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Staying Alive - The Personal Identity Game

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posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 06:34 AM
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Here is a very interesting game involving your personal identity or soul. I am curious about your results.

Staying Alive

One of the famous thought experiments involve Star Trek transporter. If you were told that you could be on Mars instantaneously with only one caveat: your body would be completely destroyed on earth, but there will be an exact duplicate of your body on Mars, with all the memories intact, would you still go? Why or why not?

What is Self? Are you defined by your personality, memories, experiences, etc? Can your self survive the death of physical body? What is soul and can it be measure by science? Is it immaterial?

Buddhism has a lot to say about Self (and non-Self). Here's some links:
en.wikipedia.org...(Buddhism)
en.wikipedia.org...

Personally, I believe (and have experienced) that we all have eternal souls. We all have acquired memories and personalities as we journey through space and time. We can discard memories, bodies, and personalities and still be ourselves. That is our "personal identities" and our "mes".

Please post your results and opinions.




posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 07:06 AM
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My results...


Congratulations! According to one theory of personal identity, you have survived!

You chose:
Round 1: It's the spaceship for me!
Round 2: I'll take the silicon!
Round 3: Freeze me!

However, although you have survived, you seem to have taken an unnecessary risk.

There are basically three kinds of things which could be required for the continued existence of your self. One is bodily continuity, which actually may require only parts of the body to stay in existence (e.g., the brain). Another is psychological continuity, which requires, for the continued existence of the self, the continuance of your consciousness, by which is meant your thoughts, ideas, memories, plans, beliefs and so on. And the third possibility is the continued existence of some kind of immaterial part of you, which might be called the soul. It may, of course, be the case that a combination of one or more types of these continuity is required for you to survive.

Your choices are consistent with the theory known as psychological reductionism. On this view, all that is required for the continued existence of the self is psychological continuity. Your three choices show that this is what you see as central to your sense of self, not any attachment to a particular substance, be it your body, brain or soul.

But there is a tension. In allowing your brain and body to be replaced by synthetic parts, you seemed to be accepting that psychological continuity is what matters, not bodily continuity. But if this is the case, why did you risk the space ship instead of taking the teletransporter? You ended up allowing your body to be replaced anyway, so why did you decide to risk everything on the spaceship instead of just giving up your original body there and then?




How have you done compared to other people?

19161 out of 165568 people chose the same path through the scenarios as you. To date, 99876 people have followed a path through these scenarios which is consistent with at least one of the three theories of personal identity specified above, compared to 65692 people who have not.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 07:30 AM
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reply to post by iced_blue
 


Thanks for your response. Here's my result with my reasons.



Congratulations! According to one theory of personal identity, you have survived!
You chose:
Round 1: It's the spaceship for me!
Round 2: Let the virus do its worst!
Round 3: Let my body die!
There are basically three kinds of things which could be required for the continued existence of your self. One is bodily continuity, which actually may require only parts of the body to stay in existence (e.g., the brain). Another is psychological continuity, which requires, for the continued existence of the self, the continuance of your consciousness, by which is meant your thoughts, ideas, memories, plans, beliefs and so on. And the third possibility is the continued existence of some kind of immaterial part of you, which might be called the soul. It may, of course, be the case that a combination of one or more types of these continuity is required for you to survive.

Your choices are consistent with the view that the continuity of the soul is essential for personal survival. Your first two choices showed a desire to keep your physical body alive. Yet your last choice showed a willingness to jettison this physical body in order to save your soul. So presumably, you only valued the continued existence of your body because you thought it housed the soul.

However, some would find your choices problematic. First, why does the soul seem to require an attachment to the body rather than to psychological continuity? After all, the body is ultimately dispensable. Second, the soul seems rather an empty self. It is a self that needs no thoughts, beliefs or memories to exist. It is rather a kind of immaterial home for thoughts, emotions, beliefs and so on. Do you really think the self is such a thing?


My reasons:

Round 1: My intuition tells me that my soul will be left here on earth while my duplicate will be on Mars which will probably not survive without a soul. My curiosity will get the best of me so naturally I would have chose a trip in a spaceship.

Round 2: Same reason as above unless there's a chance my soul will be transferred to silicon chip (after all, it's in close proximity).

Round 3: I am ambivalent about this. Since I believe in reincarnation, it wouldn't matter to me. However, with my strong curiosity and my strong belief that my soul wouldn't be destroyed, I would probably have decided to be deep frozen.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 07:41 AM
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reply to post by Deaf Alien
 




You chose:
Round 1: It's the spaceship for me!
Round 2: I'll take the silicon!
Round 3: Freeze me!


Reason 1: I've always wanted to go in a spaceship, i wouldn't really be there it would just be a clone.

Reason 2: I didn't wont to lose my memories or character.

