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I am not the sum of my parts?

Zyz
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1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?
sdavio
Posts: 1,926
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1/6/2017 12:55:07 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

The two bodies differ in location, and so their experience would differ just in respect of that. It would be a dualist, not a materialist, thesis that they both would have an identical experience despite their differing location. In other words, if, as you say, "I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at" - this implies that the subjective experience of a consciousness is directly tied to the physical location of a body.
be humble
keithprosser
Posts: 3,434
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1/6/2017 6:53:48 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

I am generally suspicous of people whose first post is to start a thread, but this topic is genuinely interesting!

My position is that whether it 'seems to leave something out' or not, the hyper-materialist view doesn't leave anything out.

A lot hinges on what is meant by the word 'I'. Generally 'I' or 'me' refers to the whole package, my physcal body and my 'mental processes' together, because they are so closly intertwined. If I say 'I am sitting down' the 'I' refers principally to my physical body, if I say 'I am a materialist' I am referring to an aspect of my inner, mental self. Only rarely do we distinguish between the two, as when we way 'Sorry, I was miles away' and clearly make the separation between between 'body-I' and 'mind-I'.

If we believe Star Trek then teleporting does not move or preserve the 'body-I' - it transfers the 'mind-I' from one body-I to another, reconsistuted body-I. In a sense, it destroys and kills captain kirk's original body and installs a copy of Kirk's mind-I into a freshly cloned body. That is to say if you teleport to Hawaii, you die on the sending teleport pad and its some lucky clone who gets to enjoy the holiday!

A lot of people go off the idea of teleporting when it presented to them like that - and who can blame them? :)

But I am very happy with the idea of teleporting. Quite apart from my dislike of airports, I think rejection of teleporting shows an unstated assumption that the OP shares. That assumption is that we have something like a 'soul', some immaterial thing quite apart from the activiry of the atoms in our brain, so even though the activity in the 'clone brain' is identical (we can suppose) to the activity in original brain, that 'soul' was not transported.

If such souls existed then your soul would be lost by teleporting to Hawaii, but in Star Trek at least - unless it malfunctions as in the 'The Enemy Within' episode - teleporting seems to work just fine. I think that implies no such immaterial soul exists and the mind-I (our hopes, dreams, personality, our 'self' in short) is just the pattern of the activity of atoms in our brain.

Don't misunderstand - I am not saying that because of a Star Trek plot device materialism is true! What I am saying is that my belief in materialism leads me to think teleporting is fine and not a means of suicide as some people seem to think. Mostly they think that because they are unconsciously wedded to the notion of 'self' as a 'sort of soul' rather than being 'just' the product of a particular arrangement of atoms and their activity.
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,694
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1/6/2017 1:24:39 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

Adult clones, via a copy machines type teleporter, would include all physical properties of the mind.
'Mind' we take to mean a functioning brain. A function brain (mind) contains memories.
Our clone would have all shared memories up to the point of creation.
Theories of the soul generally say the soul is attached to the body, while the body is living. We might say there are sojourn, but still the soul is tethered to the body.
One body, one soul, that is consistent with the theories.
The soul is an extension of the mind, also consistent.
If the mind experiences a horrific, gut wrenching action, the soul will be affected.
A child abused by a parent will have a scarred soul.

All Humans have a soul, also part and parcel.
So this newly cloned adult, shares all of our memories, but has its own soul, and new additions to the bank of memories that make individuals unique.

There is much disagreement concerning when the soul is attached to the body.
Some dualists believe that a "regular clone" would have no soul. They would be like the soulless (?) creation of Dr. Frankenstein.
Shelley suggests that the monster did developed a soul. One body, one soul.
Some religionists oppose human cloning on the basis that the new human would have no soul, but there is little theological evidence to support this.
It is a matter of reasoning, and as I see it they object to mankind 'playing God' by creating a human. They are looking for any emotional appeal they can find.

I see nothing inconsistent with a dualists saying 'new life, new soul'.
Souls are viewed as ageless. There are no immature souls. The soul of a newborn does not have all of the frailties of the newborn body.

