Consciousness, Free-Will, Mind and Brain

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I wonder what would happen if I could suddenly impart 'consciousness' on my kitty. I'll bet she'd freak-out. She'd be like a cat on a leash! But without the leash.

Is consciousness really adaptive? I'm torn on this subject (I've been reading Aping Mankind and other stuff) and I'm not sure where I fall on the matter?

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Updated 7th September 2011 at 10:23 PM by eyeoneblack



  1. Robert Bruce's Avatar

    All animals are sentient, conscious beings. All animals astral project when they sleep - I've watched this happen many times: cats, dogs, hamsters, birds.

    Animals, like humans, have varying levels of intelligence.

    I have also telepathically and clairvoyantly connected with many animals. They communicate...but mostly we don't hear them.

    I also had a doberman pincer who, when he got old, could speak 20 or 30 words in full context. He'd greet us in the morning, ask for food, ask to go out, and would even swear at my dad at times - say when dad yelled at him to stop blocking the TV. At the time we thought 'wow, the dog can talk' and just accepted it.

    The diehard materialists do not want this known, as it would grossly interfere with commerce. Who would want to eat a pig if they knew the pig was a conscious being with feelings?

    This is not to preach that everyone should be a vegan. The Ouroboros symbol says it eloquently: 'life consumes itself'.

    Updated 8th September 2011 at 12:05 AM by Robert Bruce (act of bob)
  2. eyeoneblack's Avatar
    Thank you, RB
    What an amazing dog! And ditto on the pig reference. I hate eating pork, or more to the point, I hate that such an intelligent animal is raised for slaughter. BUT, I still eat pork (it'd be hard to give up bacon) justifying myself by the logic that the pig's dead anyway, might as well eat it. And that's one sorry excuse, I admit. I promise I'll try to do better, my enlightened friends.
    I'm totally with you on every point, but what I had in mind, if I had been more explicit respecting the conjecture that the cat would freak out, is SELF-consciousness; i.e. memories and a history, together with plans and doubts for the future. I'm wondering just how this 'leash' on our psyche (this feedback that tries to tell us Right from Wrong, what should or shouldn't be, what is bad, good, better or best) is adaptive to survival of the genes - of what evolutionary benefit is it? From a purely materialist standpoint it's hard to account for - presents a very real conundrum that I don't believe a materialist, which is Science, can sort out.
    Animals are smart. Does anybody doubt that? but their brains are hardwired. Like a toggle switch, they either do or don't, a decision which is most often conditioned by fear, hunger or the drive to reproduce; all having definite survival value. Higher animals are innately intelligent, but then we humans can't help but flatter their intelligence by projecting human thoughts and emotions onto their much simpler animal behaviors.
    Why do our brains (and ours alone) have large frontal lobes that presumably act in an 'executive' role, moderating our behavior? I think it must be accepted [i]a priori[i] that evolution selected for this attribute - self-consciousness, BUT exactly the role it plays in the propagation of the genes I'm not sure.
    Evolution is blind and dumb. It simply sorts out the winners from the losers by simple terms of survival. What does evolution care of cites, cars and rockets that probe the solar system? It is difficult for me to imagine a scenario relating to ancestral humans (hominids) where say, one tribe had developed what we might call a superego (self-consciousness and conscience perhaps represented by large frontal lobes) and another nearby tribe did not, and by virtue of that DIFFERENCE was at a disadvantage in terms of its ability to survive and disappeared from the face of the Earth.
    We know modern Homo Sapiens encountered Neanderthals in Europe and the latter lost in its bid for survival. (Actually there was likely some interbreeding, so in terms of survival of the genes, Neanderthal is still with us). We are likely to say Neanderthals weren’t so intelligent as Homo Sapiens and that’s why they didn’t survive. Maybe they didn’t have such great tools and weapons as there cousin species. But imagine this; what if Neanderthals simply weren’t as aggressive as their rivals and by virtue of THAT characteristic were simply wholesale slaughtered by Homo Sapiens.
    Is aggression another feature of a bigger brain that separates Man from Beast? Funny, but for all that frontal lobe supposedly mitigating behavior, Man is by far the most aggressive animal on the planet! Wow. I may have stumbled onto the answer; evolution of the brain selected for aggression.

    Well, now that little insight rather puts the shoe on the other foot. This may be an ugly truth.
    I can’t see an end really to this line of thought, it’s such an enormous subject. Id like to return to the proposition of the cat and self-consciousness and conscience, but, later.

    Again, Thanks for your input!


    Ref: “Nature” 1Sept2011; “Taking Aim at Free Will” p23
    Aping Mankind Raymond Tallis 2011
    Updated 13th September 2011 at 06:21 PM by eyeoneblack
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