Reason 3: i would have been happy to be reincarnated but i also wanted to live for longer and I still don't want to lose my body, and memories.

We had quite different results.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 07:43 AM
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I've wondered about the mentions of dumb spirits as if a person spirit is only as smart as it was at the time of death. I've heard of depressed spirits as if permanently locked into an emotion. Than I wonder about how a person dies and effects their spirit or destroys it as well. Different traumatic deaths by explosions etc.

It's all so confusing from what I've gatherd from some of these stories. A person and their identity seems to be only important by recognition by and with others they know. You wouldn't have to be in an identical body if the soul or spirit in your mind is the same, which is my understanding anyway. Stories of wandering ghosts who don't know they're dead is really depressing if that's some glitch we have to worry about.

Having some real time OOBE as if in a lucid dream being someplace else and requiring these memories seems more logical. The movie Brainstorm is just one example.
www.youtube.com...

Total Recall, Bladerunner etc.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 07:59 AM
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reply to post by iced_blue
 


Yes we have different results.

This is strange. It seems that our memories are so important to us. Maybe we are so attached to our memories. After all, we do not want to lose our memories of our loved ones. Our physical bodies and brains are not important to us. Memories seem to be precious to our souls.

Even though our memories will remain intact in round 1 and 2, we feel there too much of a risk of losing our memories since our memories will be transferred into some other bodies and there's a risk that our souls will not be transferred there.

Perhaps this is what Buddha has explained to us about. We have become too attached to physical realm. This is not our true selves. Memories may be one of last things let go of.

This all comes back to our personal identities. What are they? We may lose memories of our past lives, but will we still be ourselves? This is one of the most difficult questions in philosophy and perhaps metaphysics.

I thank you for your participation.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 08:08 AM
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reply to post by Deaf Alien
 


we're so attached to our memories because our memories create our personalities, without memories we wouldn't have loved ones, we wouldn't have any knowledge.

i personally don't know much about the teachings of Buddha, but i will study him in the near future (and add it to my memories :lol


a thought has just come to me, i think it may be more fear of the unknown that we're afraid of. know body actually knows what happens after we die

starting to get a bit off topic.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 08:13 AM
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You chose:
Round 1: It's the spaceship for me!
Round 2: I'll take the silicon!
Round 3: Let my body die!



1-Yeah... always wanted to take a ride through space, and teleporting wouldn't have cut it.. Oh and of course to keep myself as myself


2- I wanted to keep my memory and character.. as i point out below...it was a wise choice


3- And i wanted my soul to live on, and it did!!


Rest in Peace! Happily, your soul lives on in a lovely little baby called Britney!


It was an interesting quiz.

I'm glad i did the silicon thing because they said...


The operation was successful! What's more, a few years later, advances in technology enabled scientists to perform a similar operation which gave you back an organic brain and body, so now you're fully human again!


So that was good



Overall i believe i made the correct choices for me.
Cheers for the quiz



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 08:22 AM
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I took the transporter because i believe in the non-locality of the soul so a transport would not seperate my soul with the illusion of my body
. But i died because of that. For the rest, i let the virus do it's worse and my body die of disease. Taking the spaceship i would have survived.

I thought this would be the case but object to the transporter killing you.

[edit on 29-1-2009 by Harman]



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 09:19 AM
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reply to post by aleon1018
 


Thanks for your post. That was good.

That is one of the most difficult subjects in philosophy (and metaphysics).

Were we born with some memories of our previous lives? Or did we come with blank slate (Tabula rasa)?

Even so, are we still us? What is this thing called soul? Is it eternal?

This will probably go into discussion about Akashic records, but we'll go into that later
.

I, too, have read stories about 'dumb' spirits that are stuck in the same areas. Perhaps these spirits are too attached to their memories and their traumatic deaths and refuse to let go of these.

Again, this goes back to the pertinent question: who are we?

Blade Runner is a classic movie and Total Recall is a very good movie. I recommend watching these movies.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by Harman
 




I took the transporter because i believe in the non-locality of the soul so a transport would not seperate my soul with the illusion of my body



Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible by the human mind. If the mind were a local phenomenon, how can it comprehend the laws residing in every point of space and moment of time in the vast universe? Certainly, the answer lies in science beyond biology, quantum mysticism, and paranormal explanations. Holistic Relativity explains. The prevailing view in modern neuroscience is that it is the brain that creates the mind. Biological consciousness is treated as an epiphenomenon of the brain under the assumption that there is nothing other than biological consciousness in the universe. Let us examine this view a little more closely. At the outset, this assumption implies that if all the brains in the universe were to stop functioning, the universe should also cease to exist. This is parallel to the well-known observer’s paradox of quantum mechanics –“Is there a moon if no one is looking at it?” Trying to explain consciousness is itself a phenomenon of the human mind. Furthermore, to say that the brain creates the mind is very much like saying that “Radio creates music” or “TV creates news”.

www.intentblog.com...

