After thinking a lot as a child about the universe around me, I came to read The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory by David Chalmers which turned out to be one of the most interesting books I have ever read. I realized that philosophy was a field that would challenge my mind and make me think about the world I live in. My love of philosophy grew for the same reasons I grew to love science. They both strive to find answers about our universe and existence. Philosophy also explores ethics and morals in a non-religious manner which is very interesting to me. My main concentration of studies have centered on Philosophy of Science, Phenomenology, Existentialism, Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness Studies. I am currently working on getting a PhD in the latter two.
For many years I have been involved in activism and the fight for human rights. I was the Managing Director(2012-2015) at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies which is a think tank that was formed to study and debate vital questions concerning the ethical issues that future technologies will raise for the human species and beyond.
“The growing divide (poverty and education) threatens to increase traditional sources of conflict. Therefore, leading researchers in the early stages of the Consciousness Revolution have a responsibility to guide us through this third phase. Scientists and academic philosophers cannot simply confine themselves to making contributions to a comprehensive theory of consciousness and the self. If moral obligation exists, they must also confront the anthropological and normative void they have created. They must communicate their results in layman’s language and explain the developments to those members of society whose taxes pay their salaries. They cannot simply put all their ambition and intelligence into their scientific careers while destroying everything humankind has believed in for the past twenty-five hundred years.” - Thomas Metzinger, The Ego Tunnel, 215 (more quoted below)
This "Consciousness Revolution" that Metzinger is talking about is literally leading to a "comprehensive theory of consciousness and the self" which will turn out most likely to destroy the concept of the soul, afterlife, reincarnation, and most if not all forms of spirituality. What he means is that scientists and philosophers will have access to this information, concepts, and theories in very technical terms, but will have to find a way to communicate them to the rest of the population. The outcome of the "Consciousness Revolution" will most likely be that the self and consciousness is 1 of 3 things: part of the universe like gravity is (panpsychism), purely monistic (physicalist in nature - the way Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) and atheist Buddhists have thought and continue to think of the self and consciousness), or a type of emerged property by the complex system known as the brain. An emerged physicalist notion of the self and consciousness means emergentism, a philosophical concept about how new properties of the universe arise materialistically from complex systems.
The "divide" in the up-coming years should be closed, but that would require massive amounts of education around the world (the destruction of empires, capitalism, free trade, the Washington Consensus, and the unbelievable non-distribution of wealth by the “1%”) , and for people to open their minds to new ideas.
Education means less poverty, and this is important all around the world. Poverty, for example, the 1 billion people starving to death around the world must end. Education and wealth distribution must flourish. Like how the west saw the total disbelief in the Greek gods, our society and societies all around the world will be faced with an actual theory of the self and consciousness, most likely requiring people to do some hard introspection, and accept that the bible, koran, torah, the vedas, and the majority of buddhist texts are mostly, if not all complete nonsense. We can live in a world where science and philosophy, through objective critical thinking lead the way towards the truth about the self and consciousness.
Like agnostic/atheist buddhist's believe this can lead to a type of feeling of oneness among fellow human beings. The consciousness revolution does not have to be in your face like education like that of Harris, Dennett, Hitchens, and Dawkins, in fact it can be a slowish gradual paradigm shift to the truth, for it takes many years (in some cases months, some a lifetime, some never [However, finding the proper respect for those who believe in the spiritual is important]) for people to start rejecting their own religion and spiritual beliefs. It is my hope, and life's work to see this happen, to contribute to the consciousness revolution by helping figuring out the workings of "consciousness". I also think that the evolution away from religion through science and philosophy while increasing education and the reduction of poverty worldwide can only lead to a better world.
I specialize in troubleshooting computer software and hardware issues, teaching people how to make the most of their personal computer, as well as building websites. I have been self employed in this field for over 15 years. Another passion I have developed is photography.
