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Offlinevaporbrains
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Breaking down personal identity
    #1026278 - 11/06/02 01:12 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

Something on the philosophical tip:

You're dying. So they make a perfect copy of your brain, psychologically identical in every way and place it in a new body. Great! ...as long as they kill the old brain and don't make more than 1 new copy. Which one can you look forward to being? Brain A or Brain B? If they make more than one identical brain then the concept of identity shatters. The body isn't identity. The mind isn't identity. Both can be duplicated/multiplied, and no two things are identical by definition...similar perhaps, but not identical. So, the question is, then, what is identity? Which brain could we look forward to being? Both? Neither? If my identity can't be equated with my psychological states, or my body (since both of these can theoretically be duplicated indefinitely leaving the duplicatee wondering "which one am i?") then ...What the fuck does it mean to be me? What is personal identity composed of? It seems to be another waltz by that old seductress, Maya. If i can't look forward to being me in a brand new cloned body/brain, then why should i look forward to being me in the near future? Under this idea, when i go to bed at night, i have no reason to anticipate waking up, because the person who wakes up in the morning will have a different identity than me. Obviously, the reason i wash clothes for work tommorrow before i go to bed is because experience has taught me that what i do in the present has an effect on the way i will experience the future. I...I ... I...know that I ..I ..I will experience ...be conscious of...the future. It's all rather confusing and i'd love it if some of you more sagacious shroomerites would help enlighten me on this issue.


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All refrences to and statements concerning mushrooms, mushroom cultivation, and mushroom related paraphrenalia refer specifically to the cultivation of legal species.


Edited by vaporbrains (11/06/02 01:21 AM)


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: vaporbrains]
    #1026357 - 11/06/02 01:34 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

I think that if you create a perfect copy of your brain, both brains would share the same identity, at least for a very small amount of time.  In the very beginning, both brains would think they are the original identity, until one soon finds out it is the copy.

Identical Siamese twins (who have identical brains in theory) share the same life experiences.  Are they one identity, or two?  Perhaps the ability to think independently of each other makes them two? And by this reasoning, I think it is the ability to think independently that makes two identical minds unique.  :crazy:       


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: vaporbrains]
    #1026549 - 11/06/02 02:29 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

Ah, the question's changed slightly since I first read and replied to it.  Now the question seems a little deeper; I think I can paraphrase your new question as follows "Does one have a soul?".  Perhaps that's not what you meant, but I think that's what it boils down to.  The soul is the equivalent to what you would call "MY identity".

Personally, I don't believe in the concept of a soul.  It would be nice, because a soul often implies immortality, but I don't believe in it.  Given that fact, I would consider a copy of my brain to be a new, but EQUAL identity.  The copy would in every way be as good as the original - if one had to be destroyed, it wouldn't matter which, because both are the same (intuitively that may seem wrong, but logically I believe it's right).

If both brains were to live on, they would each be a separate, but equal identity.  Now, the question arises as to whether or not one of these identities can claim it is the "real" me.  Because I think the "real" me is defined by my thoughts, and not my physical self, I would say that neither brain has a greater claim to being the "real" me.  They are both equally me.  Only now there are two independent "me's", neither of which is more "me" than the other.

Of course, this conclusion stems from my disbelief in the soul.  If I believed in a soul, then I don't think there could be two "me's".  I guess my soul would probably want to stay with the "me" that is the original physically.  But what if my brain was switched with someone else's?  Would my soul stick with my original body, or would it follow my original brain?  And then what if my original brain were destroyed, and a copy of my brain were put in someone else's body?  Where would the soul go then?

Dude, what the fuck kind of a questions are you coming up with?  My brain hurts!  :smirk:   


--------------------
:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: vaporbrains]
    #1026597 - 11/06/02 02:47 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

I am my soul. This consciousness, this 'self' which is me. My brain is merely a computer and my body merely a vehicle for the most efficient interaction with the material world. "I" exist within my brain and body, yet without them, I am still the same consciousness, the same soul.

Brain and body cannot function without spirit. Spirit can function without brain and body.

Your identity..what you call you. Your experiences, your wisdom... these things are eternal. Personality, ego... these are functions of the mind.. false projections of self identity... yet neccessary.

I am that I am


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OfflineMurex
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: Shroomism]
    #1026610 - 11/06/02 02:52 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

I agree with you Shroomism.