I really agree with you.

Here's another difficult question for you:

Suppose there is an error in the transporter computer system (there is a star trek episode about this) and your body wasn't destroyed on earth, but there is a clone of you on Mars. You will still be you on Earth, but who is this person on Mars? (Star Trek - The Enemy Within)



The biological consciousness is reflected in the well-known phrase – “I feel, therefore I am.” This “I” or the feelings are the filtered perceptions of the individual brain and its formed neural circuits based on evolutionary experiences....

The Templeton prize-wining cosmologist George Ellis states:

“The standard mistake that fundamentalists make is to posit a partial cause as the whole cause. Yes, the neurons are there. That’s a partial cause of what’s going on. What these neuroscientists are missing, though, is the top-down action in the brain, which is the part that gives life its actual meaning. And, if you choose to look from the bottom up, you will never see that meaning…..Now, the physicists tend to miss both the same-level and the top-down view. And, it’s the same with these neuroscientists.”



the two most fundamental aspects of the spontaneous decay of atoms are the spontaneity or the free will without any external cause and the decaying process wherein the fixed stationary mass transforms into the radiative kinetic energy in the form of alpha particles moving close to the speed of light. If thoughts in the human mind can be compared to the quantum particles that can decay at the free will of the person, then such a property of the contemplative mind provides a common or uniform basis for the human mind and the micro-mind suggested by Dyson. Further, since the empty space in the universe is shown by quantum mechanics to be filled with particles that are born and dissolved instantly at their free will, the argument of similarity between the human mind and the micro-mind can be extended to the macro- or the universal mind since they all are dominantly made of particles that can decay or transform to the radiative kinetic energy at free will.


This discussion is getting very interesting. More to be continued



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by Deaf Alien
reply to post by Harman
 




I took the transporter because i believe in the non-locality of the soul so a transport would not seperate my soul with the illusion of my body


I really agree with you.

Here's another difficult question for you:

Suppose there is an error in the transporter computer system (there is a star trek episode about this) and your body wasn't destroyed on earth, but there is a clone of you on Mars. You will still be you on Earth, but who is this person on Mars? (Star Trek - The Enemy Within)


I love that one
. But in reality, my best guess is that i may go crazy. Depends on how the consciousness works. If two bodies (or wavelength configurations maybe?) were to exist at the same time and the consciousness itself is the thing that drives it, it would have twice as much senses on two different places at the same time.

If you take into account my thought of non-locality of the soul (and maybe consciousness) it would be very confusing indeed. Maybe it can be trained an maybe there is not a problem but i would not like to find out in any case. It would be wholy different from cloning i think. It's a bit like the boy Roland in the Dark tower novel. In short, he was pulled into a parallel word, died there but came back into is own world again, part of his consciousness remembered dying and he just went crazy over it at some point.

So, i'm going for all out weirdness in heads of the split person
.


[edit on 29-1-2009 by Harman]



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by blupblup
 




1-Yeah... always wanted to take a ride through space, and teleporting wouldn't have cut it.. Oh and of course to keep myself as myself


That's just it. What do you mean when you say that you want to keep yourself as yourself?

That's the essence of personal identity argument.

Basically, it all comes down to this: who are you?

Personally, I think this is one of the best argument of the existence of our souls.

I get aggravated every time some new age type person tells me that we are all ONE and that others are really me. If that is so, then why am I not aware of the other 6 billions people on the Earth?

This might be going off topic (
), but I think there are infinite number of souls.

Thank you all for the participation.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by Deaf Alien
 

Thank you Deaf Alien for this game. It was quite interesting


My first two choices were to survive, but the last one.. No way was I going to be put in a freezer like cold meat. Especially when it said that my soul would die and that there's a 70% chance it wouldn't work anyway.

Cool stuff, star and flag good buddy



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 11:52 AM
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My results:


Congratulations! According to one theory of personal identity, you have survived!

You chose:
Round 1: It's the spaceship for me!
Round 2: I'll take the silicon!
Round 3: Let my body die!

However, although you have survived, at least one of your choices seems a little problematic.

There are basically three kinds of things which could be required for the continued existence of your self. One is bodily continuity, which actually may require only parts of the body to stay in existence (e.g., the brain). Another is psychological continuity, which requires, for the continued existence of the self, the continuance of your consciousness, by which is meant your thoughts, ideas, memories, plans, beliefs and so on. And the third possibility is the continued existence of some kind of immaterial part of you, which might be called the soul. It may, of course, be the case that a combination of one or more types of these continuity is required for you to survive.

Your choices are just about consistent with the view that the continuity of the soul is essential for personal survival. Your first choice showed a desire to keep your physical body alive. Your second choice, in contrast, showed a willingness to have your body replaced by synthetic parts to preserve your psychological continuity. Your last choice showed a willingness to jettison your physical body and end psychological continuity in order to save your soul.

