Hey, Sorry for the delay in replying to you, but this was a big post so I wanted to wait till I had an opportunity, with a proper computer keyboard rather than the phone I usually post from, to reply to you.I think it's important to note that this is only a perception - none of us have any way of knowing whether or not the past actually happened, or the future we expect to happen will ever happen. It just feels that way. The illusion, if it is that, is obviously very convincing, of course.
I would be interested to get your opinion since you seem to hold the viewpoint I alluded to earlier - that consciousness exists as a separate entity from the accumulated collection of memories, both conscious and unconscious that we generally use to define who we are. My own opinion on this is that this is generally problematic, at least partly because as far as I can see without this assortment of memories there does not seem to be anything left to differentiate one person from another (I will use the term "memories" as a catch all from here onwards that includes the impact of all our experiences as well as innate genetic tendencies - "genetic memory", if you like - to save constantly having to elaborate on this definition).
You mentioned that someone could have been born into an evil neonazi murderer - let's just say Hitler for simplicity - I have no doubt myself that this is the case, but it's difficult for me to extrapolate that this implies that consciousness does exist as a separate entity to the collection of memory and experience that makes up a person. It would seem to me that this implies the opposite. If we take you, me, and Hitler, say from the perspective of an omnipotent god, extract these souls from their incorporated state, wipe the slate clean of every memory of who and what we are - then what is it that you suppose is left? If consciousness is separate from these things - and even if it is always dormant except when in it is temporarily imbued into matter - then what is the difference between any one unit of consciousness and the next? Or do you suppose that there is no difference?
Following on from that, do you have any opinion on what the "cut off point", so to speak, is for matter, specifically biological matter - or, perhaps, let's just say sufficiently complex matter, since you did not rule out the possibility of consciousness inhabiting an artificial substrate - to be suitable for housing one of these souls, or "units of consciousness". Would a worm be conscious, for example? Or a mouse... or a monkey?
To me it seems that any "cut off point" is a fairly arbitrary line - and it seems intuitively strange to argue that the same consciousness could jump from, say, a fruit fly, or wherever you'd put the lower bound for a conscious being, up to a human being, with all memories of being a fruit fly previously wiped clean. Of course the fact that it is intuitively strange does not rule it out, but I won't bother to elaborate on that line of reasoning for now... In any case, it seems if you draw the line at any point below present day human, then you have to allow for the possibility of different "flavours" of this consciousness, or that, essentially, it is possible for one thing to be "less conscious" than another thing - do you think that this makes sense to say?
But as soon as consciousness ceases to be a collection of discrete units, or individual, separate souls, then it becomes instead a fluid property, that something can have more of, or less of, and once you get into this territory, in my view, the more likely conclusion is the one Xorkoth expressed and which I generally share - that there is no "line" where inanimate matter suddenly becomes conscious, but that consciousness is an intrinsic property of the universe existing on a sliding scale from the smallest vacuum fluctuation in the void, to the unfathomably complex system that is the human brain, and potentially, to other complex systems that we would generally consider to be unconscious, such as stars - even if the experience of being a star would be very different to the experience of being a human.
Other than that, "continuity" of consciousness, I think, is something that people get hung up on - but I'd like to propose a thought experiment I think is interesting, I feel like perhaps I've mentioned before on this or another forum, but anyway - say that mind uploading can be done gradually, while the biological entity is awake.
Say in the future we have the technology to gradually replace sections of the brain - with no interruption in consciousness to the conscious being - or, even at the level of the individual neuron, say tiny nanobots begin to augment neurons with specialised hardware equipped with the most high bandwidth future WiFi we have available - but the whole time this is happening, the individual being upload is awake and conscious, speaking to their friends and family, perhaps some of them incorporated and biological, others inhabiting a virtual world. They start to become aware gradually of different senses and abilities that they didn't have before that allow them to interface with this virtual world, and they can switch their focus at will - but they still maintain control over their physical body because of the replacement hardware being installed in their skull.
