Not all blame on Science
Science alone is not to be blamed for being “ruler and shrink of society” nor for the following problems, as my first post “A question to be asked” may seem to suggest. On the contrary; without science human life would be shorter, less comfortable and exiting than it is, at least in some parts of the world.
What’s causing problems is rather, that the special way of thinking in science, ie separating “objectivity” from the subject, has become the way we usually think about allmost everything. By ignoring the subject, eg in local and global politics and economy, problems must follow; not the least for the subjects. And of course, through this way of thinking even the scientists themselves are in trouble.
While science is done, or made up, by subjects, the probability of scientific theories would be higher when related to the constants of consciousness.
"How do you do?
- only its a bit complicated just now
I’m allright I gues - but
- I can’t sleep - work is wearing me out
- but what can I do?
- and I know what I have
- but - come on!
- I'll give you another, more quiet job
- not as well payed of course, but -
An ordinary human dilemma may look like this.
An amoeba has other problems of course, but sure enough it has decisions to make too: if changes should be made; or not.
Fundamental Constant Relativity
As consciousness exists it must be of some nature, which then is defined by a purpose. The purpose is to be a function of all living organisms for survival, well-being and development, which means constantly to 'decide' wether present states with integral parts are to be maintained or to be changed in some possible way.
Present states are weighed against possibel changes, and since there are only two options, ie to maintain a present state or to change it in a possible way, the fundamental nature of consciousness is but a simple and dynamic system of a constant relationship between present versus possible and maintain versus change.
Complexity out of Simplicity
While consciousness has been a mystery for a long time - “the longest-drawn-out detective story in our history” according to a swedish scientist - our rather simple thoughts about it might seem to be somehow offensive. In a way they are. That the most obvious of question about consciousness, ie what the purpose of it is in the first place, never was asked seriously untill now is indeed embarrassing.
How the other animals are percieving their world we cannot know, but most of our own pictures of the world appear to be of infinite complexity. It may be difficult to see how such complex pictures are accumulated by “a function of all living organisms for survival, well-being and development”.
And thinking of “our great history“ and of the world of today, it may even be difficult to comprehend that all of this, basically, is the results of questions of wether ”to gain, leave, avoid or keep“.
Professor of ethology Patrick Bateson takes this view: ”Although on the surface the developmental process is so imensely complicated, the underlying rules are analogous to those that underlie a game of chess. The rules of chess are simple, but the games that can be generated by those rules are enormously complex. What we have to do as scientists is try to understand rules that produce a design for a life.”
To exist is to be, at some place and time, in some state including possibilities for change. To live is to exist.
Any living organism being part of any existing world has, in principle, but two alternatives: To maintain a situation as it is, or to change it in a possible way. "Decisions" to choose one alternative instead of the other are all based on the questions of wether to gain, leave, avoid or keep.
To live is constantly to be in states of opposition. While, to some degree, being socially integrated, and at the same time individually isolated, living beings have to react and adapt to a material world.
To survive and to reproduce, an organism need to “understand” a situation in order to “act” adequately. Humans, with an ability to reflect on a variety of situations, even managed to spread all over the world.
Regardless of species and situation every single organism constantly has to make "decisions" by weighing opposites against opposites, and the process of doing so is the purpose of consciousness of some kind.
However strange this may seem, we've separated our Mind from the rest of us, and instead of being able to understanding consciousness we've got “the Mind-Body problem”.
In the western tradition we are taught to look upon opposites as two conflicting ideas about something; not as parts of a process. Usually we are looking for objects and properties, ie "reductionism", while in fact we are looking at a process of interacting opposites.
Doing so we ended up in trouble, eg when physicists found that different correct and fundamental pictures of the world not necessarily was “true” at the same time. Moreover, we do not even know the full meaning of the word “exist”.
That some of our very own decisions obviously are inadequate to the global situation, is of course a bit more serious.
Usually we are associating “consciousness” with humans and “instincts” with animals, hereby indicating that we are superior to animals. But we do not really know the meaning of these two words.
Dissociating ourselves from the other animals, an old religious trick, has made us blind to our own fundamental nature. A business where this blindness, ie “objectivity”, is imperative is Science which has been very profitable to us. But nothing is for free.
We are of course different in a lot of ways. But, even if our cognitive abilities are specific to the human species, the fundamentals of human consciousness cannot be distinguished from that of the amoeba. To gain, leave, avoid and keep are allways present and active imperatives in all acts of consciousness; even in the subconscious.
An answer to our question, which applies to you and Einstein as well as to the amoeba, is: Consciousness is fundamentally a function of all living organisms for survival, well-being and development.
A question to be asked
“Consciousness” is, for a lot of reasons and unreasons, a Big Problem for Science. Consequently Science, ie human Minds asking scientific questions, is defined and carried out by people who do not know how a Mind is working.
In spite of that, Science has become the ruler and shrink of society and the result of this is a lot of serious problems for all human beeings as well as for the rest of the world.
Solutions may be found by asking a quite simple question which, strangely enough, neither scientists nor philosophers are asking.
This question is: Why consciousness?