Qualia and trees

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by lavouivre » 07 Feb 2011, 20:39

DJ Droood wrote:
Lily wrote:You can ascribe it to anything, including a rock, if you absolutely want to, but then it becomes spirituality and in terms of philosophy, you are succumbing to the pathetic fallacy.
We will only say bad things about our car (Yarisa) if she is out of earshot. When we are driving her, we only say positive things, about how hard she is trying, etc.
Sounds wise, especially after watching Christine... !

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Attila » 07 Feb 2011, 21:09

I also don't Agree with Attila that germs and other rudimentary creatures, and by extension, plants, have a "base level thinking".
Mind or consciousness [may be different in its complexity] is not physical and is probably universal like an ocean, when I say rudimentary creatures have mind I am more thinking that the whole of nature does. This is different to ‘thinking’ as the consciousness is not particular to the organism. You should ask yourself what kind of thinking or consciousness/mindfulness humans have and if that is purely physical ~ because it definitely is not! Once we see that our own minds are not of the physical body [even if some areas of thought itself is reliant on sensory input] then we have to start seeing it as universal. What science claims the world to be is a load of hogwash, that is to say it is entirely right but it is entirely missing most of what the world is.

We don’t know if qualia need the same kind of physical input in every instance, but we do know that pain is subjective and hence a qualia of mind. We also know that trees react to light and hence their instrumentation probably enables them to experience the qualia of colour. Certainly flowers etc utilise colour very effectively to lure insects to them, so when we consider that colour is simply not present in the physical world, then surely we must consider the possibility that flowers and trees etc have some way in which they understand the qualia of colour!

It may still be so that their ‘understanding’ is purely on the experiential level as I would expect, but this asks a lot of questions about what that level of consciousness entails. To experience there surely has to be something ~ a consciousness in some manner, a living being which has some sense of what it and its surroundings are. I don’t expect it to be anything like what our experience is.
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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Jake » 07 Feb 2011, 23:58

Attila wrote:You should ask yourself what kind of thinking or consciousness/mindfulness humans have and if that is purely physical ~ because it definitely is not! Once we see that our own minds are not of the physical body [even if some areas of thought itself is reliant on sensory input] then we have to start seeing it as universal.
The mind is not of the body? So do you know a lot of people who do a lot of thinking with their heads chopped off?
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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Nicholaas » 08 Feb 2011, 02:07

Jake wrote:
Attila wrote:You should ask yourself what kind of thinking or consciousness/mindfulness humans have and if that is purely physical ~ because it definitely is not! Once we see that our own minds are not of the physical body [even if some areas of thought itself is reliant on sensory input] then we have to start seeing it as universal.
The mind is not of the body? So do you know a lot of people who do a lot of thinking with their heads chopped off?
Exactly. The notion of a mind/body, mind/brain duality is a false dichotomy. "Mind", consciousness, whatever, is an extension - or process of - the brain itself. There is no disembodied consciousness inhabiting the celestial ether that we are all "tapped" into (and if there is, it's doing a great job of hiding itself from us).
"Everything is right for me, which is right for you, O Universe. Nothing for me is too early or too late, which comes in due time for you. Everything is fruit to me which your seasons bring, O Nature. From you are all things, in you are all things, to you all things return."
-Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Attila » 08 Feb 2011, 20:59

The mind is not of the body? So do you know a lot of people who do a lot of thinking with their heads chopped off?
Exactly. The notion of a mind/body, mind/brain duality is a false dichotomy. "Mind", consciousness, whatever, is an extension - or process of - the brain itself. There is no disembodied consciousness inhabiting the celestial ether that we are all "tapped" into (and if there is, it's doing a great job of hiding itself from us).
Instead of spouting out opinions based on a limited understanding of the subject, perhaps you care to tackle the question in hand? Firstly get an understanding of what qualia are, then ask yourselves; does information exist? Now also ask yourselves if what we think are qualia and information!

There is no mind/body dichotomy, the Cartesian view is limited and uniformed compared with today’s understanding. The mind reads from sensory input all of which are experienced by us in terms of qualia and not electromagnetic energy [which can be produced outside of the body and denotes no consciousness whatsoever]. Reality is multifaceted and something that can be information, qualia, archetypes, principles, dimensions or any kind of energy ~ all of which are transferable just as entity and spatial locations are. The world doesn’t come in bits that are completely separated, the whole thing is made up of interchangeable elements and facets…

Something like this below is a good place to start, then we can get back to the topic in hand.

