On 06 Nov 2011, at 12:29, Quentin Anciaux wrote:
2011/11/6 Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
On 30 Oct 2011, at 23:51, Quentin Anciaux wrote:
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
very relevant to know that the actual essence of experience can
survive eternally. Why would I care whether an imagined "I"
How would you call this, if not immortality?
Could you imagine making a dream where you are someone else?
Can you imagine waking up, and remembering your life as a dream, and
at the same time remembering "the" previous life?
Yes, but and I can accept that as a form of continuation of my life
*but* contrary to benjayk example... you *remember* that life even
as a dream.
OK. But then you might be able to dissociate yourself from the "hero"
of the dream, which can help to realize that the content of memories
might not be so important for the identity. Forgetting a dream is no
death, just a special form of amnesia.
To be sure, I do agree with you, in your conversation with benjayk,
that consciousness needs a "self", but the "self" might be more like a
general computer control structure than a collection of memories. That
is why we might have superficial little ego (quite crucial in everyday-
life decision) and deeper selves, more related to what is invariant in
Peano arithmetic has very few memories, if any in the usual sense, yet
it has already a quite sophisticated self (obeying to G, G*, etc.).
I think we can dissociate from memories. I think we can identifying
our identity, if I can say, with something deeper than the memories.
Sure but if there are no memories left, there is nothing left for
I am not entirely sure of that. We tend to put a lot of price in our
memories, but then many put a lot of price in the mundane objects as
well. It is partially natural to do that, but concerning identity, in
the long run, it might be less important than what we are "programmed"
or accustomed (by evolution) to believe.
Memories are important, if only to avoid painful loops, and to
progress, which is the making of histories. But like bodies, it
makes sense that we own them, we are not them, I mean, not
necessarily are we them.
Without them anybody is anybody, and it's meaningless to talk about
immortality in that context.
Unless the abstract self discovers it has a personality of its own.
This helps to recognize oneself in the other, and even to "selfishly"
hope for the happiness of others.
Memories can also be like a bullet, preventing you to see a bigger
part of the picture. The brain already use a lot of energy to classify
and erase (or make less accessible) many memories; it might be a
matter of choice to give them some importance or not. New events can
shift the emphasis of previous event memories. Many memories have some
role in our present life, but might appear as useless, if not
handicapping, with respect to new and different type of experiences.
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