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Are human beings a type of animal?

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by max_freakout, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    Ok, so you both start off as the same person at the beginning and then immediately start to diverge as you experience different things. Much the same as happens with identical twins except, of course, in them the divergence occurs before they have developed a sense of self.

    Maybe my concept of 'me' is flawed – the temporally continual 'me' is an illusion. It doesn't feel flawed, but obviously that doesn't mean it isn't.
  2. kyser_soze

    kyser_soze Hawking's Angry Eyebrow

    The key would be reintegratnig the memories/experiences of your doppelganger - if such a thing were possible and/or desireable of course.
  3. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    the temporally continual 'me' is an illusion

    damn right
  4. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    So would you step into the teleporter?
  5. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    Another thought on this. The properties of matter include its place in space and time, so no reconstruction of me using different if apparently identical matter in a different place is actually going to be me. This particular illusion of a temporarily continual 'me' will end. Is this not identical to death?
  6. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    I don't think it's possible.

    I'd transfer myself into a computer, but I'd be changed. Like minor brain injury. Like a heavy weekend on the town or a sharp knock.
  7. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    You may as well call the replacement of atoms in the cells of your body 'death' - the only difference is that it all happens simultaneously.

    Besides, if QM is to be believed, a perfect 'scan' is impossible anyway.
  8. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    When you think about it, apart from how unlikely it would be for a computer to be robust enough to know where every atom is in your body, if it did get built it would be able to keep you from aging...??
  9. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    Well, it could keep you in effective stasis, yes. Delay the transmission and you effectively jump forwards in time.

    I don't think we'll ever just 'scan' people into computers. We'll invent a artificial neuron, and replace the brain one cell at a time. That to me seems to be the most feasible way of transferring consciousness out of a body of flesh and into a body of metal. And then, to the stars :D :cool:
  10. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    The organisation of atoms that produces the illusion of 'me' is constant, though. Atoms can only be replaced in such a way that this overall organisation is maintained. And it is spatially specific – it is this body here that produces 'me'.

    Mind you, you can extend your sense of self beyond the body...

    I dunno...
  11. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus would be a rubbish god

    Yes, that does seem the most feasible way, and eases my fears about maintaining the organisation.
  12. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    If a person could be stored into memory then each time it materialized them it could delete any changes from the last scan. That way progression of disease and aging could be stopped.
  13. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    hmm. would be tricky to integrate parts from one scan into parts from another though, wouldn't it?

    this is all so stupidly hypothetical :D
  14. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    Imagine the con-artists...:D
  15. 888

    888 seasol.net


    teleporters = suicide booths. I seem to remember starting a thread about this ages ago...
  16. Jonti

    Jonti what the dormouse said

    Why the certainty?

    Looked at another way, it could be the 'me' that creates the temporal continuity.
  17. Jonti

    Jonti what the dormouse said

    This is a way of thinking that's almost conventional wisdom among some computer scientists and Artificial Intelligence workers. But it makes shedloads of unexamined assumptions.

    What if the synapses (the structures that connect neurons) are more important for the support of consciousness than are the neurons?

    And anyway, we exist on many different scales. We're a kind of co-ordinated dance of multiple phemomena over many orders of magnitude. Our bodies encompass phenomena which range right down into the quantum level.

    Some examples: the retinal tissue of the eyes is sensitive to a single quantum of light; quantum tunnelling of hydrogen ions is observed to be important to digestive processes; and the chemical and electrical activity in synapses and neurons that gives rise to consciousness can be disrupted by the chemically inert element Xenon (presumably because its very large electron shell can distort and polarise the electron clouds of nearby molecules).

    Without some theory of consciousness, without some idea of how this multi-levelled dance gives rise to awareness, what basis is there for the claim that a metal artificial neurone would "just work" to do the trick of "transferring consciousness out of a body of flesh and into a body of metal"?

    I think we should be told! :)
  18. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    Oh it's far off pie in the sky stuff for me too :)

    As for my certainty about the illusion of consciousness, I was being glib. I'm pretty strongly convinced though. From reading about neurology and from my own experiences with phsychedeliv drugs, I'm convinced that what appears to be a solid core is really a non-stop mish-mash, like a million juggling balls.
  19. Fruitloop

    Fruitloop communism will win

    Elephants have a head for figures....

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/aug/21/elephants.arithmetic

    The question is, is capitalism responsible? Have elephants commodified things into units of pure exchange?
  20. kyser_soze

    kyser_soze Hawking's Angry Eyebrow

    Nuts to all this. I'm off to try something far harder than learning philosophy - getting into Stockhausen :D
  21. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Anti-homelessness stud.

    Dolphins like Stimmung. ;)
  22. butchersapron

    butchersapron shoot 'em in the back

    That's just an excuse frankly.
  23. Fruitloop

    Fruitloop communism will win

    My opinion is that at a certain point we will end up with a load of AIs arguing about whether they are conscious, and how they can be sure that anyone else is.
  24. Jonti

    Jonti what the dormouse said

    Yes, one needs a test for consciousness that depends on some kind of physical measurement, not just conversational ability.

    If for no other reason than that machines will soon be talking more sensibly than is managed by many humans ;)
  25. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    What makes you (or others) think that consciousness is material?
  26. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    Nice topic switch :D

    Because I find that material explanations fit so many phenomena well, I assume that consciousness has a material explanation too. I don't see any qualities of it that require a non-material explanation.
  27. revol68

    revol68 what, fucking what?

    well if you can show me some other non material processes or entities I'll happily suck your cock.
  28. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    It may (or may not) require a material explanation, but that's very different from the claim that consciousness *is* material. If consciousness is material, where is it? Can you apprehend it with the senses?
  29. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    Money (an answer not a demand).
  30. Crispy

    Crispy Fond of drink and industry

    I think we've done this one before :)

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