Do abstract things and spiritual things exist in addition to

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GoonSquad
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22 May 2015, 11:39 am

^^^ Well said.

People who use science to prove God are wrong, in large part because they are limiting God.

People who limit existence to what they can see and prove by science are limiting themselves.


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AngelRho
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22 May 2015, 1:19 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
Brain states are brain states. Brain states are not numbers. Numbers are numbers. I want to see a physical number. Not a numeral. Not a symbol that represents numbers. Not a brain state of someone thinking about numbers. I mean an ACTUAL number.

If you say numbers are real, you're admitting that things and ideas beyond physical reality are real.


Okay, if you insist on defining numbers in that way, then, no, numbers as you want them to be do not exist.

Numbers are simply tools, cognitive tools, that human beings use to make sense of the world. It's just a tool humans use to quantify actual physical objects, but the tool itself is not, and needn't be, physical, except as a brain state because that's where they are used.

Do you think numbers are real or not? I'm really confused about this point. Whether I want numbers to exist or not is a red herring. This thread isn't about wishful thinking. It's not really about numbers, either, but numbers are understood to be abstract, and that is why they are relevant. "1" is essentially meaningless in physical terms. If you take the empiricist view that only what is physical can exist, then you pretty much have to wipe out all numbers and, in fact, all descriptive language as well. Empiricism is illogical, btw. It's "not even wrong."

The problem with number as a cognitive tool being a brain state is that the nervous system is responsible for responding to stimuli. You can't have a brain state without first having something to respond to. Singular individuals, cardinality, and ordinals (as examples) have to exist first before the brain can process those as 1, 10, 4th. I can't scientifically back this up, of course, but I think that there is a distinct separation between "brain" and "mind," the mind being the consciousness that chooses what to do with data, while the brain is a physical organ that collects and responds to it.

As such, actual numbers cannot be brain states. They CAN be cognitive tools. But they cannot exclusively be brain states. They have to exist apart from chemical reactions within the nervous system (in order to be detected externally…we've been aware of numbers long before fMRI).

So we're aware of numbers even if they physically do not exist. Something does not have to physically exist in order to actually exist. Existence doesn't have to be limited physical existence.



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22 May 2015, 1:39 pm

GoonSquad wrote:

Quote:
You could write the number "1" or spell it out "one," or even use a variable in its place. Fine. But all that does is manifest a physically written symbolic language the represents the abstract. If that counts as "real," then God is real by virtue of the fact I can write the word "God." If numbers are real by virtue of the fact that thinking of numbers induces a brain state, then the spiritual world is real by virtue of the fact that it induces brain states.


I can totally agree that thinking about God and the spiritual world induces a 'real' brain state. However, there is NO REASON to think that God or the spiritual world exist beyond the brain state they induce.

Your reasoning does not compute here.

It doesn't compute because it's absurd. In other words, you see my point. Writing or thinking something doesn't magically make it real. I disagree with your later statement, but that's beside the point. You simply don't believe in numbers. If they have no existence beyond "brain states," which I think is questionable, or the mind, they aren't real. You seem to be going along with the "only what is physical is real" idea. If so, then no numbers.

If you believe numbers DO exist beyond "brain states" or whatever, then you believe that reality includes the abstract.

And if something that is abstract is considered real, then it follows that non-physical things can be real things, too, since we know of AT LEAST one non-physical thing that is said to be real. Other non-physical things are either real or they aren't. So we HAVE to ask the question of whether spiritual things are included with non-physical AND physical things that are real or are not real. If we say God is not real, then why?



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22 May 2015, 2:16 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
^^^ Well said.

People who use science to prove God are wrong, in large part because they are limiting God.

People who limit existence to what they can see and prove by science are limiting themselves.


You know Goon Squad; it's funny, truly,
'people all over are alike';
and yes; that's truly sad too...

