Have you existed before?

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

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Also true but I "lost" an hour of new memories. And I was not brain dead, just not conscious.

    If I become brain dead my memories will be lost permanently as the brain tissue begins to deteriorate from lack of oxygen. As I understand it this process takes about 7 minutes before permanent brain damage is incurred.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  3. Andrew256 Registered Member

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    So, you think that when brain shuts down under anesthesia, the consciousness does not disappear completely, therefore to undergo anesthesia and wake up is not the same as to be removed completely from the reality and then be reconstructed again (teleportation thought experiment)?

    let's combine those experiments. You undergo anesthesia, then you are teleported to another planet, and being reconstructed there on a molecular level and then wake up from anesthesia.
    Would you still be you? Because this whole process, as I see it, is the same as being dead, and another human being born. The only difference is the presence of memory in the brain.

    And we've already doubted that memory is what makes us to be us (the cloning experiment)
     
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Consciousness disappears completely, the subconscious control system to keep the body alive may remain...with help of oxygen.
    That's an interesting idea if the process could be conducted in a short time, but for long distance travel the body will continue to age. You won't recognize yourself when you wake up. And of course it you dissemble the body and neurons, connection and cohension is lost.
    Yes, I doubt cloning will transfer memories. You'd start with a blank slate. Just the blank brain structure., IMO
    I might be possible to record and transfer the cognitive electric brainpatterns, but actual memories would most likely be lost or be fleeting hallucinations, especially without any familiar stimulus.[/QUOTE]
     
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  7. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    What happens when the mind becomes active, such as in a dream?
     
  8. Andrew256 Registered Member

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    Remember that we're conducting a thought experiment, where we can assume anything that is theoretically possible, disregarding the means to achieve it. For example destroying the patient's body, essentially killing him, and reassembling it with 100% accuracy down to every atom and every quark (one possibility for teleportation). Yes, the connection and cohesion will be lost. Which makes us think that what we end up with after teleportation is essentially another person. But, he will have same memories as his old copy, and he will not even understand that he's another person. From his point of view, he will be the same person, he will believe that his connection and cohesion, as you put it, are still intact. While the old copy that was destroyed will remain oblivious to reality and experience "nothingness" (I know you can't experience it, it's just a figure of speech).

    But what if this cohesion, this connection is an illusion? An illusion that brain makes for itself to give the feeling of continuity. What if it actually doesn't exist (doesn't have a form nor substance in material world), and the teleported person from the above experiment is still the same person?

    With conventional genetics cloning, yes. But with theoretical "reconstructive" cloning, when a copy of a person is made (think like teleportation from the previous example, but without destroying the original), the memories will remain the same, assuming they are indeed stored in the brain and are recorded using material matter.

    Well, that's easy

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    Wether we are asleep or awake, seeing dreams or reality, it doesn't matter because in both cases we only experience what our brain "show" us. Our subjective reality is the same as a dream, because it is entirely generated by our brain.
    It's also worth mentioning that we cannot possibly know if objective reality exists in the same form that we're experiencing it or not. We only assume there is a very high probability that it does, based on what the brain show us. That's why the old question about falling tree in a forest or the moon which no one looks at do have a meaning.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  9. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    It would seem that the mind is the tether?
     
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Is saw a NOVA presentation by Brian Greene once, speculating on the principle of "entanglement"
    Two tubes in Paris and two tubes in New York. In Paris a person steps in one tube and in the second tube we create a copy of the person but from entangled particles. Then we send the entangled particles to one of the tubes in new York where these particles are reassembled into the original person, and vice versa. If that could be done, then perhaps the electric charges of brain neurons could be preserved.
     
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    And an unreliable thether at that.
    If you raked your lawn yesterday, you can't even look back in time and see the leaves, unless you had taken a picture yesterday of the leaves covered lawn.
     
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I don't recall suggesting that.

    No. Dead means those memories (which are stored electro-chemically) disintegrate. Forever, unless they're magically recorded.

    No. Humans born do not have a lifetime of memories.

    How?
    The cloning experiment shows that memory is identity. My clone does not have my memories, or my experiences, merely my biology.

    Unless you meant perfect duplication of me - including my memories.
    In that case, there are now two people who, from the moment they are duplicated, are pursuing independent paths.
     
  13. Andrew256 Registered Member

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    They don't need to be preserved to allow for the same mechanism of mind's "creation" to repeat itself.

    Can I ask you, for a minute, to just forget about cold facts, and focus on your imagination instead. A lot of what I'll say is debatable, but I ask you try and imagine it throughly, how gradually and consequently a mind is born. You could also turn on some emotional music for dramatic effect

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    :

    A sperm cell combines with the egg cell which give birth to the embryo. The embryo sits in it's mother's womb, slowly amassing molecules. An incredibly complex system of molecular bio-machines take proteins, fed to the embryo through the umbilical cord, and use it as building blocks to build new cells through mitosis, by copying the entire DNA sequence of the original cell each time.

    Veritasium did an excellent video that visualize this process:


    Over time, the newly formed brain gathers more and more neurons, which form more new connections between each other, thus increasing the complexity of the overall organ. At one point the complexity reaches a state that can give birth to what we call a "thought". At first it's entirely autonomous, like a computer program, doing what it was programmed to do. The embryo by this point develops enough to leave it's mother's womb and start to sustain itself. As more and more of neural connections are formed, the complexity eventually reaches a state, when the mind cease to be just an autonomous control mechanism, and acquires self-awareness. It becomes a person. Thus, "You" is born. Among the hundreds of similar minds, being born in the very same minute all across the globe, "You" have "appeared" in this one specific brain and body.

