Have you existed before?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by birch, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    Ever heard the expression "You cannot step into the same river twice"?
    Any concessness process which emerges will never have the same input as any previous concessness
    Since A's concessness has vanished everything from that my on is going to be different
    A's concessness will never be repeated

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  3. Andrew256 Registered Senior Member

    I think the most misunderstood part in all this is that, when I tell about possibility of re-emergence of one's consciousness, you (as well as some other counter-arguments in this thread) assume there is some kind of connection between the previous "owner" of this consciousness. And try to dismiss my assumption based on those connections.

    But, there's none. (Bear with me on this one) You weren't born because some living being before you ceased to exist. That's far from what i'm implying. The physical laws of this universe resulted in the formation of a brain, consciousness and self-identity that is differentiated from the consciousness of the person next to you. You imply that there is a limitation in this universe which forces this process to happen only once in the span of all existence.

    I try to challenge that idea and imply that absence of such limitation is a sound possibility. It's like arguing if the universe if infinite or not. Both are possible, yet scientific proof is required that universe is finite as much as it is required to proof that it's infinite. We just don't have enough information to make any conclusions. Is making assumptions about universe's infinity a wild speculation? I don't think so. So is making assumptions about nature of consciousness and limitations I mentioned above.

    I understand I've tired you but I would appreciate if you make an argument against that, which I'll try to take as final, and try not to take more of your time. I'm genuinely interested.
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  5. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    OK in effect you have just shoot yourself in the foot
    Another YOU which really is not YOU but a duplication
    OK there is no linkage between the two YOUs
    Can I suggest you write to every lotto business and request details of how many winners have there been who have won with the same numbers. They do exist. Sometimes a lotto will have 1 winner sometimes more

    So that becomes ONE variable which has been repeated which would appear to been long odds of it occuring more than once. Who would have thought given the odds (well into the millions) of more than one winner because they had the same numbers?

    Next how many were of the same gender? Not much variation there, 50/50, so that has to occur in any lotto with 3 or more than 3 winners

    Born on the same day, same town, hospital? NOTE I am not implying any linkage of the YOUs, only off the ODDs of its occurrence

    Since there are a gazillion gazillion gazillion gazillionS variables the odds never vanish but truely it's not going to happen another YOU is not going to appear

    It's a numbers game

    Just thought of a experiment you can do at home with a couple of packs of cards (52 cards each pack)

    Give one pack a true shuffle (as opposed to a forced shuffle) - put them to one side. Repeat with the second pack

    Now for the incredulous part. Each of those packs contains a sequence of cards WHICH HAS NEVER OCCURRED ON EARTH BEFORE

    Keep repeating that until it sinks in and you believe it

    Want more? Take it as true what I have asserted - with the packs side by side begin to turn over the top cards

    Turning over all 52 cards in each pack counts as ONE EVENT OK?

    You do this for 3 events. Between the events you do a true shuffle of each pack

    Now before you start write down how many times per 3 events would you expect (guess) a pair of matching cards would occur?

    Remember each shuffled pack will contain a sequence of cards never seen on Earth before

    Go and do the experiment. Post results. Tell me what you guessed the odds to be. Tell me the odds you found

    Tell me how you think it works

    If if if I am kind I might might might explain

    The experiment is obviously open to all

    I await your incredulous post replies

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    This post worthy of two Poes

    PS quick edit. The matching cards are a exact match not just a Ace with Ace or 5 with 5. It would be Ace of hearts with Ace of hearts, or 5 of clubs with 5 of clubs, not just 5's

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    Worth another Poe

    Breakfast time with Lizzie

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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  7. Andrew256 Registered Senior Member

    Ok then, gonna buy a second pack of cards especially to do this and see if it sinks in (after NY). Although I'm already brewing credulous post in my head

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    Happy NY!
  8. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    Run your own experiment first
    For a explanation of the single pack state go here from QI


    For the two pack I'm afraid that goes back at least 40 years when I read about it in Playboy. Yes I did really really read the articles.

    This is one of the few which stayed with me and while I can explain as per the article I still puzzled by it

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  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    IMO, consiousness is an evolving adaptive property of living things, a result, rather than a pre-existing thing.

