You make a few interesting points which under normal circumstances I would be happy to continue discussing with you, but the primary motivation for your posts seems to be anger that I have raised the topic of mental illness. I am sorry if I have upset you, and I hope that if you do have the opportunity to work with the mentally ill in future you will treat them with compassion.
From: "aet.radal ssg" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 09:41:27 -0500
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From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 23:02:18 +1000
> 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.
OK, let me take what you just said there, "conscious despite a disability which impairs their perception of time". A person can be conscious and have any number of disabilities that impair their perception of reality. Doesn't mean that their perception is accurate, valid, or even mildly interesting. The word "impair" should have been a clue.
>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.
If the mentally ill had a correct perception of reality, they wouldn't be mentally ill. Hello? Simultaneously, not all sane people have a "correct model of reality" (whatever that means) but they usually know what they're doing on a basic level and function without taking medication to keep them tuned into reality and not the psycho channel. It doesn't mean that they can't be motivated by wrong ideas or misconceptions or even manipulated by somebody smater or with political power, but we're talking apples and oranges now.
> 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.
And if their perception of that reality environment hadn't been correct, they wouldn't have survived. Simultaneously, other creatures, in that same environment, developed other ways other perceiving it. The point you're missing is that the environment is the same. If I take an array of sophisticated measuring and recording devices into that environment, I should be able to detect all of the aspects that most of the non-insect creatures do, and in some cases, a lot of the insect perceptions. However, if I introduce a paranoid schizophrenic into the equation, I will probably not detect the hallucinations that he will see, though I may be able to identify possible external causes.
>As a result, we humans are only able to
> directly perceive and grasp a tiny, tiny slice of physical reality.
Which doesn't make the hallucinations of the mentally ill or those with cognitive disabilities, any more valid.
> 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 think part of the problem here is the use of the term "reality" when something else would be better. Since you failed to give any examples of what you meant by "theories about physical reality" I will assume that you mean the matters dealing with the nature of the Earth and its place in the solar system, etc. If not, please be specific. In any case, much of those errors in perception had to do with physical limitations in the ability to conduct accurate observations, further crippled by various philosophical dogma.
>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
Hallucinations aren't the same as religious or philosophical dogmatic beliefs and usually don't operate the same way, no matter how destructive or misguided the latter might be. I think I detect a straw man here.
It still doesn't make your case that the inability to perceive time accurately is a valid condition on which to postulate ideas about temporal moments not being physically connected. I've done plenty of research in the area of consciousness - links between schizophrenia, psychedelic drug states and self-induced drug-free altered states, the psychology of creativity, comparisons between possible schizophrenic perceptions of parallel worlds and other possible perceptions through various altered states, etc. I'm building, and hope to test this summer, a technological platform through which some schizophrenics might be able, under clinical supervision, to learn to tune out many of their hallucinations. So I know my way around these issues and I'm just saying that you haven't made your case.
> You might point out that despite the above, science has made great
Actually, I didn't and don't have to.
>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 a s 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".
You just made my point for me. There's a difference between hallucination and objective reality. People with mental illness have a problem with objective reality. Whether they are conscious or not is irrelevent because even if they are conscious, they still can't observe and process objective reality accurately. People with temporal perception disorders, etc. are not what we should be basing our concepts of time in physical objective reality, on. If you do, you really aren't interested in discovering anything new about objective reality. You really just want to "hear" yourself talk, because nothing else worthwhile is coming from it. Chatter. Just my observation.
> --Stathis Papaioannou
> > From: "aet.radal ssg" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > To: email@example.com
> > Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
> > Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 10:44:25 -0500
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