This newly created adult, mature clone, would have a newly minted soul, to accompany the well developed memories.
The newly cloned mind/body would have its own identity separate from the donor body, based on new experiences. Soul or not, still a unique identity.
If there is a soul, a new soul would be created to accompany the new, unique human identity, with its own bank of memories.
Zyz
Posts: 35
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1/6/2017 2:35:00 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 12:55:07 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

The two bodies differ in location, and so their experience would differ just in respect of that. It would be a dualist, not a materialist, thesis that they both would have an identical experience despite their differing location. In other words, if, as you say, "I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at" - this implies that the subjective experience of a consciousness is directly tied to the physical location of a body.

If the difference between my neighbors consciousness and mind is our physical locations, shouldn't I be able to switch seats with him on his couch and suddenly be able to experience his consciousness?
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,469
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1/6/2017 2:40:20 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
Many scientists believe that it isn't the atoms themselves that sustain your specific consciousness but the information those atoms contain. So even if there were different atoms that end up on the other side after a teleportation, that wouldn't necessarily mean that it was copy of you, as long as the informational structure was identical.
sdavio
Posts: 1,926
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1/6/2017 3:28:02 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 2:35:00 PM, Zyz wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:55:07 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

The two bodies differ in location, and so their experience would differ just in respect of that. It would be a dualist, not a materialist, thesis that they both would have an identical experience despite their differing location. In other words, if, as you say, "I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at" - this implies that the subjective experience of a consciousness is directly tied to the physical location of a body.

If the difference between my neighbors consciousness and mind is our physical locations, shouldn't I be able to switch seats with him on his couch and suddenly be able to experience his consciousness?

You will have a different memory, via having been in a different position than him up until that time, as well as the memory of switching seats. You will also not be in the same position he is currently in; you will currently be in a position he was in previously. If you posit both individuals as forever in precisely the same position (to the extent of violating the law of indiscernibles) and having thoroughly identical material predicates, then it will no longer be meaningful to talk about them as distinct.
be humble
Zyz
Posts: 35
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1/6/2017 3:55:16 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 6:53:48 AM, keithprosser wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

I am generally suspicous of people whose first post is to start a thread, but this topic is genuinely interesting!

I used to have another account here. What are you suspicious of, out of curiosity?

My position is that whether it 'seems to leave something out' or not, the hyper-materialist view doesn't leave anything out.

A lot hinges on what is meant by the word 'I'. Generally 'I' or 'me' refers to the whole package, my physcal body and my 'mental processes' together, because they are so closly intertwined. If I say 'I am sitting down' the 'I' refers principally to my physical body, if I say 'I am a materialist' I am referring to an aspect of my inner, mental self. Only rarely do we distinguish between the two, as when we way 'Sorry, I was miles away' and clearly make the separation between between 'body-I' and 'mind-I'.

If we believe Star Trek then teleporting does not move or preserve the 'body-I' - it transfers the 'mind-I' from one body-I to another, reconsistuted body-I. In a sense, it destroys and kills captain kirk's original body and installs a copy of Kirk's mind-I into a freshly cloned body. That is to say if you teleport to Hawaii, you die on the sending teleport pad and its some lucky clone who gets to enjoy the holiday!

A lot of people go off the idea of teleporting when it presented to them like that - and who can blame them? :)

But I am very happy with the idea of teleporting. Quite apart from my dislike of airports, I think rejection of teleporting shows an unstated assumption that the OP shares. That assumption is that we have something like a 'soul', some immaterial thing quite apart from the activiry of the atoms in our brain, so even though the activity in the 'clone brain' is identical (we can suppose) to the activity in original brain, that 'soul' was not transported.

Well I don't want to reject teleporting I just find it problematic, I very much wish to escape this mortal coil and transfer my consciousness to fresh cloned bodies every so often. But if simply reconstructing my brain isn't enough, I'd like to know what it would take.

If such souls existed then your soul would be lost by teleporting to Hawaii, but in Star Trek at least - unless it malfunctions as in the 'The Enemy Within' episode - teleporting seems to work just fine. I think that implies no such immaterial soul exists and the mind-I (our hopes, dreams, personality, our 'self' in short) is just the pattern of the activity of atoms in our brain.

Don't misunderstand - I am not saying that because of a Star Trek plot device materialism is true! What I am saying is that my belief in materialism leads me to think teleporting is fine and not a means of suicide as some people seem to think. Mostly they think that because they are unconsciously wedded to the notion of 'self' as a 'sort of soul' rather than being 'just' the product of a particular arrangement of atoms and their activity.

