• AmadeusD
    2k
    I do too. But for me that "afterlife" does not include my ego--the Subject,"I"--nor any of its Narrative. So, admittedly this is that ego taliking: thanks but no thanks.ENOAH

    Yes, that's the part that is 'rub'-y. Harris (Sam) put its well - how is it possible that a decaying mind(dementia) that no longer recognises one's children suddenly departs from the body, in tact as at some random point in the past.
    It's not coherent, to me. But again, I'm unsure that identity extends beyond the fact of the vessel. Consciousness doesn't, on it's face, consist in memories, so I see no reason to have them at-base.

    I feel you brother!ENOAH

    It's a hard go, this lifetime :D
  • ENOAH
    652
    Consciousness doesn't, on it's face, consist in memories, so I see no reason to have them at-base.AmadeusD

    Might it be that the one which consists in memories, what I've referred to as the Narrative, is that Mind which does not persist. But, to differentiate, "real consciousness" does not consist in memories. And I think therefore ironically, real consciousness, the one which does not necessarily require the fleshy infrastructure to operate its memory store, if it persists in the afterlife, it is necessarily not the Narrative. Sad as it is, "I" is the Narrative, requires memory and its organic infrastructure. I goes never to return with the death of the Body. As for so called real consciousness, perhaps the incessantly present awareness Nature has in Be-ing. Perhaps what I really am, as/along with this body is that incessant presence where death doesn't matter where afterlife doesn't matter. All there is is Be-ing, and Be-ing is aware-ing be-ing. And, admittedly for drama, Tat Tvam Asi. Thou art that. But you are not the Narrative.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    I think I am pretty much on this same wavelength. None of it matters, ultimately. But its all a lot of fun!
  • ENOAH
    652


    all a lot of fun!AmadeusD

    Right? And that too is a topic for further discussion somewhere. We know [it is Fiction] but [built into the Fiction is the reward of] we act as if [it is Real]
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    I think it would be a relatively short thread, for my part.

    I am fine being in the experience machine.
  • ENOAH
    652
    I am fine being in the experience machine.AmadeusD

    There's no place like it
  • Corvus
    3k
    In Merlou-Ponty, the body itself is consciousness. According to his view, consciousness in the body would mean the body in the body, which sounds confusing. But the point seems clear. When the body dies, the consciousness also dies too.
  • Relativist
    2.3k
    Consciousness doesn't, on it's face, consist in memories, so I see no reason to have them at-baseAmadeusD
    If memories aren't preserved in my after-life consciousness, in what sense is that still me? It hardly seems like something to look forward to.

    This touches on the concept the individual identity, and essence. It sounds like Penelope Mackie's minimal essentialism - which entails a bare identity with no attached properties.
  • RogueAI
    2.6k
    If memories aren't preserved in my after-life consciousness, in what sense is that still me? It hardly seems like something to look forward to.Relativist

    If half your memories suddenly disappeared, would you be half you? Wouldn't you still be you even if you lost 90% of your memories? If I had a conversation with my 20 year old self, I could tell my 20 year old self: "95% of what you do this year will be forgotten by the time you're 50." What should the reaction of my 20 year old self be upon hearing that? Fear that so much will be forgotten? Also, if my 80 year old self tells me that I won't have dementia, but through natural forgetting, 95% of this year I'm living right now will be forgotten, how should I feel about that right now?
  • Relativist
    2.3k
    To be ME at this point in time, 100% of my memories must be present.

    Me (now) is not identical to the me of yesteday, much less to the infant me of 70 years ago.

    I take the identity of indiscernibles seriously: entities x and y are identical if every predicate possessed by x is also possessed by y and vice versa

    In terms of having an identity over time, it is a looser sort of identity. Perdurantism makes some sense: my identity has temporal parts: today's me was caused by yesterday's me, in a temporal chain that goes back to whatever we might call my origin. But there's a vast difference between 70 year old me and zygote me. Zygote me lacks an entire lifetime of my memories. Similarly with losing memories from dementia or trauma. In some sense, it's stll me - but a vastly different me depending on how much is lost, and if it's sudden or gradual. If it's gradual, then it's the mirror image of growing up and gaining memories- each day not much different from the last. But loss of all memories at death is a discontinuity. I don't see any sense that it's me. It's similar to zygote-me, but without the temporal connections to the subsequent temporal parts the zygote has. We'd label it me only if we choose to define individual identity that way, but that's arbitrary.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    Yes, indeed. I think this is very well discussed by Nagel and Parfit, respectively.
    Split-brain cases are rather important in considering this. Memories residing in more than one person is very troublesome. In the Teletransporter cases, someone who is not you, is exactly continuous with you.

