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Date Posted: 14:48
Author: ketch - 30 Jan 2002
Subject: Re: How About This?
In reply to:
's message, "Re: How About This?" on 14:47
I'm not entirely sure what the relevance is of some of these remarks. What you have not addressed is how one example shows that awareness is "totally dependent" upon physical conditions in the brain under all circumstances, which is the real issue here.
In answer to the questions you raise.
What sort of “circumstances” do you mean, and how are these “circumstances” distinct from “conditions”?
Since we are talking about one hypothetical example the circumstances are not entirely clear. Some relevant circumstances might be that the subject was alive in a physical body and that the subject was a wordly person who identified his existence with the body. The condition was obviously the administration of a general anaesthetic.
It is also true that just because one apple falls due to gravity doesn’t entail that others will.
I doubt that any reasonable person would expect all apples to fall downwards just because one apple has been observed to do so. In fact not all apples fall, some are picked or eaten on the tree, while others rot on the tree. If we make an assumption that apples will fall it is because we know something about the effects of gravity, and we have observed many other objects fall, not just because of the observation of one apple. We might find that one apple is full of maggots, do we then conclude that all apples are full of maggots?
In this sub-thread we are considering only one example of a subject losing consciousness after being given an anaesthetic. It may be that one teenage girl will faint and lose consciousness when they meet a pop star heartthrob. Does it follow that it is not possible for humans to maintain awareness in the presence of this hearthrob?
Take a hypothetical case where humans land on a planet inhabited by an intelligent, but primitive species. The natives of this planet are wary of the humans, so they avoid communication, but observe the humans from a distance. The atmosphere of the planet does not support humans, so the humans wear space suits with breathing aparatus. The breathing aparatus includes a tube used to supply a breathable mixture to the humans.
The natives, who know nothing of space travel, or even of clothing observe the humans. On one occasion a human is involved in an incident which causes the breathing tube to be broken, and the human to die.
The natives reason as follows.
1. The human alien died as a result of this tube being broken.
2. Human life must be totally dependant on this tube.
3. No human life could possibly exist without this tube.
The natives of this planet have made the mistake of assuming that the conditions which apply on their planet must apply everywhere, as they know nothing of any other planets. You assume that the apparent rules of the material world with regard to consciousness must apply always. In what way is the logic of these alien beings any less reasonable than yours?
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