Monday, October 15, 2012

Breaking The Zombie Programming: We Can Become Conscious!

Steve Watson
Oct 14, 2012

During the mid 1990s two fascinating papers were presented in a publication called The Journal of Consciousness Studies.

The first was titled Conversations with Zombies, by Todd C. Moody, a Philosophy professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. The second was a direct response written by Charles T. Tart of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, entitled Yes, We Are Zombies, But We Can Become Conscious!
Both papers embrace the notion that consciousness, or our awareness of our own awareness, could be a phenomenon independent from or non-essential to the processes of the brain and the nervous system and associated behavior that stems from it.

In other words, we as humans are capable of living most of the time in a reduced state of consciousness akin to that of a zombie; a waking sleep. Both papers argue that there is a higher form of “superconsciousness” as Moody calls it, or an “expanded consciousness state” in Tart’s words.

Moody states:

The `zombie problem’ is the problem of consciousness, stated in a particularly provocative way. Given any functional description of cognition, as detailed and complete as one can imagine, it will still make sense to suppose that there could be insentient beings that exemplify that description. That is, it is possible that there could be a behaviourally indiscernible but insentient simulacrum of a human cognizer: a zombie.

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