    I will return to this, as I am about to leave work - but I'm also about to finish Reasons and Persons. I have a lot fo thoughts lol.
  • Wayfarer
    21.2k
    Stevenson's research on children who remember their past lives might be of interest. Of course it's wildly controversial and a taboo subject but he assembled a large data set. See this article.
  • RogueAI
    2.6k
    Me (now) is not identical to the me of yesteday, much less to the infant me of 70 years ago.

    I take the identity of indiscernibles seriously: entities x and y are identical if every predicate possessed by x is also possessed by y and vice versa
    Relativist

    But you can never be identical to yourself in even the shortest amounts of time. At any point in time, atoms are moving in and out of your body, changing your physical makeup. But breathing doesn't make you a different person. Why should memory loss? Are you claiming the loss of one completely trivial memory in the next five seconds make you not you? That it turns you into a completely different person?
  • RogueAI
    2.6k
    Do you think idealism solves it? Did you see the conversation with Kastrup and Koch yet?
  • Relativist
    2.3k
    But you can never be identical to yourself in even the shortest amounts of timeRogueAI
    In terms of strict identity, we can consider ourselves AT a point of time: RogueAI at t1 is identical to RogueAI at t1.

    RogueAI at t1 has the same loose (perduring) identity as RougueAI at t2, t3, ...tn. This holds even if memory loss commences at some point - all are on a unique causal chain.

    Let's suppose you die at tn, and all your memories cease to exist. Should we consider your loose identity to continue existing? The paradigm doesn't dictate an answer; it's a matter of semantics - what do we wish to refer to. We could talk about (loose identity) RogueAI in any of 3 ways:

    1. The living person (which ceases to exist at death)
    2. The physical body (which gradually decomposes after death)
    3. A bare identity (a haeccity) that is your propertyless essense.

    I don't believe in haeccity, so I generally wouldn't use sense #3. But we've been discussing an afterlife in which one's memories are gone. This seems to be a bare identity. Perhaps it reincarnates in a new infant.
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    Perhaps it reincarnates in a knew infant.Relativist

    But then we must ask, why a knew infant rather than an unknewn infant.
  • Relativist
    2.3k

    It's fascinating, but frustrating. How best to account for these, metaphysically?

    If actual reincarnation, it implies some (traumatic) memories are stored non-physically.

    But it could be some telepathic connection across time, implying something about the nature of time and of mental activities.

    It's frustrating because there seems to be no way to test any theories.
  • Relativist
    2.3k
    In the Teletransporter cases, someone who is not you, is exactly continuous with you.AmadeusD
    Or it could be considered a discontinuity: you are being destroyed and a new entity, an exact physical copy, is being produced. I tend to think there's no right answer; all answers are paradigm dependent.
  • Wayfarer
    21.2k
    It's frustrating because there seems to be no way to test any theories.Relativist

    But if a child's alleged memories of a previous life can be validated against documentary records and witness testimony, that amounts to some form of verification. (I've discussed Ian Stevenson previously but it usually generates such hostility that I refrain.) However his activities spanned a 30 year period and many thousands of cases. He himself never claimed to have proved that cases of re-incarnation occur, but that the evidence 'suggests it'. My knowledge of it is limited to a book I read about him by a journalist who travelled with him, and one of his publications borrowed from a library. Seems legit to me, but to a lot of people, not only is it not true, but it can't be true. Whereas I'm open to the idea.