"We are already experiencing a naturalistic turn in the human image, and it looks as if there is no way back. The third phase of the Conscious- ness Revolution will affect our image of ourselves much more dramati- cally than any scientific revolution in the past. We will gain much, but we will pay a price. Therefore, we must intelligently assess the psychoso- cial cost. The current explosion of knowledge in the empirical mind sciences is completely uncontrolled, with a multilevel dynamic of its own, and its speed is increasing. It is also unfolding in an ethical vacuum, driven solely by individual career interests and uninfluenced by political consid- erations. In the developed countries, it is widening the gap between the academically educated and scientifically well-informed, who are open to the scientific worldview, and those who have never even heard of notions such as “the neural correlate of consciousness” or “phenomenal self- model.” There are many people who cling to metaphysical belief systems, fearing that their inner Lebenswelt, or life-world, will be colonized by the new mind sciences. On the global level, the gap between developed and developing countries is widening as well: More than 80 percent of the human beings on this planet, especially those in poorer countries with growing populations, are still firmly rooted in prescientific cultures. Many of them will not even want to hear about the neural correlates of Consciousness Technologies and the Image of Humankind consciousness or the phenomenal self-model. For them especially, the transition will come much too quickly, and it also will come from coun- tries that systematically oppressed and exploited them in the past. The growing divide threatens to increase traditional sources of con- flict. Therefore, leading researchers in the early stages of the Conscious- ness Revolution have a responsibility to guide us through this third phase. Scientists and academic philosophers cannot simply confine themselves to making contributions to a comprehensive theory of con- sciousness and the self. If moral obligation exists, they must also con- front the anthropological and normative void they have created. They must communicate their results in laymen’s language and explain the developments to those members of society whose taxes pay their salaries. (This was one of my reasons for writing this book.) They can- not simply put all their ambition and intelligence into their scientific ca- reers while destroying everything humankind has believed in for the past twenty-five hundred years. Let us assume that the naturalistic turn in the image of Homo sapiens is irrevocable and that a strong version of materialism develops, in which case we can no longer consider ourselves immortal beings of di- vine origin, intimately related to some personal God. At the same time—and this point is frequently overlooked—our view of the physical universe itself will have undergone a radical change. We will now have to assume that the universe has an intrinsic potential for subjectivity. We will suddenly understand that the physical universe evolved not only life and biological organisms with nervous systems but also consciousness, world models, and robust first-person perspectives, thereby open- ing the door to what might be called the social universe: to high-level symbolic communication, to the evolution of ideas. We are special. We manifest a significant phase transition. We brought a strong form of subjectivity into the physical universe - a form of subjectivity mediated by concepts and theories. In the extremely lim- ited part of reality known to us, we are the only sentient creatures for whom the sheer fact of our individual existence poses a theoretical problem. We invented philosophy and science and started an open- ended process of gaining self-reflective knowledge. That is to say, we are purely physical beings whose representational capacities have become so strong that they allowed us to form scientific communities and intel- lectual traditions. Because our subsymbolic, transparent self-model functions as an anchor for our opaque, cognitive Ego, we were able to become thinkers of thoughts. We were able to cooperate in constructing abstract entities that move through time and are constantly optimized. We call these entities “theories.” Now we are entering an unprecedented stage: Centuries of philo- sophical searching for a theory of consciousness have culminated in a rigorous empirical project that is progressing incrementally and in a sustainable manner. This process is recursive, in that it will also change the contents and the functional structure of our self-models. This fact tells us something about the physical universe in which all these events are occurring: The universe has a potential not only for the self-organization of life and the evolution of strong subjectivity but also for an even higher level of complexity. I will not go so far as to say that in us the physical universe becomes conscious of itself. Nevertheless, the emergence of coherent conscious reality-models in biological nervous systems created a new form of self-similarity within the physical universe. The world evolved world-modelers. Parts began to mirror the whole. Billions of conscious brains are like billions of eyes, with which the universe can look at itself as being present. More important, the world evolved self-modelers who were able to form groups; the process of increasing self-similarity via internal mod- eling jumped from nervous systems to scientific communities. Another new quality was created. These groups in turn created theoretical por- traits of the universe and of consciousness, as well as a rigorous strat- egy of continually improving these portraits. Through science, the dynamic processes of self-modeling and of world-modeling were ex- tended into the symbolic, the social, and the historical dimensions: We became rational theory-makers. We used the unity of consciousness to search for the unity of knowledge, and we also discovered the idea of moral integrity. The conscious self-model of Homo sapiens made this step possible." (The Ego Tunnel, pg. 214-217)