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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. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Did you swap your old brain for a new brain? Do you have a different set of eyes now than you used to?

    No? Then your analogy doesn't really work.

    I, on the other hand, no longer have the lenses in my eyes that I was born with. After my surgeries last year I have an artificial lens in each eye, and a card for each of them to show in case anyone ever needs to know. I joke sometimes that it gives me bionic vision like Steve Austin (it doesn't, but it's bemusing to see the occasional person have a "wait, what, really?" reaction), but what it really means is that I'm not blind, as I would have been if the surgeries hadn't been done. It hasn't had an effect on what my favorite color is or that I still perceive the key of B-flat major as purple.
     
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  2. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    I will just point out that it is my belief that there is actually no end to "you" until you die. The human brain is a constantly updated near computer analogue that is bathed and soaked in new information every day. What your brain does with that information depends on the information, but at least some of the data makes its way to your conscious and unconscious mind, and slowly alters you over the years.

    If you are 60, you are not the same person that you were when you were 20. Years of information updates and lived experience has changed your personality. Oh yes, you may retain some of your 20's personality traits, but by and large, you are a different person than you were back then. Just as an exercise, get together with someone you knew from your 20's and talk about old times, then critically ask yourself how much of that thinking actually makes sense in your world, and how much is outmoded thought. Most people are very surprised by the outcome.
     
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  3. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Some kind of parallel, not perfect but perhaps not entirely useless either:

    You live in a building. You tend to spend most of your time in specific parts of it, but later move on and may return on occasion to other parts. Some areas are separated by chasms which at first you could just jump over, but later on find it more difficult to do so. Other areas remain accessible for longer, and core living space is formed.

    Although this building is there just for you, no one has actually visited all of the rooms, nor was such the intention of having a building. The intention was just to not be outside - that is the only impossible state.
     
  4. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I am me. I am that young person from decades ago plus changes (both additions and subtractions). I am not the same today as last month or last year, but I am still me. My body and my mind move through time picking up, shedding, creating, destroying, touching and not touching what is nearby. I am an evolving collage. You can ask me to dance.
     
  5. amadeus

    amadeus Serenity now!

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    I was not me. I am me now, but I might be someone else later. You may still be you and I won’t ask you to dance.

    I suppose I have disassociated some parts of myself with... myself... as a mechanism to make sense of the here and now rather than what was, or could have been.

    I mean logically if you sit me down and ask me if I’m still myself, yes, I concede that as an entity within the confines of some sort of definition of continuity, yes, I have no argument about that because I don’t think I have had a transfer of consciousness. It changes with time as you say.

    I guess the question is and has been where one defines the self, and it is only they that can make that definition?

    Well, I’m done not making any sense for the evening! In this thread anyway.
     
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  6. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

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    Yes I'm still me. I'll stop being me when I die or possibly when I suffer a major head trauma. Anything more than that is just navel-gazing waffle isn't it? I suppose it's interesting to think about and cogitate on, but I can't deny that I don't think anything particularly new or insightful has been said in this whole thread, just the same old waffle really. Certainly no sort of actual answer seems to have appeared. Not intended to denigrate any of the participants, it's just that it doesn't feel like there's anything to say here that we haven't all seen or heard or thought about many times before.
     
  7. amadeus

    amadeus Serenity now!

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    I find it therapeutic to talk about it and to get the perspectives of others. I’ve found the responses here to at least give me something to reflect on, and maybe refine the point or better understand myself.

    Besides, waffles are tasty.
     
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  8. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Navel-gazing is more interesting than most subjects

    The bounds of the self is kind of a central question for morality.

    If you can convince a person his self is bound to other selves or even the same as them in some way morality becomes automatic. You could argue all moral improvement is convincing more and more humans that others (despite superficial differences) have similar, equally valid selfness.
     
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  9. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

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    Well a) most people surely already believe that, and b) that's not really the subject of this thread anyway as far as I can see.
     
  10. amadeus

    amadeus Serenity now!

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    Your disinterest has been noted.
     
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  11. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    My personality in my teens and early 20's was completely dominated by my depression. I was withdrawn, shy, sullen, angry and basically a lump on a log. When the depression lifted, I become much more affable and outgoing - talking with people is one of my favorite things now even if I'm not a hyper social person. So I wonder if my personality really changed to something entirely new or just reverted back to a true baseline that had been obscured by my mental health issues for a decade. It's hard for me to look back at my <13 year old self with enough clarity and objectivity to really say what I was like before I fell into depression.

    Since about March I've found myself once again withdrawing from the world but this time it's not depression; it's paranoia and a deep, incessant anxiety about the future that seems to be slipping away from my country and how that might impact my own life. Here's hoping this is just a temporary thing and not the prelude to a protracted mental health episode.
     
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  12. amadeus

    amadeus Serenity now!

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    Def. I could have written that same thing word for word.
     
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  13. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    Good to see another Derrida-reader round these parts. Hope you stick around, new friend ;)

    :lol:

    The computational theory of mind has gotten less and less popular in the sphere of neurology / philosophy of mind over the recent years, to the point where now only really a few silicon valley chiefs and their despots push it forward (for good reason imho, but I am no expert so I can only really comment on what actual experts currently champion). A computer is not a good analogy for the mind, and the way information is processed and "stored" (it isn't, not in the traditional sense) is different. I also think that it is very rarely information that changes us (and even rarer supposed "facts"), but rather it is almost always experience that shapes us. People are changed more by events than by arguments at any rate. (If you mean information in a very broad sense, so that it encompasses experience, I suppose we agree on more than we disagree).
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
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  14. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    I genuinely cannot help but read all of your posts in a Tim Heidecker voice. Welcome to the forum fellow beaver boy.
     
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  15. amadeus

    amadeus Serenity now!

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    I don't know if I'm always here, but I'm always here in that George Costanza is my spirit animal.

     
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  16. amadeus

    amadeus Serenity now!

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    I have adjusted my internal temporal discounting; I can now approach long-term projects with a reduced prospect of burnout.

    This calls for a celebration.

    Yay.
    [party]
     
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