What is the world [not; what is reality]

The world consists of real and unreal, existent and imaginary things, it may/must also contain unreal realities and real illusions, this due to the fact we can mix the unreal with the real in our minds then place that back into the ’real world’. philosophically we can grant the perspective view where ’world’ is anywhere we live or could be in some manner, it could be any location in the universe or outside of space-time, our experience of the world is then of such a locational perspective. We may not be able to go outside of space-time but the world contains it and is thus more than that which it contains.

The hyper fluid reality map

What is the most fluid thing? … the world must be one thing that can be anything [where here a ‘thing’ is any given ‘it’ or ‘x’ and not specifically an existent item].

Light can divide into as many photons or virtual particles as the world allows for, if there is another particle around photons will behave as they are supposed to - if you will, if there are no other particles around then a photon can divide. What is light or energy generally as a field? That field can become a wave a particle or any number of particles without breaking the laws of conservation. Any kind of energy field, particle or pattern/wave can be changed into any other, thus really can we not talk about energy as a single thing that can be any aspect of itself physically [electron, photon/wave, particle etc].

1 is 2, 2 is 1 there is no ‘1’ or ‘2’ and that is not a contradiction, the world is literally like that. If you fire two photons at two slits and you get three lights in the shape of the slits on the paper on the other side. This means that the two photons become three during the process, and from this scientist presume a virtual particle field. For example; you could understand this duality if I were holding a glass of water, and we said that in an alt universe the glass is being drunk by both me and you in our differing respective universes. It is presumed in this theory that there is a layer of virtual particles from which an endless amount of universes may occur, but I contest that it only occurs where it occurs specifically rather than everywhere, otherwise each and every particle would be dividing ‘everywhere’ which would make any kind of solid state implausible. That argument aside, what I am saying is that we should be thinking of the world as a single thing which can distort and change into a many faceted thing, that it is one and many things at once.
…a hyper-fluid!

On this note I would also like to add that when particles are frozen to almost absolute zero they start ‘agreeing or collaborating with each other’ in a strange quantum effect [like hydrogen super-fluid], and here the super-fluid created can pass through physical objects as if like water through a sponge. This makes me wonder if one aspect of the ‘hyper-fluid’ arranges itself as a kind of cosmic harmony or statelessness, after all ‘the most fluidic thing’ would surely have such a nature as base, such that it can then potentially take any form and more than one form at once. Such a stateless entity would not be bound by anything and wouldn’t have to be defined as infinite or finite, it simply has no state. once we arrive at this there are no paradoxes, the world doesn’t have to be explained as an infinite place or multiverse, it is simply that which has all infinity to expand into or a specific space or entity where it so needs. It is one and many things.

Does information exist?

No, it has no energy form, and yet it is part of the makeup of the world, when a particle or instrument ‘observes’ a photon [in the more recent double slit experiments] it must surely be exchanging information with it, such that the photon behaves accordingly [you fire two photons at two slits and they remain like bullets instead of taking on weird quantum effects]. This is probably partly mechanistic and ‘imaginary’/informational just as in our minds mechanistic particle/wave information from the senses becomes mental info ~ which is really a very different thing.

So now our hyper-fluid has taken on the extra dimensions of ‘mind’ and non mechanistic information, really mechanistic info is simply objects or waves changing shape, or in our computers a lot of on/off switches, it is not information as a discreet entity until it enters our minds. Where we can separate something we know to be of the world ~ here being informational thought, from another thing we know to be of the world ~ mechanistic ‘info’, we can then say that ‘world’ contains both. So now we can say that something which doesn’t ‘exist’ I.e. mind is equally part of ‘the world’ [there can only be one world], and that just as other aspects of the world can merge and change from one to the other [e.g. electrons to photons] so too can information and mind. That is if we consider mind and info to be the same thing, yet I would entertain the idea they are not. Mind and info may be transferable like energies but differing minds utilise differing kinds of information, it certainly seams apparent that mind can subjectively separate itself from info ~ by this it can then observe and understand that info
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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Dendrias » 09 Feb 2011, 17:36

I don't know a lot of people who could think with their lungs or heart torn away!
But I've seen loads of heads that were able to think speak and even dring without their bodies. So the head-mind-correlation must be right.
I'm not quite sure about the mind being an extension/process of the brain. Whatever I know about the brain is that there are a lot of areas having electrical activity. If "consciousness" or "mind" is equal to "electrical activity" then my toaster must be a god, sometimes. I'm no specialist in brain-knowledge, but as far as I understood, certain activities can be done without certain parts of the brain. I'm very keen to learn about that. In addition, as mind is defined by holy-wikipedia as "combinations of thought, perception, memory, emotion, will, and imagination, including all unconscious cognitive processes", it would be very nice to learn about that as well - where is "will, imagination, memory" in the brain?