And with that said, I 'must' include my favorite 'Twilight Zone'
show clip that illustrates that in the Art of Theater so well..:)





The same behaviors here and limitations of open minded folks verses closed minded folks are alike everywhere I go on the Internet and flesh and blood 'real' life, and even in the International Poetry circle I hang in, which shouldn't be unexpected as many poets are extreme introverts who use the medium of poetry to express emotions that are repressed in real flesh and blood life, as I did at first, before I am able to connect language and emotions in both verbal and non verbal ways in flesh and blood life.

For me I use poetry as a stepping stone out of text; and obviously some folks only live their emotional lives in real life in their arts, whether that is writing, poetry, painting, dance, singing, martial arts, theater, and a thousand more arts that people escape the flesh and blood world to find a soul, heart, and spirit as expressed in art.

My cousin is a 33 year veteran of the Rock And Roll world, as a noted local musician who sings, drums, guitars, and does most everything with music on a stage. However, he is an extreme introvert and likely on the Autism Spectrum as my sister and I are diagnosed in mid-life with the same characteristics among identical twin brothers who sire us all; and of note, one who passes away, my father, last year on this day, for my personal recognition of that personable fact.

My cousin tells me even though he can do everything he can on stage, he feels invisible when he walks in Walmart, which is certainly indicative of a mind and body out of balance, as when one does have mind and body balance ONE with the rest of nature aka GOD, one never feels invisible or alone, as one is connected to Nature always, never separated or alone.

Some folks call my poetry unique and extremely creative, rich in meaning like old adages come anew, and some folks never can even find it, who call themselves poets, as well, who would love to limit the poetry and art of others to reflect their own Universe as limited as that may be; as of course all our Universes are limited to our innate potentials and what we adapt in challenge to in life, as experience, to grow in mind and body balance or not in the metaphors of soul, heart, and spirit, for this real life internal and external expressed human stuff.

But anyway, you say it better than I do, according to my narrower minded Poet friends who love brevity over breadth, and according to me you said it just as good as I did, in two lines, rather than the 100 I do that some folks think should be eliminated from their Universe, just 'cause it exists in mine, and not theirs, sadly and strangely enough to me, as I live in a different Universe too..:)

So with ALL that said I will quote what you say for truth, as well, again:

"People who use science to prove God are wrong, in large part because they are limiting God.

People who limit existence to what they can see and prove by science are limiting themselves."

As truly these two simple lines of truth apply to all things in life,
otherwise known as what I understand as the Interdependent
Relationship of All Stuff, 'seen' and 'unseen', aka GOD..:)

Have a great day friend; I love people with open minds dearly.

I love people with closed minds just as much, but OMG sometimes
they CAN make it oh so very hard, to keep that strong;
but Unconditional Tough Love is worth it as anything
ELSE is just shooting oneself in the
foot and eye
of
i.:)


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techstepgenr8tion
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22 May 2015, 3:40 pm

There are still so many things that can be experienced but apparently not approximated in a lab. There've been people throughout history who've thought they saw a town or a glade of woods on fire, the way Moses thought he saw a bush burning, got concerned if it was the town over trying to get help, just to find out that their own minds were projecting the image of the fire.


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22 May 2015, 4:08 pm

AngelRho wrote:
As such, actual numbers cannot be brain states. They CAN be cognitive tools. But they cannot exclusively be brain states. They have to exist apart from chemical reactions within the nervous system (in order to be detected externally…we've been aware of numbers long before fMRI).


But WE DO NOT DETECT NUMBERS. What we do is detect multiple objects in the physical world and then we use the cognitive tool, numbers, to quantify them.

Quote:
So we're aware of numbers even if they physically do not exist. Something does not have to physically exist in order to actually exist. Existence doesn't have to be limited physical existence.


So, how does your nervous system detect external things that do not physically exist? Are you psychic?

My nervous system can only detect things, internal and external, that actually, physically exist. :roll:

:P


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GoonSquad
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22 May 2015, 4:26 pm

AngelRho wrote:

If you believe numbers DO exist beyond "brain states" or whatever, then you believe that reality includes the abstract.

