It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Memory is not who you are... debunking Transhumanism

page: 4
5
<< 1  2  3    5  6 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 06:38 AM
link   
reply to post by Maslo
 

Thank you for a courteous response. I believe you are still missing the point. You equate humanity with mentality. This is a fallacy with a long history in Western thought – I believe it goes all the way back to Pythagoras – but there has never been the slightest evidence to show that it is true. Metaphysics is simply the habit of mistaking the map for the territory. There is nothing real about it at all.

I'm sorry you weren't able to see the implications of the article I linked to, which is that our bodies critically influence our perceptions and behaviour. There can never be such a thing as a stand-alone human mind; it would be an artificial intelligence, an entirely different category of being.




posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 08:08 AM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 




You equate humanity with mentality.


I dont. I equate personhood with mentality, or sentience. If you want to call an uploaded mind not human, feel free to do so (altrough stop claiming that it somehow invalidates transhumanism, since transhumanists explicitly acknowledge it in the word itself). If you want to call it not sentient or not a person, thats where I concur.

Its you, in fact, who equates humanity with mentality - by claiming our mentality cannot exist without our present human biological substrate. To quote you, "there has never been the slightest evidence to show that it is true".



Metaphysics is simply the habit of mistaking the map for the territory. There is nothing real about it at all.


There is a difference between a map of a territory, and a perfect simulation of a territory. And I would be very careful when using words such as "real" when it comes to informatic emergent properties like sentience. How is sentience emergent from biological substrate fundamentally different than one with the same internal relations, but utilizing a computational substrate? Is a game running on Windows somehow fundametally different than one running on Linux? From the POV of the gamer, it is the same.



I'm sorry you weren't able to see the implications of the article I linked to, which is that our bodies critically influence our perceptions and behaviour.


I dont think its critical, there are people with all kinds of organs missing / replaced with prosthetics, or all kinds of paralyses and it does not seem to affect them mentally much (to the point of making them non-human or non-sentient). But even if it was, its not a good argument against transhumanism, since we can just simulate that too. I mean, if we already know how to simulate the most complex organ in the body, why do you think it would be a showstopper to simulate some kidney receptors or some gut bacterial secretions or some hormonal glands, if it turns out to be necessary for satisfactory experience of the mind?
edit on 11/7/13 by Maslo because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 11:10 AM
link   
reply to post by Maslo
 


Transhumanism wouldn't be "doomed". If consciousness exists as a part of the natural order, that doesn't mean we couldn't "enhance" it through physical intervention, like silicon chips implanted in the hippocampus to boost memory (although I am personally against doing that), or as Michio Kaku imagines, we could implant chips in our frontal lobe that would allow us to control objects or events in our environments. If consciousness exists it doesn't change most of the transhumanist possibilities, except perhaps the ridiculous sounding notion of transferring your consciousness to a computer. Of course, as you said, we do not know for certain if consciousness exists (occultism doesn't suit our scientific methods, although practitioners of it would insist that belief i.e faith, is an indispensable property of mentalistic causality. If this is true, it's ironic that we are burdening ourselves with such skepticism when the physical and the mental seem to operate along such different rules/laws) so it's ok to assume that a "connectome" - the patterns and paths of trillions of neural connections - when brought together, will magically produce conscious awareness. You got top admit, there is something incredibly fanciful about this idea. This is, in effect, what emergence means. If you think emergence sounds plausible, than naturally, a computer should be able to support our conscious awareness.

But here's a thought experiment for you. Say we have our connectomes scanned and have them simulated in a computer program. Would I still exist as me in my body? Or would I become magically transported to the simulated computer reality? What would happen to the simulation running in my head? Which connectome would take precedence?

I guess this would be the first definitive test to prove/disprove the basis of the claim that we are our "connectome". Personally, I think the computer would simply be running a version of ourselves. This would disappoint many theorists, I'm sure, since consciousness is currently thought to be nothing more than "information". But, if it's disproved, as I imagine, it of course will help science as all failures point us in a better direction. In my opinion, information is a concept subsumed by consciousness. Consciousness is it's own property, and "information" is something consciousness comes to know. What we can "know" about nature is limited by our languages; our theories and the information they're based upon are approximations of the principles that operate in nature. It's like an extraction from the natural world. If consciousness exists, than the information "carried" by physical processes also exists, but it has to first be abstracted from these processes and churned over and over until it is "pure" enough to be accepted as a fact. But, as with all things related to consciousness, were always left wondering "is this it"? Our scientific theories always seem to be corrected by a more fundamental conception. Isaac Newtons laws were modified by Eintein, who in turn was modified by quantum mechanics. It seems the logical conclusion of this process would end in us establishing an intelligible connection between our minds which perceive and the world that's perceived.



