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: 6
5
<< 3  4  5   >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 10:42 PM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 


If a computer simulated reality can be made to seem sensibly indistinguishable from ordinary physical reality, what's the problem?

Ultimately, I agree with you. It's one big massive delusion. All it takes is for one big massive solar flare to wipe out every piece of electronics on the REAL physical earth and that's it - capoot, you're virtual heaven has been unceremoniously cut short.

But some people don't see a problem with that. They think living in a fake simulated world is not really all that different from this world. Of course, that is untrue. It is deafeningly remote from the "spirit" of true reality. There is something qualitatively superior to a world where things exist without our knowing how or why they exist to a world that has been artificially fashioned by computer programmers.

Life in such a world lose it's sense of mystery, it's charm, and ultimately, it's meaning. Only a math obsessed science nerd could fail to appreciate what he would be losing by uploading his mind to a computer (if such a thing were even possible to begin with).




posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 11:18 PM
link   
Our memories are not stored in our brains or anywhere else on our bodies. There is no evidence that the brain stores memory. Even the experiments done that seem to show which part of the brain memories are held are the result of incredibly faulty logic. For scientists to make that type of illogical conclusion is just mind-boggling (sorry!!!) Essentially they conclude that, because a certain portion of the brain is extracted and mice no longer remember the route in a maze that this proves that the portion of the brain that was removed is where the memory of the maze's route is stored. They fail to consider the distinct possibility that the portion of the brain that was removed only acted as a radio receiver, not a storage device on a computer, and that the person/mouse/animal whatever, can no longer remmeber because the receiver is destroyed, not because the memory is removed. Certain types of memory can be accessed by certain parts of the brain but are not where the memories are stored.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 12:11 AM
link   
reply to post by Visiting ESB
 


Have you read Eric Kandels "In search for memory"?



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 01:02 AM
link   
reply to post by Astrocyte
 


If a computer simulated reality can be made to seem sensibly indistinguishable from ordinary physical reality, what's the problem?

The fact that it isn't physical. The imperatives and demands imposed by our physical nature are what grounds human existence – and the experience of it – in reality and give it meaning. Taking away the physical reality and then simulating it artificially would be entirely pointless.


Some people... think living in a fake simulated world is not really all that different from this world. Of course, that is untrue. It is deafeningly remote from the "spirit" of true reality.

Indeed. That's because reality isn't configured to be just the way we like it. It places demands on us. It endangers us. We have to interact with it in ways we cannot always choose. We have to survive and reproduce in it. We have to struggle for respect, for status, for love, because without these things our lives will be nasty, brutish and short. We have to exercise or curtail our protective, aggressive, etc., instincts for sound practical reasons.

With these imperatives gone, life would cease to have any interest or meaning whatsoever.


There is something qualitatively superior to a world where things exist without our knowing how or why they exist to a world that has been artificially fashioned by computer programmers.

Exactly, and this quality inheres precisely in the inescapable, imperative nature of reality.


Only a math obsessed science nerd could fail to appreciate what he would be losing by uploading his mind to a computer (if such a thing were even possible to begin with).

I didn't want to call anyone names, but this was in my mind when I suggested earlier that the Rapture of the Geeks can only appeal to someone who has no experience of love, sex or parenthood.

On a side note, one wonders how these wondrous disembodied intelligences are going to enjoy the adrenaline rush of a simulated roller-coaster ride without a pair of adrenal glands. Do they imagine that feelings, too, are reducible to data?

And no, of course it isn't 'even possible to begin with'. Some people have been spending too much time inside their XBoxes and PlayStations, and that's all there is to it.


edit on 14/7/13 by Astyanax because: reality wouldn't cooperate.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 01:11 AM
link   
reply to post by Visiting ESB
 


They fail to consider the distinct possibility that the portion of the brain that was removed only acted as a radio receiver, not a storage device.

But memory loss is selective. Are you saying that every little part of the brain is a 'radio receiver' that receives only certain specific data – so that one part receives signals about what happened to you yesterday and another part only receives signals about the multiplication table?