There is something troubling about these choices. First, the tracking of the soul seems a bit erratic. In the first choice, it followed the physical body, but on the second it followed psychological continuity. So it seems there is no reliable way of deciding where the soul goes - does it follow the body or psychological continuity? Secondly, the soul seems rather an empty self. It is a self that needs no thoughts, beliefs or memories to exist. It is rather a kind of immaterial home for thoughts, emotions, beliefs and so on. Do you really think the self is such a thing?


My reasoning:

1). I chose the spaceship over teleporting because the teleporting made me feel like I would have only been a clone of myself with my memory replaced as simulation and not the real Ashley.

2). I chose the silicone because my mind/memories is far more important to me to preserve than my physical form. For instance, I'd rather suffer from full body paralyzing and have my brain fully functional than to have a healthy body but suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's. I'm that type that considers my thought process much more important than physical.

3). I chose death over freezing because 'losing the soul' is losing who you are. Death is not a fear of mine but losing who I am is.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


I was pleasantly surprised to see you chime in here.

I know we have disagreed on many things in the past
Thanks for participating.



1). I chose the spaceship over teleporting because the teleporting made me feel like I would have only been a clone of myself with my memory replaced as simulation and not the real Ashley.


Which was the point of this game.




2). I chose the silicone because my mind/memories is far more important to me to preserve than my physical form. For instance, I'd rather suffer from full body paralyzing and have my brain fully functional than to have a healthy body but suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's. I'm that type that considers my thought process much more important than physical.


Like I said before, it seems that memories are too important to us.

Do memories truly define who we are? If not, then who are we, truly?

Perhaps we are truly who we are? Perhaps we all share our memories?

Like I said, I believe this is one of the strongest argument that we are all unique and independent souls.




3). I chose death over freezing because 'losing the soul' is losing who you are. Death is not a fear of mine but losing who I am is.


Please explain more


What do you mean by 'losing who you are'?

Is it loss of memories? Loss of your body? What is it?



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 01:07 PM
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reply to post by Deaf Alien
 


The body is just a physical case. The actual person is inside. So to me, the person is their thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, personality, soul etc.

As much as being paralyzed from the neck down would suck, I'd take that any day over having amnesia or dementia. To me, that's losing who you are (temporarily). Not death. Fortunately I've only known a few people who lost their minds in their latter years. They weren't the same 'people' although their bodies were fully functional. Then my grandmother died of ALS last January. She could hardly move but her brain was functional so we still had that emotional exchange.

I hope I'm making sense. lol

The 'body' is just a shell. The soul/personality I believe is eternal and who the person is. Therefore, my body can go through whatever it must- including death and decay, but the decay of my mind/personality/emotions/soul is what would be my main concern.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 




The body is just a physical case. The actual person is inside. So to me, the person is their thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, personality, soul etc.


Precisely. But who is this person inside?

This reminds me of the book "Remember, Be Here Now" by Ram Dass. It might be a trippy book, but one thing struck me in this book is the peeling of an onion.

If you keep peeling onion, layers after layers keep coming off. You might be 'peeling' off your thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, personality, etc. But what is left?

This is what personal identity or more appropriately called a soul is.




As much as being paralyzed from the neck down would suck, I'd take that any day over having amnesia or dementia.


Oh yes. I had a co-worker who was paralyzed from the neck down from playing in Marshall University football game. He was very much alive as before, maybe even more so. So, I understand your point.



To me, that's losing who you are (temporarily). Not death. Fortunately I've only known a few people who lost their minds in their latter years. They weren't the same 'people' although their bodies were fully functional. Then my grandmother died of ALS last January. She could hardly move but her brain was functional so we still had that emotional exchange.


Oh yes, I know. But this is another topic. I have some stories but that's another topic





I hope I'm making sense. lol


No you don't. No, I'm just kidding





The 'body' is just a shell. The soul/personality I believe is eternal and who the person is. Therefore, my body can go through whatever it must- including death and decay, but the decay of my mind/personality/emotions/soul is what would be my main concern.


Agreed.




posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 01:58 PM
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I found a thread of similar topic and questions that you might be interested in:
The body, consciousness, and Altered Carbon



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by Deaf Alien


That's just it. What do you mean when you say that you want to keep yourself as yourself?



Well it said my brain and body would be destroyed... as my thoughts/memories are stored in my brain.. i wanted to keep them intact.
Wasn't too fussed about the body but hey, didn't have the option to split them.




Basically, it all comes down to this: who are you?



I am a being.
I have my mind and, i believe, my soul.
I wanted to keep it intact and preserve ME.
And as you said...it is MY soul...nobody elses.... i am an individual i believe we all are... but i do believe we are connected somehow...




[edit on 29/1/09 by blupblup]



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