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 11:47 AM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 





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.


No I don't agree with you.

Claiming someone isn't human because they are missing a few limbs or organs is ridiculous. You've danced around defining how many organs or pieces a person would need to have removed or replaced before they are no longer human to purposefully protect yourself from criticism. Obviously we have exited rational discussion into fringe science and you have no intention of doing anything else but being obtuse.

Interesting discussion regardless.



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 01:31 PM
link   

Originally posted by Astrocyte
reply to post by wasaka
 


The term being used by neuroscientists and technologists nowadays is the "connectome". The connectome is the sum total of the 100,000,000 X 10,000 possible neuronal connections in the human brain. It's all nonsense, if you ask me. There's just SO Many assumptions being made. (...) [Namely] That we will ever have the knowledge required to build a "connectome". Right now neuroscientists are working on the unproven assumption that neurons are all there is to brain function. But wait: there are 1 trillion other cells in our head - 9/10ths of all cells - called glia, and they may play a larger role in consciousness than is so far accepted by the mainstream.


Michael Anissimov is a member of the Lifeboat Foundation Scientific Advisory Board and I thought that I would share something he wrote with everyone else on this thread.



So, say that mind uploading becomes available as a technology sometime around 2050. If the early adopters don’t go crazy and/or use their newfound abilities to turn the world into a totalitarian dictatorship, then they will concisely and vividly communicate the benefits of the technology to their non-uploaded family and friends. If affordable, others will then follow, but the degree of adoption will necessarily depend on whether the process is easily reversible or not. But suppose that millions of people choose to go for it. Widespread uploading would have huge effects.

lifeboat.com...


I would encourage everyone to read this article and quote from it, as we keep this thread alive. What I find most interesting from the quote above is that before the author gets caught up in this fight of fancy, he stop briefly to acknowledge the very real possibility that this technology could lead us into a "totalitarian dictatorship." However, in his very next breath, he suggests that millions of people could chose to "go for it" and some how doing so will transform this world of hardship and pain into a some super duper utopia. Are you excited yet?

Hold on a second... historically speaking, hasn't it always been the promise of utopia that ushered in totalitarian dictatorships and mass murder? Why would anyone suppose this time will be any different?

In this quote above, I'm sure no one fails to note the idea that mass adoption will depend on "whether the process is easily reversible or not." So what are we talking about here? Million of people walking into some disintegration chamber with the hope of gaining eternal life? Again, I am reminded of a Star Trek episode from 1967 (the year I was born) by the title of "A Taste of Armageddon."

In this episode, the crew of the USS Enterprise visits a planet whose people fight a computer simulated war with a neighboring enemy planet. The crew finds that although the war is fought via computer simulation, the citizens of each planet have to submit to real executions inside "disintegration booths" based on the results of simulated attacks. The crew of the Enterprise is caught in the middle and are told to submit themselves voluntarily for execution after being "killed" in an "enemy attack."

Just image a totalitarian dictatorship that falsely claims to have a "connectome" technology. The idea reminds me of Logan's Run (1976) which depicts a dystopian society in 2274 where population and the consumption of resources are managed and maintained in equilibrium by the expedient of killing everyone who reaches the age of thirty. The citizens live a hedonistic lifestyle but understand that in order to maintain the city, every resident when they reach the age of 30 must undergo the ritual of "Carrousel" where they are vaporized and ostensibly "Renewed."

Side note: Video game developer Ken Levine, the mind behind BioShock's Big Daddies and BioShock Infinite's Songbird has been taped by Warner Bros to write the script for the Logan's Run remake. Maybe he will explain how people in this world of Logan's Run ever accept this idea that being vaporized in "Carrousel" would bring them "Renewal."

