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Is consciousness emergent?

Consciousness is one of the biggest mysteries of science, next to quantum mechanics. Its mystery comes from its nature of subjectivity. F...

Consciousness is one of the biggest mysteries of science, next to quantum mechanics. Its mystery comes from its nature of subjectivity. From the materialistic viewpoint, the matter that has objective properties creates consciousness. How can matter to create this subjective phenomenon, the consciousness, the feeling of me?

Consciousness is subjective because it is always connected to the related living being. My consciousness only mine, like my pain, no one else can experience it. It is a subjective experience of feeling, created by a structure of matter, the brain. It is a product of several billion jointly working neurons. However, no scientific test exists to evince consciousness. I cannot prove that I or anyone else has it, only indirectly. If I have it because I feel it (the feeling is not a scientific proof), others, who are similar to me, must have it also.

How can the matter of me create the subjective feeling of my own existence? How can the matter recognize its existence and distinguish itself from other matters? No one knows the answers to these questions.

Will we ever be able to answer these questions? Deductively, by using simple reasoning, we will not be able to solve this hard problem. We can solve the mystery of the consciousness only if we can build machines, which can convince us, convince its creator, even indirectly, that it has consciousness.

The persuasion will not be easy either. I can convince others that I have consciousness only by describing my feeling - which is actually not proof. It could be easy misleads to fool others that I have it, but I really do not.

It is an interesting aspect that if I could intentionally mislead that I have consciousness, but I really do not, then I can do this mislead only consciously. An unintentional program can exist in a machine to mimic consciousness, but a conscious creator must program it by intentionally, so the existence of the consciousness must be valid even in that situation. Of course, if I want to build a machine that possesses consciousness, I would not build a specific program in it to mimic it.

Can I install consciousness into a machine? Is consciousness the result of a specific, dedicated function? Alternatively, is it enough to build a complex machine and consciousness - with all of its properties - will emerge by itself from the operation of complexity? Is consciousness an emergent property?

We do not know how consciousness created by the matter. What we know is that it must be the product of the cooperation of several billion neurons. Is it an emergent property then?

Consciousness is not necessarily emergent in the way as the tornado is an emergent phenomenon of the required and existing circumstances. Consciousness could be like television. We can say, the picture on the screen of the television is an emergent property of the machine. The television has specific and precise structures to create the image. Only a minuscule alteration of its structure would terminate its function. This kind of emergence fundamentally differs from the emergence of the tornado.

Consciousness can be the same. Consciousness might require a very specific type of structure of matter to exist. If this is the way, consciousness is not an inevitable consequence of the neurons' cooperation, as the tornado is an inevitable consequence of a dynamic structure of matter, but the result of a very specific arrangement of a very specific matter. Consciousness might not be an inevitable consequence of the complex brain, but an accidental result of the evolution creating a unique structure of the matter, which then creates consciousness.

Consciousness can be an emergent phenomenon as we describe the emergent phenomena, as emergence is a result of similar, cooperating units creating a property, which cannot be simply deduced from the properties of the parts of the system. Consciousness yet can be a different kind of emergent property, a result of a different type of emergent mechanism, the function of a specific structure. The argument here is that the two types of emergent mechanisms - the tornado type and the television type - are fundamentally different, and require fundamentally different underlying mechanisms.

In either case, consciousness can be created by Darwinian evolution if possesses an evolutionary advantage. If this is the case, consciousness appears naturally. An ant colony and its behavior create tornado type emergent properties. The life itself is a television type emergent system, with complex yet unique and special structure. Both are created by evolution.

However, consciousness might require both types of emergents. Consciousness might require a specific structure with satisfyingly many neurons. Consciousness might be a result of a hybrid kind emergence, and this is why so difficult to understand. In any case, there is still no deductive answer to the question of how and why subjective experience emerges from the properties of the matter. Even if we cannot deduct, cannot understand the emergence of consciousness, if it is a natural emergent property, we might create it artificially.

However, and this cannot be ruled out, our consciousness can be the product of a very specific structure of matter created by an intention, the creation of God, as the existence of the television is an intent of a creator, an intent of our will. If this is the case, interesting to think about that there might be a reason why consciousness exists: a broadcast might exist also. Can be our consciousness is an intended creation of having a piece of equipment for a channel of a broadcast to receive information? If we could create consciousness, we could use it as a communication channel to send information to our creation. Is it happening to us?

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