Dear Stathis,

I would like to thank you for pointing this out, even thought it should be obvious to anyone that has any thoughts about consciousness. Any model that we propose must consider a very wide range of consciousness, including the insanities, and maybe, just maybe, it might make some predictions about what the upper and lower bounds on consciousness. Additionally, maybe we could require, of a theory of consciousness, some explanation of qualia...
Maybe I am asking for too much. ;-)


----- Original Message ----- From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 9:02 AM
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

Dear aet.radal ssg,

I think you missed my point about the amnesic and psychotic patients, which
is not that they are clear thinkers, but that they are conscious despite a
disability which impairs their perception of time. Your post raises an
interesting question in that you seem to assume that normally functioning
human minds have a correct model of reality, as opposed to the "broken"
minds of the mentally ill. This is really very far from the truth. Human
brains evolved in a specific environment, often identified as the African
savannah, so the model of the world constructed by the human mind need only
match "reality" to the extent that this promoted survival in that
environment. As a result, we humans are only able to directly perceive and
grasp a tiny, tiny slice of physical reality. Furthermore, although we are
proud of our thinking abilities, the theories about physical reality that
humans have come up with over the centuries have in general been
ridiculously bad. I have spent the last ten years treating patients with
schizophrenia, and I can assure you that however bizarre the delusional
beliefs these people come up with, there are multiple historical examples of
apparently "sane" people holding even more bizarre beliefs, and often
insisting on pain of death or torture that everyone else agree with them.

You might point out that despite the above, science has made great progress.
This is true, but it has taken the cumulative efforts of millions of people
over thousands of years to get to our current level of knowledge, which in
any case is still very far from complete in any field. Scientific progress
of our species as a whole is mirrored in the efforts of a psychotic patient
who gradually develops insight into his illness, recognising that there is a
difference between real voices and auditory hallucinations, and learning to
reason through delusional beliefs despite the visceral conviction that "they
really are out to get me".

--Stathis Papaioannou

From: "aet.radal ssg" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 10:44:25 -0500

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