Ken, if your reading this, I think we have a good idea on how to explain this bizzare Carrousel ritual. The ritual of renewal was originally sold to people as a way to live forever by "connectome" (or "mind uploading") which held the promise of transferring one's essence into a collective singularity. Those who fear being merged with the collective are called "runners" and they are few in number, most people just accept their programming without question. So we learn that in this Dome City Utopia the "sandmen" (cops) enjoy their jobs and hope they can hunt down runners and "retire" (terminate) them. Why not just have "disintegration booths" you ask? Well, there is a good answer to that question but I will let Ken explain it himself... I don't want to give away everything!

edit on 11-7-2013 by wasaka because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 02:05 PM
link   

Originally posted by Astrocyte
reply to post by Maslo
 


But here's a thought experiment for you. Say we have our connectomes scanned and have them simulated in a computer program. Would I still exist as me in my body? Or would I become magically transported to the simulated computer reality? What would happen to the simulation running in my head? Which connectome would take precedence?



In reply to this, I quote Michael Anissimov once again.



Mind uploading would involve simulating a human brain in a computer in enough detail that the “simulation” becomes, for all practical purposes, a perfect copy and experiences consciousness, just like protein-based human minds.

If functionalism is true, like many cognitive scientists and philosophers correctly believe, then all the features of human consciousness that we know and love — including all our memories, personality, and sexual quirks — would be preserved through the transition. By simultaneously disassembling the protein brain as the computer brain is constructed, only one implementation of the person in question would exist at any one time, eliminating any unnecessary confusion.


This " eliminating any unnecessary confusion" is rather disturbing. Yes, we must "retire" your physical body (kill you) so to "eliminate any unnecessary confusion" about who the real you is moving forward. Great, wonderful, sign me up!



Still, even if two direct copies are made, the universe won’t care — you would have simply created two identical individuals with the same memories. The universe can’t get confused — only you can. Regardless of how perplexed one may be by contemplating this possibility for the first time from a 20th century perspective of personal identity, an upload of you with all your memories and personality intact is no different from you than the person you are today is different than the person you were yesterday when you went to sleep, or the person you were 10-30 seconds ago when quantum fluctuations momentarily destroyed and recreated all the particles in your brain.


Hold on, the person I am today is different from the person I was last week or last year... you see I have been expossed to new information and as a result I have reevaluated and changed some of my opinions (beliefs) and as a result my actions (behavior) will be different today than they otherwise would have been a year ago. Now if that is true for a person with a limited ability to take in (and process) new information, who much more true will it be for a "person" who has been merged with a cyber-memory-system that can process vast amounts of new information? The new matrix will be an AGI "thing" with vast knowledge and power---not a person, not a human being---but rather cyber monster with unlimited potential and with an intelligence alien to our own.

Once you take a humble human being and turn them into a cyber "god" don't you thinking their beliefs and behaviors are going to change in radical and unpredictable ways? This "copy" of you may start out being your memory but it will not be you... and it will certainly not remain LIKE YOU for very long... this "cyber-brain-cloning" or "synthetic-mind-printing" (should it ever become possible) will unleash the dogs of hell... alien artificial beings that will soon "forget" they were ever human even it the facts of that prior experience is retained forever. Yes, they may not forget the factual details, just the context, the meaning will be forget gone--lost in the new alien experience of being non-human. This new creation will be in the image of man, and it maybe godlike, but it will be neither god or man, it will just be memory.

As I said form the start, being human is more than mere memory!






edit on 11-7-2013 by wasaka because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 03:04 PM
link   

Originally posted by Unity_99
...its your life at stake, not mine, cause I would never be so foolish as to do such a thing, and if I was dying, I know where I'm heading, but would never share data with the bad guys, so don't give your data away, they have no intrinsic right to our information. That is an incredible invasion of privacy and the computer would still be a TOASTER.
edit on 10-7-2013 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)


Well our government does take blood from every child born in America and keeps that DNA material on record for unknown purposes... disturbing, no? .... so IF they could extract your memories before you die, I'm sure they would... (maybe that is what the data center in Utah if for, ha ha) But seriously, what else might they do IF they COULD ??? ....one shutters to think.

Just imagine a world where everyone has their "soul" extracted before they die (and perhaps has their physical bodies destroyed in the process). What kind of issues does this raise? I could see a religious group forming that felt these "souls" are trapped and can not return to Source as long as they are held in an artificial environment. Make this a domestic terrorist group and you have a plot line for a new TV series that could go on for years.

