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Comparing eyeglasses to a full artificial heart transplant seems to be a bit dishonest on the issue of complexity.
As to your point about a brain in a box being unable to prove its consciousness to you, neurobiology has definitively identified specific electrical signals that constitute thoughts and actions.
Brains are neural networks which produce what we call consciousness, nothing more. The insertion of spirituality is completely nonsensical. Machines have no spirits, simply complex input and output.
That's jumping to unwarranted conclusions; we have never seen a brain, detached from a body, show any signs of personality whatsoever. Signs of electrical activity, yes; personality, none. You need a body, you see, to manifest personality.
Google’s director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, has been pushing this idea for many years, and just recently he promised that by 2045, humanity would achieve what he calls the “singularity,” where our minds can be uploaded to computers. However, once the technologies are adequately developed, they still don’t provide a way to merge your mind with a machine. All you’ve really done is made a copy of your brain. This copy may, indeed, be able to run on the machine, but it’s nothing more than a simulation of your brain. It is not you. You are more than mere memes or memory.
Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by wasaka
Does raising such a possibility seem sane to you?
No, indeed; it is utter lunacy. That is why I asked you why you chose to start a thread by implying it.
I notice that the whole of the rest of the post from which I've quoted proposes Star Trek as a blueprint for what you think might really happen in the future. So I was right to ask my original question after all, wouldn't you say?
Originally posted by Wertdagf
reply to post by wasaka
Nowhere in your post do you produce evidence for a soul.
What you should be saying is that the physical structure of a brain and its consciousness are inseparable. Which doesn't debunk trans humanism... only your ignorant view of it.edit on 8-7-2013 by Wertdagf because: (no reason given)
Thats because there wasnt any such brain that lived for long enough, lol.
A brain detached from a body, assuming it is properly nourished, will show personality.
The conclusion is warranted, unless you want to argue that brain is not the seat of consciousness and personality...
There are animals that show the same qualities of our human consciousness. What we identify as consciousness is the product of a brain. It has nothing to do with humanity.
I was just showing that there are many references to men becoming merged with machines on pop-culture as a way to preface my Star Trek reference... not to suggest that these reference were part of some hidden agenda.... however, that argument could be made, and has been made by others.
Full digitalisation of the mind (and relevant body parts) and transfer to non-degrading substrate is the only way to achieve transhumanism.
You can change everything about someone by altering their brain chemistry, a sad man can become happy and an angry man can become calm by the removal of specific part of the brain or the addition of another chemical.
I would argue that the entire organism is the seat of both consciousness and personality. Even the amputation of a finger alters both. 'What it is like to be' (in Nagel's phrase) a person who has lost an extremity is significantly different from what it is like to be a whole person.
People with depression have intestinal bacteria that are different from those found in healthy people. What does that tell you about personality, bodies and brains?
Both you and Wertdagf seem to think I am arguing from some metaphysical premise. On the contrary, my premise is an entirely materialist one. I champion vitality, not vitalism. I am speaking out for glands, digestive apparatuses, gall bladders, gonads and, yes, even arms and legs. The operating processes of biological organisms are made up of innumerable feedback loops; the brain is a nexus, a telephone exchange. Think it through, and you'd probably end up agreeing with me.
Again, you're simply assuming this. The trauma of dissociation may well destroy any possibility of mind. Given all experience to date, that seems far more likely than not.
A futile dream.
At best, you will merely create a virtual facsimile of one aspect of humanity, namely mentality.
You asked wasaka, earlier, what the difference was between reality and a perfect simulation. To a mathematician, perhaps, there is none. But do you think a bereaved mother would be consoled if her dead child were replaced by a computer program? Should she be?
Mentality and consciousness are not humanity. They are a mere part of it, and a relatively insignificant part at that. The true essence of humanity lies in the nucleus of every human cell, and is expressed in what Richard Dawkins has called the extended phenotype. Transhumanists are simply mystics and spiritualists trying to achieve transcendence through technology.
Mumbo-jumbo does not cease to be mumbo-jumbo because its back-story is technological rather than mythological. Remember those 'quantum mystics' who used to infest this site, and against whom you and I regularly did battle? Transhumanists are really no better.