Being a materialist myself, I thought you would also find it problematic. If recreating my brain did create my consciousness, than wouldn't I be able to see through two pairs of eyes once my clone was created? It seems absurd to think my own consciousness will do in two places at once
Zyz
Posts: 35
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1/6/2017 4:19:49 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 3:28:02 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 2:35:00 PM, Zyz wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:55:07 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

The two bodies differ in location, and so their experience would differ just in respect of that. It would be a dualist, not a materialist, thesis that they both would have an identical experience despite their differing location. In other words, if, as you say, "I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at" - this implies that the subjective experience of a consciousness is directly tied to the physical location of a body.

If the difference between my neighbors consciousness and mind is our physical locations, shouldn't I be able to switch seats with him on his couch and suddenly be able to experience his consciousness?

You will have a different memory, via having been in a different position than him up until that time, as well as the memory of switching seats. You will also not be in the same position he is currently in; you will currently be in a position he was in previously. If you posit both individuals as forever in precisely the same position (to the extent of violating the law of indiscernibles) and having thoroughly identical material predicates, then it will no longer be meaningful to talk about them as distinct.

Then shouldn't someone with my identical material predicates produce my consciousness, like my clone? I would be conscious in two bodies at once it sounds like.
Zyz
Posts: 35
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1/6/2017 4:24:38 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 2:40:20 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Many scientists believe that it isn't the atoms themselves that sustain your specific consciousness but the information those atoms contain.

Can you expand on this?

So even if there were different atoms that end up on the other side after a teleportation, that wouldn't necessarily mean that it was copy of you, as long as the informational structure was identical.
sdavio
Posts: 1,926
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1/6/2017 4:44:28 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 4:19:49 PM, Zyz wrote:
At 1/6/2017 3:28:02 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 2:35:00 PM, Zyz wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:55:07 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

The two bodies differ in location, and so their experience would differ just in respect of that. It would be a dualist, not a materialist, thesis that they both would have an identical experience despite their differing location. In other words, if, as you say, "I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at" - this implies that the subjective experience of a consciousness is directly tied to the physical location of a body.

If the difference between my neighbors consciousness and mind is our physical locations, shouldn't I be able to switch seats with him on his couch and suddenly be able to experience his consciousness?

You will have a different memory, via having been in a different position than him up until that time, as well as the memory of switching seats. You will also not be in the same position he is currently in; you will currently be in a position he was in previously. If you posit both individuals as forever in precisely the same position (to the extent of violating the law of indiscernibles) and having thoroughly identical material predicates, then it will no longer be meaningful to talk about them as distinct.

Then shouldn't someone with my identical material predicates produce my consciousness, like my clone? I would be conscious in two bodies at once it sounds like.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

If the thing we're talking about really has all the same material predicates, then (according to a materialist ontology) it doesn't really make sense to call it a "clone" any more - it is you. If we're talking about a clone, and thus distinguishing its predicates from yours in some respect, then there is no contradiction for the materialist in distinguishing their respective experiences from one another. Their experience would be different just in concordance with that difference in material brain-states.

To state that two beings materially identical could have varying subjective experiences, or alternatively that two beings separated in space or time could have an identical experience, would be a dualist supposition, and so it is not an issue which becomes problematic for the materialist.
be humble
keithprosser
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1/6/2017 5:15:26 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 3:55:16 PM, Zyz wrote:
Being a materialist myself, I thought you would also find it problematic. If recreating my brain did create my consciousness, than wouldn't I be able to see through two pairs of eyes once my clone was created? It seems absurd to think my own consciousness will do in two places at once

I just think its suspicous when someone comes out of the blue and the first thing they do is start making thread. It seems somehow impolite somehow to me - one does not barge into strangers home the way you might in the home of a long established friend.

But that is by-the-by. I think to make sense of it all it is only necesseary to be consistent with the way one applies materialism. That core notion is 'a self is the product of particular patterns of activity of the atoms in a brain'.

Consider the case of cloning that you mention, but to make it clearer look at it from a neutral, 3rd party perspective. Let's say that is it you that is cloned, but I am observing the process.

At the start there I see one body (yours) inside which is a brain. Atomic activity (or at at slightly higher level of analysis neural activity) in that brain results in that brain perceiving things like hopes, fears, emotions and so on, all the things that people say makes a person that person. That is what I can see at the start.

