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Consciousness & Pandeism


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#1 dimasok

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 05:57 PM


I'd like to quote WiKi this time (pay special attention to the embolded part):

Arguments for the existence of God (other than those premised on the truth of a particular religious text) tend to support a pandeistic universe as readily as a theistic universe. Both the cosmological argument (that there must be a first cause) and the teleological argument (that the existence of complex patterns in the universe show intentional design) point to a pandeistic universe as readily as one with an activist God. Pandeism is particularly compatible with evolutionary creationism in that it posits the creation of the universe by intelligent design. Pandeism differs from theistic creation theories by suggesting that the designer has ceased to have an independent existence. The Big Bang may be seen as the event signifying the transformation of God into the universe.

Scientific plausibility for this theory was introduced to pandeism through a paper written by Italian astrophysicist Paola Zizzi. Notable for her work in the field of Loop quantum gravity theory that regards the early universe as a kind of quantum computer, Zizzi proposed that the universe could have achieved the threshold of computational complexity sufficient for the emergence of consciousness during the period of cosmic inflation, in a paper entitled "Emergent Consciousness: From the Early Universe to Our Mind",[25] which has become known as the "Big Wow" theory. Zizzi states that the universe reached a level of quantum computational complexity, during the period of cosmic inflation, to undergo Orchestrated Objective Reduction, or Orch-OR, allowing the emergence of consciousness. Zizzi’s paper is fundamentally a theory of Loop quantum gravity which derives some of its power from the Holographic Principle. It suggests that the universe’s conscious moment, or ‘occasion of experience’ came at the end of the inflationary period in physical cosmology, and was the event that allowed the universe’s quantum state vector to reduce, thus selecting the conditions for our specific universe, out of a superposed multitude of possibilities. This, too, has been reflected in fiction, in the Star Trek novel, "Corona" which featured sentient proto-stars seeking to induce a new Big Bang.

The pandeistic universe is just as the universe described in naturalistic pantheism, with the distinction that the belief necessarily encompasses a sentient God that existed before the formation of the universe. Panentheism also suggests a universe designed by a sentient deity, and composed of matter derived from that deity. The belief systems part on the point that panentheism asserts that God is greater than the universe, and therefore continues a separate existence alongside it, while pandeism asserts that everything that was God became incorporated into the universe.

Because "Pandeists believe all consciousness, in all life, to be fragments of God's awareness"[26] Such a God may not consciously interact with the material universe, but might still exerts a latent influence over the development of the physical universe, and the evolution of things within it. Because man is part of the material universe, and therefore composed of remnants of God, it could then be possible for God's energy to be tapped by an individual.

As with man's ability to release the power of the atom in an atomic bomb or nuclear reactor, every human mind could conceivably access and release some portion of the power or the knowledge of God, perhaps by simply realizing their connection with the universe through meditation. If this is valid, religious figures such as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, and others may have been able to perform those miracles attributed to them by tapping into this infinite source of energy.


The actual paper can be found here:
http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0007006

Now, we're all functionalists/physicalists so we do expect other mediums to emulate consciousness in due time. My question is, if it's indeed proven to be that the universe reached the maximum computational threshold during the inflation, does that mean that we'd simply be utilizing this computational power (which had been here long before we entered the picture) in the future to create as much of consciousness as we want? Doesn't that sort of support the panpsychism position I mentioned in other posts whereby consciousness is a fundamental feature of the universe (or panexperientalism which is less extreme)?

Those who object to it, I have to remind you that functionalism postulates that consciousness emerges out of sufficient & correct complexity and alignment of elements and I have no problem with that. All I'm saying is that it doesn't truly explain where that consciousness comes from, so whether we manage to emulate consciousness or find out that it's beyond our computational capacities (doubt that), panpsychism is apparently here to stay.

Any opinions welcome, thx guys.

#2 Zarrka

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 11:45 PM

AARRGGG!!!!!

i hate this with a passion.

In fact, I’m writing my masters thesis currently on why functionalism CANNOT be used to support EXACLY this type of bullshit argument.

Complexity /= consciousness!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m just going to put that out there. if complexity pattern did mean consciousness, and we just needed to hit that right pattern, where suddenly a computer program became conscious, or suddenly a universe was conscious, then some have argued (not me, but the point is clear still though its a bad argument) that if the atoms in the wall behind me suddenly moved in the right patterns then we would have the complex pattern for consciousness and suddenly the wall would be conscious as well.

you have to really really be careful with mixing what functionalistic ideals are with panpsychism. its a slippery slope, and a mistake that all make when they absolutely misuse and misunderstand what functionalism is.

#3 Aegist

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 11:41 AM

Hmmmm... Just reading what Cat has said, I actually think that any material which moves in an essentially identical pattern to a Brain would be conscious. But I also say that with absolute confidence that no material in the universe moves in that pattern without a few million years of evolutionary preparation. The "pattern" is simply way to complex. Not complex like long division, but complex like more improbable than there is room for the statistical calculations in the entire universe. Thats sort of complex.

This is what is commonly argued with the evolution vs creationism arguments. The argument that life is too complex to come about by chance. Guess what: It is! LIFE...is too complex to come about by chance. And life doesn't have the requisite brain pattern consciousness in 99.99999% of the instances of life. Only a very small minority of living organisms could be considered conscious, and that conscious is very easily ended, and never ever spontaneously created.

So, in short: The "Patterns" of consciousness are so absolutely complex, that they will never spontaneously form given all eternity.