And if something that is abstract is considered real, then it follows that non-physical things can be real things, too, since we know of AT LEAST one non-physical thing that is said to be real. Other non-physical things are either real or they aren't. So we HAVE to ask the question of whether spiritual things are included with non-physical AND physical things that are real or are not real. If we say God is not real, then why?


Okay, so you still haven't explained why abstract things MUST exist somehow outside the human brain.

Things like numbers, languages, and even scientific laws are all simply mental constructs that humans need in order to let their brains process sensory inputs about the world.

You seem to be stuck in a very Platonic view of the universe. But there really doesn't seem to be any NEED for this to be true.

Why do you think numbers or language or whatever other abstract thing NEEDS to exist outside the brain?

It seems to me that if "human language" existed outside of human brains, we'd only have a single, universal one.

I'd say the reason we have so many, is because many different brains developed many different languages independently.


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GoonSquad
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22 May 2015, 4:34 pm

aghogday wrote:

But anyway, you say it better than I do, according to my narrower minded Poet friends who love brevity over breadth, and according to me you said it just as good as I did, in two lines, rather than the 100 I do that some folks think should be eliminated from their Universe, just 'cause it exists in mine, and not theirs, sadly and strangely enough to me, as I live in a different Universe too..:)

So with ALL that said I will quote what you say for truth, as well, again:

"People who use science to prove God are wrong, in large part because they are limiting God.

People who limit existence to what they can see and prove by science are limiting themselves."

As truly these two simple lines of truth apply to all things in life,
otherwise known as what I understand as the Interdependent
Relationship of All Stuff, 'seen' and 'unseen', aka GOD..:)

Well, I cannot take credit for that all by myself. I've spent many hours studying Epictetus' Enchiridion and Marcus Aurelius' diary. The Roman Stoics are absolute masters at packing the most wisdom into the fewest words.

Also, there's nothing wrong with the way you express ideas either...


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AngelRho
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22 May 2015, 4:35 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
As such, actual numbers cannot be brain states. They CAN be cognitive tools. But they cannot exclusively be brain states. They have to exist apart from chemical reactions within the nervous system (in order to be detected externally…we've been aware of numbers long before fMRI).


But WE DO NOT DETECT NUMBERS. What we do is detect multiple objects in the physical world and then we use the cognitive tool, numbers, to quantify them.

Quote:
So we're aware of numbers even if they physically do not exist. Something does not have to physically exist in order to actually exist. Existence doesn't have to be limited physical existence.


So, how does your nervous system detect external things that do not physically exist? Are you psychic?

My nervous system can only detect things, internal and external, that actually, physically exist. :roll:

:P

Translation: You believe numbers are not real, thus the study of mathematics is a pointless, futile waste of life.



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22 May 2015, 4:41 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
AngelRho wrote:

If you believe numbers DO exist beyond "brain states" or whatever, then you believe that reality includes the abstract.

And if something that is abstract is considered real, then it follows that non-physical things can be real things, too, since we know of AT LEAST one non-physical thing that is said to be real. Other non-physical things are either real or they aren't. So we HAVE to ask the question of whether spiritual things are included with non-physical AND physical things that are real or are not real. If we say God is not real, then why?


Okay, so you still haven't explained why abstract things MUST exist somehow outside the human brain.

Things like numbers, languages, and even scientific laws are all simply mental constructs that humans need in order to let their brains process sensory inputs about the world.

You seem to be stuck in a very Platonic view of the universe. But there really doesn't seem to be any NEED for this to be true.

Why do you think numbers or language or whatever other abstract thing NEEDS to exist outside the brain?

It seems to me that if "human language" existed outside of human brains, we'd only have a single, universal one.

I'd say the reason we have so many, is because many different brains developed many different languages independently.

Our brains detect them because they are there to detect. They would still exist whether we could detect them or not. You seem to be saying that one only merely think something and it magically exists.



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22 May 2015, 4:46 pm

AngelRho wrote:
Translation: You believe numbers are not real, thus the study of mathematics is a pointless, futile waste of life.

