On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 1:17:08 AM UTC-4, Jason wrote:
>
>
>
> On Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 7:03 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>
> > wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> On Monday, September 17, 2012 6:18:00 PM UTC-4, Jason wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Craig,
>>>
>>> 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.
>>
>
> Why do you believe this?  We can put machines back together.  Cells are 
> machines on a very small scale.  It would be difficult, but there is no 
> physical reason that prevents us from putting a cell back together after it 
> has come apart.
>

I'm sure when electricity was first being understood it was assumed that a 
dead body could be revived by electrical stimulation. The reality is that 
there are processes which are thermodynamically irreversible. This is why 
cryogenics has not been successful yet also. It's not that simple. Living 
bodies and cells are more than the sum of their parts, and if you reduce 
the wholes to parts, there is no guarantee that if you could force the 
parts into a whole again, that it would be the same whole.

Machines don't die, but living organisms do. Machines are assembled from 
the outside, but organisms are born of their own internal nature. The two 
approaches could not be more opposite.

 
>
>>  
>>
>>>
>>> What if cut into a thousand pieces and put back together perfectly?
>>>
>>
>> Same answer.
>>  
>>
>>>
>>> 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. 
>>
>
> What is different about them?  They could have the same exact quantum 
> state, and yet you believe that because at one point in the past some atoms 
> had some distance put between, and this somehow rules out the possibility 
> of those atoms ever being used to build a person or life form, or be 
> conscious?
>

What's different is that everything in the universe has changed. It's a 
different moment. Particles are entangled through time as well as across 
space. You assume that there is a such thing as two identical instances of 
consciousness, when everything that we have to go on tells us exactly the 
opposite. No two moments, no two people, no two experiences are identical. 
They can't be because every experience is shaped and influenced by every 
other experience.
 

>
> Why would this be?  Our bodies continually take in and use atoms from 
> things that were once not alive.  What is different here?
>

Yet mainly what we need to survive is molecules from things that were 
alive. Why would that be? Different levels of evolutionary development 
correspond to different layers of qualitative elaboration. A human being 
needs more than sunlight and water, more even than nutrients and shelter. 
People need social participation and perceptual stimulation to be truly 
human. It's irreducible. There is no information-only substitute.
 

>  
>
>> 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 the event.
>>
>
> What the difference between putting someone back together and a baby 
> slowly being constructed through a set of complex chemical reactions from 
> previously lifeless matter? 
>

The difference is that the baby is growing by itself. It is the embodiment 
of a self-expressing human story as a lifetime-long event in the cosmos. 
It's like asking, if we beat and torture someone for ten years, but then 
restore their body and put them back into society, what could go wrong? 
Experience is the underlying reality, structure only represents the control 
of experience.
 

>  In either case would the result not be a fully alive and conscious human? 
>  Do you suppose life also requires that life forms be built in certain 
> natural ways (rather than artificial ways)?
>

Life forms aren't built, they grow. If you create the right conditions, you 
can cause life to grow, but only because the potential for life to exist in 
the universe is already present over and above any mechanistic or 
informative purpose. If you grow a human being from human DNA then you get 
a human. If you assemble a machine that you think should behave like human 
DNA, then you'd get something else - maybe an alternate biology, maybe a 
cybernetic non-entity, but not a Homo sapien with human experiences.
 

>  
>
>>  
>>
>>>
>>> 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.
>>  
>>
>
> The hypothetical did not involve some person thinking they were put back 
> in the same way, but the atoms actually being put back in the same way. 
>

If you took apart the wick of a burning candle, and then put it back 
together 'the same way', would it still be burning with the same flame?
 

>
> Do you still think there would be a "different performance of atoms"?
>  
>
>>
>>> What then if the original atoms were put back, would they both 
>>> experience what it is like to be you?
>>>
>>
>> No.
>>
>
> Why shouldn't they?
>

I would imagine that atoms have atomic experiences, not human experiences. 
This is the same reason that my  computer is not reading what it is that I 
am writing right now.
 

>  
>
>>  
>>
>>>
>>> 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.
>>
>
> Right.
>  
>
>>  Our identity exists at the level of our experience as a whole.
>>
>
> I don't understand what you mean here.
>

I mean that Jason is a phenomenological event at the level of human 
interaction, not one that can be resolved at the sub-personal level. Levels 
change everything, especially when you consider that they may be 
intertwined in both bottom-up and top-down relations.
 

>  
>
>>  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.  
>>
>
> Are you suggesting that things beyond one's skull are relevant to what 
> someone experiences?
>

If that weren't the case then all that we could experience would be our 
skull.

Craig
 

>
> Jason
>
>  
>
>> Experience is what matters.
>>
>> Craig
>>  
>>
>>>
>>> Jason 
>>>
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