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The Mystery of Consciousness | Sam Harris

The Paradox Of the Big Bang

The Paradox Of the Big Bang

The idea that about 13 billion years ago, everything including time, matter, space, laws, gravity, cause and effect, simply sprang out of nothing in a loud bang, seems to be a foolish thing to believe.

Nothing cannot suddenly give rise to everything. The very act of the big bang requires time and space as a prerequisite to even occur.

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The Mystery of Consciousness | Sam Harris

The Mystery of Consciousness | Sam Harris

https://samharris.org/the-mystery-of-consciousness/

samharris.org

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Key Ideas

Consciousness as sentience

Though the subject of consciousness is hard to define and varies from individual to individual, at the base level it can be termed as ‘sentience’.

To say that a person or creature is conscious is something to do with the present moment being complete, even if we disregard all memory, behaviour, sights, sounds and experiences. It is the one thing that cannot be an illusion.

Beyond The Physical

Quantum mechanics and modern physics (like string theory) has made the concept of physical reality and the tangible, solid universe a fluid and slippery concept.

Those who are trying to find consciousness in the physical world are stuck in the past, as consciousness may have nothing to do with the brain or the subjective reality.

The Paradox Of the Big Bang

The idea that about 13 billion years ago, everything including time, matter, space, laws, gravity, cause and effect, simply sprang out of nothing in a loud bang, seems to be a foolish thing to believe.

Nothing cannot suddenly give rise to everything. The very act of the big bang requires time and space as a prerequisite to even occur.

Consciousness Out Of Unconsciousness

Just like the failed Big Bang Theory, the idea of consciousness emerging from or being identical to unconscious physical events sounds far fetched and hard to conceive.

The fact that this universe is illuminated by sentience is something to ponder, and we might be groping in the dark all this time because we have deliberately closed our eyes.

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Conceiving life while not being alive seems inconceivable, but as an analogy, how can vision be created from processes that are themselves blind?

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For example, Einstein's papers on relativity show that the relationship between energy and mass is invariant, even though energy and mass can take on many different forms.

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Relationships over things

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