23 Nov 2014
Consciousness, Neurology, and Physiology connections to a potential singularity
The law of cause and effect is an age-old concept that has lodged it’s way into so many subjects of study. It is universal to all cultures. Common sense is also a common association. Anything that happens is then an effect of a prior cause. But tracking the true cause may actually be quite difficult, or right near impossible. This is because the factors that might contribute or factor into the eventual decision or are exponential and potentially multi-layered. Sometimes a decision is the culmination of several other decisions, and sometimes even a collaboration of several individuals coming together to make a decision. The decision then is relationally dependent. The effect may or may not then be dependent upon further negotiations of new information and new predictions etc.
Many breath-taking new breakthroughs have happened in the last couple of decades in the area of neurology, and prosthetics. Prosthesis practitioners have been able to connect neurological feeling to prosthetic and bionic appendages. It would seem a miracle. The ethical parameters have been stretched, and many have raised their voices in contrast to this new discovery of science. Cybernetic bridges are made from the brain to the lesser nerve endings at the end of the appendage. Recipients have reported actual feeling from their prosthetic extensions. So the brain has been partially tricked into thinking the original arm is there, or was the brain supposed to have the original arm for a perfect fit in the first place. If connections could be made perfectly, would the individual be able to detect a difference from his original arm and the new arm?
Is the brain the end of consciousness? Is all that we understand cognitively, sensually, and psychologically actually contained in the brain? Or perhaps the larger whole body nervous system shares the consciousness we have? But what if there is more? What if the brain is like a main control board, what if someone sits behind the control board that gives commands to this physiological biological system that is beyond our empirical understanding? What if this level of control is non-manipulative? There is a concept in neurology called neuroplasticity, which allows the brain to rewire itself according to new data. New data could be new information, but new information could actually lead to new belief systems which actually change our perception of reality. This of course, is much more catastrophic. But at some point, there should be something in control. Perhaps control is outside ourselves, but perhaps this is where the concept of a soul comes in. Perhaps our consciousness is not actually attached to our body, but is our soul. Soul this would explain out of body experiences, dreams, eternity, and many other spiritual dimensions.
Perhaps a more alarming question is: “Can the soul be taught to consider a body that it is foreign as in control?” This is, of course, a matter of ethical concern. But I believe that God created us to be more then our biological bodies. If this is so, then ethics perhaps need not be so sensitive, so much as being concerned with giving technology permission to making choices that are preprogrammed and synthetic in nature. If humans are intrinsically in control, singularity would be technically impossible, but control would be “handed-over” to our own technologically advancement. It would mean that human discovery ceases, and preprogrammed discovery and predictions would advance what society becomes. Our advancements in technology could lead us to a place of intellectual laziness, not because we are incapable of learning more, but because we have let our technology make linear, even quantum-level calculations, that were themselves originally the creation of man. The greatest discovery of history will still be that of man who created the machine, who then gave up.