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Offlinefresh313
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What makes us who we are?
    #3500965 - 12/15/04 12:25 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Many people would say life experiences, society, education... any other external factors that we internalize.

Imagine there were two people who had all the same external experiences. Would they be the same person? No, becuase they would internalize the experiences differently. So external factors can't make you who you are.

So if its not external, then it must be internal. So what is different inside our brains to make us unique beings?

We all have the same anatomical brain structure, same electrical impulses, same pathways, even the same chemicals.

Do we really have the same amount of chemicals though? that would mean everyone has exactly the same # of transmitters and recievers. the same levels of chemicals being stored and released, of course there are other factors invloved in this so it must be in a hypothetical identical situation. Even if the same amounts were released, if there wasn't the same amount of transmitters and reciever sites then it wouldn't carry the same effect.

So how does this relate to who we are?
Well if someone say doesnt have enough dopamine / or too much (chemicals, sites, both) then would it not change them as a person?

What about serotonin, and the rest of the chemicals in our brains?

If you don't think chemicals can change who you are, then do drugs change you? even if for just a while.

Are we the chemicals in our brains and if so why are we not complete slaves to them?

Well the way i see it if thoughts can control emotions and emotions are created by chemicals, then can we not inturn change our brains chemical characteristics by changing our thoughts?

So in this sense we control who we are by how we think. There is another factor we cant control which is how much of these chemicals our brain creates and actually receives. Those two factors combined are what i think makes us who we are, or who we are not.

Can these two factors change over time, yes, do we change over time, yes. Is that why ?

Just taking a stab at an extremely complex mechanism. Any criticism or opinions welcome and appreciated.


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InvisibleDNKYD
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: fresh313]
    #3501013 - 12/15/04 12:33 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I believe that in the nature vs. nurture arguement it's not black and white. It's a little bit of both. Our brain chemistry is usually determined by genetics, and fetal developement. These differences in chemistry can change the way we perceive or interpret our surroundings. But who we are is also determined by how we are raised from a very young age. Of course it's not permanent and can be changed, but it does play a major role in how you will act, think, and live.


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: fresh313]
    #3501047 - 12/15/04 12:39 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Hmm.. I believe that whatever the answer is on an individual basis, that answer's source is basically your God.

DNKYD- a little bit of both is the easy way out. You have no real argument which can account for the entirety, so you just merge polarities to get your answer?

IMO, we make us how we are. This redirects the question to Who are we, which in my particular view of the world, comes down to What is our purpose. And purpose is internalized entirely.. or is it?


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InvisibleDNKYD
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: vampirism]
    #3501088 - 12/15/04 12:51 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

That's just my opinion. I am an atheist. I see that the only things influencing me are the society I was raised in, the people who raised me, and my body chemistry.
I decide my own purpose in life, but that does not make me who I am. It is where I am going, and what I am doing.
How is having an eclectic viewpoint, and borrowing from two scientific schools of thought "taking the easy way out"?


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: DNKYD]
    #3501099 - 12/15/04 12:54 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Simply because you are addressing neither side by saying that both have some value. How does being atheist relate to any of this? I'm agnostic becuase I've realize that it's impossible to know that there is God or is not God.

Quote:

society I was raised in, the people who raised me, and my body chemistry



But all of these are just a part of you. Would their sum = you ?


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Offlinefresh313
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: vampirism]
    #3501100 - 12/15/04 12:55 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Morrowind said:
Hmm.. I believe that whatever the answer is on an individual basis, that answer's source is basically your God.





what about the people who dont believe in a god?


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: fresh313]
    #3501142 - 12/15/04 01:00 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I contend it is impossible. I'm using God as a general psychological principle- god as the ultimate self.


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InvisibleDNKYD
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: vampirism]
    #3501148 - 12/15/04 01:01 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Morrowind said:
Simply because you are addressing neither side by saying that both have some value. How does being atheist relate to any of this? I'm agnostic becuase I've realize that it's impossible to know that there is God or is not God.