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Attila » 10 Feb 2011, 23:52

If "consciousness" or "mind" is equal to "electrical activity" then my toaster must be a god, sometimes
Haha I liked that. :grin:
"combinations of thought, perception, memory, emotion, will, and imagination, including all unconscious cognitive processes",
Thought = information and experience both of which are not physical. Memory is physical [apparently] but it would take an incredible amount of physical memory to remember even one scene e.g. where we look at a countryside view or whatever [not to mention that people without memories are still people]. The will cannot plausibly be electrical, the imagination is a whole different kettle of fish altogether [e.g. what is it that we ‘see’ when we dream [same question for normal sight]] then the emotions and absolutely everything we experience in the mind IS NOT PHYSICAL! It is QUALIA and that IS NOT PHYSICAL!

Personally when I see a flower I see a little bee face as it is a relationship, right [so the flower mirrors the bee ~ as it experiences the bee], nature is alive, the flowers and trees are alive, aliveness IS NOT PHYSICAL. I don’t think trees feel pain, in fact that’s what’s so cool about them, the Buddha looked to a tree because it is ‘detached’ [just as druids probably did ~ or something like that].
the truth is naked.
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genius is the result of the entire product of man.
death cannot be experienced.
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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Lily » 11 Feb 2011, 07:11

Cannot... incredible amounts...
Attila, you are underestimating the power of the human brain...
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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Attila » 11 Feb 2011, 20:45

Attila, you are underestimating the power of the human brain...
Perhaps, [maybe science overestimates it!] but I think the memory remembers only the physical mechanistic info [not sure how it could remeber non physical info and qualia?]. I would visualise this as similar to a wireframe scenery you get in computer games, whereas the skins and colour added to that and the veg/characters etc are all qualia [not physical]. This leads to an interesting possible conclusion; that qualia are of the world and not purely of our minds, that the brain and mind are simply vehicles which connects us with that. This means our subjectivity is largely of perspective rather than actual thought qualia, which is philosophically revolutionary as it makes us a part of the world to a far greater level than we ever thought. :) good day for a revolution i'd say. :D

When someone chops our heads off or we die etc, then qualia and all our qualities of mind remain part of the world, there is simply a transmigration of entity and spatial locations.
the truth is naked.
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what is life; life is not a question.
genius is the result of the entire product of man.
death cannot be experienced.
life is not brought to us in slices of unrealised perfection, we get the whole cake.

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Lily » 11 Feb 2011, 23:48

Attila wrote:
Perhaps, [maybe science overestimates it!] but I think the memory remembers only the physical mechanistic info [not sure how it could remeber non physical info and qualia?].
we remember feelings too...
When someone chops our heads off or we die etc, then qualia and all our qualities of mind remain part of the world, there is simply a transmigration of entity and spatial locations.
How? where to? Have you met the remnants of a deceased Persons mind? I haven't, but then again maybe I Am just closed minded.
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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Attila » 12 Feb 2011, 01:10

we remember feelings too...
Indeed but what I would ask is does the memory simply connect us to that feeling, then we experience that memory as mental qualia [as that is all we experience] because the physical memory simulates what such an emotion would be like.
How? where to? Have you met the remnants of a deceased Persons mind? I haven't, but then again maybe I Am just closed minded.
Well we have to qualify weather or not qualia are of the world or the mind, it isn’t really a matter of how we feel about it ~ I certainly don’t think you’re closed minded and you verily should question this stuff to the fullest extent as you are doing so. :) I was brought up in an atheist household so I have no problem if that is the truth, however I find it lacking - very much so!
I would go with the idea that our qualia are part of our reality map, kinda like a matrix, then it is by that we move between bodies and realms ~ ‘ to see the world in a grain of sand’ [blake] ~ the whole is within the particular, ...if you can explain an object then you can explain the world.
the truth is naked.
once it is written it is lost.
what is life; life is not a question.
genius is the result of the entire product of man.
death cannot be experienced.
life is not brought to us in slices of unrealised perfection, we get the whole cake.

