Instigator
Points: 0

Consciousness is an emergent property of matter

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 5 votes the winner is ...
DrChristineFord
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Science
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
12,000
Points: 35
Description
"Emergence" occurs when an entity is observed to have properties its parts do not have on their own. These properties or behaviors emerge only when the parts interact in a wider whole. For example, culture is an emergent behavior of individual people working together, anthills are an emergent property of individual ants working together.
My goal is to show that consciousness is an emergent property of matter. If this is true then it is theoretically possible to build consciousness.
Round 1
Forfeited
Published:
Pro has the burden of proof here, so we can't really start until he comes back.

The biggest challenge for his argument, I think, is the idea that consciousness is an observable property.  If we are to build a conscious machine, at what point can we be certain that it is conscious?  Already we have machines that are self-referential and or sensitive to their environment.  They are not conscious though - or are they?  Without a clear and operational definition of consciousness, it is impossible to say.

I don't think that consciousness is observable in that way.  I'm looking forward to seeing my opponent's arguments to the contrary.



Round 2
Forfeited
Published:
How can we know that consciousness exists?

Here's one way.  An entity has consciousness if:
1. It is human.
2. It is not unconscious.

In short, consciousness is a human quality.  Other entities are deemed to have consciousness on the basis of their similarity to humans: dogs, chimpanzees etc.  Snakes, spiders, oysters are more iffy.  Conversely, humans deemed to be without consciousness are those that are less like the prototype, on the edges of humanity.  A conscious machine, one would imagine, would have to be recognizable as humanlike in some way.

If humanlike is a property, it resides in the comparison.  It belongs to the observer.  So do anthills and culture, of course.  Pro could no more build an anthill or a culture than he could a conscious machine.  At best he could build something that ressembled those things.  






Round 3
Forfeited
Published:
so sad
Round 4
Forfeited
Forfeited
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
That's just an appeal to authority. Truth isn't true because Harvard says so. A Truism debate would be something that has to be true based on the topic like "I like ice cream" or "rational madman's screenname is rational Madman"
#13
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
It doesn't matter what it could be, this debate is going to revolve around reliable sources and intuitive arguments. Pro will annihilate Con's scepticism, by using highly reputable sources such as Harvard themselves.
#12
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
that's not true because it could be reductive
#11
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
It's a truism, not a debate.
#10
Added:
--> @MrMaestro
Man, I wish someone would accept this, lol
#9
Added:
--> @MrMaestro
Indeed. We can't help what we believe. We can only make more inductions to improve the basis upon which we think.
#8
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
Ralph:
"Everything is particles" is a much pithier way of saying this haha. We see the same on this issue. I look at consciousness as a spectrum, from barely aware animals to highly aware apes. I don't think there's an exact point where something becomes conscious, rather I think awareness develops slowly as you add more intelligence.
RationalMadman:
Thanks for the source. I wouldn't claim it as "My argument" though, the Emergence of Consciousness is a pretty well-researched topic.
Some people believe that matter arises out of consciousness. Some people believe that reality only exists if we experience it. Some people believe that consciousness exists separately from matter. Many arguments are possible.
Instigator
#7
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
Oh good, if that's the case, then you're completely illogical and everything you say is just mouth noise. Have a nice delusion.
#6
Added:
--> @MrMaestro
The only difference for me that I see going of your title and description is that I believe consciousness is a property of one or more particles.
Everything I'm about to say is just my opinion except for the very next statement I make.
Everything that has been known to physically exist is made from particles.
Following this logical, it is my opinion that consciousness is in contained within a particle.
There is good scientific evidence that consciousness comes from the brain.
This ultimately leads into my presupposition that consciousness starts off as this small fuzzy thing that has it's on "agent" inside of it viewing things at a primitive level.
I don't know what this would feel like, but I tend to equate it to what a blind person sees or what a deaf person hears (which is not nothing)
I think this is a good example because these are cases of the sensory organs being detached from one's agency so if agency was in a particle and the particle had no sensory organs, I imagine the senses would be like static, which is what people missing sensory organs experience.
I believe that human minds are just big collections of these primitive particles.
Now don't confuse this with a nerve ending.
This would be more like a part that is somehow connect at the end of the line of sensation.
I think it makes more sense because our body is not just one living thing. It's a collection of living things and our senses are not this linear thing that happens in order, it's this big chaotic mass of sensations that we somehow feel with near perfect precision.
Senses are so keen that having something within 10 feet of you can have enough effect for you to sense it even if you don't look at it or hear it.
I'm not saying this is true.
I'm just saying that after looking at all of the evidence for myself, I have come to believe this and I cannot bring myself to not believe it.
#5
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
Because you are all extensions of my solipsist reality.
#4
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
I've seen that link before. How do you know that's his argument?
#3
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
Here is his argument, in someone else's words:
https://www.sciencealert.com/harvard-scientists-think-they-ve-pinpointed-the-neural-source-of-consciousness
#2
Added:
--> @MrMaestro
Me and your are 100% on the same page here. I go with the softer topic of "everything is particles" But this is ultimately what my argument leads to. Can't wait to hear your points.
#1
#5
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
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Reason:
FF
#4
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
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Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Full forfeit
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
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Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
full forfeit
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Full forfeit
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Fulll Forfeit