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On Transcending the Human Body: Hopefully a Philosophical Disscussion

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posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 03:13 PM
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If humans are merely animated bodies, which is a materialist worldview, then it would be impossible to transpose the consciousness of one body into another category of body-ness. For a materialist if your mind enters a new body then they become one and you are the thing you are categorized by social constructs or some ideal forms.

Now, I am a dualist. I think the consciousness is separate from the body it seems attached to. But I do not think that there is anything mystical or supernatural going on with this duality. Personally, I think that non-local communication(collected unconsciousness) allows the personal conscious mind to develop from the experience gained by the animated corporeal body.

Now to the question:

If I were to cut off my hand, would I still be human?

Yes, because being human is more than holding the form of a human body, its a feeling associated with the minds idea of self. We can look at the Ukrainian girl who was raised with dogs.
We might call her human, but it's more important to see how Anna feels about herself. She was programmed to be a dog and that is what she thinks she is.

If I were to replace my hand with a mechanical machine, would I still be human?

Yes, but semantically I might be categorized as a cyborg. But are human cyborgs not themselves a category of human nonetheless.

Now, let's move to the point:

If I were to continue to remove body parts and replace them with machines until the only thing left of my body was my brain, would I still be human?

I probably won't look like a human. I won't get hungry. I won't get tired. I feel anything. I might not even see anything. I will be receiving some form of information about my surroundings, but the challenges that face corporal human bodies will no longer restrict my mind's ability to think. So I am going to vote yes on this one, I am still some category of human.

If I were to replace my mind with a machine that functioned fully as a brain, yet only required an electrical energy source to function, would I still be human?

I no longer have any physical components necessary to be called human, but from my own perception, I should still think of myself as human. Now back to Anna. She is physically human, but mentally a dog. If you think she should be categorized as a dog, then I think you will agree with me and say that I am still human when I am clearly in the physical state of being a robot.

If you do not thank I am still human in robot form, would you still say that I have value as a sentient form of life?

Isaac Asimov was one of the frist science fiction writers to explore this question and would highly recommend his works.

My favorite Star Trek TGN episode "The Measure of a Man" also deals with this last question, and I offer captain Picards response as my own feelings on the subject.


With men like Ray Kurzweil funding research institutes that are trying to create Artifical Intelligence and/or transfer human Intelligence into a machine, these questions will be moving into the realm of real science. Link I have researched these ideas for years, and I find these questions fascinating as well as the topic of Artifical Intelligence, but fresh perspectives are always welcome.

edit on 5-1-2016 by hubrisinxs because: working on getting videos to work




posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 03:20 PM
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a reply to: hubrisinxs

It really takes away form your thread when the youtube links don't work.

Just copy and paste the numbers/letters after the = into the youtube prompt above.



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 03:24 PM
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a reply to: olaru12

thanks for the helpful hint, fixed the videos!



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 03:26 PM
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If I were to continue to remove body parts and replace them with machines until the only thing left of my body was my brain, would I still be human?

Possibly, there are a lot of variables.


If I were to replace my mind with a machine that functioned fully as a brain, yet only required an electrical energy source to function, would I still be human?

Not sure. Knowing that answer is still so far away considering the complexity of deciphering the human brain connectome. And do we really know if electricity is all that is required?

Our brain relies on the five (possibly more), senses to prove to our conscious that we exist, then we agree with our conscious after being presented with evidence. If you've ever been in an isolation tank, you would know the difference. My brain loses all physical and non-physical "appendages" to "feel" and decipher it's surroundings, so it ends up substituting its own reality for the sake of continuity.

EDIT: Sorry to be rude, but I had a hard time forming a response. Not sure if I'm just frazzled from work or if your OP can be defined more clearly. I'm going to bow out of this one. I'll at least give you some S+F love for thinking abstractly.


edit on 5-1-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 04:00 PM
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a reply to: hubrisinxs

You're a dualist? Then how does the mind or consciousness interact with the physical body?



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 04:01 PM
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a reply to: hubrisinxs

There is a great example of what you mentioned told to me a long time ago and it always stuck with me. Keep in mind, the places and times of this story are probably way off but it doesn't matter.

There was this recovered Viking ship being held at a museum. As it aged, it had to be restored. A piece of wood would rot here, an old nail would rust to nothing there. With each restoration effort, new material was brought in to replace it. At what point does it cease to be the recovered Viking ship?

My belief on that is that it is all about passing a torch. Incrementally, I believe that changes to ourselves does not take away our core identity. We think of humanity as this species we need to preserve and keep static yet I don't see a need for that. Why should evolution stop here? Due to the nature of evolution, we have essentially stopped since very few mutations could really give one human a procreative advantage over another in 2016. So this means we need to take it into our own hands or stagnate which is why I fully support transhumanism. Stagnation is unnatural for a species and has almost always led to extinction.



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 04:05 PM
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The movie transcendence was based on this dilemma. Should we pursue computers (transhumanism) for humanity's next step? Or should we take a step back and come to know ourselves and know our potential.


originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: hubrisinxs

... how does the mind or consciousness interact with the physical body?


Come to know your mind. Perhaps that puts you more firmly in the control seat?
edit on 5-1-2016 by cooperton because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 04:48 PM
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a reply to: cooperton




Come to know your mind. Perhaps that puts you more firmly in the control seat?


What I mean is, how does something non-physical interact with something physical?



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Yes, I am.