--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?



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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: Shroomism]
    #1026639 - 11/06/02 03:05 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

Ah, but that leaves my last question unanswered.  What happens to your soul if someone creates a copy of your brain which thinks just like you do, and your original brain is turned into scrambled eggs?  Does your soul leave the material world and allow the copy of your brain to exist by itself?  Does your soul follow your new brain since it thinks alike?  Does the copy get a brand new soul?  Can the soul think without a brain?  If so, what is the funtion of the brain?

Ok, if that's too many questions, just think about the 1st.    :tongue:



 


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


Edited by GoBlue! (11/06/02 03:17 AM)


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1026677 - 11/06/02 03:26 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

Actually I was replying to vaporbrains but to answer your question... a brain cannot function without a soul or consciousness behind it. The soul is where all life experiences reside, it is consciousness itself. A brain without a soul, is just a brain.

A computer without a power source...



Edited by Shroomism (11/06/02 03:28 AM)


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OfflineMurex
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: Shroomism]
    #1026738 - 11/06/02 03:45 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

I'm with Shroomism once again.


--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?



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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: Shroomism]
    #1026827 - 11/06/02 04:21 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

You answered the question with a surprising amount of confidence.

Like everyone, I am curious as to whether or not one's consciousness continues to exist in some form after the death of one's body.  There are a great number of different philosophies (and religeous beliefs) about this, but to date not a single one of them has either been proven or disproven (if that were the case they would either cease to exist, or they would become the only one in existence).

So given the impossibility of proving life (or consciousness) after death, how does one reach a conclusion that it exists?  And especially how does one reach any specific conclusion about the soul (such as whether or not there are a fixed number etc.)?

I?ve gotten way off the topic of this particular thread, but is there an existing thread on this subject that already has some insightful thoughts?  If not, I?ll start a new one after a good night?s rest.  :grin:

Peace.
 


--------------------
:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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OfflineMurex
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1026830 - 11/06/02 04:24 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

In reply to:

So given the impossibility of proving life (or consciousness) after death, how does one reach a conclusion that it exists? And especially how does one reach any specific conclusion about the soul (such as whether or not there are a fixed number etc.)?




Eating mushrooms and realizing that the soul just does.



--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?



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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1026844 - 11/06/02 04:32 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

One does not "prove" consciousness or soul. It is something that can only be felt, experienced. Subjective verification is proof for that person. You can only find your soul yourself, get to know it.  Of course, when you die.. you will know the answer for sure, but until then... it doesn't hurt to explore.  Anyone that has experienced a conscious state without the body (OOBE) should have sufficient proof (for themselves) of a soul.  Personally, I have a great number of reasons for how I know my soul is there. The point is I know that I have a soul, that is why I am confident.

Perhaps some 'soul searching' is in order... pun intended  :grin: 


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: Murex]
    #1026852 - 11/06/02 04:34 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

lol - I like that!  :grin: 


--------------------
:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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OfflineLlamanose
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: Murex]
    #1026853 - 11/06/02 04:34 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

Your soul just is.  If it does anything or helps anything doesn't matter... it's just there, it exists to exist, and that's it's purpose.  :laugh:  Soul-rific! 


--------------------
Alice came to a fork in the road.  "Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


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OfflineMurex
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: Llamanose]
    #1026898 - 11/06/02 04:51 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

Oh yeah, out-of-body experiences are good at telling you that your soul exists.

I had a partial oobe once, it was cool....but kinda strange.


--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?



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Offlinevaporbrains
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: Murex]
    #1028063 - 11/06/02 02:51 PM (14 years, 1 month ago)

i still haven't heard a proof of the existence of the soul yet. out of body experiences prove shit. and as someone pointed out, who gets the soul? Brain A? or Brain B? and what happens to Brain A if Brain B gets the soul? Does it get a new soul? And if it gets a new soul then what is the value of having a soul? it means nothing... the soul is irrelevant to this question as it doesn't exist.


--------------------
All refrences to and statements concerning mushrooms, mushroom cultivation, and mushroom related paraphrenalia refer specifically to the cultivation of legal species.


