this is one reason why I don't believe we can have a non-subjective experience. We our always involved in whatever we experience, even if it is filtered through the brain-body. However, that does not mean that only the subjective exists.

We know that what the brain is able to sense is limited and does not include the fundamental reality of the universe but only one slice of experience of it, and that slice is is largely conditional upon what the brain-nervous system is able to pick up [signals] and also what the individual consciousness is then able to deduce from that data - so a purely human experience is unaware of the fundamental reality of Reality.
Agreed!

We also know that individual consciousnesses can be freed from the limitation/retardation the brain-nervous system through use of chemicals as well as in circumstances such as OOBEs and NDEs , as well as with disciplines such as deep meditation and Astral related conditions [lucid dreaming et merda.]
I totally agree with you here, as well. I had an OBE in my dream not too long ago and even that felt remarkable.
 
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