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Lily » 12 Feb 2011, 12:45

as usual, you've managed to talk me into confusion, and I will rest my argument here.
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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by reilz81 » 12 Feb 2011, 13:18

well i dont know much about science unfortunatly i left highschool right when they were starting to teach it i have read about this qualia thing its an interesting concept if it can be applied to trees im not sure some trees have defense mechanisms and grow coloured flowers to deter enemies but that isnt to do with pain perhaps of fear but im not sure i know one thing you stab a tree it bleeds just like anyone else it uses sap to fill the wound if the wound is too great or it is stabbed too often the tree can die if its pain or from the loss of sap i dont know science is all about guess work though imo trees feel pain but deal with it differently to us and it takes a great amount to be critical to the trees growth i have experienced trees that have been hurt and then changing what they do or becuming sick and dying

one thing i will mention a little off topic up until the age of 13 or 14 i dreamed only in black and white when i reached that age full color i just got thinking reading that wikipedia article about qualia and wondering if there is something to do with that lots to think about anyway

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Attila » 13 Feb 2011, 17:44

I am tempted to conclude that trees don’t feel pain even though they ‘experience’ changes that occur to them and their environment. Our nervous system is designed to create pain so we can respond quickly to situations, yet trees and flora don’t react quickly! Without knowing what kind of electromagnetic matrix they have [or if qualia need that], then we cannot say what they feel - if at all or experience. we can say that from a philosophical perspective if they react with colour to environmental or internal conditions, they must experience qualia! This is because colour is not a physical thing [widely accepted fact].
one thing i will mention a little off topic up until the age of 13 or 14 i dreamed only in black and white when i reached that age full color i just got thinking reading that wikipedia article about qualia and wondering if there is something to do with that lots to think about anyway.
that’s interesting, can you be sure you never dreamt in colour prior to that? I am too old to remember if I could but it would be interesting to know if its generally true that children don’t dream in colour, all I know is that as far back into my teens as I can remember I dreamt in colour. Other than that then in your case it may be that your brain didn’t see the need to provide colour info to the mind or the mind didn’t feel it needed to read dreams in that resolution.

Some scientists say we all dream in black and white, god knows why they think that, presumably its because the eyes see in 2D black and white.
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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by reilz81 » 15 Feb 2011, 13:14

yeah i remember on many ocastions i would complain to my mother that they were black and white and can vividly remember my first color dream was as if someone had turned the lights on and as far as scientists and sight including dreams is concerned i think they have alot of work to do i imagine it must be a hard thing to study

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by lavouivre » 15 Feb 2011, 15:21

That's interesting, that you dreamed in black and white! I only remember dreaming in colors.
I wish we could go back to our very first dream as toddlers. This whole qualia discussion is fascinating.

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Attila » 15 Feb 2011, 20:41

reilz81
yeah i remember on many ocastions i would complain to my mother that they were black and white and can vividly remember my first color dream was as if someone had turned the lights on and as far as scientists and sight including dreams is concerned i think they have a lot of work to do i imagine it must be a hard thing to study
It is made harder by those who object to the notion of qualia [see below], but it can only be as difficult as it is for us to think ~ because that is what qualia are, what you experience in your head is them.

Personally I think its not as simple as there being qualia and consciousness and the brain/sensual input, the whole thing seams very intertwined and multifaceted to me.

I expect there is only consciousness and sensory input which it reads, the mind is kinda like a hall of mirrors.

lavouivre

Hi. There is a chap [Daniel Dennett] who denies that qualia even exist! In the link below is a paper containing the general outline of the argument, so far I have yet to see how it proves anything he just seams like he tries to loose us in ambiguity. He poses arguments like how we taste orange differently if say we drink it first thing in the morning or after drinking coffee, as if that means orange has no taste of its own [even if that taste is subjective to us]. What he has yet to do is say what colour literally is, he just says that we could invert the spectrum in the brain and then we would see opposite colours, but that doesn’t explain what colour is [to him nothing [?]] it just explains that our instrumentation [in the brain] can be faulty.

http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/quinqual.htm

On the theme of toddler dreams, apparently we only see by knowing; a baby can physically see perfectly but at first only seen a blur of light until they can start forming objects by sensory input of them. I cannot remember also but I presume a child having less knowledge and more fantasy would have some very interesting dreams.

