Have you ever sat down and wondered who am I? Why do I have the ability to question myself upon my own existence? What allows me to question myself, and then in turn question the reality of that question? Is this not a paradox?
Consciousness, has been from the start, since the first philosophers, an unanswered question, that has been an almost impossible task to fully understand and grasp the concept of consciousness. Therefore to define consciousness it is challenging and difficult. For the purpose of this article we could define consciousness as the realisation of self being, the fact that we know that we alone exist. If we go by this definition, then we already see the limitations of it. If only you know you are conscious then what about the rest of humanity, and the animal kingdom? Are they consciousness even though you cannot fully tell whether they are.
Throughout history, consciousness has been affiliated with the human soul. Religions such as Islam and christianity see this as the only thing about the human body that shall transcend through time and dimensions, where the human spirit, its ability to tell right from wrong, its ability to conclude the difference between evil and pure resides, thus the philosophical values of religion are all based upon the actions of your consciousness.
We have still not learn what causes consciousness, and why do we have it. But study in neuroscience and neuropsychology, is allowing us to get closer to the answer. The primary focus is on understanding what it means to biologically and physically for information to be present in consciousness. Due to the rise in AI (artificial intelligence) sooner or later, humans will be posed with the question of artificial consciousness, will it be possible to artificially create consciousness, and how will it differ.
Consciousness—Philosophers have used the term 'consciousness' for four main topics: knowledge in general, intentionality, introspection (and the knowledge it specifically generates) and phenomenal experience... Something within one's mind is 'introspectively conscious' just in case one introspects it (or is poised to do so). Introspection is often thought to deliver one's primary knowledge of one's mental life. An experience or other mental entity is 'phenomenally conscious' just in case there is 'something it is like' for one to have it. The clearest examples are: perceptual experience, such as tastings and seeings; bodily-sensational experiences, such as those of pains, tickles and itches; imaginative experiences, such as those of one's own actions or perceptions; and streams of thought, as in the experience of thinking 'in words' or 'in images'. Introspection and phenomenality seem independent, or dissociable, although this is controversial
One of the following factors of consciousness is that are the decisions we make truly our decisions? In a game, the character is told to move forward, in terms of game play we humans told it to go forward, but from the perspective of the player, it moved on its own. Similarly, are we just another simulation of an advanced race, where all our thoughts, processes, emotions, decisions just pre programmed algorithms on a supercomputer of un imaginable computational power?
One day we shall get the answers. Ground breaking research into neuroscience, shall one day reveal answers, as everyday we get closer and closer into finding the truth..