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When does consciouness of life kick in on the timeline?

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Postby Darby » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:27 pm

Why isn't fear just fear of harm / pain? If your hypothesis were true, only lethal things would be feared, but that's not true at all.
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Postby alextemplet » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:28 pm

Some species of birds, I believe, have been known to show a certain level of intelligence, as have elephants.
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Postby jere » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:52 pm

I believe for the phenomenon of fear to actually happen, and always work correctly, an individual needs to know the difference between life and death. More importantly that individual has to be conscious of life - his/her own life. It is only after this (milestone) he/she chooses to live, logically speaking.


I disagree. As others have already said, not all fears are of life threatening things. Haven't you ever been afraid of the dark? Were you really frightened for your life?

In all honesty, I don't think emotions (fear or otherwise) usually depend on intelligence. In fact, emotions often override intelligence and cause otherwise rational people to display irrational behavior. Flying is a lot safer than driving, but to most people, myself included, flying is incredibly scary and driving isn't scary at all. These kinds of fears are instinctual; you don't need to be intelligent or even understand life and death to have them.
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Postby alextemplet » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:11 pm

Very true; emotions tend to contradict and even conceal intelligence most of the time. Hence the proverb: When torn between your heart and your head, go with the one that has the brains.
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Postby AstusAleator » Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:23 am

canalon wrote:thought experiment:
an organism/machine moves randomly, and it speeds depends on the amount of food/energy available, what do you think will happen? Would you really say that it is intelligence?


The individuals who's circumstances enable them to initially travel faster than (perhaps they got a larger amount of energy from their parent. Perhaps they started their existence right next to a morsel of food which they consumed. Perhaps they are mechanically superior to) their fellows will cover more area and thus have a better chance of finding randomly placed food, which in turn will bolster them on in their aimless quest.

Or assuming they're all equal, then the lucky ones that find food before they die will gain enough energy to continue moving - which is vital to finding that next morsel. And on and on.

I love playing with scenarios like this on a program called Darwin's Pond.

--To the original post--
Before you say "intelligence" precedes "fear" you really should define them both (if you can). Work on your premises
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Postby deostroll » Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:34 pm

canalon wrote:thought experiment:
an organism/machine moves randomly, and it speeds depends on the amount of food/energy available, what do you think will happen? Would you really say that it is intelligence?


Eh, my guess (although I am confused), this is genetic response. :? But the issue here is when do you call this intelligence? However you could argue that this response could have evolved out of sensing that there is food/energy. Therefore the sensing part essentially involves some form of intelligence; realizing that there is food/energy...don't you think :?:
PS: I happen to be a philosopher, rather than a true scientist...
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Postby mcar » Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:45 pm

Consciousness started the moment when man realized that he's naked.

Scientifically, when man wanted to see the sun tomorrow.
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Postby deostroll » Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:49 pm

jere wrote:
I don't think emotions (fear or otherwise) usually depend on intelligence.

Not all responses are triggered after it goes thru the central nervous system (cns), or in other words it need not necessarily be sent to the brain, processed, and dispatched. Sometimes the responses can happen at lower levels...
PS: I happen to be a philosopher, rather than a true scientist...
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Postby AstusAleator » Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:42 pm

Again it all depends on what you define as intelligence. deostroll's premise, at the beginning of the thread, is that he defines intelligence as "consciousness of life." So unless you reject his premise, you can formulate your inquiries within that parameter.

I think it's reasonable to think that an organism must be aware that they exist, before they can experience a fear of non-existence.

But fear over such things as injury or death (withouth the accompanying concept of non-existence) do not rely on the "consciousness of life" in my opinion.

All organisms avoid injury and/or death in their own way. Who's to say their neural (or even simpler) responses to danger-signalling are any less "fearful" than ours?

But then again, we're hinging on the definition of the word "fear" now.
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Postby genovese » Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:31 pm

I was taught "a long time ago" that emotions were felt in an older part of the brain as opposed to intelligence which was located more in the forebrain or neocortex. If this fact still holds (correct me if not) then emotions have little to do with intelligence. Most creatures with a mid brain would be experiencing emotions. Presumably, primates can intelligently modulate or try and interpret these emotions further.
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Postby deostroll » Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:51 pm

AstusAleator wrote:But fear over such things as injury or death (withouth the accompanying concept of non-existence) do not rely on the "consciousness of life" in my opinion.

Hmm, perhaps it is not consciouness of life; it may be the thought of enduring pain, or suffering from pain. :?
PS: I happen to be a philosopher, rather than a true scientist...
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Postby alextemplet » Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:51 pm

This discussion will probably run us all around in circles without ever accomplishing anything; it depends too much on the definitions of words that are not clearly definable.
Generally speaking, the more people talk about "being saved," the further away they actually are from true salvation.

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