On Monday, September 17, 2012 6:18:00 PM UTC-4, Jason wrote:
> Do you think if your brain were cut in half, but then perfectly put back
> together that you would still be conscious in the same way?
There is no such thing as perfectly put back together. If you cut a living
cell in half, it dies. The only way of putting it perfectly back together
is to travel back in time and not cut it in half.
> What if cut into a thousand pieces and put back together perfectly?
> What if every atom was taken apart and put back together?
If you could take every atom in a living cell 'apart' and put it back
together without killing the cell, then it seems like it would work, but I
don't think that the cells would necessarily be 'the same' cells. To me
consciousness is an event in time, not a structure in space. The structure
is the vehicle of the event. If you mess with the vehicle, you mess with
> What if every atom was taken apart, and then atoms from a different pile
> were used to put you back together?
When the atoms are taken apart, you die. If you put them together in what
you think is the same way, it is still a different performance of atoms,
whether they are the same or different.
> What then if the original atoms were put back, would they both experience
> what it is like to be you?
> Does the identity of one's atoms matter or are they interchangable? If
> the identity is not what matters, what is it that does?
Our atoms are replaced all the time. Our identity exists at the level of
our experience as a whole. The experience of our body, our family, culture,
etc. We are a lifetime that uses the whole brain as a way to participate in
the human world as a human body. Experience is what matters.
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