    A slime mold has no brain at all, yet it responds to changes in temperature, availability of food, and even time.
    Thus it seems that its biochemical components have reactive abilities and that of course has been well proven.
    But is that conscious awareness or just physical abilities and limitations?
  10. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Arguably some of its activity or that of a bacterium might be construed as a very primitive level of awareness described in a third-person mode or mechanistic language. But not the kind of subjective (first-person) consciousness sporting internal experiences / manifestations or a "what's it like to be _X_". IOW, there's only the usual not-even-nothingness that matter arrangements are to themselves, despite an external human observer representing it as something "present" in perception that is detecting / reacting to circumstances.

    Both intelligent behavior and awareness as outer body responses to the environment are just sophisticated organizations of the capacity of "stuff" to interact with itself, which long preceded the arrival of a biological stratum. As such a kind of panprotopsychism is indeed the case -- i.e., mind as restricted to intellect and third-person "awareness" has universal precursors. That restricted version of mind (minus experiences) is the result of incremental development from the "building-blocks" of the motions / changes of components (or manipulation of some physical property or force of theirs) and their spatial relationships or mechanistic linkages. A working form or scheme for yielding such sapience and zombie consciousness is essential, but the form is useless without the "stuff" and its characteristics which are dynamically adhering to that functional arrangement or specialized system.

    But there would rarely be a point to calling such panprotopsychic precursors anymore than one might refer to a hyrdrocarbon molecule as a "proto-goat". The latter can be organized into many more things than just goats at higher scales and complex configurations. We wouldn't want a building-block agency chained to the name of an upper-level conception unless that's the sole item it can ever constitute, enable, or bring into realization.

    With regard to experience: Contending that phenomenal events arise from certain configurations of inputs / outputs is futile at this time. Since there's no basic physical property to posit which they would be manipulating to bring about even a simple instance of a quale, much less an intricate and broad manifestation or feeling. One needs a deeper explanatory account than just a schematic diagram.

    - - -
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    While wonderfully argued, I beg to disagree. I do want to qualify my view as more intuitive and probative, rather than learned. I am using Ockham's razor to try and come to the least complicated fundamentals of universal phenomena.

    The universal laws of matter are mechanistic, but I believe that we can show an evolving associative ability in bio-organisms. Heliotropism is but one of those associative abilities which goes beyond the purely mechanical, IMO.

    This may be a chemical/cellular circadian rhythm, but,
    Even without the growth imperative, the plant's cellular structure has learned (by natural selection) that facing east provides a survival advantage.

    The cuttle fish, a highly advanced mollusc, is able to precisely mimic its environment and is quite capable of learning and decision making. This is due its highly developed brain and eyesight which is clearly an associative ability rather than a purely mechanistic (chemical) interaction of the cuttle fish and its environmment. Their larger cousin, the octopus is able to solve intricate mazes and remember the route trough the maze, once learned. They are even able to explore possible alternative ways to a little snack.
    They have been observed unscrewing the lid of a jar after careful inspection and testing, in order to get to the snack inside the jar.

    Many lizards use triangulation to guage precise distance to prey, a rudimentary form of calculus. Lemurs can count and distinguish between larger and smaller quantities (albeit without using numbers).

    And IMO, the evolution of emotional responses to external stimuli as found in the great apes, dogs, elephants, whales, dolphins, and other more or less domesticated animals, suggests rudimentary evolution of morality and that which is good (desirable) or bad (undesirable), which I suggest is based on "movement in the direction of greatest satisfaction".

    Thus, as humans are able to think abstractly, it is mostly still associative and based on knowledge and associative thinking, rather than some mysterious "elan vital". As Seth indicated, when we cease to be self-conscious as a living organism, the body becomes just an object composed of bio-chemical constituents, which rapidly breaks down and is absorbed by smaller organisms.

    As Max Tegmark proposes all things and phenomena rest on some surpisingly simple fundamental mathematical properties and equations, which tend to self-organize into greater and greater complexity and speciation of those mathematical functions, depending on natural selection.

    We can already observe this in the artificially accelerated evolution of AI. The one difference is that AI is not composed of bio-molecules and cannot be considered to be alive, yet possess a pseudo intelligence without the ability for emotional (chemically induced experiences) responses. But that would not necessarily preclude the possibility of introducing bi0-chemical structures which allow an AI to develop emotional experiences.
  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    Plants do not learn

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  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    It was a turn of phrase, natural selection is the ultimate "tester". If you fail the test, you die.
  14. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    I know but it was low hanging fruit to have a nudge with the elbow at and I'm a little bored with a few of the various threads and post


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  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I love Texas Hold-em poker and had the great fortune of drawing a once in a lifetime hand which yielded a seven (7) card Royal Flush at a table with 5 other players. The odds for such an event are staggeringly low.
    Of course only the 5 highest cards produced the nut hand, but I saved the hand as it was such a remarkable event.