A clone making machie disassociates all your atoms, analyses their pattern of activity and produces not one but two copies of it. So now what do I see? Well, now I see two bodies, in each of which is a brain, and the activity is each brain is producing its own hopes and fears etc. There is no physical or even any logical paradox about what happened.

The apparent paradox arises only if we wonder what happened to your 'self' - was it duplicated, does it reside in one copy but not the other? Was it destroyed and replaced by new copies or what?

My take is nothing happened to it because there is no such thing as a self for anything to happen to. What we think of as 'self' (or "I" or in older terms our 'soul') only ever had a 'virtual' existence - 'self' is a fiction that working brains produces as part of their task of modeling of the world. All that exists physically are brain atoms dancing, reflexively producing both perception and what is perceived.

Over to you... whatever 'you' means!
difference
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1/6/2017 6:53:41 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

You could ask what makes up your eyes and your other parts too.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

Do you think the neighbors you see are the actual neighbors with consciousness?

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

I would think that consciousness alone distinguishes itself from other consciousness. It doesn't need something extra for boundaries.
Zyz
Posts: 35
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1/6/2017 9:02:01 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 5:15:26 PM, keithprosser wrote:
At 1/6/2017 3:55:16 PM, Zyz wrote:
Being a materialist myself, I thought you would also find it problematic. If recreating my brain did create my consciousness, than wouldn't I be able to see through two pairs of eyes once my clone was created? It seems absurd to think my own consciousness will do in two places at once

I just think its suspicous when someone comes out of the blue and the first thing they do is start making thread. It seems somehow impolite somehow to me - one does not barge into strangers home the way you might in the home of a long established friend.

But that is by-the-by. I think to make sense of it all it is only necesseary to be consistent with the way one applies materialism. That core notion is 'a self is the product of particular patterns of activity of the atoms in a brain'.

Consider the case of cloning that you mention, but to make it clearer look at it from a neutral, 3rd party perspective. Let's say that is it you that is cloned, but I am observing the process.

At the start there I see one body (yours) inside which is a brain. Atomic activity (or at at slightly higher level of analysis neural activity) in that brain results in that brain perceiving things like hopes, fears, emotions and so on, all the things that people say makes a person that person. That is what I can see at the start.

A clone making machie disassociates all your atoms, analyses their pattern of activity and produces not one but two copies of it. So now what do I see? Well, now I see two bodies, in each of which is a brain, and the activity is each brain is producing its own hopes and fears etc. There is no physical or even any logical paradox about what happened.

The apparent paradox arises only if we wonder what happened to your 'self' - was it duplicated, does it reside in one copy but not the other? Was it destroyed and replaced by new copies or what?

My take is nothing happened to it because there is no such thing as a self for anything to happen to. What we think of as 'self' (or "I" or in older terms our 'soul') only ever had a 'virtual' existence - 'self' is a fiction that working brains produces as part of their task of modeling of the world. All that exists physically are brain atoms dancing, reflexively producing both perception and what is perceived.

Over to you... whatever 'you' means!

It sounds like your saying that consciousness is an illusion, or isn't real so to speak. I can accept that, but people will nonetheless "feel" conscious. What I'm really curious of though (and I guess this is a different question from the OP) is whether or not my consciousness can be "transferred" to another body or entity, so as to continue to "feel" conscious. What would it take to make my consciousness instantiate in my clone or other entity, am I really bound to this body and doomed to die once my brain decomposes.

If I misunderstood you and have essentially already answered this question, I am sorry.
Zyz
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1/6/2017 9:16:51 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 6:53:41 PM, difference wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

You could ask what makes up your eyes and your other parts too.

I could, but consciousness is the only part I cant entirely explain. I could explain how tissues and blood vessels make up my eyes, but when I try to explain my consciousness to such an extreme as the placement of each adam, I am no closer to discovering the part that produces my personal consciousness. This is why I used the cloning example, I have replicated my physical self in every possible way and yet my consciousness does not flow through him, my clone thinks for himself and I do not access to his thoughts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

Do you think the neighbors you see are the actual neighbors with consciousness?

I believe me and them at least "feel" conscious. I'm not sure what you mean by actual neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

I would think that consciousness alone distinguishes itself from other consciousness. It doesn't need something extra for boundaries.

