[quote author=“mahahaha”]While we’re still on the subject, nobody weighed in on this query:
Scientific Realism maintains that consciousness is an emergent quality of matter.
According to some interpretations of quantum theory, matter, as such, does not exist until consciousness collapses the wave function.
So which came first, the chicken or the egg?
C’mon, all you bullshitters out there.
Check out THIS theory (I emphasize the word):
Answer: Neither of the above.
Consciousness (subject) and matter (object) are examples of what Bohr termed complementarity (when describing wave/particle duality) or what the Indian philosopher Sankara termed advaita (NON-dualism). They are neither two different things nor simply one unitary thing; they are rather two parts of a dynamic whole. Each is dependant upon the other; they are mutually dependant and inter-dependant; neither has temporal priority; neither has a causal relation to the other.
The object does not and cannot exist, per se, “in itself.” “In-itself”, any particular object, or anything which can be “object”, all of Being, is both physically (per quantum theory) as well as metaphysically, no-thing, but purely un-manifest potentiality or probability. It does not appear or manifest, or therefore, indeed, exist, as an object or as reality, except as TO a subject, which has the capacity apprehend, perceive, conceive it, and thereby create, define, or interpret it as existing.
Likewise, pure subject, pure consciousness, without an object of which to be conscious (including itself), would be undifferentiated, uniform, undefined - in a word, void.
Subject plus an object to which to appear, equals existence. Both subject and object are required simultaneously to compose a complementary non-dualistic whole; that is the essence of all reality. Duality - matter OR consciousness - is not true.
Who or what has the capacity to BE a subject? I would venture that would be another definition of “life” itself (for which there is ambiguity, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life). A living entity is that which has the requisite ontological individuality and autonomy to be a subject to the object in order to create a reality. It must have at least a kernel of “consciousness” which is the essence of subjectivity. A non-living entity lacks the capacity to filter consciousness in any degree whatsoever so as to set itself against the object to create a reality; it is part of the background of potential and probability. A living entity has the ability to filter consciousness in varying degrees of sophistication and complexity, as a the condition for interpreting the object, and thereby create a “reality.”
Of course, the content of the reality created is relative to the entity which creates it. The created reality is never Reality, in itself, but only the interpretation thereof by the observer in whatever capacity the observer has. It is “a” truth, relative to the observer, but never The Truth. The Truth, in itself, is in all cases beyond or other than that which can be interpreted, expressed, understood, perceived, conceived, etc.
Therefore, the world in which we humans live consists of that which humans, via the human version of filtering of consciousness, endlessly create and re-create out of pure potentiality, in an endless spiral, so long as the race continues.
Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it 8)