I wanted to follow up on my last post. I know it was mostly a jumbled mess of thoughts, but I felt it mostly got my point across. I am still refining the particulars of that idea and hopefully in the near future I will follow up on that. While I was doing research on that post I did come across another idea that I think is very interesting, Materialism. This was new to me so I decided to talk about it.
At first thought you may be thinking that this new idea is concerned with the acquisition of more things and stuff, being materialistic. While that is not a bad guess, that is not quite right. This idea is more a mindset or school of thought concerning the universe. At its base it states that the entire universe is made up of physical things, i.e. material even ”mental phenomena” and consciousness are considered to be material in some way. At first glance I think this is a totally viable theory and one that I am mostly on board with, but there is a major issue with this theory.
The major problem or issue with this is that as the theory states everything deals with matter, again I think this is mostly true and can be proven to an extent, there is one thing that still has yet to be figured out. As I have mentioned many times before we do not know how consciousness works or what the brain does to produce consciousness. So if you believe in this theory, currently we do not have an explanation for how this mental phenomena works or how the brain (a material thing) produces thoughts and reality (immaterial things) in the mind. So the theory is flawed, or creates a paradox in my opinion.
So it may seem that we are back to the drawing board but I am not so sure. To me I do not think this idea is off the table just yet. As I said I mostly agree with this statement, but here is the obvious issue of how the brain, which is a material thing, creates the consciousness, which is immaterial, or at least we think so. While there are many skeptics to this theory I think it is correct and that, as I stated in my last post, that what we call reality can be traced to something material that is happening outside the mind. So reality is made up of material things, but again the issue is how the brain interprets these things and creates consciousness in the mind.
I believe that our technology and our knowledge of the brain we will eventually be able to explain how consciousness arises in the mind. There are quite a few who disagree with me on this idea, as they believe that consciousness is something that is unique and that cannot be replicated nor explained with our science or technology. To me this does not make sense and I think as our understanding of the brain and its workings grows we will certainly pin point the area or the exact location of where reality occurs in our minds. Here is a quote that I think help sum up the idea from Wikipedia:
To materialists, matter is primary, and mind or spirit or ideas are secondary, the product of matter acting upon matter.
To me it is a pretty basic idea but as I have already mentioned has a very fundamental flaw. The issue with the flaw is that there is so much speculation around the idea of consciousness in general that it is hard to really say if this idea is true. It seems like a “if this then that” sort of thing. If we can understand consciousness and how the brain creates it and if there is something in the brain that creates itTHEN this would, at least I think, be true. On the other hand if consciousness is something that cannot be explained then we have whole other can of worms to discuss.
The other thing that is interesting is that this is where the spiritual minded scientist and the pure scientific scientist seem to split. The spiritual scientist seem to think consciousness is something that cannot be figured out and for the most part something unique to humans, that was given to us by a God or a Creator. I am not of this mindset and think we will eventually figure out what consciousness is. To be clear that does not mean there is no God or Creator I just do not think he/she/it had anything to do with that aspect of the universe.
The other thing that came to my mind was about ideas, and to me is kind of looking at Materialism in reverse. Let’s take an idea, a brand new idea, although I am not sure if a truly original new idea exist anymore, but anyways. How does something like an idea come into the brain, in the form of a thought, which is immaterial I would argue, then can in one way or another be made into reality through speech or if the idea is some mechanical device then making said device. So in essence something has come into being from the immaterial mind then is translated into the physical world. I think scientist can see which areas of the brain are being used when a person is thinking, so to say that an idea is immaterial is not totally true, but I hope you get the idea. Still it seems odd that a new idea seemingly popping into a person’s head comes from nowhere. This has me stumped more so that the idea of consciousness. Where does a new idea come from, as I said I scientists can hook up a variety of machines and see which area of the brain is being activated and that such and such neuron and dendrite are being activated to create this new idea. I guess in a roundabout way consciousness is responsible for the creation of ideas and the ability to question, so I guess, despite initially being on board with this idea, I am slowly writing myself into the skeptic category.
That is not totally fair to say, I am not a skeptic but I am intrigued by both ideas and hope that in the near future we as a species will figure them out. Its times like these that I am excited for our future as a species.