YES! I believe that NUMBERS do not exist in the way that YOU CONCEPTUALIZE THEM.

I think numbers are massively useful cognitive tools.

Another thing I believe is that YOU do not understand what numbers are. :wink:

:P


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22 May 2015, 4:57 pm

AngelRho wrote:
Our brains detect them because they are there to detect. They would still exist whether we could detect them or not. You seem to be saying that one only merely think something and it magically exists.


It isn't magic, it's the way our brains work.

As far as we can observe, thoughts reside in the brain and they do not exist until we "think them up." It is not magic. It is biochemistry.

Could there be some other, emergent property happening with our brains and our consciousness?

Sure, but it's not absolutely necessary and it's not something we can prove by logic or positivist methods.

Another danger of trying to objectively prove things that we can only know intuitively, by the heart, is that people insist that their intuition is objectively true.

Then they get really angry when people reject their "logical/positivist proof."

...and the next things you know, heads start getting hacked off.

Your spiritual beliefs may very well be true, BUT THEY CANNOT BE PROVEN--it's a matter of intuition and faith.


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22 May 2015, 5:30 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
aghogday wrote:

But anyway, you say it better than I do, according to my narrower minded Poet friends who love brevity over breadth, and according to me you said it just as good as I did, in two lines, rather than the 100 I do that some folks think should be eliminated from their Universe, just 'cause it exists in mine, and not theirs, sadly and strangely enough to me, as I live in a different Universe too..:)

So with ALL that said I will quote what you say for truth, as well, again:

"People who use science to prove God are wrong, in large part because they are limiting God.

People who limit existence to what they can see and prove by science are limiting themselves."

As truly these two simple lines of truth apply to all things in life,
otherwise known as what I understand as the Interdependent
Relationship of All Stuff, 'seen' and 'unseen', aka GOD..:)

Well, I cannot take credit for that all by myself. I've spent many hours studying Epictetus' Enchiridion and Marcus Aurelius' diary. The Roman Stoics are absolute masters at packing the most wisdom into the fewest words.

Also, there's nothing wrong with the way you express ideas either...


Thanks. We all stand on the shoulders of giants.

Even the old philosophers do...

It's kind of a tradition of human being.. smiles..;)


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kitesandtrainsandcats
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10 Apr 2017, 11:27 am

Something I see as related is that as best I can find out, we do not know, as in Know, how conscious comes to be.
But it clearly exists.
We think were getting closer, yet we do not know for certain.

http://www.sciencealert.com/harvard-sci ... sciousness

Quote:
Harvard Scientists Think They've Pinpointed the Physical Source of Consciousness
This is where awareness lives.
FIONA MACDONALD
8 NOV 2016
To figure this out, the team analysed 36 patients in hospital with brainstem lesions - 12 of them were in a coma (unconscious) and 24 were defined as being conscious.
...
It's a pretty exciting first step, but the researchers acknowledge that they now need to verify their find across a larger group of patients.

Independent teams will also need to confirm their results before we can say for sure that these three regions are the physical source of consciousness in our brains.

In the meantime, the research will hopefully lead to new treatment options for patients in comas and vegetative states, who might have otherwise healthy brains but simply can't regain consciousness.

"This is most relevant if we can use these networks as a target for brain stimulation for people with disorders of consciousness," said Fox.

"If we zero in on the regions and network involved, can we someday wake someone up who is in a persistent vegetative state? That’s the ultimate question."


Where our knowledge used to be at one point along the path to now;
Quote:
What is Consciousness?
Philosophy behind the mind
Posted Mar 01, 2013
The hard problem, by contrast, may never be solved. Specifically, the hard problem is determining why or how consciousness occurs given the right arrangement of brain matter. What makes it hard is that we cannot just point to some physical mechanism to solve it, for that would be the solution to the easy problem. Instead, our goal is to explain why certain physical mechanism gives rise to consciousness instead of something else or nothing at all. Consider an analogy from physics: knowing every equation predicting how mass and gravity interact does not tell us why they interact in the way they do. To understand why mass and gravity interact, we must appeal to highly esoteric explanations involving relativity, quantum mechanics or string theory.