Finally the process is almost complete, they can still control their physical body, but also interact at will with the virtual world. At this point, their biological brain is preserved but they also have the capacity to interact with the virtual. Eventually, to finish the process, these nanobots start to destroy the original neurons. This is done gradually, at all points the person being uploaded remain conscious and awake and they can stop the process at any point if they feel uncomfortable. But because of the perception of continuity, and that the computer hardware takes over the function of each deleted neuron one by one, they do not experience an interruption of consciousness and the process is eventually complete. At this point, their biological brain has been completely destroyed. Have they actually been killed, without them knowing?
What if instead, the same process occurs, but this time they are asleep - rendered unconscious via anaesthesia, and their virtual self is not actually running, but just being written into data - so when they go to sleep, their mind is biological - and when they "wake up", they are virtual - in terms of the "transference of the soul", is there really any difference in these 2 processes?
I agree with the first part of this sentence, of course - but personally I'm not sure it would make sense for the world, or indeed, life, to be alive but unconscious. If we look at a brain at it's most basic level as something that records past events in order to predict future events, then it seems this inherently introduces a layer of "self-awareness" that maybe unavoidably manifests as an experience of some sort... language of course is a relatively recent evolution which adds a layer of recursive and fascinating complexity by allowing self-analysis of an especially rigorous and specific nature, by allowing us to assign words to things that seem to exist only within our internal experience of self... but we can still look at this as an especially high level abstraction of the kind of far more basic survival-oriented self-analysis that occurs in every life form down to single celled organisms...JessFR said:For that matter, there's no clear reason why whatever it is that makes you consciously aware, need be experiencing existence from any perspective. Presumably the whole world could be the same as it is now, with all the same people doing the same things. But with none of them truly conscious. None of them having a soul so to speak.
I didn't say that. I said they don't take up physical space i.e in a traditional binary computer model way.how do people know memories have no physical basis in the cns?
I think I'd hate digital me. She's such a smug jackass always acting like she knows everything about everything. And don't even get me started about how she randomly capitalizes words... I DON'T think it works very well. I DO think it's stupid. And then there's the way she constantly reuses phrases like... "honestly, I think" or "if you ask me", sometimes several times within a couple paragraphs.I wonder what it would be like to meet digital moi. Would we be friends? What if I didn’t like me? Therapeutic possibilities (of a non-traumatic nature )? It would definitely be worth doing, imo, although I’d definitely do it privately.
The "Soul" or "Spirit" simply wouldn't be there.
The "data" may well be in a digital form but there is nothing in it that truly makes us human.
I've said it now so many times on BL & I'll say it again you can ALWAYS tell the people that have smoked DMT from those who haven't.
That "death" is an illusion as we think of it, "God" is real & he/she/it is NOT the nice & loving being Christians think it is. "God" can see everything we do & "it" has many entities that are around us all the time & can crush us faster than a blink of the human eye. The human ego is given to us by free choice & it is upto you how you use it BUT if you think you are better than anyone else on Earth at the moment your body & "consciousness" as you know it "dies" you are in for one hell of a HUGE fucking shock.
Be kind to animals, people less off than you are, don't go around like you are something as you may get away with it for decades but what we call "death" isn't the end, it is the next stage & that place is way beyond anything we understand in our normal day & if you are a prick on Earth as a human something is waiting to show you where you went wrong & the "punshiment" waiting for you will be HORRIFIC!!!!!
@TripSitterNZ knows what I'm saying I feel.
remarks : in my insight, the computer generated brain/mind is impostor, a fraud and an aper. by the way, granting its valid, would you practice the same spiritual conduct?Would you upload your brain so the virtual you could “live” forever?
It may be some way off, but mind uploading, the digital duplication of your mental essence, could expand human experience into a virtual afterlifewww.theguardian.com
While the brain doesn't work exactly like a modern digital computer, it does work in the same fundamental way. Which is to say, built out of electrically controlled switches.I didn't say that. I said they don't take up physical space i.e in a traditional binary computer model way.
It's more about configurations. Not literal 0's and 1's taking up a "void", so to speak.