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Will we ever understand consciousness ?

Posted on Sunday, 2 June, 2013 | Comment icon 71 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

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Are humans capable of ever fully understanding the nature of our own consciousness ?

For thousands of years, philosophers and scientists alike have pondered over the nature of our conscious selves. Some would argue that we are simply incapable of fully comprehending our own consciousness and that there is a cognitive gap in our understanding. "We're rather like Neanderthals trying to understand astronomy or Shakespeare," said philosopher Colin McGinn of the University of Miami.

Others however are more optimistic and take an approach more scientific than philosophical, believing that the nature of consciousness is simply a science problem waiting to be solved. "Historically, philosophers have a disastrous record of explaining things," said neuroscientist Christof Koch. "Philosophers are very good at asking questions but not so good at finding satisfactory answers."

But can studies of brain activity and cognitive patterns really lead to the ultimate understanding of how our minds work ? Only time will tell.

"As you read this sentence, the millions of neurons in your brain are frantically whispering to each other, resulting in the experience of conscious awareness."

  View: Full article |  Source: Live Science

  Discuss: View comments (71)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #62 Posted by docyabut2 on 13 June, 2013, 2:16
A intelligence that tries to survive in a world of matter.
Comment icon #63 Posted by regeneratia on 13 June, 2013, 2:20
My two sense/since/scents/cents: I think that, in SETH SPEAKS, Seth does a very good job in explaining it. All we have to do is reverse-science consciousness according to Seth.
Comment icon #64 Posted by docyabut2 on 13 June, 2013, 2:22
Ever wonder when our memories start? Most people say when they were about two years old. Could it be when a word is understood and spoken is when our memories start?
Comment icon #65 Posted by danielost on 13 June, 2013, 5:53
Not in my case, I remember the thought and moving shadows. I assume the hospital staff. My mom told me when I was two days old I was trying to hold the girl next door hand.
Comment icon #66 Posted by Rlyeh on 13 June, 2013, 6:15
But I asked if you were always conscious, not conscious just during your life.
Comment icon #67 Posted by danielost on 13 June, 2013, 6:34
And, I said I remember there being something before life. So the answer is yes. I would hace to have a conscious in order to remember something bing there before life.
Comment icon #68 Posted by Frank Merton on 13 June, 2013, 6:46
The standard line among those fundamentalist Buddhists who go around trying to prove rebirth is that to catch past-life memories you have to question very young children. I have always felt that this is a cop-out, since there is no particular reason for it that I can imagine that holds water. Also, of course, children can be impressed with false memories through their desire to please adults, so the very questions can lead to the answers the questioner wants and the child henceforth thinking it was a real memory. My view is that the very rebirth process would wipe out any past-life memory, ... [More]
Comment icon #69 Posted by Rlyeh on 13 June, 2013, 8:20
You don't sound very sure.
Comment icon #70 Posted by angi chiesa on 24 June, 2013, 4:19
I live in Thailand. My girlfriend is an ardent Buddhist. She prays to him with chanting and a yoga style lotus position to meditate for some hours every day.She has no memories of a past life. I asked her about this and she said " what a stupid question " She believes that she will come back after death.
Comment icon #71 Posted by Frank Merton on 24 June, 2013, 4:25
I think that's a little excessive, even for a monk or a nun. I'm not sure she would identify what she does as praying -- you may have a little translation problem there.
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