But while theoretical physicists have produced some pretty specific models that are ready to be tested with the likes of the Large Hadron Collider, consciousness lacks the sort of general consensus that would allow us to move on and test our theories. And for good reason—the hard problem is tricky.

Some argue that the hard problem simply is unsolvable. The argument for this view can take two different forms. The first argument is that our puny brains aren’t capable of coming up with a solution, for our brains do not have the ability to process the complicated information that would lead to an understanding of consciousness. The second argument is that a solution to a problem requires that you aren’t a part of the problem. What does this mean? To solve a problem, or so goes the argument, you must have a bird’s eye view of all the facts. But since we are all conscious, we can never have such a view. We simply cannot solve the hard problem because we don’t have access to the level of information necessary to piece everything together.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/th ... sciousness

Quote:
Consciousness in general and the birth of consciousness in particular remain as key puzzles confronting the scientific worldview (1). According to Searle (2) it can be defined as “inner, qualitative, subjective states, and processes of sentience or awareness.” This includes “one's autobiography and mental time” together with the capacity to introspect and report about one's mental state by verbal and nonverbal means. Consciousness emerges from special neuronal features in the brain or “neuronal correlates” of consciousness according to Koch (1). Tononi and Edelman (3) propose that there is a dynamic core of several neurons distributed across many brain regions. Merker (4) claims that conscious function cannot be confined to the thalamocortical complex alone, but also to lower structures, which is of particular interest from a developmental point of view. We deliberately restrict our discussion to a “global neuronal workspace” (GNW) model (5), or metaphorically “a theater of mind” according to Baars (6). In the GNW, multimodal perceptions, emotions and feelings (present), evoked memories (past), together with anticipations of actions (future) become subjectively integrated in a continuously changing and dynamic “flow of consciousness” (7–9). This then leads to the distinction between the states of consciousness (wakefulness, sleep, coma, general anesthesia) and the content of the conscious experience. The states of consciousness are under vertical control of the brain stem and diencephalic subcortical structures and mediated by the corticothalamic relationships (10). The content of conscious experience (11) is then viewed as being processed through a recurrent horizontal network of cortical pyramidal neurons with long-distance connections assembling thalamocortical regions, particularly prefrontal and higher association areas, parietotemporal and cingulate cortices (12) referred to here as GNW circuits (8,9). This model has been corroborated by neural network simulations and experimental evoked response potentials recordings showing reverberating activity within the GNW circuits as corresponding to consciously reportable states. Our working hypothesis will thus be that such mobilization of the GNW circuits constitutes an objective sign of access to consciousness (8). This is in contrast with the subliminal mobilization of underlying automatic and nonconscious processors (Fig. 1) (5).

http://www.nature.com/pr/journal/v65/n3 ... 0950a.html

And then there's the question of when does consciousness begin?
It seems to progressively develop, but when does it start?
Quote:
Summary
The newborn human infant is conscious at a minimal level. It is aware of its body, itself and to some extent of the outside world. It recognizes faces and vowels to which it has been exposed. It expresses emotions like joy. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the newborn brain shows highest activity in the somatosensory, auditory, and visual cortex but less activity in association area and the prefrontal cortex as compared with adults. There is an incomplete default mode network which is assumed to be related to consciousness. Although the fetus reacts to pain, maternal speaking, etc., it is probably not aware of this due to the low oxygen level and sedation. Assuming that consciousness is mainly localized in the cortex, consciousness cannot emerge before 24 gestational weeks when the thalamocortical connections from the sense organs are established. Thus the limit of legal abortion at 22–24 weeks in many countries makes sense. It should also be possible to withdraw or withhold life-saving therapy of extremely preterm infants, especially if they are severely brain-damaged. This may also apply to full-term infants with grade III hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy, who show no signs of consciousness.

http://www.sfnmjournal.com/article/S1744-165X(14)00054-7/abstract

It is possible, may or may not be probable, but it is possible that just like how at one time we had no way to measure where consciousness comes from we may just simply not yet have developed a way to measure the spiritual.