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#4 Luna

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 02:37 PM

And I just thought we're robots who think we're alive... ah well.

#5 samson

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 08:08 PM

I disagree with the possibility of a universe sized quantum computer (if I understood right), but anyways.

A question. If we are merely using the already existent computation of the universe, how come we are the only beings so far that have reached consciousness (that we know off anyways)? Why isn't our beloved glob of roiling plasma singing us bedtime stories?

#6 Zarrka

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 11:10 PM

mmm singing globs...

After a heavy debate with Aegist last night, i mmanged to figure out that what Aegist was actually saying was that if we found in the universe a real replica of a brian then we could call that consious.

that is a far cry from the "brain pattern" theory... as there is no such thing as a "brain pattern" what the Cognitivists use as brain patterns are completly non sensical. But i wont get into this unless this thread goes further. it is a very complex topic and tends to draw out poeple who have no idea how the brain works claiming the know how a mind works.

#7 modelcadet

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 11:34 PM

I know how the mind works.

#8 Luna

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 07:06 AM

Do we think we think or do we think that we think we think?

#9 kevm

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 07:00 PM

I'd like to quote WiKi this time (pay special attention to the embolded part):

Arguments for the existence of God (other than those premised on the truth of a particular religious text) tend to support a pandeistic universe as readily as a theistic universe. Both the cosmological argument (that there must be a first cause) and the teleological argument (that the existence of complex patterns in the universe show intentional design) point to a pandeistic universe as readily as one with an activist God. Pandeism is particularly compatible with evolutionary creationism in that it posits the creation of the universe by intelligent design. Pandeism differs from theistic creation theories by suggesting that the designer has ceased to have an independent existence. The Big Bang may be seen as the event signifying the transformation of God into the universe.

Scientific plausibility for this theory was introduced to pandeism through a paper written by Italian astrophysicist Paola Zizzi. Notable for her work in the field of Loop quantum gravity theory that regards the early universe as a kind of quantum computer, Zizzi proposed that the universe could have achieved the threshold of computational complexity sufficient for the emergence of consciousness during the period of cosmic inflation, in a paper entitled "Emergent Consciousness: From the Early Universe to Our Mind",[25] which has become known as the "Big Wow" theory. Zizzi states that the universe reached a level of quantum computational complexity, during the period of cosmic inflation, to undergo Orchestrated Objective Reduction, or Orch-OR, allowing the emergence of consciousness. Zizzi’s paper is fundamentally a theory of Loop quantum gravity which derives some of its power from the Holographic Principle. It suggests that the universe’s conscious moment, or ‘occasion of experience’ came at the end of the inflationary period in physical cosmology, and was the event that allowed the universe’s quantum state vector to reduce, thus selecting the conditions for our specific universe, out of a superposed multitude of possibilities. This, too, has been reflected in fiction, in the Star Trek novel, "Corona" which featured sentient proto-stars seeking to induce a new Big Bang.

The pandeistic universe is just as the universe described in naturalistic pantheism, with the distinction that the belief necessarily encompasses a sentient God that existed before the formation of the universe. Panentheism also suggests a universe designed by a sentient deity, and composed of matter derived from that deity. The belief systems part on the point that panentheism asserts that God is greater than the universe, and therefore continues a separate existence alongside it, while pandeism asserts that everything that was God became incorporated into the universe.

Because "Pandeists believe all consciousness, in all life, to be fragments of God's awareness"[26] Such a God may not consciously interact with the material universe, but might still exerts a latent influence over the development of the physical universe, and the evolution of things within it. Because man is part of the material universe, and therefore composed of remnants of God, it could then be possible for God's energy to be tapped by an individual.

As with man's ability to release the power of the atom in an atomic bomb or nuclear reactor, every human mind could conceivably access and release some portion of the power or the knowledge of God, perhaps by simply realizing their connection with the universe through meditation. If this is valid, religious figures such as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, and others may have been able to perform those miracles attributed to them by tapping into this infinite source of energy.


The actual paper can be found here:
http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0007006

Now, we're all functionalists/physicalists so we do expect other mediums to emulate consciousness in due time. My question is, if it's indeed proven to be that the universe reached the maximum computational threshold during the inflation, does that mean that we'd simply be utilizing this computational power (which had been here long before we entered the picture) in the future to create as much of consciousness as we want? Doesn't that sort of support the panpsychism position I mentioned in other posts whereby consciousness is a fundamental feature of the universe (or panexperientalism which is less extreme)?

Those who object to it, I have to remind you that functionalism postulates that consciousness emerges out of sufficient & correct complexity and alignment of elements and I have no problem with that. All I'm saying is that it doesn't truly explain where that consciousness comes from, so whether we manage to emulate consciousness or find out that it's beyond our computational capacities (doubt that), panpsychism is apparently here to stay.

Any opinions welcome, thx guys.


Where exactly is the original quote (big giant block quote) from?

#10 kevm

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 07:31 PM

I disagree with the possibility of a universe sized quantum computer (if I understood right), but anyways.

A question. If we are merely using the already existent computation of the universe, how come we are the only beings so far that have reached consciousness (that we know off anyways)? Why isn't our beloved glob of roiling plasma singing us bedtime stories?


Maybe the Universe itself is asleep? :)

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#11 kevm

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 08:02 PM

By the way (sorry for the triple post) I think "Consciousness & Pandeism" is an intruiging title for a thread. I googled the phrase and found this article, Intriguing Metaphysical Parallels between the Consciousness Debate and Pandeism. Worthy of comment as well.




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