Quentin Anciaux-2 wrote:
> 
> 2011/11/1 benjayk <benjamin.jaku...@googlemail.com>
> 
>>
>>
>> Quentin Anciaux-2 wrote:
>> >
>> > 2011/10/30 benjayk <benjamin.jaku...@googlemail.com>
>> >
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Quentin Anciaux-2 wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> > 2011/10/30 benjayk <benjamin.jaku...@googlemail.com>
>> >> >
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Nick Prince-2 wrote:
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> > This is similar to my speculations in an earlier topic post
>> >> >> >
>> >> >>
>> >>
>> http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list/browse_thread/thread/4514b50b8eb469c3/c49c3aa24c265a4b?lnk=gst&q=homomorphic#c49c3aa24c265a4b
>> >> >> > where I suggest that  very old or dying brains might
>> >> >> > deterorate in a specific way that allows the transition of 1st
>> >> person
>> >> >> > experiences from an old to
>> >> >> > a young mind i.e. the decaying brain becomes in some way
>> >> homomorphic
>> >> >> > to a new young brain which allows an extension of consciousness.
>> >> >> This is not even required. The decaying brain can become no brain,
>> and
>> >> >> consciousness proceeds from no brain. Of course this means that
>> some
>> >> >> continuity of consciousness needs to be preserved outside of
>> brains.
>> >> >> Theoretically this doesn't even require that structures other than
>> >> brains
>> >> >> can be conscious, since we know from our experience that even
>> >> when/while
>> >> >> a
>> >> >> structure is unconscious it can preserve continuity (we awake from
>> >> deep
>> >> >> sleep and experience a coherent history).
>> >> >> The continuity may be preserved simply through similarity of
>> >> structure.
>> >> >> Like
>> >> >> our continuity of personhood is preserved through the similarity of
>> >> our
>> >> >> brains states (even though the brain changes vastly from childhood
>> >> until
>> >> >> old
>> >> >> age), continuity of human consciousness may be preserved through
>> >> >> similarity
>> >> >> of brains (even though brains have big differences is structure).
>> >> >>
>> >> >> So this could even be a materialist sort of non-technological
>> >> >> immortality.
>> >> >> It's just that most materialists firmly identify with the person,
>> so
>> >> they
>> >> >> mostly won't care much about it ("What's it worth that
>> consciousness
>> >> >> survives, when *I* don't survive.").
>> >> >> If they like the idea of immortality, they will rather hope for the
>> >> >> singularity. But impersonal immortality seems more in accord with
>> our
>> >> >> observations than a pipe dream of personal immortality through a
>> >> >> technological singularity, and also much more elegant (surviving
>> >> through
>> >> >> forgetting seems much simpler than surviving through acquiring
>> >> abitrarily
>> >> >> much memory and personal identity).
>> >> >>
>> >> >> I wonder why less people consider this possiblity of immortality,
>> as
>> >> it
>> >> >> both
>> >> >> fits more with our intuition (does it really seem probable that all
>> >> >> persons
>> >> >> grow abitrarily old?) and with observation (people do actually die)
>> >> than
>> >> >> other forms of immortality.
>> >> >>
>> >> >
>> >> > Simply because it is just using immortality for meaning death .
>> >> > Immortality
>> >> > means the  'I' survive... if it's not the case then it is simply
>> plain
>> >> old
>> >> > death.
>> >> >
>> >> OK, I can see that this a possible perspective on that. Indeed most of
>> >> the
>> >> time immortality is used to refer to personal immortality (especially
>> in
>> >> the
>> >> west). I agree with materialists there is no good reason to suppose
>> that
>> >> this exists.
>> >> Quantum immortality rests on the premise that the supposed
>> continuations
>> >> that exist in the MWs of quantum mechanics are lived as real for the
>> >> person
>> >> that dies, while we have no clue how these possibilities are actually
>> >> lived.
>> >> It is much more plausible - and consistent with our experience and
>> >> observation - that the other possibilities are merely dreams,
>> >> imagination,
>> >> or - if more consistent - are lived by other persons (which, for
>> example,
>> >> didn't get into the deadly situation in the first place).
>> >>
>> >> On the other hand, I don't see why we would ignore immortality of
>> >> consciousness, considering that the "I" is just a psychosocial
>> >> construct/illusion anyway. We don't find an actual "I" anywhere. It
>> seems
>> >> very relevant to know that the actual essence of experience can indeed
>> >> survive eternally. Why would I care whether an imagined "I"
>> experiences
>> >> it
>> >> or not?
>> >>
>> >> How would you call this, if not immortality?
>> >
>> >
>> > Death.
>> >
>> You would call eternal existence of consciousness "death"?
> 
> 
> What do you mean by "consciousness" ? I don't care about "eternal" not
> me... it's the *same* thing as death. When talking about dying, what's
> important is the person who die, if something is left who doesn't know
> that
> it was that person... what does it means that its consciousness still
> exists ? For me, it is just a vocabulary trick to not employ the word
> death
> where what you mean is death.
> 
> Immortality means immortality, not death, not resurection.
> 
> A person is the sum of her memories, without memories, there is nothing
> left.
> 
> 
>> This seems quite
>> strange and narrow to me.
>>
> 
> Not to me, just read in a dictionary.
> 
> *immortal* (ɪˈmɔːtəl)   —*adj*  1.  not subject to death or decay; having
> perpetual life 2.  having everlasting fame; remembered throughout time 3.
> everlasting; perpetual; constant 4.  of or relating to immortal beings or
> concepts
> 
>> Why would you restrict it only to the human experience of death?
> 
> 
> Because if you want to define "mouse" to mean "dog", it's fine, but the
> mouse stays a mouse.
> 
You picture consciousness as something inherently personal. But you can be
conscious without there being any sense of personhood, or any experience
related to a particular person (like in meditation). So that assumption
doesn't seems to be true.

 Also you think that memory has to be conserved in order for the experience
to continue consistently. This is also not true, we can experience things
that are totally disconnected from all memories we have, yet still it is the
I (not the "I") that experiences it. For example on a drug trip, you can
literally forget every trace of what your life was like, in terms of any
concretely retrievable memory (you can even forget you are human or an
animal). So why can't we lose any *concrete* memory after death and
experience still continues consistently (and if it does you have to surive
in some way - it makes no sense to have a continuous experience while you
totally die).
You also don't remember being an infant (probably), yet you were that infant
and are still here.
Saying that we are the sum of our memory is very simplistic and just isn't
true in terms of how we experience (you remember almost nothing of what you
have experienced).

So if you say it is death, you only refer to a superficial aspect of the
person, namely their body and explicit memory. Sure, we tend to indentify
with that, but that doesn't mean that there isn't something much more
important. The particular person may just be an expression of something
deeper, which is conserved, and is the real essence of the person, and
really all beings: Their ability to consciously, consistently experience.
We tend to find that scary, as it makes us part of something so much greater
that all our attachments, possesions, achievements, memory, beliefs and
security are hardly worth anything at all, in the big picture. But if they
aren't, what are we then? Since most of us have not yet looked deeper into
ourselves than these things, we feel immensly treatened by the idea that
this is not at all what is important about us. It (apparently) reduces us to
nothing.
But isn't it, when we face it from a more open perspective, tremendously
liberating and exciting? By confronting that, we can free us from all these
superficial baggage like things and relations and identity (freeing mentally
speaking, of course), and see the true greatness of what we are which is
beyond all of this. And this is immortal, with death merely being a relative
end, just like sleeping.

benjayk
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