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10 Apr 2017, 4:13 pm

kitesandtrainsandcats wrote:
Something I see as related is that as best I can find out, we do not know, as in Know, how conscious comes to be.
But it clearly exists.
We think were getting closer, yet we do not know for certain.

http://www.sciencealert.com/harvard-sci ... sciousness
Quote:
Harvard Scientists Think They've Pinpointed the Physical Source of Consciousness
This is where awareness lives.
FIONA MACDONALD
8 NOV 2016
To figure this out, the team analysed 36 patients in hospital with brainstem lesions - 12 of them were in a coma (unconscious) and 24 were defined as being conscious.
...
It's a pretty exciting first step, but the researchers acknowledge that they now need to verify their find across a larger group of patients.

Independent teams will also need to confirm their results before we can say for sure that these three regions are the physical source of consciousness in our brains.

In the meantime, the research will hopefully lead to new treatment options for patients in comas and vegetative states, who might have otherwise healthy brains but simply can't regain consciousness.

"This is most relevant if we can use these networks as a target for brain stimulation for people with disorders of consciousness," said Fox.

"If we zero in on the regions and network involved, can we someday wake someone up who is in a persistent vegetative state? That’s the ultimate question."


Where our knowledge used to be at one point along the path to now;
Quote:
What is Consciousness?
Philosophy behind the mind
Posted Mar 01, 2013
The hard problem, by contrast, may never be solved. Specifically, the hard problem is determining why or how consciousness occurs given the right arrangement of brain matter. What makes it hard is that we cannot just point to some physical mechanism to solve it, for that would be the solution to the easy problem. Instead, our goal is to explain why certain physical mechanism gives rise to consciousness instead of something else or nothing at all. Consider an analogy from physics: knowing every equation predicting how mass and gravity interact does not tell us why they interact in the way they do. To understand why mass and gravity interact, we must appeal to highly esoteric explanations involving relativity, quantum mechanics or string theory.

But while theoretical physicists have produced some pretty specific models that are ready to be tested with the likes of the Large Hadron Collider, consciousness lacks the sort of general consensus that would allow us to move on and test our theories. And for good reason—the hard problem is tricky.

Some argue that the hard problem simply is unsolvable. The argument for this view can take two different forms. The first argument is that our puny brains aren’t capable of coming up with a solution, for our brains do not have the ability to process the complicated information that would lead to an understanding of consciousness. The second argument is that a solution to a problem requires that you aren’t a part of the problem. What does this mean? To solve a problem, or so goes the argument, you must have a bird’s eye view of all the facts. But since we are all conscious, we can never have such a view. We simply cannot solve the hard problem because we don’t have access to the level of information necessary to piece everything together.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/th ... sciousness

Quote:
Consciousness in general and the birth of consciousness in particular remain as key puzzles confronting the scientific worldview (1). According to Searle (2) it can be defined as “inner, qualitative, subjective states, and processes of sentience or awareness.” This includes “one's autobiography and mental time” together with the capacity to introspect and report about one's mental state by verbal and nonverbal means. Consciousness emerges from special neuronal features in the brain or “neuronal correlates” of consciousness according to Koch (1). Tononi and Edelman (3) propose that there is a dynamic core of several neurons distributed across many brain regions. Merker (4) claims that conscious function cannot be confined to the thalamocortical complex alone, but also to lower structures, which is of particular interest from a developmental point of view. We deliberately restrict our discussion to a “global neuronal workspace” (GNW) model (5), or metaphorically “a theater of mind” according to Baars (6). In the GNW, multimodal perceptions, emotions and feelings (present), evoked memories (past), together with anticipations of actions (future) become subjectively integrated in a continuously changing and dynamic “flow of consciousness” (7–9). This then leads to the distinction between the states of consciousness (wakefulness, sleep, coma, general anesthesia) and the content of the conscious experience. The states of consciousness are under vertical control of the brain stem and diencephalic subcortical structures and mediated by the corticothalamic relationships (10). The content of conscious experience (11) is then viewed as being processed through a recurrent horizontal network of cortical pyramidal neurons with long-distance connections assembling thalamocortical regions, particularly prefrontal and higher association areas, parietotemporal and cingulate cortices (12) referred to here as GNW circuits (8,9). This model has been corroborated by neural network simulations and experimental evoked response potentials recordings showing reverberating activity within the GNW circuits as corresponding to consciously reportable states. Our working hypothesis will thus be that such mobilization of the GNW circuits constitutes an objective sign of access to consciousness (8). This is in contrast with the subliminal mobilization of underlying automatic and nonconscious processors (Fig. 1) (5).

