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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. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    It's not actually that complicated. I just finished watching a show on TV, for example. 15 minutes ago I couldn't answer trivia about how it ends or tell you what I thought abut it or how it made me feel. Now I can. It wasn't super deep but it could have made me think about something a different way or like a character I previously didn't. I'm not the same person.

    After my first post in this thread I now felt a (self-imposed, admittedly) duty to keep up with it more frequently, so my behavior changed before & after posting. I'm now behaving differently that I would have if I just decided "nah, don't hit Post Reply". I'm not the same person.
     
  2. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    They are self aware enough of their surroundings to respond to other atoms and molecules when in proximity. Is that not some level of consciousness?
     
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  3. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Thanks for the feedback, because it means I failed to make my point. The 'thought-based experiment' is valuable. But we then discern its value based on whether it feels good. We'll call it 'logical' (or not), but that sense of certainty we have regarding the utility of our philosophy is itself going to be something that can be biased.
     
  4. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    I don't think so. Magnets do that but I don't consider them to have "decided" to respond to each other.
     
  5. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    It is not a question of conscious decision making.
    when two atoms in a beaker come in proximity such that something happens, is that different than what happens in your brain when you get a whiff of bacon cooking?
     
  6. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald 老仁森林

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    I'm not particularily well versed in the concept myself, my understanding is probably overly simplitic, and you know to be honest I don't actually think buddhism is true

    I'm not so much trying to get into the deep of the subject as like the gist of it, the idea that things, and especially people, change over time, but still is the same thing.

    I don't have a particular reason that I know of that explains why this is my view on it, but it is. I remember once my mom looked at an old picture of me and said something like "that boy doesn't exist anymore". Which made me feel tremendously sad, but that's not really how I see things. I even remember that picture being taken.

    If you pick up a thing and let go of it it falls to the ground, and might even get damaged by the impact. I don't think it's sensible to call it a new thing. Now I'm kind of mixing in determinism, but it's like, the trajectory of a thing being dropped is what it is, you know, and like as sure as that people change in the way they do.

    It's maybe a bit wishy washy of me, and kinda hypocritical, because in many ways I think I don't like things changing, yet I recognise them as the same as they were in the past. I'm also terrified of getting old, but you know, those changes are unavoidable
     
  7. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    Technically I suppose at an atomic level you could argue it is not, but I don't consider that evidence of self-awareness &/or consciousness, which was the sticking point. The fact that I am *aware* "that is bacon! I, the person who is smelling it, would very much like to eat some. Because from past experience I have enjoyed the taste of it. Hmmm... however... using different information I am aware of, it's not good for me. Also as I recall, I'm out of bacon. Maybe sometime in the future I will have bacon. Mental note for the future: remember to pick up bacon" is self-awareness/consciousness.

    If I had gone immediately from "smellbacon->mustkillpig->eatbacon!" with no decision making, evaluation, or awareness of who (ie me) was making that decision, that's not the same thing & might be better compared to atoms or magnets reacting to each other.
     
  8. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Could the difference just be one of scale and the complexity of those multiple atomic activity?
     
  9. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    It could. That gets into a whole "does free will actually exist?" territory, which I don't feel I know enough to answer. I don't believe we know enough to answer at the moment, but as far as presently useful definitions, my above example is simply how I differentiate consciousness/self-awareness from atoms/magnets "reacting" to one another.
     
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  10. Commodore

    Commodore Deity

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    But if the government takes a sample of your DNA when you are born, they can still use it to accurately identify you if you commit a murder at the age of 60.
     
  11. amadeus

    amadeus As seen on OT

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    Well, I think that gets into the ship of Theseus problem that @Kyriakos mentioned, which I’m seeing it more in the abstract now.

    I assumed at the outset the question would be a subjective one; I don’t think any of us are conscious of individual changes in atoms. I don’t even know how many atoms I am. I’ll play it safe and say it’s more than 100 but fewer than 10 trillion. Sounds right?