Now imagine a world in which the government has this mind-print technology and the court can order a copy your brain made for the purpose of a "legal" interrogation -- sounds like it would make another good SciFi story... but from my point-of-view, this is exactly the direction our global police state is going (and would go if they could).

Transhumanism is rooted in a fear of death and a desire to become god-like. As I have said several times, I love the original Star Trek series because Gene Roddenberry never stops trying to explore what it means to be human, and even the aliens on the show were used as metaphors to explain our nature, the Kingdons and their war-like nature, Mr Spock and his struggle with emotions... these are all pictures of you and me, of what it meas to be human.

Roddenberry also challenged this Transhumist idea that having god-like powers would be a good thing. The best example of this was is a second season episode titled "Return to Tomorrow" in which Nimoy appears to be having a wonderful time playing a relaxed, calculating villain. The story is an entertaining and engaging episode about power, loyalty and the struggle between physical and mental pleasures... and because there's an alien in his body, Spock spends a lot of time smiling.

The skepticism of godlike beings runs very deep on Star Trek and in this episode we're dealing with another race of god-beings, but for once, they aren't here torment Kirk and the rest. This time they actually need help, and it's not because they're bored, it is because the need bodies. What it on Netflix and your will see that Transhumanism was very effectively debunked 40 years ago in "Return To Tomorrow."







edit on 11-7-2013 by wasaka because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-7-2013 by wasaka because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 04:00 PM
link   
reply to post by wasaka
 





If functionalism is true, like many cognitive scientists and philosophers correctly believe


This line made me chuckle. If it is true...."like many scientists correctly believe".If it isn't proven i.e a hypothesis, how can you then say, as if it were an already established fact "correctly".




This " eliminating any unnecessary confusion" is rather disturbing. Yes, we must "retire" your physical body (kill you) so to "eliminate any unnecessary confusion" about who the real you is moving forward. Great, wonderful, sign me up!


I'd hate to be the first person to test this out.




By simultaneously disassembling the protein brain as the computer brain is constructed,


And how exactly would you simultaneously "disassemble the protein brain" while building the computer brain? Were taking about TRILLIONS of synaptic connections. In which order do you disassemble? Which part of the brain goes first? And why would it have to be "simultaneous"?

Honestly, it's hard to see a difference between traditional religious eschatology and this nerdy eschatology. Their optimism and faith is completely unfounded, completely opposed to evidence. One of the leading up and coming neuroscientists is Sebastian Seung, author of "connectome", and he predicts the end of this century, bout 50 years after Annisimov, for neuroscientists to build a database of all possible neural connections. In my opinion, I think he's being a bit generous. I wont give a specific date, but the timetable could go well beyond the year 2100. It may be 2150, or 2200 hundred, before neuroscientists have all the requisite knowledge to build a "connectome'. The project itself is manifold times more complicated then the genome.

And as I mentioned earlier, I do not think a connectome is anything more than a representation of neural connections in our brain. It may be useful for diagnosing and treating certain mental and neurological disorders (Seung believes schizophrenia and autism might be examples of a connectome pathology) but it's a little too much to think that it is actually the first person subjective experience we call consciousness.

And again, his idea of simultaneously breaking down and building up a connectome is completely without any orienting rationale. The brain doesn't work in stages. The reticular formation in the brain stem releases neurochemicals that keep us awake and conscious. But without activity in the cerebellum, subcorticol and cortical parts of the brain, you might as well be a zombie. So where would we begin? All these areas are equally important. I guess to avoid the logical redundancy of being at two places at once, you would have to die - immediately, and then trust that you will magically reappear as a simulation in your computer world.




Hold on, the person I am today is different from the person I was last week or last year... you see I have been expossed to new information and as a result I have reevaluated and changed some of my opinions (beliefs) and as a result my actions (behavior) will be different today than they otherwise would have been a year ago. Now if that is true for a person with a limited ability to take in (and process) new information, who much more true will it be for a "person" who has been merged with a cyber-memory-system that can process vast amounts of new information? The new matrix will be an AGI "thing" with vast knowledge and power---not a person, not a human being---but rather cyber monster with unlimited potential and with an intelligence alien to our own.


