Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by g0pher, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. Were we concious as sperms? I know this is a stupid and elementary question, but ???
  2. Probably on the level of a plant or so I'd bet. We could sense our surroundings and react to them in order to get to the egg and get inside it. Our subconscious might have been going nuts though with no brain to limit it. However that could be seen as the first seperation and limitation of the mind, into just a code that would one day become a brain. Very thought provoking question g0ph, gotta hand it to ya :D
  3. No, we were not. There is nothing like a brain inside of a sperm, nothing that could facilitate consciousness. Unless they find something like a mini-sperm brain, that will be my position. :p
  4. Great swimmers though :D

  5. So plants don't have consciousness either because they have no brain? I see consciousness as being able to react to surroundings, (awareness) and when that sperm hits an egg it sure acts like it knows it hit something and has a purpose to fulfill when it does. (get inside)
  6. only one was, only one.
  7. A plant is very different from a sperm, though I will not say they have a consciousness, as I have not seen a scientific study that really proves that, I will say that I believe it is likely that they have some form of, for lack of a better word, consciousness. Single celled organisms eat, I do not think they are rationalizing it though. I do not think they are "aware".

  8. So they aren't aware of what they are eating you think? They move towards something they don't understand as being necesarry for survival?

    So what drives them?
  9. Instinct.
  10. Instinct contains knowledge of food and not food, right?
  11. Consciousness and awareness seem hand in hand to me. A sperm or plant must have some awareness. To say otherwise would be the same as saying they are preprogrammed, or that they are chain predetermined chemical reactions. They respond to stimuli, and so they must be aware of what they are responding to. I'm not saying these things are self-conscious, that is a higher level of consciousness.

    The reason there is no scientific study that proves if a plant or something has consciousness is that: it is completely dependent on how you define consciousness.
  12. Definitely along the lines of what I was thinking Azimuthal, good post. Low level consciousness, yes- high level self-awareness, most likely not.
  13. i disagree with a sperm(or anything) being conscious because it reacts to its surroundings. This is a simple chemical reaction.

    is a battery conscious because it only lets current flow when a circuit is connected?
    are acids and bases conscious of one another when they react?

    no its just a chemical process
  14. a sperm is a cell, simple as that and it is pre-programed by dna and such to wiggle its tail and since there are millions of them one is probably going to bump into and egg. unless the skin cell on your arm has some conciosness sperm does'nt.
  15. Alright, let's say the sperm has found an egg, you are now a zygote. Are you conscious now?
  16. To parallel what you said earlier Azimuthal,
    Consciousness, subjectivity and judgement go hand in hand.

    you arent truely conscious until you can look at your surroundings, and make (subjective) judgements. Thats what makes us different than simple cells, cells act simply on a chemical level where we have the ability to assess our situation and make judgements

    Thats my best shot at explaining it. Consciousness is an incredible field of psychology, philosophy and neuroscience and i dont think we can fully develop the idea of consciousness

  17. Our whole brain is a chemical reaction- the difference between a battery and a living thing is that life seeks to perserve itself. They react to each other I'd imagine are aware of each other. It's just not self-awareness, a chemical reaction- sure, but it's still the basis behind consciousness in the first place.

    I think it's just low-level consciousness because they don't have a brain yet contain the code for one. Something so complex is different than a simple acid or base- it contains the ability to re-arrange atoms into a being that can manipulate the world around it. Air, water and food become a baby which has the ability to move things at will, one day with reason on top of that. I think there is a spark, just not the roaring fire like we are used to calling consciousness and awareness.
  18. Plants don't actively seek out food, but simply grow. Where their roots/leaves pass into sustenance they flourish, where not, they die.

    However, I do believe that plants have a level of consciousness.

    We've got to be careful equating consciousness with a level of intelligence. Consciousness is self-awareness - everything you feel and think takes place within that mental ground. It comes before all conscious analysis, so doesn't require 'thinking' as a process to be based upon. We recognise our existence before all else.

    Although a sperm is on whole just reacting to hormones, temperature and various chemicals in it and its surroundings, does it have self-awareness? A sense that it exists? For what it's worth, I'd say yes.

  19. Yes our brain is just a bunch of chemical reactions, but why do those chemical reactions start, because we tell them to.
    if we were just a bunch of chemical reactions, we would have no free-will, only chemical-will.
    I think our subjective minds and chemical brain tie into one another, subjective actions results in physical change
    Perhaps there is some romanticist in me showing through in this belief
    But biofeedback, meditation and mental conditioning (forgive the cliche, but 'Mind over Matter), and simple imagination change how we feel. For example if we imagine some sexual fantasy, it illicits sexual arousal.

    Again, you may argue that our decision to imagine some sexual fantasy was just a chemical reaction, however i try to believe that there is some free-will in our minds.

    Of course i cannot argue that chemicals dont make us feel a certain way, that is obvious when you take certain drugs or react to electro stimulation (in lab environment)
    But i think the origin of these feelings is our mind, and that our thoughts trigger chemical reactions
  20. Quote: "...but why do those chemical reactions start, because we tell them to.
    if we were just a bunch of chemical reactions, we would have no free-will, only chemical-will..."

    We don't start chemical reactions by telling them to, they happen by themselves.


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