(disclaimer I am nee to this site. I am also dyslexic spell and grammar are not my strong suit.) I am struggling with the concept of consciousness when does it begin, when does it end. If we have consciousness then we can create it or bread it into aminals because we ourself just a by product of eveoulution. Is it already there in animals such as dolphins and other. To say consciousness is a form of eveoulution would mean it would require a start. But we can't define where is starts.

But to accept there is no consciousness and we are just animals pursuing our own instincts. The instinct to freed, breed, and survive. Would accept the fact we are no different then the animals around us. As we were both created equalily via eveoulution. Consciousness in essence, is just man not willing to accept he is driven by his animalistic nature. He works to provide shelter for his family just as the a beaver has the instinct to build a dam.

If man is nature and man is conscious. Then concussion has always been apart of nature. But if there is no consciousness in nature, then is man just a ape to arrogant to accept he has no control who is he? Is the illusion of choice just humans instict to survive.

"I think so there for I am." But do we truly think? Is "I am arrogant so there for I am." I am standing for there for I am." If thinking is just the chemical reaction on the brain than we are just computers running a around on auto pilot for the vessale of cells we call a body.

closed as off-topic by Conifold, Frank Hubeny, Eliran, Bread, curiousdannii Apr 22 at 22:02

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    Consciousness and pursuing our own instincts are perfectly compatible with each other. We could just be doing that, or even just have our bodies follow hard deterministic laws, and be fully conscious of it, because the laws so dictate. So the answer is no because the "inability to accept" is moot. – Conifold Apr 22 at 17:56
  • So I raise this question are we truly conscious. I would claim no. We are just large brain primates trying to further our survival, in a world where surivial doesn't always mean life or death. Are we truly conscious of all our actions? I know I have a body but my heart beats without my control. Is my body no driven by a will to survive? Where does consciousness start? If something is to exist it would have to form or to have alwasy been there. If consciousness has always been there then is everything is conscious. if consciousness was formed when did it start? – Dairysofamadman Apr 22 at 18:21
  • You are not raising a question, you are proposing to use the word "conscious" differently than is common. But regardless of the benefits of that there is no "truly" about how words should be used. We are certainly not conscious of all our actions, but it does not mean we are conscious of none, nor does it have any bearing on whether they are instinctive, you are confusing consciousness with free will. "If something is to exist it would have to form or to have always been there" is a common mistake: 3 grains are not a heap and 3000 are, but where exactly do they become a heap? – Conifold Apr 22 at 19:38
  • 3 grains of rice are a heap to an ant yet to me 3,000 are just half a cup. They are not a heap. They only become a heap when it is in reference to something else. When dose infant become finite. Nothing can exist outside of the natural world. We can not creat anything that nature dose not already provide the building blocks for. I shall use the argument I use with religious people. I claim consciousness does not exists. We are but animals driven by our instincts to survive. How do you prove to me consciousness exist. Free will is an illusion. Yet the future is only dictated by the present. – Dairysofamadman Apr 27 at 15:10

TL;DR: Consciousness evolved over time and by degrees. We are only just beginning to understand how and when the various elements of consciousness emerged.

First I will echo the comment by @Conifold: consciousness and instinct should be understood as two independent issues. However, they are also interrelated. The concept of "mere instinct" is a misleading one which is based on two dubious assumptions: 1) that only humans possess consciousness, and 2) that humans posses free will.

1) Contrary to long-standing beliefs about human nature, it is increasingly accepted as an empirical fact that similar (but of course not identical) forms of consciousness exist in non-human animals. The Wikipedia article on animal consciousness is helpful here. It includes a near-complete quotation of the 2012 Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness which you may find especially interesting. It does not really answer your question, but it raises some highly relevant points. For example:

neural circuits supporting behavioral/electrophysiological states of attentiveness, sleep and decision making appear to have arisen in evolution as early as the invertebrate radiation, being evident in insects and cephalopod mollusks (e.g., octopus).

So like any complex adaptation, consciousness very likely evolved in many small steps which involved many different species. It is therefor neither true that "concussion [sic] has always been apart of nature" nor that "there is no consciousness in [non-human] nature". Human consciousness may be unique, but consciousness in general is not uniquely human.

2) Popular articles from Scientific American, The Atlantic and Psychology Today lay out some problems with the common sense understanding of free will. The key idea as I see it is that, just as for any other animal, human consciousness emerges from biophysical processes. This includes the "self" which feels as if it makes decisions independently and has no direct awareness of these underlying processes that produce it. It is likely (but by no means proven at this time) that at least certain animals with highly developed forms of consciousness also feel in some sense as if they are making decisions, given the evidence that they do have a sense of selfhood.

The Atlantic has also published a defense of free will, which is worth reading. However at most I think it shows that free will, like consciousness itself, exists by degrees. So to whatever extent free will describes an actual, existing aspect of human consciousness, this too is probably something that evolved over time and is not uniquely human.

  • Thanks will check it out and get back to you. – Dairysofamadman Apr 22 at 19:44

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