I need to think about this.
Zyz
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1/6/2017 9:30:41 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 4:44:28 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 4:19:49 PM, Zyz wrote:
At 1/6/2017 3:28:02 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 2:35:00 PM, Zyz wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:55:07 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

The two bodies differ in location, and so their experience would differ just in respect of that. It would be a dualist, not a materialist, thesis that they both would have an identical experience despite their differing location. In other words, if, as you say, "I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at" - this implies that the subjective experience of a consciousness is directly tied to the physical location of a body.

If the difference between my neighbors consciousness and mind is our physical locations, shouldn't I be able to switch seats with him on his couch and suddenly be able to experience his consciousness?

You will have a different memory, via having been in a different position than him up until that time, as well as the memory of switching seats. You will also not be in the same position he is currently in; you will currently be in a position he was in previously. If you posit both individuals as forever in precisely the same position (to the extent of violating the law of indiscernibles) and having thoroughly identical material predicates, then it will no longer be meaningful to talk about them as distinct.

Then shouldn't someone with my identical material predicates produce my consciousness, like my clone? I would be conscious in two bodies at once it sounds like.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

If the thing we're talking about really has all the same material predicates, then (according to a materialist ontology) it doesn't really make sense to call it a "clone" any more - it is you. If we're talking about a clone, and thus distinguishing its predicates from yours in some respect, then there is no contradiction for the materialist in distinguishing their respective experiences from one another. Their experience would be different just in concordance with that difference in material brain-states.
;
To state that two beings materially identical could have varying subjective experiences, or alternatively that two beings separated in space or time could have an identical experience, would be a dualist supposition, and so it is not an issue which becomes problematic for the materialist.

Ok I see what your saying now, I can't really call my clone an exact copy of me. In that case I'll cut to the chase, is there anyway for me to continue my consciousness forever through advanced technology? Like could I make a synthetic version of my brain and switch it with my current one, and still maintain my own consciousness, without it making a new separate consciousness like my clones would have?
keithprosser
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1/6/2017 10:17:57 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 9:02:01 PM, Zyz wrote:
It sounds like your saying that consciousness is an illusion, or isn't real so to speak. I can accept that, but people will nonetheless "feel" conscious. What I'm really curious of though (and I guess this is a different question from the OP) is whether or not my consciousness can be "trnsfaerred" to another body or entity, so as to continue to "feel" conscious. What would it take to make my consciousness instantiate in my clone or other entity, am I really bound to this body and doomed to die once my brain decomposes.

If I misunderstood you and have essentially already answered this question, I am sorry.

If you are unsure if I have answered the question I have no problem in clarifying my position (which may not be the only position one can have).

Consciousness is not an illusion - consciousness is real. However consciousness works, it goes away when you fall asleep or get knocked out and comes back when you wake up or come round. There is no illusion about a knocked-out Zyz being different from a wide awake Zyz, ie a Zyz where consciousness is present and a Zyz when it is absent. When people say 'consciousness is an illusion' I don't think they are thinking too clearly!

Let's take something simple - looking at a pink snooker ball under normal conditions so you are naturally aware of a pink snooker ball - well, not quite. What happens is light from the pink ball hits your eye, and it gets turned into signals along your optic nerve to your brain. Once it gets to your brain a pattern of neural activity is set up that encodes some information, such as 'pink', 'round' and 'about 3 feet away' and so on. What you are aware of is not the actual snooker ball but the information about it that gets set up in your brain as a consequence of looking in its direction.

Obviously there is no actual pink snooker ball in your skull, but the information about it in your skull is totally real. There are machines today that can go a long way towards reading that information and telling us what someone is aware of. Our brains are obviously just very good machines for reading the information encoded as patterns of neural activity.

But we didn't evolve brains to encode information for the sake of it - it evolved to help the body it is part of to move safely around in its environment, to know when it needs food and to find food when that happens and so on. To do that means the brain has to encode information about the exterior world as a sort of internal 'world-picture' and most importantly it has to include itself in that picture. Indeed not just put it in the picture, but out it centre stage!
So in your brain a few neurones will be dedicated to encoding information about the pink snooker ball, but a lot more neurones will be dedicated to encoding a 'self'.

I said the neurones dedicated to the snooker ball encoded information like 'pink' and 'round' - but what information is encoded into neurons encoding 'self'?

That is both easy to state and hard to say. It is hard to put into words, but it it easy to state because what it encodes is 'how you feel yourself to be', however it is you prefer to put that feeling words.

