Mind or matter? How consciousness in the universe could be ‘eternal’

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Which is more fundamental, mind or matter? You would think, in our ultra-materialistic era, that debate would be settled. But a surprising number of philosophers and scientists still resist the idea that mind is a mere afterthought of matter.

Scientists and philosophers have proposed lots of other hypotheses that challenge strict materialism. They include “orchestrated objective reduction,” a quantum theory of consciousness invented by physicist Roger Penrose and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff; integrated information theory, which implies that consciousness suffuses the cosmos and is touted by neuroscientist Christof Koch; the reality-as-simulation hypothesis, entertained by Neil deGrasse Tyson; and the anthropic principle, which Sean Carroll espouses.

I understand why even non-religious folk balk at hard-core materialism, which depicts consciousness as an epiphenomenal fluke. If we are the only truly conscious creatures in the cosmos, and we perish, the universe will become dead, dark, meaningless. Without mind, matter doesn’t matter. But I have thought of a way in which consciousness might be eternal, sort of.

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If mind emerged once in the cosmos, I thought, it will surely, over the course of eternity, emerge again. When it does, perhaps in some sense this new consciousness will be spliced together with the old consciousness, as if the intervening darkness never existed. So consciousness is subjectively if not objectively eternal.

Read full, original post: A Super-Simple, Non-Quantum Theory of Eternal Consciousness

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