    There were several players who had each played tens of thousands of hands and no one had ever seen it happen.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  16. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    I'm guessing you cleaned up

    In the two situations I put forward the single pack came from a TV program called QI seen a few months ago

    The two pack goes back about 50 years to a Playboy article

    While I can give you the way the odds are calculated for the two pack set up and while I know it works it's still a puzzle to me

    Even more so after just learning the odds about the single pack shuffle

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  17. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I have no doubt that I & all other individuals are unique.

    I am sure I have posted remarks similar to the following at this or some other Thread.

    Identical twins/triplets do not have the same fingerprints. I think their retinal patterns are different & I suspect that a biologist or an anthropologist could describe other differences.

    Their adult memories & thought processes are not exact duplicates.

    If identical twins/triplets have distinguishing features, I am sure that less closely related relatives and unrelated folks would differ among themselves even more.​
  18. Andrew256 Registered Senior Member

    Ok then. Got myself a second deck of cards and did the experiment. Actually I have no problems believing that a newly shuffled deck contains combination that never happened before from the start of the universe. It's quite simple and falls in the line of intuitive thinking, unlike, for example, the fact that if you fold a piece of paper 42 times, the stack of paper will reach the moon, and if you fold it 103 times, you will reach the edge of the observable universe, which I naturally found hard to believe until looked up the explanation.

    So, before starting, I expected that probability of getting matching cards on the same position from the edge of the deck after true shuffle would be really, really low, but it appears otherwise. I did 5 events and I did them just as you described - I shuffled each pack for two minutes as hard and as random as I could before starting and between each event.

    On the first event I got no match.
    On the second event - https://goo.gl/hFybSr
    On the third event - https://goo.gl/QzQuE9
    On the fourth even I got a match on the first position (!!!) - https://goo.gl/6pd4Sh
    And the fifth event - https://goo.gl/FNwMUK

    For the couple of first matches I re-counted the number of cards to ensure I didn't mess up. Nope, all correct.

    I understand that I won't get a repeated deck, but getting a matching cards on the same position between shuffles seems not so rate. Or did I do something wrong? I find it hard to mess up. Have you done this experiment yourself? I can record a video if you don't believe me.

    Now, putting that aside, let's forget the part with matching cards (in case the experiment gone wrong or I messed up and did something wrong) and look just at the full deck combination. If you boil everything down to a numbers game, I can agree to that. However. Can we assume that Universe is infinite? More precisely, that space-time is infinite? I mean true mathematical infinity. The science does assert that Universe and space-time have a clear beginning in the form of Big Bang, but it still theorizes about the end of the universe and about the possibility that our universe might not be the only one. So can we agree that infinity might exist (even different kinds, or sizes, of infinities as science suggest) and that it's just a little above he realm of wild speculation?

    Now, if we do agree, and if I will sit there and do nothing but shuffle cards, I will, occasionally, get a matching combinations (As the link you've given describes, I won't even need infinity for that and can do this in a pretty finite time). In fact, I will get them infinite number of times. That's also what "infinite monkey" theorem implies. So "numbers game" is not a valid counter-argument to the initial question of this topic or to what I imply.

    Or did I miss your point?
  19. Andrew256 Registered Senior Member

    Just did another 4 events, first 3 events - no match, on the 4th event I got a match, again in the first position, 4 of Hearts. What are the chances of that? I guess not very rare.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  20. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    The odds on turning up a exact matching pair in 3 events are 2 to 3 IN FAVOUR

    ie for every 3 events you should have 2 identical card matches

    I didn't stop if I turned up a match and with 1 particular event I had 5 matches - 5 matches with only one go through the packs

    Long time since I played with the trick or looked at the odds but I'm thinking you need a complete go through the pack and get 5 matches to counter the times you have a complete go through and get none