I hope that my views clearer - I have no problems discussing it further!
keithprosser
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1/6/2017 10:58:21 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
PS - I'll just add that the self is 'virtual' because while there are neurones that encode information about one's 'self', there is no physical 'Self'. 'Self' is a fiction like, say, Frodo Baggins about whom there is information but an actual Frodo does not exist - hence Frodo is 'virtual', not 'real'.
difference
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1/6/2017 11:26:23 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 9:16:51 PM, Zyz wrote:
At 1/6/2017 6:53:41 PM, difference wrote:
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

You could ask what makes up your eyes and your other parts too.

I could, but consciousness is the only part I cant entirely explain. I could explain how tissues and blood vessels make up my eyes, but when I try to explain my consciousness to such an extreme as the placement of each adam, I am no closer to discovering the part that produces my personal consciousness. This is why I used the cloning example, I have replicated my physical self in every possible way and yet my consciousness does not flow through him, my clone thinks for himself and I do not access to his thoughts.

Does explaining an eye with vessels and tissues really mean anything?

Well, evidently consciousness is made up of sights, smells, sounds and so on.

I'm not sure about the clones :/ I think keithprosser and sdavio got it though.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

Do you think the neighbors you see are the actual neighbors with consciousness?

I believe me and them at least "feel" conscious. I'm not sure what you mean by actual neighbors.

I could have said that better. I meant that you have consciousness of your neighbor, but you don't have consciousness of his consciousness. The "being" that would be both your neighbor and his consciousness isn't available to you by your senses.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

I would think that consciousness alone distinguishes itself from other consciousness. It doesn't need something extra for boundaries.

I need to think about this.
sdavio
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1/6/2017 11:41:04 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 9:30:41 PM, Zyz wrote:
Ok I see what your saying now, I can't really call my clone an exact copy of me. In that case I'll cut to the chase, is there anyway for me to continue my consciousness forever through advanced technology? Like could I make a synthetic version of my brain and switch it with my current one, and still maintain my own consciousness, without it making a new separate consciousness like my clones would have?

Don't worry it's gonna happen.
be humble
keithprosser
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1/7/2017 2:35:59 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 11:41:04 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 9:30:41 PM, Zyz wrote:
Ok I see what your saying now, I can't really call my clone an exact copy of me. In that case I'll cut to the chase, is there anyway for me to continue my consciousness forever through advanced technology? Like could I make a synthetic version of my brain and switch it with my current one, and still maintain my own consciousness, without it making a new separate consciousness like my clones would have?

Don't worry it's gonna happen.

Well, I can imagine some company in California offering to store your precise brain-wave patterns on a USB stick for later uploading it into an android body as an alternative to cryogenics. Is that worth, say, 2000 dollars?

My guess is that if you don't go for the cloning thing you definitely wouldn't go for 'Brainwaves on a USB'!

But as I intend to start such a company let me give you people my pitch why 'your brainwaves on a stick(tm)' is the best way to go - or rather to not go! - when you die.

Phase 1 of the development of 'brainwaves on a stick' was that when our subject was asleep we uploaded his brainwaves to a stick and then wiped his brain completely - we call that 'brain formatting' as our in-joke. Before he woke up we downloaded his stored brainwaves back to his 'formatted' brain. In the morning the subject was completely unaware that anything had been done to him, and so was his wife.

In phase 2 we did more or less the same thing, but instead of formatting his brain we removed it completely and replaced it with a newly formatted brain from somebody else. The uploaded information from the stick re-configured the new brain perfectly and when the subject woke up he was completely unaware that anything had been done to him, and so was his wife.

So the process is obviously safe and does not affect 'you' or 'who you are' in any way.

And is 2,000 dollars so very much for immortalty? Credit can be arranged. T&Cs apply.
Zyz
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1/9/2017 6:54:55 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/7/2017 2:35:59 AM, keithprosser wrote:
At 1/6/2017 11:41:04 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 1/6/2017 9:30:41 PM, Zyz wrote:
Ok I see what your saying now, I can't really call my clone an exact copy of me. In that case I'll cut to the chase, is there anyway for me to continue my consciousness forever through advanced technology? Like could I make a synthetic version of my brain and switch it with my current one, and still maintain my own consciousness, without it making a new separate consciousness like my clones would have?

Don't worry it's gonna happen.

Well, I can imagine some company in California offering to store your precise brain-wave patterns on a USB stick for later uploading it into an android body as an alternative to cryogenics. Is that worth, say, 2000 dollars?