    Do you think idealism solves it? Did you see the conversation with Kastrup and Koch yet?RogueAI

    I watched about half of it, but I didn't notice anything about this topic. Besides, I don't know if idealism 'solves' the question of re-incarnation. Perhaps Sheldrake's morphic resonance at least provides a candidate for a medium of transmission. He says, as you will recall, that nature forms habits, that memories are not merely encoded in brains but in morphic fields. One question I've got is this: science only discovered electromagnetic fields in the mid-19th century. Until then, we had no idea of such a phenomenon, now they're thought to be more fundamental than sub-atomic particles. So what if there are fields other than electro-magnetic? How would they be detected? Electromagnetic fields are detected using instruments that register electric current. Even if there were morphic fields, presumably they are not detectable by those instruments, so they might exist undetected. There have been ideas like this in esoteric and occult circles for millenia. Maybe they're on to something, but it's a taboo subject as far as the mainstream is concerned.
  • RogueAI
    2.6k
    Besides, I don't know if idealism 'solves' the question of re-incarnation.Wayfarer

    No, not that. The problem of personal identity across time.
  • Relativist
    2.3k
    But if a child's alleged memories of a previous life can be validated against documentary records and witness testimony, that amounts to some form of verification.Wayfarer
    I'm not challenging the fact that it's verification that the child has some knowledge of someone who's dead, and the knowledge was not obtained from contemporary sources, but rather due to something paranormal. Although it's consistent with reincarnation, it could be some other mechanism - and I was lamenting that there's no way to test what is actually going on- to know if it is reincarnation, or some form of ESP.
  • Wayfarer
    21.2k
    No, not that. The problem of personal identity across time.RogueAI

    The article I linked to mentions perdurance. That has to do with anything - and it doesn't have to be a being - maintaining identity through time even as some or all of its component parts are changed (per Ship of Theseus).

    I was lamenting that there's no way to test what is actually going on- to know if it is reincarnation, or some form of ESP.Relativist

    Stevenson acknowledges that. It's why he says his data doesn't prove that reincarnation has occured.

    It's probably worth acknowledging the Buddhist view of rebirth. As a matter of dogma, Buddhism denies that there is an eternally-existing self that migrates life to life. However, and paradoxically, rebirth is still fundamental to the religion. Consider the selection of lamas in Tibetan Buddhism, where children are shown artifacts from a purported previous incarnation, if they recognise them it's taken as evidence of their identity - even though there is no self or soul that migrates! Many would say it's evidence of a contradiction in Buddhism, but they say that a rebirth is more like a recurring pattern of existence - there's actually a rather lovely Sanskrit term for it, 'citta-saṃtāna':

    Citta-saṃtāna (Sanskrit), literally "the stream of mind",[3] is the stream of succeeding moments of mind or awareness. It provides a continuity of the personality in the absence of a permanently abiding "self" (ātman), which Buddhism denies. The mindstream provides a continuity from one life to another, akin to the flame of a candle which may be passed from one candle to another:[4][5][a] William Waldron writes that "Indian Buddhists see the 'evolution' of mind i[n] terms of the continuity of individual mind-streams from one lifetime to the next, with karma as the basic causal mechanism whereby transformations are transmitted from one life to the next."[6]

    According to Waldron, "[T]he mind stream (santāna) increases gradually by the mental afflictions (kleśa) and by actions (karma), and goes again to the next world. In this way the circle of existence is without beginning."[7]
    Wikipedia

    So that actually dovetails rather well with 'perdurance' theory, which could be summarised as 'not the same, but also not different'.

    (Incidentally, William Waldron is a go-to scholar in this area, when I did Buddhist Studies, I emailed him and got a nice reply, with some unpublished articles attached. His latest book is this one.)
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    Or it could be considered a discontinuity: you are being destroyed and a new entity, an exact physical copy, is being produced. I tend to think there's no right answer; all answers are paradigm dependent.Relativist

    Well, as it is, that is how i conceptualise teletransportation.
    My point was that the resulting person is psychologically continuous, and psychologically connected extremely strongly with you - to the point that no one but your original 'self' could be as connected.

    Unless you take the Physical continuity, or further fact view, It doesn't seem like anything is being left out of the transmission. You're right that your paradigm informs how to think about the case, but it seems straight-forward to point out what is and isn't involved in these cases (branch-line case being an additional thing to ponder, and other versions). In this way, it seems clear that there are 'correct' ways to interpret the cases on each view
    Parfit concludes that the above is all that matters and that 'personal identity' simply doesn't obtain, at all. He's a pretty harsh reductionist.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    Interesting NDE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZfaPCwjguk

    This is a good example of why I believe both religions and materialists have it wrong. There are 100,000's of testimonials like this.
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