    Anyway the calculation of the odds are as follows

    Turn over the first card from one pack
    The odds on matching that card with a card from the second pack are 51/52
    Turn over the second card
    The odds on matching that card with a card from the second pack are 50/51
    Then 51/50 - 50/49 - 49/48
    So on a single go through the packs, to get the odds, multiple 51/52 X 50/51 X 49/50.….down to 1/2 and you finish with a fraction close to 2/3
    Which translates to 2 to 3 IN FAVOUR
    Hence 3 events you get,on average, 2 matches

    The part that puzzles me, sort of, is once say the King of Spades has been turned over in the first pack obviously no chance of a match from the second pack
    But the key to the unpuzzle is we have not designated a particular match
    ie I have not specified PARTICULARLY I will match King of Spades with King of Spades

    However if still seems like witchcraft

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    As to the point I was trying to make way back sorry I don't recall

    It's 3am here as I post, my phone is at 12% battery and I'm going back to sleep

    Will try to recall later

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  21. Andrew256 Registered Senior Member

    The problem with AI is that currently it consists entirely of mechanical effects. Yes, it uses electricity like our brain to communicate signals, but all modern computing still use transistors as the element base, which, however small, are purely mechanical.

    The brain, however, might, quite possibly, utilize quantum effects. This hypothesis is called "quantum mind" and you've probably heard about it.
    From the wiki:
    "The quantum mind or quantum consciousness[1] group of hypotheses propose that classical mechanics cannot explain consciousness. It posits that quantum mechanical phenomena, such as quantum entanglement and superposition, may play an important part in the brain's function and could form the basis of an explanation of consciousness."


    Yes, "memories", "experience", it's all good and important into making us who we are, but I believe there's much more to the phenomenon of consciousness. We must agree that every mind is unique, or at least, your mind is uniquely different from my mind and from any other person's mind, otherwise you would not be able to differentiate yourself from everyone else. But if that's a result of complex quantum mechanics, it's still mechanics at the core, i.e. the system that abides the laws of the universe, and that can be, in theory, replicated with 100% accuracy (naturally or artificially, is not important now). That's the very base of what I'm implying when assuming that you could have existed or can exist beyond your current consciousness (or, should I say, quantum consciousness).

    But will it be ever replicated, or have it been replicated at least once, is of course open to speculation. I'm suggesting that there's nothing in the fundamentals of the universe that can (again, in theory) prevent this process.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    And what happens when he brain dies and all quantum functions of the brain die along with it. Only degrading takes place.
    In the end what's left?
    The bolded part of your post presents a contradiction. Quantum entanglement and quantum superposition are mechanical functions and therefore subject to the same argument that "classical quantum mechanics cannot explain consciousness.

    Everything exist fundamentally by quantum function, but the very fact that duplication always yields a variation (except perhaps at nano scale) proves that brains and brain functions are self-organized and unique to each individual's consciousness.

    A star exists by quantum functions also. Then it goes nova and all atoms are scattered. Will they reassemble back into the original star, or will bits and pieces end up in totally unrelated objects billions of light years removed from the point of origin?

    The gold we find on earth was made billions of years ago inside a star, but the earth is a planet, not a star.
    You cannot mix quantum with mysticism, for the very fact that it is mechanical (mathematical), which precludes miracles.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  23. Andrew256 Registered Senior Member

    Well, yes, "classical" mechanic is the quantum mechanics which makes a lot of approximations. It is just agreed for convenience that we will use the word "quantum" when we introduce certain new variables to describe the system with greater detail.
    But so far we don't have enough information to explain consciousness with satisfactory level of detail, so we make approximations and assumptions which we think fits into the overall picture.

    In the course of infinity might appear a star which is assembled from different particles, but those particles would have exactly the same properties (same organization into the same atoms and molecules, same amount, same electron orbits e.t.c). That's not miracle, just a very very tiny probability. Let's say zero point googleplex to the power of googleplex to the power of googleplex to the power of googleplex zeroes and one percent. Oh, let's just add another power to googleplex above, for good measure. Actually, let's take that number of zeroes and all this googleplexing that we just did, and repeat it another googleplex to the power of googleplex times. I sound silly, but we're talking about infinity here, so however small the chance is, it's not zero.

    But we don't even need 100% accurate duplication. We've already agreed that consciousness is mechanical, so whether we're talking about consciousness or stars, we only need the "clone" to be similar enough so that whatever variables that make that system important to us are the same.

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