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[RD] Are you who you were and when do you stop being you?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by amadeus, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. amadeus

    amadeus The Choice of a New Generation

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    I don't think the same way or have the same tastes as I did when I was 5. Or 10, or 15, or maybe even 30.

    But I'm still the same person... am I?
    My Social Security number thinks I am.

    How much do things change before you think of yourself almost as a different person? Are the changes all in you, or do you change with your environment?

    I moved 6,000 miles to be where I am now. I don't think I think the same way I did, and I don't think I behave the same way. Was that me, or things around me?

    Is this a question that can be answered with philosophy? If it is or isn't, is it a question worth answering and is there any utility in knowing the answer?
     
  2. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    You can google "Ship of Theseus" :)

    Although I think that consciousness is influenced by literally everything you have experienced up to now, it's just that the vast majority is not readily available.
     
  3. amadeus

    amadeus The Choice of a New Generation

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    I’m familiar with this problem in terms of objects, but I never thought about it with people. I would have to distinguish the two, but I don’t know how. It’s a gut reaction rather than a clearly-delineated explanation.
     
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  4. EnglishEdward

    EnglishEdward Deity

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    We are composed of atoms. They change from time to time.

    When 50% are replaced, you are a new you.

    Perhaps we should have the scientists calculate that, and then have a celebration, and release innates on death rate etc.
     
  5. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald 老仁森林

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  6. amadeus

    amadeus The Choice of a New Generation

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    Are you only changing as fast as your atoms? If they're always changing, when do you know you're 50% replaced?

    With all due respect, I made this an [RD] thread. Could you elaborate on the concept? I did a little initial reading, but I'd prefer you break it down in the context of my opening post. Thanks.
     
  7. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    There's no stable self that persists over time.

    Even hour by hour people change. If you drink alcohol, take drugs or go thru some major trauma or eleation or revelation the changes are readily apparent but they are always happening.

    If one were to find out ones wife has been cheating with one's best friend for a year the person who didn't know that dies and can never come back the same way. Someone new is born. We call it the same guy for ease of language.
     
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  8. amadeus

    amadeus The Choice of a New Generation

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    Where would you personally draw the line between one self and another self?
     
  9. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    I underwent a pretty dramatic personality shift in my late teens/early twenties, but I wonder if the shift was really more a reversion to my 'normal' self as I underwent an extremely deep depression in my teens.
     
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  10. ShogunGrumpyBear

    ShogunGrumpyBear Chieftain

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    I would say I changed behaviors roughly around 12, 18, 23 and 25ish. I'm still (mostly) the same person from 25.
     
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  11. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Depends how hot the other self is :groucho:
     
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  12. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Who we are at any given time can depend upon the measure used. Our physical selves change all the time from birth through death. Personalities can change over time too. How we respond to external events changes. The question might be: Is there anything about us that does not change over time or because of circumstances?
     
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  13. Commodore

    Commodore Deity

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    Our DNA. We can be identified by our own unique DNA from birth until our death. Of course if cloning ever becomes a commonplace thing that might change as well.
     
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  14. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    It gets weird fast. That 'sense of being you', which then tempts us to form 'philosophical' arguments, is a function of neurochemistry. Sometimes you'll feel coherence with a previous self and sometimes you won't. I won't ever know the specific neuroanatomy, but I liken it to any type of sense of certainty.

    Je pense donc je suis leaps out for me. When you wake from consciousness, I can't think of a good reason you're not just a clone of the yesterday's person implanted with their memories. We'd go mad if we acted as if we were a new person every time we woke from consciousness, but a lot of transformation occurs during that time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  15. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I am sure if atoms were somehow self-aware and sapient, and we could actually ask them how they sense/experience their properties and developments, we would, in the hope of gaining insight. One has to suppose it would constitute a whole new scientific field.
    Strangely the same interest seems to not be there for some, in regards to asking humans how they sense their own ^_^

    Besides, neurochemistry is no more distanced or free from the human observer than anything else. It is also anthropic, but moreover picked up primarily through the senses, thus not in a better position to define something anthropic than any primarily thought-based examination. They should be examined in synergy, not be presented as A being some kind of cause of B.
     
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  16. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Twins have the same dna
     
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  17. Commodore

    Commodore Deity

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    But not matching fingerprints which is how, in criminal cases involving twins as suspects, forensic scientists can tell one twin from another.
     
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  18. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    Between now...
    ...and now.
     
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  19. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    But I thought that the reason we aged was because the ends of our DNA kept getting shorter.
     
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  20. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    So, DNA and fingerprints, until such a time that that heuristic is made invalid (by science, evolution, you name it, etc).

    Relying purely on scientific markers might work for the moment, but it's not a long-term thing. DNA is still being understood, for example. The same goes for philosophy (which I don't know a huge amount about) - it's a part of an answer. It's not the answer. Topics like these, in my opinion, rarely have a straightforward answer.

    I know the question you were responding to was if there was any part of us that changes, but DNA does change! Telomeres being one aspect of that change. Nevermind external factors like disease (inherited or inflicted).

    We are the sum of our experiences - physically and mentally. This means by definition we change. Even a dogmatic individual who let's say stays exactly the same in beliefs and personality from adulthood to a natural death . . . they'd still change physically. And this would affect them.

    A lot of folks' answers here will depend on what they consider a "person" to consist of, and what level of change invalidates that concept (as supposed to adding to it). I don't have a smart answer. I'm barely managing an answer - it's very wishy washy, speculative stuff, hah. I consider myself the same person I've always been. I also believe that I'm currently my most improved being to date. My experiences make me talk differently, think differently, act differently. But I'm still me - those decades of memories still mesh nicely to make "me". But I can't imagine this is the same for everyone else.
     
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