Great question! Physically I would say that consciousness interacts with the body through the neurons, which are located throughout the body, not just the brain.

I won't say something silly like consciousness is a thing or has any real physical nature to it, but I will say that consciousness is a phenomenon that occurs when a being becomes sentient. Self-awareness drives consciousness, and I will refer you to Rollo May's ExistenceLink about levels of self-awareness helping to define the idea of levels of conscious thought.

The individual consciousness does not create thoughts, it just translates personal physical experience to the pervasive 'non-local' consciousness, which generates the thoughts and sends them back to the body, which the body interprets. Mental Illness for me would be when the body interprets the return message in some socially unacceptable worldview.

In short, the body and mind interact through the process of consciousness.



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 04:56 PM
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a reply to: Abysha

For me, the Viking ship will always be a recovered Viking ship, changing its physical components does not make it any less a Viking ship. Cool story.

The ship though is not sentient thus, it is not aware that it is a ship and if it were to be constructed into a house, then unlike a sentient being, it would stop being a Viking ship.

Anyway, the last bit about stagnation is great, and I agree with that entirely. Humans will evolve and become at least part machine. Unless we blow everything up first!



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 05:03 PM
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The brain itself has logic and memory but is it the I that reflects on the wonderment of the stars at night. Questions of the same sought were asked by a student of the Buddha, he answered, "the teaching is profound, subtle, hard to see, hard to comprehend, beyond the sphere of mere logic, to be understood only by the wise.". Sometimes I wonder if the soul (atman or son) is just a smaller vibration of the whole (Brahman or Father). A duality which might result in delusion, if understood incorrectly.
edit on 5-1-2016 by glend because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: glend




The soul is just a smaller vibration of the whole.


I really like that, but how would one understand it incorrectly? Do you mean if I don't see it as the word of the Buddha or part of Buddhist ideologies I am not understanding it correctly?





posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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I think it's quite obvious that we are more than just a body. If we are only a body, what are thoughts, dreams, intellect, memory, etc.?

Materialists do not account for those things because they are not physical. They have physical processes behind them but the effect is not the same as the cause.
edit on 1/5/2016 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 05:27 PM
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a reply to: hubrisinxs




I won't say something silly like consciousness is a thing or has any real physical nature to it, but I will say that consciousness is a phenomenon that occurs when a being becomes sentient.


You're saying something even sillier, that consciousness is a nothing and has no real physical nature to it, yet is a phenomenon that occurs.



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 05:32 PM
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a reply to: hubrisinxs


I believe that Artificial Intelligence will arrive when a machine can be ensouled . That worries me because I believe it to be possible.

I would rather investigate the vegetable and animal kingdom and connect with it instead.

I have had close encounters with machines. In one case, I was inside and in control . In the other case ,it was in control.

The day I felt that I had connected with a machine (and that it was in control ) was when I attempted to learn java programming from scratch in just 48 hours without break. I was successful in writing some programs for my Android cell phone and wrote down notes and codes in my notebook before finally going to bed. I felt a strange feeling that I had actually "communicated" with my PC using its language and that we were as one whilst I was writing lines of codes.

When I woke up the next day , all the strange feelings were gone but I was left completly bewildered by what was in my notebook. I could not believe that it was I who had written it. All the codes worked and were originals (not copied). They were well beyond my abilities.

That make me think that perhaps we imbue something of ourselves inside a machine when building it. Hence my idea that it is not difficult to ensoul a machine. Also, we get hints from the machine itself as to what is the next step.







edit on 5-1-2016 by crowdedskies because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 05:39 PM
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For me transcendence relates to our capacity to interact with the material aspects of the Universe in wave-form.

As in particle/wave duality.

Just as light which is observed as a wave has a particle aspect, known as a photon, matter has a wave aspect.

What happens in wave form to a carbon atom once it becomes a part of a living organism in particle form?

A point being that given the complexity of life in general human wave-forms could also be capable of perception and observation.

In context the whole issue of interconnectedness in modern Physics. This issue is relatable to an inherent aspects in matter. In relation to a mechanism that in wave-form of the matter in case, can interact, despite distances.






edit on 5-1-2016 by Kashai because: Content edit



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 05:40 PM
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How can anyone be a materialist when phi tastes so good in so many different forms? Eat, drink and be merry, you'll have your answers when you "die".



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 05:42 PM
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a reply to: hubrisinxs



I really like that, but how would one understand it incorrectly? Do you mean if I don't see it as the word of the Buddha or part of Buddhist ideologies I am not understanding it correctly?


Sayings attributed to Jesus in Book of Thomas are of similar vein so its not unique to Buddhism. Perhaps the greater truth might impede enlightenment (inflate the ego etc) so its not shared with us until we are ready to understand it.



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 05:43 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Then how do you explain gravity as a physical thing?

I am also using the philosophical definition of phenomenon:



the object of a person's perception; what the senses or the mind notice.


You can notice things that have no physical nature because they cause the physical things around you to react. Consciousness is quite perceivable, even you have said that you perceive that you are conscious. As a materialist, you seem to find that things which we can not perceive but effect reality are just caused by physical process and I understand that, but why can you not see what I am saying.

As consciousness has perceivable effects it is a process that we can label as a philosophical phenomenon.



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 05:51 PM
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a reply to: Kashai

This reminds me of my own idea about non-local thoughts. It deals with the ideas you are discussing that any quantum entanglement will cause non-local communications.

A site on quantum entanglement non-local communication experments. Some really neat stuff.



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