consciousness and qualia

a thought about consciousness

Gödel showed that a mathematical system can have a statement which is true, but unprovable within the system.

We seem to be in a sort of system with physical laws of the universe.

I've generally been a believer in the grandiose sense of consciousness, asserting that my subjective experience contains a quality not explainable by physical interactions among neurons.

However, I think maybe consciousness is like a statement which is true, but unprovable within the system of our universe.

But, if that's so, then I probably don't actually have a good basis for thinking that it's so. If I had a good reason for thinking it was so, that would seem an awful lot like the beginnings of a proof for something that I'm claiming is probably unprovable.

a thought about qualia

Qualia is a word that tries to point at what-it's-like to experience something, like seeing red.

My thought is simply this: it occurs to me that our subconscious does quite a bit of stuff with raw sensory data before showing it to our conscious mind. If we could "see" the path all the way from redness down to the neuron that fired in response to a photon hitting it, we would probably stop experiencing redness and say instead that we experienced a photon hitting that neuron — and if we could see within the neuron to exactly how the photon caused the neuron to fire, we would probably not have any "experience" of a photon at all, but rather a view of some physical laws doing what they do.

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