-------------

I am currently debating this with philosophers so when I find a way to crack their logic I’ll get back to you all on it. :old: :D
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what is life; life is not a question.
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death cannot be experienced.
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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Dendrias » 18 Feb 2011, 20:28

I hate to interrupt the discussion on qualia solely. It's interesting.
Nico wrote:I think you need to define what you mean with 'feeling' and 'pain' first.
In that other thread that was mixed up in very confusing ways, sometimes meaning 'physical reaction to damage', sometimes 'emotional stress', and mostly something that that kept changing meaning. So, could you define as exactly as possible what you mean by those terms first?
I started this thread with the intent of giving Nico some starting point for something he wouldn't want to say in the other thread. Nico, somehow, disappeared and the suspension literally pulled my feet away. Because of that, I forgot to post the answer to Nico's question. Perhaps, we can get him back in here, when the idea of trees is being touched, again.

Nico, in the face of what I think about the existence, reality or whatever of qualia,
"pain" is the fact that "it hurts",
"feeling" is the fact that someone is feeling something somehow. And that's the question, isn't it? What is meant by "feeling"? To ask for a definition of it is, imho, to divert a question into a labyrinth of useless definitions. Like "define define", for example.

I made a connection between the question, whether trees feel pain and qualia, because the question of qualia itself shows that to talk about "feeling pain" for other beings is to transpose private concepts of "feeling pain" to other beings, per se. Which seems to be as fair as denying it for others. Imho.

The fact that I made that connection was not intended, though, to keep You, Nico, away from the topic. I'm still very interested in what You think. That's why I started this thread for. If my choice of connection did indeed keep You away because it was made impossible to share Your thoughts in this thread, feel free to voice Your thoughts in here, may they be off-topic or not.

I'm not quite sure, whether it can be right to say (I'm going backwards a bit - not to disturb the discussion at this point, but to give voice to my thoughts to a comment from earlier on) that plants can't feel pain because it is of no need to them. If that was so, I wouldn't be able to feel headache, toothache or stomach-ache, as I cannot avoid what is causing this pain. But I've not thought it fully through, yet.

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed by Nicholaas's statement, that ""Mind", consciousness, whatever, is an extension - or process of - the brain itself." Because it is the starting point of the mind-body-discussion. Not the conclusion. To state it as the conclusion, to state it as unfallible fact, would be to call hundreds of philosophers fools, would be to dismiss half of the debate as useless with no argument, at all. That's disappointing.

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Attila » 18 Feb 2011, 22:18

I'm not quite sure, whether it can be right to say that plants can't feel pain because it is of no need to them. If that was so, I wouldn't be able to feel headache, toothache or stomach-ache, as I cannot avoid what is causing this pain.
Horizon done a program on this recently, there are people who don’t feel pain at all, one woman said how she was sat on a radiator [looking out the window waiting for her father] without realising it burned after a while, her mother had to literally tear her off it. Pain is a most necessary thing, without it we would not know we are being destroyed in some way. I don’t know if that extends to trees, though they do try to protect themselves within their means. It is more likely that they don’t feel pain at least how we do, but first they need consciousness as quale exist where that meets sensory input. My feelings on this are that with creatures, where do we stop saying they have consciousness? After humans animals, ...I would go all the way to the simplest forms like jellyfish [which have four ‘brains’] then ask if plants that seam to act like animals and vice versa are also conscious? That life itself is! I think all life must share that consciousness. Perhaps it’s a bit of a hierarchy like a dimmer switch.
the truth is naked.
once it is written it is lost.
what is life; life is not a question.
genius is the result of the entire product of man.
death cannot be experienced.
life is not brought to us in slices of unrealised perfection, we get the whole cake.

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Re: Qualia and trees

Post by Heddwen » 18 Feb 2011, 23:17

Just a short input, I gave birth to my second child, my son with very little analgesia. I had prepared myself by practising very deep meditative states and accessed this during my labour with him. Obviously I knew exactly what to expect which made things easier. Just saying...that these things are possible. As humans we all experience things differently and on this occasion I had a high pain threshold i.e. I wasn't a screamer :-)

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