Quote:

society I was raised in, the people who raised me, and my body chemistry



But all of these are just a part of you. Would their sum = you ?




I said I am an atheist because you said:
Quote:

Hmm.. I believe that whatever the answer is on an individual basis, that answer's source is basically your God.




And the only things that influence the person that I am (personality, the way I think, physical characteristics) are one of two things: nature, or nurture.
Obviously my physical characteristics stem from my genetic makeup that was passed from both of my parents to me (nature). The way I think, react to situations, feel emotionally, and my personality are products of how my parents raised me and the society that I was raised in (nurture).
What else could possibly influence the person that I am? It's social and chemical factors. Just my opinion.


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InvisibleDNKYD
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: vampirism]
    #3501182 - 12/15/04 01:08 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Morrowind said:
I contend it is impossible. I'm using God as a general psychological principle- god as the ultimate self.




If you know of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the top is self-actualization. After all your other needs are met, you try to become your ?"ideal self". Wouldn't this be the same as the "ultimate self" you are referring to as "god"?

Being self-actualized is part of who you are. You cannot be self-actualized unless you meet all of the necessary needs below it. So somebody growing up in a troubled home that does not learn to love or trust somebody will never become self-actualized until they can overcome that barrier. Coming from a troubled home is considered the "nurture" category. This affects how the person grows and develops psychologically.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: fresh313]
    #3501214 - 12/15/04 01:15 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Fundamentally, it is spacious awareness, the deepest sense of I Am, that exists prior to I am this or that.

In other words, you ARE Life. Life is what you are, not merely the fleeting content in life, sensory perceptions, emotions, or appearances - you are that spacious awareness in which all things take place.

As Krishnamurti would say: I am nothing, therefore I am everything and everything is energy. :smile:



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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: DNKYD]
    #3501262 - 12/15/04 01:23 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

But troubled homes only add experiences and depth. I have not seen troubled homes changing actual personality, only reaction, and that only in times of need. Any change in personality is an internal change- different people with the same basic and strong experiences can develop *very* differently.

I think Maslow's heirarchy of needs is a silly extrapolation of something which was silly to begin with.
Quote:

So somebody growing up in a troubled home that does not learn to love or trust somebody will never become self-actualized until they can overcome that barrier.


The problem is that this concept introduces the concept of some barrier. Why should there be some barrier? Oh wow, this person is loving but grew up in a troubled home! They must have overcome some barrier, while these other people just haven't been able to.

What barrier, exactly? You're branching the problem out into a tree- good for classifying of course- but not explaining thoroughly.


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Offlinefresh313
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: DNKYD]
    #3501265 - 12/15/04 01:24 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

would Maslow's hierarchy of needs hold true without the necessary chemicals in our brains which make us feel like we need these things and give us the ability to prioritize them by importance?
id say the chemicals in our brain make us 'want' these things, some more than others.


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OfflineAreoZephin
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: DNKYD]
    #3501315 - 12/15/04 01:32 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I believe and most logically believe that we must over come barriers in life to even touch the beginning of coming close to existence and what makes us who we are. Which, as a whole, I believe the world won't come close to it, ever, until something comes to us, or we come to it through means of mentality and thought and faith. It can NOT be a physical being because physicality is a barrier, as long as we give meaning.

Physicality is a barrier. And meaning is a barrier. The meaning of life is to live and die. We are in life right now. We can't become immortal. There is no escaping the meaning. Or is there?

The brain is just a physical tool. Take away the brain and the conscious can not display it's actions without the brain. Thus giving us what we all do in life, everything. I don't believe the brain creates the conscious, but that the brain relies on the conscious, and not the conscious relying on the brain. Why would the conscious rely on the brain if you took away that physical tool that is needed to display physical emotional actions which is made BY the conscious?