My guess is that if you don't go for the cloning thing you definitely wouldn't go for 'Brainwaves on a USB'!

But as I intend to start such a company let me give you people my pitch why 'your brainwaves on a stick(tm)' is the best way to go - or rather to not go! - when you die.

Phase 1 of the development of 'brainwaves on a stick' was that when our subject was asleep we uploaded his brainwaves to a stick and then wiped his brain completely - we call that 'brain formatting' as our in-joke. Before he woke up we downloaded his stored brainwaves back to his 'formatted' brain. In the morning the subject was completely unaware that anything had been done to him, and so was his wife.

In phase 2 we did more or less the same thing, but instead of formatting his brain we removed it completely and replaced it with a newly formatted brain from somebody else. The uploaded information from the stick re-configured the new brain perfectly and when the subject woke up he was completely unaware that anything had been done to him, and so was his wife.

So the process is obviously safe and does not affect 'you' or 'who you are' in any way.

And is 2,000 dollars so very much for immortalty? Credit can be arranged. T&Cs apply.

I really like this idea tbh, but I do have a hard time believing that my consciousness could complete such a transition. Lets says we can copy my brains waves or the encoding for my "self" to a usb and upload it to a different brain, why would this result in my consciousness instead of a separate consciousness like that of my clone's.

I know there may very well not be an answer for this question, especially since consciousness isn't well defined, and part of me feels my question isn't even valid in the first place.
keithprosser
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1/9/2017 8:31:10 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/9/2017 6:54:55 PM, Zyz wrote:
I really like this idea tbh, but I do have a hard time believing that my consciousness could complete such a transition. Lets says we can copy my brains waves or the encoding for my "self" to a usb and upload it to a different brain, why would this result in my consciousness instead of a separate consciousness like that of my clone's.

I know there may very well not be an answer for this question, especially since consciousness isn't well defined, and part of me feels my question isn't even valid in the first place.

why would this result in my consciousness instead of a separate consciousness like that of my clone's.

I think it is rather that the question isn't valid. The idea that 'we' are some sort of 'soul' that lives inside our bodies and looks out through our eyes is a beguiling image that is difficult to shake off. It takes an effort to accept that 'we' don't actually exist at all - there are only atoms dancing and what we think of as our 'self' is a fiction produced by that dance to interpret itself. I t's not very nice to have to come to terms that all we are is the result of a particular pattern of neural activity.

On the upside it means that one can imagine being implemented in other ways than using brain cells, because what matters is the pattern of activity, not what medium currently manifests that pattern.

In a way, this is actually an empirical issue. It is possible that if someone is teleported then he is changed by the process because it is not possible to teleport a real but non-physical soul. Perhaps storing and retrieving every physical detail of a brain on a USB does not recreate the individual - its never been tried.

But I think a materialist has to believe that teleporting and the USB trick would work (in principle at least) because otherwise materialism would be false.
Zyz
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1/9/2017 10:08:35 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/9/2017 8:31:10 PM, keithprosser wrote:
At 1/9/2017 6:54:55 PM, Zyz wrote:
I really like this idea tbh, but I do have a hard time believing that my consciousness could complete such a transition. Lets says we can copy my brains waves or the encoding for my "self" to a usb and upload it to a different brain, why would this result in my consciousness instead of a separate consciousness like that of my clone's.

I know there may very well not be an answer for this question, especially since consciousness isn't well defined, and part of me feels my question isn't even valid in the first place.

why would this result in my consciousness instead of a separate consciousness like that of my clone's.

I think it is rather that the question isn't valid. The idea that 'we' are some sort of 'soul' that lives inside our bodies and looks out through our eyes is a beguiling image that is difficult to shake off. It takes an effort to accept that 'we' don't actually exist at all - there are only atoms dancing and what we think of as our 'self' is a fiction produced by that dance to interpret itself. I t's not very nice to have to come to terms that all we are is the result of a particular pattern of neural activity.

On the upside it means that one can imagine being implemented in other ways than using brain cells, because what matters is the pattern of activity, not what medium currently manifests that pattern.

In a way, this is actually an empirical issue. It is possible that if someone is teleported then he is changed by the process because it is not possible to teleport a real but non-physical soul. Perhaps storing and retrieving every physical detail of a brain on a USB does not recreate the individual - its never been tried.