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Offlinevaporbrains
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: vaporbrains]
    #1028896 - 11/06/02 06:22 PM (14 years, 1 month ago)

Shroomism: what exactly is a soul? If you can't give us a definition or at least some sketch of an idea of a conception of a vague impression of what you mean by "soul" then what is the use of using the word? I'll go ahead and ease your burden by listing some things that are not soul, imo:

1) personality, mental attributes, character

2) memory, consciousness, awareness

3) ego, self, sense of self, personal identity

4) a cat, a beaver, any animal real or imagined

With these things out of the way i ask "what is the soul?" common definition holds that the soul is some immaterial entity that channels through the body/brain and that will survive these and exist after death. in my opinion, the soul is a meaningless concept if it isn't me, because i can't look forward to being my soul if my soul isn't, in some way, me.


--------------------
All refrences to and statements concerning mushrooms, mushroom cultivation, and mushroom related paraphrenalia refer specifically to the cultivation of legal species.


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: vaporbrains]
    #1030576 - 11/07/02 01:06 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

You are your soul. The cumulative wisdom of all your experience, your conscious awareness. The soul is eternal... while your personality and ego may undergo dramatic transformation, the soul remains pure..energy... consciousness... YOUR being.


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: vaporbrains]
    #1030605 - 11/07/02 01:12 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

Since you took a short stab at an answer of what a soul is not, I will take a stab at what it is.  But first some backup information:

Every human is born with a will to live and a fear of dying.  These are important evolutionary characteristics that help a great many species to survive.  In fact, most human emotions, such as love, fear, curiosity, etc are shared by many animals as well (mammals in particular), because they are important characteristics for survival (for example, love is an emotion that causes a mother to protect her infant, even if it means putting herself at risk).  Emotions help animals survive, and they are the reason why so many animal species have made it this far (if you don't believe animals share human emotions, just watch Discovery Channel every now and then for convincing evidence).  I realize that not all animals have emotions - some survive through other evolutionary advantages, such as reproduction on a massive scale (a strong sex drive is also necessary for the survival of species which have two sexes).

Now, as I've said, one of our emotions is a fear of death.  Since humans are smart enough to realize that they are mortal, this fear of death (combined with a love for others and other emotions) has led ALL civilizations to philosophize about whether or not we somehow go on after death, and whether or not we will ever meet our loved ones again.  No one wants to believe that death is the end, because this goes against our strongest emotions.  Since the human body clearly dies, the ONLY conclusion that we can reach is that somehow we go on after our body's death in what has come to be known as the soul.

Interestingly, ALL civilizations have come to the conclusion that there IS such a thing as a soul.  Humankind needs this conclusion to ease their natural fears.  But all societies have reached very different conclusions as to what specifically happens with the soul after death.  Some believe in heaven, some believe in reincarnation, some believe in certain forms of nirvana.  All of these conclusions accomplish the same thing:  to help people overcome their fear of death, and in most cases to reduce the hurt of missing loved ones who have died.

I'd like to believe in a soul, just like everyone else.  But wishing for a soul isn?t enough to make it exist.  People will argue with me passionately; not because they have any evidence that souls exist, but rather because my conclusion is too disturbing to accept.  They will create reasons that they believe souls exist, but all of them boil down to a good imagination (out of body experiences, actual contact with God, etc.)  Every religion has people who claim to have seen evidence that their philosophy is the right one, but since there can be only one right one (at the most), almost all of these people are necessarily wrong, in spite of their absolute conviction that they are right.  Evidence will never support the existence of a soul, but our fear of death will.  :tongue:       


--------------------
:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1030699 - 11/07/02 01:29 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

Since I have found my soul, I am quite comfortable with death. I do not fear it at all, when my time comes it will come. Seeing as how I have almost died twice..to me it's more exciting than scary.
edit: because I have seen the 'other side'


Edited by Shroomism (11/07/02 01:30 AM)


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Breaking down personal identity [Re: Shroomism]
    #1030908 - 11/07/02 02:44 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

My point EXACTLY.  By passionately believing that your soul will go on, you've successfully overcome one of man's greatest fears.

I suppose if everyone's vision of "the other side" were similar, I might be convinced that they were seeing something real.  But since there are so many tales of what goes on on the other side (most all of which "prove" whatever beliefs people had before they went to the other side), I have to conclude that only one type of vision (at best) can possibly be "real".  Was yours the "real" one?  Your mind had better convince you so.  But my friend who knows he's spoken with Jesus Christ would argue...

Just some thoughts.  :smirk: 


--------------------
:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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