In discussions on Buddhist term consciousness (
viññāna) with non-Buddhists, it's imperative to start with talking about
life in general because---to my understanding---life after all is the physical body we possess with consciousness, i.e., we wouldn't call a physical body without consciousness a life form.
Some non-Buddhists I talked with define
life as simply an arbitrary biological phenomena. For example, we humans have sensors, sensor signals are interpreted by a complicated neural network in the brain, decisions and interpretations made as a result are conveyed around the body accordingly, and the motor actions take care of the rest. That's with regard to
Thinking is simply a neurological decision process made in the brain. Also, according to them the
birth is a result of a sperm and an egg and
death 'cos the heart stops.
All fair explanations. But, before even introducing the concept of this continuous consciousness that continues from one life form to another, all is understood biologically. Life is birth + (actions + thinking) + death. All done.
The continuous consciousness that I'm addressing here (that I want to explain to others) is what I have learnt to be what continues whatever the life form we take till
How would you initiate one to step out of the above box of reasoning and get 'em to think of consciousness? What would be your line of reasoning to counter the above biological reasoning?
1. Feel free to change the question if you think its wording is not exact or not understandable.
2. The counter arguments I requested are purely for the sake of explanation. I've no personal interest in engaging in word-fights!
3. Consider all sub questions in Question above as one question.