    As time passes, information about the world is fed through your brain to "You" and recoreded as memories. After some more time, eventually, your body sustains enough damage (either through unfortunate incident, illness, old age, e.t.c) to be unable to support the brain any longer. The brain, in turn, cannot support it's own complexity any longer, and stops functioning. Essentially, when any machine stops working, you could say it's gone from the more complex state to the less complex state. This is what happens with your brain. Lacking the complexity needed to support the existence of mind, "You" disappear. As the brain loses it's electrical charge and eventually decompose, any memories, that might have been still stored inside (like a hard drive still holds information even after being removed), also disappear completely. All information about you is erased. Completely.

    At this same day, a new egg cell have started to develop into the embryo. The embryo slowly amasses molecules, an incredebly complex system of molecular machines... *insert the part from the previous paragraphs*... As more and more of neural connections are formed, the complexity eventually reaches a state, when the mind cease to be just an autonomous control mechanism, and acquires self-awareness. It becomes a person. Thus, "You" is born. Among the hundreds of similar minds, being born in the very same minute all across the globe, "You" have "appeared" in this one specific body.

    Ok, you can stop the music now.
    Yes, "You die along with your brain"
    "All evidence show that your consciousness originates in your brain"
    Heard that in the neighboring topic

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    Here, I'm just trying to include a little imagination in your philosophy. Try to imaginatively separate the current You, which is reading this right now, and the universal You, who's, like a cat in the Schrodinger's box, is in a constant state of superposition, You that could have been or could be.

    Isn't this, at the very least, an idea worth thinking about?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  14. Andrew256 Registered Member

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    Just thought worth adding - from the above description, notice how the conditions for mind creation in both cases were the same. In second case, the reality actually doesn't care if you have ever existed before or not. The initial state, and the process itself are exactly the same, meaning the result is also the same.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    How, in any meaningful way, is this second new life the same person ("me") as the first one?
     
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    No meaning, other than your DNA which is just chemical instructions to form cells. So some of you physical traits may be duplicated, but the newborn brain is blank except for the auto response system which often takes a few moments to activate. That's when the baby first cries, it is a sign of breathing.

    But we know the brains information system is blank. We can tell when a baby first discovers its hands and fingers. IOW it is not even aware of it's own body (except hunger) until it receives external visual or auditory input.
     
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    @ Andrew256,

    Here is Drew Berry's entire presentation of the "animation of unseeable biology"
     
  18. Andrew256 Registered Member

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    What I'm trying to suggest (not state, just suggest) that there might be a probability that a process can repeat itself in exactly the same manner, with similar results (namely, forming a mind arising from complexity, that will acquire self-identity similar to what you experience curretnly) because the starting conditions are the same. A very crude analogy - imagine a "slot" that your consciousness occupy. When this slot is freed, it could be taken by something else. Of course, I mean a purely "virtual" or "logical" concept. We know that physically, there are no anything like it.

    It seems that we have a fundamentally different understanding of the concept of self-identity in consciousness. I'm not sure mine is correct though.

    A similar question - Is the moon there in the sky if no one is looking at it? There just might be a possibility that the answer is "no". It's similar because it asks about fundamentals of our reality, and not suggesting something completely at random (that's me trying to protect my point of view though, feel free to disregard)

    Thanks, that is very, very awesome!
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. A clone. They exist.

    A clone is not the same person as its original.
     
  20. Andrew256 Registered Member

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    Sorry for linking other people's creations but Kurzgesagt did a beautiful video on this, and it's a popular channel so you've probably seen it:


    How it realtes to this topic - "Life and Death, You and Me" are ideas that belong to a fluid pattern. You are a pattern. And what do patterns do in this universe? They repeat themselves.


    "Does this mean we can never die because we never been alive in the first place? Is live and death an irrelevant question?"
    "We got no answers for you, just a bunch of questions"

    My question to all of you - do you believe that your point of view is a definitive answer to those questions?

    "Meh, some guy linking youtube videos thinks he's smarter than everyone". Just in case, I'm not

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  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I often link youtube videos , if they are recordings of actual scientists. I also often link to Ted Talks. Some good stuff there.

    As to "patterns repeat" themselves I addressed this that some of your DNA may repeat some of your physical patterns (I used the term "physical traits") in your offspring. In the Silvery salamander the offspring are all female and identical clones of the mother. Her DNA never mixes with a male's sperm, thus it is her pure DNA which is copied (barring accidental mutation). Interestingly, she will mate with any male salamander, but reject his sperm. Apparently the act of mating itself triggers the mitosic cell formation from the mothers DNA only.

    But the mind is a product of its environment and personal experience, thus while that brain may "learn" some behaviors (such as hunting techniques) from the parents, most neural patterns are formed from personal experience. This phenomena is generated by the "mirror neural system" of the brain, which is responsible for cognition (or best guesses) of the external information received and processed by the sensory system.
    https://www.ted.com/talks/anil_seth_how_your_brain_hallucinates_your_conscious_reality

    I haven't had time to view the clips but I shall and get back to you with my impressions.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017 at 1:40 PM
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I am not a pattern, and neither are you.
    Patterns are defined by the fact that they have repetitive elements. It is the repetition that defines it as being a pattern.
    On the other hand, identities are defined by their unique elements - the parts that do not repeat.

    As stated before, the parts of me that are not unique (bipedal, made of muscle and blood) are the very parts that do not define me as distinct from others. The "pattern" in this case is "humans" or "vertebrata", i.e. the collection, sans identities. The identity is the part that is not common.

    In fact, one could go so far as to say identity is the very antithesis of pattern.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017 at 12:46 AM
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  23. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I'm having a little trouble with the word identity. What defines an individual's identity?
     

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