Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by entelecheia, Oct 9, 2012.
What's a spirit?
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a. The vital principle or animating force within living beings.
b. Incorporeal consciousness.
2. The soul, considered as departing from the body of a person at death.
3. Spirit The Holy Spirit.
b. A being inhabiting or embodying a particular place, object, or natural phenomenon.
Which meaning did you intend?
1a, b and 2. Thought I'd delete the rest since I thought I'd need the last few.
Vitalism is a long dead theory.
Consciousness has never been found apart from the corporeal.
The soul is an unnecessary concept except to supernatural religions.
The notion that reductionism was the scope for examining issues beyond the corporeal is absurd at the onset.
That aside, plenty of evidence for consciousness existing outside of the corporeal vessel of a given individual, eg : individuals being aware of things well beyond their current social/chronological/physical environs (like say 5 year old children being aware of issues that tend to indicate previous lives) or even on a more simple level, retaining the same sense of identity from childhood to old age despite the body undergoing radical changes.
The notion that there is anything beyond the corporeal is absurd.
There is no reliable evidence for reincarnation.
Identity is just a thought we have, not a reality.
Spirit is nowhere near the same thing as identity.
Right, because I know what identity is, but not spirit. I can read the definitions, I know it's a cultural artifact, but I don't think there is any reality to it.
And what you just said there, is real, right?
There is no evidence of reincarnation, but as Clark said in his paper (discussed on the previous pages of this thread) we can't really say that "nothing comes next" unless the universe and existence itself comes to an end. Before being born is the same as after we die, there is a unexperienced gap of nothing that extends indefinetely until either you exist again (where you can - presumably where the same conditions exist as before you were being born) or the universe comes to an end. To me this implies that a incorporeal essence of yourself exists, that which is your subjectivity seperated from a general subjectivity.
In an episode of "Heroes," one of the protagonists, the teenager Claire Bennett is an adopted child and she wants to find out who her biological parents are, because she is confused about her identity and wants to find out who she really is.
Her foster mother tells her - "Sweetie, nobody can tell you who you are. You have to figure that out for yourself."
This succintly sums up the problem of personal identity: By its nature, personal identity is not something that one person could define for another person, the other person considering that definition obligatory for themselves. Which is why the usual scientific approach when it comes to identity is misplaced, as it tries to externally define something that is inherently internal.
I think it is the idea of someone else telling one who one is that is absurd.
Trying to accept someone else's claim about "Who I am" would be like trying to deliberately internalize another person's projection and holding it mandatory for oneself. That is psychological slavery, whether the projection is positive or not.
I am keeping in mind that you are a self-styled Aspie, so I have some reservations about your claims on identity issues.
But that subjectivity is nothing more or less than a rather complex set of electrochemical activities in your brain cells. A practical and incontrovertible definition of "death" is "irreversible degradation of the synapses," typically caused by cessation of the influx of oxygen but occasionally due to other causes such as trauma, excessive heat, cancerous growth, pernicious chemicals, etc. Once the synapses have degraded irreversibly, not only have those electrochemical activities ceased, but all detailed evidence of the results of those activities--of your "subjectivity"--has attenuated.
Unless you're gonna get all woo-woo on us and insist that there's some part of "you" that isn't really part of "you" at all but a free spirit floating about in the universe.
I'll go for the concept of "spirit" so long as it's understood in its metaphorical sense of "what you left us to be remembered by." The spirit of a composer in his music, of a great leader in the peace and prosperity among his people, of an architect in his buildings, of a dog in the happy memories of his family, etc. But that automatically diverges from your notion of "one's subjectivity," which vanishes from the universe the moment the "subject" himself vanishes.
"Subjectivity" implies at the very least an unconscious, and occasionally a consciousness. A dead person has neither of those. That's kinda what the word "dead" means.
I think that the example of an amputee who still identifies with their lost limb is proof enough that identity is all in the mind.
That would mean that if that system would be arranged the same way somewhere else then I would exist again. That it is impossible for a system to be arranged that way again would be ludicrous. There is great redundancy in the universe, things happen the same way again and again. Why would we be the special case that could never happen again?
I'm not, if there isn't evidence of such a entity then I don't see the reason why I should bring it up, especially in a thread which asks for a scientific and atheistic approach. The notion of "soul" could, even so, be used to describe the personal subjectivity that exists, even though seperated by a vast gap of nothing, being present in two seperate bodies.
Yes it does vanish, but could it ever be brought back? Could it never exist again? How come we could exist in the first place if we were never to exist again? A little reminder of that we were once in that vanished state, yet we were born. Ok, we never actually were in that state, nevertheless a vast amount of time had passed before we were born which was of course instantanious to us since we didn't exist.
Subjectivity doesn't imply something unconscious, it always imply a consciousness, awareness. There is no subjective me if I'm not conscious. Just like there is no subjective me when I'm dead. That doesn't mean that I can't be conscious after I've been unconscious, and that doesn't mean that a body can't be born which naturally has my subjectivity after I'm dead. To me it would be as if no time has passed at all from when I died and to when I was born, but since no memory could be passed I would think that my subjectivity has only been present within the body I am when I exist.
I am only arguing within the context of scientific knowledge, there is no need (at this stage) to bring up supernatural events to account for a subjective existence after we die. However; there are conflicts which seem to demand a essence that does seem to be unphysical in nature, those conflicts demand a understanding of subjectivity and how it can arise in a person - even though that subjectivity didn't exist as a entity in the gap before existing.
If you feel different, then explain how you can have your subjectivity and I can have mine, when both of our subjectivities are exactly the same when they didn't exist. How can there not be a personal essence of subjectivity? How could it ever be physical when we didn't exist?
by reliable evidence you are simply talking about reductionist evidence .... which is as absurd as measuring temperature with a tape measure (nothing against tape measures ... its just the wrong tool fro the job :shrugPlease Register or Log in to view the hidden image!. That aside, plenty of evidence, as before mentioned, for consciousness existing outside of the corporeal vessel of an individual
No evidence (particularly for one playing the reductionist card) for this claim ... science fiction/empiricism married to post dated rain cheques aside ...
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