http://www.nature.com/pr/journal/v65/n3 ... 0950a.html

And then there's the question of when does consciousness begin?
It seems to progressively develop, but when does it start?
Quote:
Summary
The newborn human infant is conscious at a minimal level. It is aware of its body, itself and to some extent of the outside world. It recognizes faces and vowels to which it has been exposed. It expresses emotions like joy. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the newborn brain shows highest activity in the somatosensory, auditory, and visual cortex but less activity in association area and the prefrontal cortex as compared with adults. There is an incomplete default mode network which is assumed to be related to consciousness. Although the fetus reacts to pain, maternal speaking, etc., it is probably not aware of this due to the low oxygen level and sedation. Assuming that consciousness is mainly localized in the cortex, consciousness cannot emerge before 24 gestational weeks when the thalamocortical connections from the sense organs are established. Thus the limit of legal abortion at 22–24 weeks in many countries makes sense. It should also be possible to withdraw or withhold life-saving therapy of extremely preterm infants, especially if they are severely brain-damaged. This may also apply to full-term infants with grade III hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy, who show no signs of consciousness.

http://www.sfnmjournal.com/article/S1744-165X(14)00054-7/abstract

It is possible, may or may not be probable, but it is possible that just like how at one time we had no way to measure where consciousness comes from we may just simply not yet have developed a way to measure the spiritual.

I do believe in a spiritual dimension in conjunction with the physical, and I believe the spiritual world interacts with the physical. In fact, I KNOW beyond any doubt this is true.

Can I prove that it exists? No, or rather, more/less yes. I KNOW this is true through my experience. The hard empiricist will claim that personal experience isn't enough and that it's unreliable, thus I can't possibly have experienced what I experienced and there must be another naturalistic, materialist explanation. I would struggle to accept that premise because denying what happened to me would make me delusional. Empiricist reasoning would fail on that point.

And it would fail, anyway, because consistent empiricism would ultimately be forced to deny itself and render itself absurd.

No, the main unresolvable issues in determining whether spiritual things exist lie in whether one side of the argument is willing to accept the premise of the other. Any Christian who accepts the premise "there is no God" cannot possibly win an argument to the contrary. "Burden of proof" arguments, for instance, are rife with this kind of thing. A believer who asserts "God exists" bears the burden of proof? Fair enough. But what about the unbeliever making the opposite claim? Nope. And there can be no reasonable discussion with that kind of person since they are willfully blind to how burden of proof works. Sorry, I don't play with cheater babies who stack the deck, move goalposts, and engage in personal attacks when their opponent just keeps coming back and calls them out.

You cannot prove that a spirit world exists to someone who presupposes there's not one, nor can you prove to a Christian Jesus never existed because Jesus' existence is axiomatic to our faith.

Maybe it isn't science, but to the believer there's much more to the universe than the material world. By the nature of what a spirit being is, it cannot be physically captured and examined. And even if it were possible, we still fall victim to our own presuppositions. Just because we see something won't make us actually believe it. We might look or grasp at any possible alternative explanation and write that person off as delusional.