We for sure know that experience exists. We are however not sure that mind, experiencer, exists. All we can say is that there is experience of self. The experience of self however could be generated by specific part of our brain. It could be matter which has capacity to produce different sort of experiences. So, how could we prove that mind exist?
When I was a child, I picked up a young rooster who while looking into my eye through he saw an opponent and peck my eye… since it was the very first experience that that happened how could I have reacted in time to protect my vision?
The reflex of the animal was to react to what it perceived as another rooster; it did not have the capacity to understand that it was looking only at a reflection of “self” in my iris.
The reflex of the human being was, even in the absence of that particular experience, to protect the eye.
Consider too that a compilation of experiences cannot give voice to your inner self–that voice that you have in your mind as you think, day dream, read, or engage external stimuli.
Consider too how a person can hold a thought while running another thought or an outside stimuli.
Now, take a computer system, it could be populated (as the internet) with millions upon millions of facts/experiences… yet, it lacks consciousness–there is no functionality beyond what is programed to do; where there’s no direct command/control program data is simply stored material.
Don’t mind me .
How would you prove that something lacks consciousness?
We are focusing on experience of self here. Our reflex is product of brain if we accept that the self itself is a product of brain.
Here’s a simple test:
Take a blank piece of paper place it on top of a flat surface; then take a writing instrument (pen, pencil, marker) and place it on top of that paper… study the interchange that develops.
Take a monkey (chimp) bring a mirror into its environment and watch what develops:
since the animal does have limited consciousness there will be several reactions: a) the reflection would be feared, b) the reflection would be thought of a threat (another chimp), c) the reflection would be accepted as another chimp, d) the chimp would look behind the mirror for the rest of the reflected chimp… (this also works with cameras–animals learn to accept the tech even when they don’t really know what its purpose is).
But that’s just it; compilations of facts/experiences does not cause cognition to emerge.
Take an infant; before he/she is exposed to “xyz” that little person will react differently, according to his/her unique abilities; there will be a period of familiarity where the response will run the gambit from fear to ignorance to embracement. As consciousness is develop that child will single him/herself out from amongst other members of the family in pictures/video… but not only that but also demonstrate personal preferences (preferred shirt/pants/toy/book); all of this demonstrates that there’s a specific consciousness of self… the mind that is developed, not randomly through random accumulation of experiences, but specifically reacting for and against stimuli–according to personal preferences.
Would that work for a lizard?
Suppose a robot was developed to react to seeing itself in a mirror. Would that mean that it had consciousness?
How do you know for sure that experience exists?
How do you know for sure that experience exists?
I don’t understand how self realization is related to our discussion.
What you describe as mind which evolve as child grow is nothing more than accumulation of experiences. How non-physical mind could change/evolve?
Because that is a part of our daily life. We consider it as a fact.
Well our mind/conciousness is also part of our daily life. We think, if we had no mind all our thoughts would be turned into action immidiately, or based on the emotional response.
Very simple, isn’t it? In other words, you know for sure that experience exists because you are an “experiencer”.
I don’t understand how that follows. Are you saying that there is a mind because we experience experience? We experience experience only when we focus on experience. That is to me give rise from matter because it is subject to change. How could experience of experience be subject to change if there is a mind? Shouldn’t experience of experience be a property of mind? I don’t understand how an immaterial thing could change.
Not sure, lizards are like the cat version of the cold-blooded; but I’ve known one or two of those critters who were quite aware on how to manipulate people.
The robot would actually be following a program. The program would have to be quite comprehensive… the repetitiousness of the event would demonstrate lack of inventive reasoning (monkey does would remain eternally looped: a to b to c to…)
Experiences are external stimuli are they not?
A compilation of experiences does not make for consciousness. If this were to be so then every single person around the world that have experienced the same events as all the other persons would be identical.
Further, there would be no personal preferences on any level as only the source of the experience would dictate what people would like or dislike.
Hence all experiences outside of self (mind consciousness) would lead to a bunch of automatons.
A quirky story: found four kittens in the back yard; one was super shy (a real scaredy cat); one a loner; one insecure; one a jock. I sneaked up on the shy one, stroked its back and it jumped around five feet from the ground; the loner left, the scaredy left, the jock taught me a thing or two and it almost die of fright when it followed me to the street one day; eventually the shy approached me and gently rubbed my hand with her nose… the jock must have smell the other cat on my hand as it left never to approach me or play games with me; it would stare at me from a distance–I saw a deep-hurt feeling in its eyes as though it lost a companion… who taught that cat jealousy and possession who taught the insecure when to make the move to claim me?