On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 10:30:11PM -0700, Jonathan Colvin wrote:
> Nope, I'm thinking of dualism as "the mind (or consciousness) is separate
> from the body". Ie. The mind is not identical to the body.

These two statements are not equivalent. You cannot say that the fist
is separate from the hand. Yet the fist is not identical to the
hand. Another example. You cannot say that a smile is separate from
someone's mouth. Yet a smile is not identical to the mouth.

> >
> >> But unless I am an immaterial soul or other sort of 
> >cartesian entity, 
> >> this is not possible.
> >
> >I disagree completely. You will need to argue your case hard 
> >and fast on this one.
> See below.

Yah - I'm still waiting...

> >
> >> If I am simply my body, then the
> >> statement "I could have been someone else" is as ludicrous 
> >as pointing 
> >> to a tree and saying "Why is that tree, that tree? Why couldn't it 
> >> have been a different tree? Why couldn't it have been a lion?"
> >> 
> >> Jonathan Colvin
> >
> >The tree, if conscious, could ask the question of why it isn't 
> >a lion. The only thing absurd about that question is that we 
> >know trees aren't conscious.
> That seems an absurd question to me. How could a tree be a lion? Unless the
> tree's consciousness is not identical with its body (trunk, I guess), this
> is a meaningless question. To ask that question *assumes* a dualism. It's a
> subtle dualism, to be sure.

Of course a mind is not _identical_ to a body. What an absurd thing to
say. If your definition of dualism is that mind and body are not
identical, then this is a poor definition indeed. It is tautologically
true. My definition would be something along the lines of minds and
bodies have independent existence - ie positing the existence of
disembodied minds is dualism. Such an assumption is not required to
apply the Doomsday argument. I may make such assumptions in other
areas though - such as wondering why the Anthropic Principle is
valid. Not dualism implies the Anthropic Principle.

> As a little boy once asked, "Why are lions, lions? Why aren't lions ants?"
> Jonathan Colvin

I have asked this question of myself "Why I am not an ant?". The
answer (by the Doomsday Argument) is that ants are not conscious. The
question, and answer is quite profound. 

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