On 11/2/2011 11:45 AM, benjayk wrote:

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).


But in what sense did you experience when you were an infant? You can't really see anything until your brain organizes to process the visual signals from your eyes. So your visual experiences were different and limited as a new born that at a few months of age. Nobody remembers how they learned to see (or hear or walk) but that kind of memory is essential to having experiences. I think it is a mistake to think of a person as some core "soul". The person grows and is created by interaction of the genetic provided body and the environment. We tend to overlook this because most of the growth occurs early in life before we have developed episodic memories and the inner narrative we call "consciousness".


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.

Were you "beyond it all" when you were a fetus?  How great was that?

Brent

And this is immortal, with death merely being a relative
end, just like sleeping.

benjayk


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