I believe the conscious is our spirit/soul. Take away the brain, the conscious doesn't have to display anything because there would be no meaning and no focus on anything physically.

But I can't really help atheists, I think, I don't know. All I know is that the conscious is apart from the brain, because you can take away the brain as it is just a tool for physicality.

So my point then from examining all this is I believe the barriers in life is what makes us who we are, and how we perceive and deal with those barriers.


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Edited by AreoZephin (12/15/04 01:34 AM)


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InvisibleDNKYD
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: fresh313]
    #3501350 - 12/15/04 01:36 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

fresh313 said:
would Maslow's hierarchy of needs hold true without the necessary chemicals in our brains which make us feel like we need these things and give us the ability to prioritize them by importance?
id say the chemicals in our brain make us 'want' these things, some more than others.




The third level is Belongingness and Love needs. Take a person with social anxiety disorder, for example. I don't know the validity of this, but supposedly it is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, or deficiency of chemicals. This person will probably not be able to socialize well with other people and most likely not be able to fulfill the love and belongingness needs. This prevents the person from ascending to the next level which is Esteem needs.

Quote:

"If both the physiological and the safety needs are fairly well gratified, there will emerge the love and affection and belongingness needs, and the whole cycle already described will repeat itself with this new center. The love needs involve giving and receiving affection. When they are unsatisfied, a person will feel keenly the absence of friends, mate, or children. Such a person will hunger for relations with people in general ~ for a place in the group or family ~ and will strive with great intensity to achieve this goal. Attaining such a place will matter more than anything else in the world and he or she may even forget that once, when hunger was foremost, love seemed unreal, unnecessary, and unimportant. Now the pangs of loneliness, ostracism, rejection, friendlessness, and rootlessness are preeminent"




Of course the chemicals in our brains make us "want" these things. They make us want food and water to survive because we NEED them. After those needs are fulfilled, we want shelter for safety, and on and on until the top level. In my opinion the bottom level (food, water, and shelter) are NEEDS. Everything else that Maslow refers to as a NEED I believe is just a WANT. They are not necessary for your survival, but they are desirable.


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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: fresh313]
    #3501352 - 12/15/04 01:37 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

What makes us who we are?

Those whom we are not.


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OfflineAreoZephin
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: zorbman]
    #3501358 - 12/15/04 01:38 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

:thumbup:


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InvisibleDNKYD
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: AreoZephin]
    #3501373 - 12/15/04 01:40 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

What would be your definition of conscious? Because the way I see it consciousness is just a byproduct of having a higherbrain center that lower animals do not have.


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Offlinefresh313
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: AreoZephin]
    #3501452 - 12/15/04 01:50 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

i would say that animals are complete slaves to the chemicals in thier brains. whereas we have the ability to some degree to control them with our thoughts.
that would be my definition of consciousness. the ability to control the chemicals in your brain through the use of thoughts.


Edited by fresh313 (12/15/04 02:04 AM)


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Offlinefresh313
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: DNKYD]
    #3501592 - 12/15/04 02:13 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

DNKYD said:
Of course the chemicals in our brains make us "want" these things. They make us want food and water to survive because we NEED them. After those needs are fulfilled, we want shelter for safety, and on and on until the top level. In my opinion the bottom level (food, water, and shelter) are NEEDS. Everything else that Maslow refers to as a NEED I believe is just a WANT. They are not necessary for your survival, but they are desirable.




we only need them to survive. we dont need to survive. we want to survive. what makes us want to survive?
the want to fulfill our less important for survival yet greater importance to the self wants. what makes us try to fulfill these?
chemical rewards


Edited by fresh313 (12/15/04 02:32 AM)


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OfflineRiffSki
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Re: What makes us who we are? [Re: fresh313]
    #3502296 - 12/15/04 06:22 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I think its coincidence since reality is a illution its like when you play a RPG on a comp, your stats get rerolled every once in a while just for fun


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