But I think a materialist has to believe that teleporting and the USB trick would work (in principle at least) because otherwise materialism would be false.

Well I wouldn't want to call it a "soul" since that kind of alludes to some sort of religion, either way I do seem to be intuitively leaning towards something that is immaterial. I guess I shall await for the future to give me a solid answer to this question.
keithprosser
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1/9/2017 11:02:42 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/9/2017 10:08:35 PM, Zyz wrote:

...I do seem to be intuitively leaning towards something that is immaterial....

Yet earlier you said you were a materialist....! All I know is that the philosophy of self is deep, difficult and an open mind is necessary. I hope you post again if/when you come to any conclusion.
Quadrunner
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1/9/2017 11:36:49 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

How is this supposed to account for the immidiate flow of energy you are experiencing all through your body?
Zyz
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1/10/2017 12:33:50 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/9/2017 11:02:42 PM, keithprosser wrote:
At 1/9/2017 10:08:35 PM, Zyz wrote:

...I do seem to be intuitively leaning towards something that is immaterial....

Yet earlier you said you were a materialist....! All I know is that the philosophy of self is deep, difficult and an open mind is necessary. I hope you post again if/when you come to any conclusion.

I like to consider myself one, but this dilemma has made me question that to some extent. If materialism is true, than making a clone should produce "my" consciousness and not another that is simply like me. I could very well be overlooking something, but I'm starting to think it is one of those philosophical issues that needs to be resolved with science in the future. If I do find an answer, I'll certainly post about it to try and test its strength.

At 1/9/2017 11:36:49 PM, Quadrunner wrote:
How is this supposed to account for the immidiate flow of energy you are experiencing all through your body?

I'm not sure what you mean.
keithprosser
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1/10/2017 12:40:58 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/10/2017 12:33:50 AM, Zyz wrote:
At 1/9/2017 11:02:42 PM, keithprosser wrote:
At 1/9/2017 10:08:35 PM, Zyz wrote:

...I do seem to be intuitively leaning towards something that is immaterial....

Yet earlier you said you were a materialist....! All I know is that the philosophy of self is deep, difficult and an open mind is necessary. I hope you post again if/when you come to any conclusion.

I like to consider myself one, but this dilemma has made me question that to some extent. If materialism is true, than making a clone should produce "my" consciousness and not another that is simply like me. I could very well be overlooking something, but I'm starting to think it is one of those philosophical issues that needs to be resolved with science in the future. If I do find an answer, I'll certainly post about it to try and test its strength.

At 1/9/2017 11:36:49 PM, Quadrunner wrote:
How is this supposed to account for the immidiate flow of energy you are experiencing all through your body?

I'm not sure what you mean.

Just to close, do you get the idea that the self is 'virtual' and doesn't exist? I say 'get it', not 'agree with it'? I ask mainly because I'm interested in how well I put the idea across - but don't worry about it if you want to leave it for a while.
Welfare-Worker
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1/10/2017 1:50:44 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
The idea of the self is not virtual, it is an illusion, smoke and mirrors.
The idea of a self puts a being, an existence, separate from all else.
Distinct and separate it is not.
ANON_TacTiX
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1/10/2017 7:53:50 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 1/6/2017 12:28:28 AM, Zyz wrote:
What is it that makes up my consciousness specifically? Not your consciousness, or my neighbors, but mine personally that I experience with my eyes and other parts.

I believed that "I" was the sum of all my atoms and such that help form my brain, and their placement that helps form my psychology and personality. But this seems to leave something out.

Lets pretend we have a teletransporter that is able to make perfect copies of people and sends them to another location. This machine makes a perfect duplicate atom for atom to create these clones. When this clone is created I can only imagine that it will be another me, personality and all, however it would be a separate consciousness from "me". I do not imagine that I will suddenly be able to see through a second pair of eyes, or suddenly have knowledge of wherever my clone is at, he would have his own consciousness like my neighbors.

So if my consciousness cant be produced from the physical things that make me up, what is it that does? If its not the physical things that distinguishes my consciousness from others, what does?

The clone would not be another you. It would not be the same consciousness or even an identical but separate consciousness. The clone would effectively be a large infant. Not physically, but mentally. Any and all synapses between neurons, the connections that create your memories and experiences, would be gone. The clone would have to start over from infancy with the body of a much more mature human being.

If we assume that the synapses would remain intact, then I would think that the clone's consciousness would be identical but separate from yours.