The connectome is akin to the riverbed. Psychologists tend to make a distinction between an essential self (the bottom of the river, shaped by the flow of the water) and a real time self. The connectome, or the past that is transferred to the computer, is the river bed: the connectome.

I don't think you should worry about this since the underlying assumption may in fact be totally wrong.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 03:31 AM
link   

Originally posted by Astrocyte
reply to post by wasaka
 



The connectome is akin to the riverbed. Psychologists tend to make a distinction between an essential self (the bottom of the river, shaped by the flow of the water) and a real time self. The connectome, or the past that is transferred to the computer, is the river bed: the connectome.




What do all you guys think about this "conspiracy" against human consciousness?





posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 03:56 AM
link   
The brain is an organic computer. Once we bridge the gap between mechanical parts and organic matter, anything will be possible..

Though, if your consciousness is copied.. it could just be a clone and not a transferal



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 03:59 AM
link   
reply to post by jessejamesxx
 


To be honest it would be cool to be able to save your brain somehow. Like you can be able obtain immortality or become a cyborg. Maybe this is not just fantasy but it could be possible!



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:03 AM
link   

Originally posted by Phoenix267
reply to post by jessejamesxx
 


To be honest it would be cool to be able to save your brain somehow. Like you can be able obtain immortality or become a cyborg. Maybe this is not just fantasy but it could be possible!

You are not the brain.
You are now and now never ends.

Memory is not what you are!
edit on 13-7-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:05 AM
link   

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by Phoenix267
reply to post by jessejamesxx
 


To be honest it would be cool to be able to save your brain somehow. Like you can be able obtain immortality or become a cyborg. Maybe this is not just fantasy but it could be possible!

You are not the brain.
You are now and now never ends.


I don't know what you're trying to say. With humans and like most animals (mammals) death is when our brain dies or all biological functions stop.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:12 AM
link   

Originally posted by Phoenix267

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by Phoenix267
reply to post by jessejamesxx
 


To be honest it would be cool to be able to save your brain somehow. Like you can be able obtain immortality or become a cyborg. Maybe this is not just fantasy but it could be possible!

You are not the brain.
You are now and now never ends.


I don't know what you're trying to say. With humans and like most animals (mammals) death is when our brain dies or all biological functions stop.

That is the commonly held belief.
However, has anything but now ever been?

The mind is concerned with before and after now but it has the concern now. Before and after are thoughts arising presently.
There is only presence but there is a belief in beginnings and endings.
All is contained in presence.

edit on 13-7-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:14 AM
link   
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


I trust science more than spirituality or similar views when comes to everything from life, to nature, etc. OP's opening post is very interesting. But I'm skeptical because I really do support the transhumanism ideals.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:16 AM
link   

Originally posted by Phoenix267
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


I trust science more than spirituality or similar views when comes to everything from life, to nature, etc. OP's opening post is very interesting. But I'm skeptical because I really do support the transhumanism ideals.


Why trust when you can find out the truth?



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:17 AM
link   
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


What is truth? I guess we have to ask how do you interpret what the word "truth" means. In a way I like to use truth in using science to understand reality. Hopefully this is a good answer.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:21 AM
link   

Originally posted by Phoenix267
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


What is truth? I guess we have to ask how do you interpret what the word "truth" means. In a way I like to use truth in using science to understand reality. Hopefully this is a good answer.

You said you 'trust' science more than spirituality or similar views when comes to everything from life. All I am saying is why 'believe' anyone else? Why not find out for yourself what is true?



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:23 AM
link   
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


Yes I did say that. Because to me science is the best tool in life to understand everything. Like humanity, space, etc. The list goes on and on. What are your thoughts of science and how do you try to understand life? I'm also not the best at expressing my opinions and views. So sorry if I sound confusing.



posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 05:24 AM
link   

Originally posted by Phoenix267
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


What is truth? I guess we have to ask how do you interpret what the word "truth" means. In a way I like to use truth in using science to understand reality. Hopefully this is a good answer.

Reality is truth. But do you need someone to spin a story about it?
Science takes reality apart to see how it works. Take a car apart and see if it works - nothing works when it has been taken apart.




top topics



 
5
<< 1  2  3    5  6 >>

log in

join