Consciousness & Science?

So, I have been studying for my test tomorrow in my experimental psychology class, and I came across something that happened to coincide with what I had been researching outside of class: science cannot study something it cannot measure. This is simple and intuitive, almost.

Outside of class, I have been spending a great deal of time reading about consciousness. I am a senior year psychology major, and I find that all of my questions come down to this question: what am I? That is, what is this thing that is allowing me awareness and allowing me the ability to think?

Rene Descartes famously put, “I think, therefore I am.”

It is brilliant! Except, it somewhat contradicts with some concepts I learned from Buddhism, which state something to the effect of “I am not my thought.”

These two concepts seem to contradict and much of the literature about consciousness seems to do so.

There is no firm agreement on why physical matter gave rise to this inner world that we live our lives immersed in.

So, the question is: will we ever answer the hard problems of consciousness? I say no because of the simple notion that we cannot study what we cannot measure.

How do we really measure consciousness? Is it the electricity between our neural synapses or the subjective perspective of being aware?

Ultimately, the question is unsolved. So, what does that mean for you and me? It means that we have to make a choice, to make a decision to believe in one way or another: We are all physical. We are all immaterial. We are neither one nor the other. We are both.

I  believe whatever is to be decided should be in alignment with your happiness and your potential as a person.

But the question cannot be ignored, for it demands an answer.

10 thoughts on “Consciousness & Science?

  1. idpnsd

    “But the question cannot be ignored, for it demands an answer.” – The question has been answered in Bible, Judaism, and in Vedas. Consciousness is an adjective. An adjective cannot exist without a noun. In this case the noun is the soul, which is same as spirit. Consciousness is one property of soul. The soul has many other properties.

    The laws of nature are the only truth. Thus truth is unique and universal. Objects of nature and their characteristics create these laws. Nature has the unique property that it always demonstrates its laws. All you have to learn is how to observe the nature, just like Galileo did. Reincarnation, destiny, soul theory, yogic power, eternal recurrence, birth-maturity-death, etc. are such laws of nature. Nature gives proofs of all of them. People have already collected such proofs and placed them on the internet. One such place is

  2. Love the post! Based on some neuroscience, consciousness does not yet have a proper definition for this exact reason. Do we say that you are conscious if you are aware? or do we say that you are conscious based on physical measures? And if so, to what extent do we measure awareness. If you’re looking for something to further your research on consciousness you should check out some of the work done by Adrian Owen his work at the university of western Ontario is very substantial and talks about how new developments in measuring consciousness in patients can be made. Very interesting stuff! Definitely worth a read!

  3. Gemma Gorey

    it doesn’t have a proper definition and neuroscientists hate using the word consciousness. Something so ‘everyday’ to us is ‘fringe’ to them, They hide behind the word ‘awareness’ instead!

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