Would you step into a teleporter?

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Peter
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Would you step into a teleporter?

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Post by Peter »

“Well sure” is the first response but let’s break it down.

You step in and are held in stasis while your entire body is rendered into information down to the last atom and mid synapse firing. The information is transmitted to another location and used to reconstruct your body from raw atoms exactly as it was in the stasis field. You step out and marvel at the technology which teleported you in mid thought. But are you still you?

How is the above different from killing original you at one end and waking up duplicate you at the other? Does it matter? Did your soul survive the process? Do you have a soul?
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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #31

Post by The Barbarian »

If the soul is the identity of a person, you have to wonder how and why that personal identity, or personality, can be altered so significantly by damage to the physical body, particularly the brain.
Good question, one that continuously troubles philosophers and neurologists. As Pope John Paul II remarked "The soul is not a mere epiphenomenon of the mind." It's not. But that might be one of the things it is. The connection of the self (which is, as you suggest, not the brain) with the brain is puzzling. But it obviously is there. Behaviorists (who were in vogue when I was an undergraduate) suggested the solution was easy; "the self is an illusion; you only thing you are a conscious being. Your behavior is driven by response to stimuli like any other animal."

Which, as my professor observed, is putting the horse before Descartes. It makes no sense to argue that we are mistaken in thinking we are more than a physical process, because thinking so requires that we must be more than a physical process.

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #32

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to The Barbarian in post #32]
It makes no sense to argue that we are mistaken in thinking we are more than a physical process, because thinking so requires that we must be more than a physical process.
But does the ability to think really show that thinking (and consciousness in general) is anything more than an emergent property of a complex brain? Any animal with a brain can think to some extent ... from a worm to a human ... but there are obviously vast differences in degree. Just because humans have an exponentially higher capability for abstract thought and complicated reasoning does not mean that there is a transition at some point between a brain that is simply running bodily functions and low level thinking, and a human brain and its capabilities. If there were such a transition, where does it occur within the animal kingdom? Maybe it is simply that the human brain evolved in a special way that resulted in an intelligence level far above other extant animals, but that this is still only an emergent property of a (more complex) brain and not anything that crosses over into the supernatural realm (ie. humans are special).

We can see how brain size changed within the Homo line from erectus to sapien, and can infer some aspects of structure as well from the shape of the brain case. When Homo sapiens first appeared some 300,000 (recent Morocco find) to 200,000 (Omo remains) years ago, their knowledge level was no where near what we have today (based on their artifacts and other information). But is this because the brain was not as capable for some reason (is there any evidence it was any different from today in terms of structure and capability?) or a much simpler explanation that human knowledge had not developed to the point that it could be shared across generations and built up accordingly? The typical high school graduate today knows far more than the smartest Homo sapien from 100,000 years ago (apparently), but is that because of continued evolution of the brain or because they have access to thousands of years of accumulated knowledge relayed through the educational systems?

There has been much discussion on this forum about consciousness and whether there is some supernatural aspect to it, but I don't see how a case for that could be made simply because humans are so "smart" compared to other animals. The degree of smartness does not automatically imply a supernatural relationship at some point along the smartness scale, that happened to interject itself at the gap between humans and other animals.
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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #33

Post by William »

DrNoGods wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:36 pm [Replying to The Barbarian in post #32]
It makes no sense to argue that we are mistaken in thinking we are more than a physical process, because thinking so requires that we must be more than a physical process.
But does the ability to think really show that thinking (and conscioiusness in general) is anything more than an emergent property of a complex brain? Any animal with a brain can think to some extent ... from a worm to a human ... but there are obviously vast differences in degree. Just because humans have an exponentially higher capability for abstract thought and complicated reasoning does not mean that there is a transition at some point between a brain that is simply running bodily functions and low level thinking, and a human brain and its capabilities. If there were such a transition, where does it occur within the animal kingdom? Maybe it is simply that the human brain evolved in a special way that resulted in an intelligence level far above other extant animals, but that this is still only an emergent property of a (more complex) brain and not anything that crosses over into the supernatural realm (ie. humans are special).

We can see how brain size changed within the Homo line from erectus to sapien, and can infer some aspects of structure as well from the shape of the brain case. When Homo sapiens first appeared some 300,000 (recent Morocco find) to 200,000 (Omo remains) years ago, their knowledge level was no where near what we have today (based on their artifacts and other information). But is this because the brain was not as capable for some reason (is there any evidence it was any different from today in terms of structure and capability?) or a much simpler explanation that human knowledge had not developed to the point that it could be shared across generations and built up accordingly? The typical high school graduate today knows far more than the smartest Homo sapien from 100,000 years ago (apparently), but is that because of continued evolution of the brain or because they have access to thousands of years of accumulated knowledge relayed through the educational systems?

There has been much discussion on this forum about consciousness and whether there is some supernatural aspect to it, but I don't see how a case for that could be made simply because humans are so "smart" compared to other animals. The degree of smartness does not automatically imply a supernatural relationship at some point along the smartness scale, that happened to interject itself at the gap between humans and other animals.
This is a fine observation and in line with this unfolding reality.

With this we can ascertain that developing personality is a key function of the brain but it still does not answer whether one's personality is actually what is we should presume is meant by "who one is"...

Looking into why personality develops we can observe that, at least in part, this is because of external circumstance, and thus the external dictates how we personify [express] our "self" into it.

But personality cannot really be referred to as 'who we each are' because we are fudging the results with our actions reliant upon external events and thus may be behaving contrary to 'who we are'.

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