    I don’t know if I’m reading this right, but doesn’t that ultimately lead us to a question of biological determinism? If everything is a neurochemical reaction, something about that makes me uncomfortable. Sorry for explaining it so poorly, or misunderstanding your post if I did!

    I’ve never felt depression is something that goes away (not at all saying I inferred from your post you believe it does), just something we learn to manage over time.

    You think the shift after the depressed period brought you back to where you were? Or that the depressed you is the “real” you? Please forgive the inarticulate phrasing of the question. :)

    You’re the first person to quantify the changes. What led you to that?

    I don’t think anyone is approaching the question with the intent of having a universally-applicable answer. That’s why I asked the question, to see the way that other people felt and what their experiences are. :)

    I had the opposite experience! My mother commented on a picture of me, and I said I didn’t feel like I’m the same person there. She wasn’t sad by it, I think because she understood that I said it in such a way as to say to her that I was glad with the way things had changed since then. I was almost 300lbs at one point in my life. I’m about half of that now. :eek:

    So when I see that old picture, I choose to say that is another person. Because almost practically, it is.
     
  12. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Nope.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/how-many-bacteria-cells-outnumber-human-cells-microbiome-science

    There is more at the link.
     
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  13. amadeus

    amadeus As seen on OT

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    @Birdjaguar, that’s why I failed biology in high school. I asked my college guidance counselor how I could fill my biology requirement without having to take it. Turns out anthropology qualifies. Got my C- and got the heck out of there!
     
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  14. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    I mean I subscribe to the concept of hauntology so to me this question seems silly on its face so....
     
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  15. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    I get what you're saying. That's my "problem" with reducing everything we do down to neurochemical reactions. I don't absolutely *know* that I chose to respond to your post, respond the way I did, & choose the precise words I chose. Did I choose to ignore the fact that the autocorrect underlines "neurochemical" (ha! also "autocorrect") & just decide I spelled them correctly? Or did past neurological changes in my synapses dictate I *must* do that? There's no way for me to possibly know that, so I'll go with the belief that makes me more comfortable: that I chose to do so.

    Can you expand on what this is? Google just gave me "As a philosophical concept, it refers to the return or persistence of elements from the past, as in the manner of a ghost." Personally, I'm quite fond of solipsism as a way of life. (kidding)
     
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  16. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Its a Hindu term

    An object that drops on the ground hard enough and breaks becomes no longer that thing. Of course it's "thingness" is subjective anyway. A plate is only an object to us, we view it as a separate object because it's useful to view it that way. To an ant it may as well be part of the floor.

    In another way of looking say that plate had Super Mario on it. And our mom got it for us at age six. Back then it may have been a very special plate. It made of think of Nintendo & maybe the mac & cheese which was served on it.

    By 18 we don't care about such things, we can look at the plate again when we clean our attic but it's not the same plate anymore. Now it just may make us slightly sad or nostalgic.

    As human beings everything changes even when it doesn't.

    All is impermanent. The only thing worse than accepting it is attempting to deny it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  17. ShogunGrumpyBear

    ShogunGrumpyBear Chieftain

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    Well it happened at different ages. At 18, I felt like I was breaking free. At 12,I felt like I had it all. At 18, I was appreciating a little bit more what I had, becoming a bit more social. At 23, I was breaking free from 18, I wasn't the nerdy wield guy anymore. I started to travel myself more,etc...

    At 25 I started to become "normal" and now I feel partially still like 25 but slightly changing every year.
     
  18. amadeus

    amadeus As seen on OT

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    You seem dismissive and the point of your post is unclear to me.
     
  19. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    It makes me a bit uncomfortable as well but there are no valid arguments against it that I've seen.
     
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  20. amadeus

    amadeus As seen on OT

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    Do you mean a valid argument as in a scientific argument? I would argue there exists a human soul, but good luck getting me to prove it on a scientific basis.
     

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