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Thread: consciousness : Questions of a layman

  1. #1 consciousness : Questions of a layman 
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2017
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    Dear Experts,

    I am an ordinary guy working in IT industry & SAP implementations. Just another person out there with only relation to Physics & science being that I am an engineering graduate. So forgive me for being naive.

    With that said my question is on consciousness.
    Please tell me how do you best define consciousness & advise on below points.

    a) Is consciousness the ability of being aware of your environment & able to analyse & respond to the environment. In other worlds being Alive!
    b) Can non living things (like robots) which can interact & respond to their environment be called to have consciousness or that is not correct.
    c) Or counter to b) only robots of future who have AI can be called to have consciousness.
    d) Bigger question. Why do we even have consciousness?

    Regards
    Anurag
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  2. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anurag View Post
    Dear Experts,

    I am an ordinary guy working in IT industry & SAP implementations. Just another person out there with only relation to Physics & science being that I am an engineering graduate. So forgive me for being naive.

    With that said my question is on consciousness.
    Please tell me how do you best define consciousness & advise on below points.

    a) Is consciousness the ability of being aware of your environment & able to analyse & respond to the environment. In other worlds being Alive!
    There is no universally accepted definition of consciousness. The particular definition in (a) would admit electronic devices as conscious and alive.

    b) Can non living things (like robots) which can interact & respond to their environment be called to have consciousness or that is not correct.
    Again, there is no universally accepted definition. But if one were to accept (a), then it would follow that "non-living" things could be conscious.

    c) Or counter to b) only robots of future who have AI can be called to have consciousness.
    One would then also have to define "AI." Many do so in a way that would lead to circularity ("an artificial intelligence would be conscious").

    d) Bigger question. Why do we even have consciousness?
    Without a definition of what it is, it is hard to begin to answer why we have it.
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