The 'radio receiver' idea is an old, long-debunked chestnut.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 01:20 AM
link   
reply to post by tadaman
 


why do souls have to be "unique" to our bodies and us individually?

I had not realised we were discussing souls. What is a soul?


are we not here to grow as mortal men no matter your spiritual views?

Are we? Why do you say so?


how would transferring a consciousness into another shell alter the soul?

Again, what is a soul? Is it transferable? Could you explain what this might mean?


edit on 14/7/13 by Astyanax because: of soul proprietorship.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:01 AM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 


Debunked by who? By the same "scientists" who made the illogical conclusions to begin with?



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:15 AM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 




Ultimately, the things that give meaning, value and savour to life are not mental events but physical ones.


I think that the things that give meaning, value and savour to life are not physical events themselves, but mental perception of them in our minds. Without minds, we are nothing. And with minds, everything else in the body can be rebuilt/simulated with sufficiently advanced technology to the degree needed to achieve transparence for the mind. To deny this means to deny computability of physics/chemistry/biology.

Lets just agree to disagree, since its obvious our disagreement is ultimately about values (whether such a transhuman existence would be "worth it"), not facts (whether its possible or not).


edit on 14/7/13 by Maslo because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 04:18 AM
link   
reply to post by Visiting ESB
 

By me, junior. By me.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 11:38 AM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 

we are in fact talking about the spirit or "soul". if "memory is not who you are" then the thread is implying that somehow we are not just the sum of our collective intelligence in one shell or another, but that we are in fact MORE and that MORE is un-transferable.

I say, we are MORE and that MORE is absolutely present in any shell, in duplicate, in parts, anywhere and in all forms. I dont take issue with transhumanism because of this. ultimately it is an effort to improve the physical aspect of our bodies and world, and as such is not an infringement on our spirit.

and your question of "what is a soul".....is unanswerable. Not because the words arent there, I am sure I could think of something, its just that you show your hand. In fact this entire post is not even for you but rather is for the discussion. You have already made up your mind or are just fooling around.

in any event....dont be turned off from "evil" transhumanism. Not that long ago being gay or black was considered evil.... So....make up your own mind and look at the facts, then ask your self who is making you think any certain way.


edit on 14-7-2013 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 01:41 PM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 





On a side note, one wonders how these wondrous disembodied intelligences are going to enjoy the adrenaline rush of a simulated roller-coaster ride without a pair of adrenal glands. Do they imagine that feelings, too, are reducible to data?


Everything is simulated. The assumption is: the HPAA (hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis) along with all the other axes that control hormonal and bodily function is programmed in the brain - in the "connectome". You figure out the connectome, and you can simulate all these experiences in a computer program. The program itself would also require ways to simulate vision, sound, smell, taste, touch, vestibular function, proprioception etc in real time with the connectome and the simulated environment.

For sheer practical reasons alone, this "rapture of the nerds" as it's called, seems to be impossibly complex. If it's ever tested, it wont be until the end of this century. Our technology is no where near able to handle these complexities. and as I've been arguing throughout this thread, the prerequisite knowledge of the brain won't be available till post 2100 CE (according to Sebastian Seung) at the earliest.
edit on 14-7-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 07:54 PM
link   
reply to post by Visiting ESB
 


It's an interesting sort of receiver, no doubt.

Generally, I agree with you. The claim that the brain is all there is a staple article of faith for reductive materialists. They apply it throughout the sciences, most noticeably towards the brain itself.

We know that if you remove a part of the brain, we lose a part of consciousness. After the famous H.M had a part of his medial temporal lobe removed, the part we now call the "hippocampus", he was no longer able to form new memories (called anterograde amnesia). The hippocampus is so far one of two known regions in the brain (the other being the olfactory bulb) that creates new neurons. Also, there seems to be some evidence that a certain type of glia stem cell can morph into a neuron.

This all shows that the brain is the seat of consciousness; and that the brain is plastic. Neuroscientists have also established that neuronal cells associated with memory can die. This may be the source of "memory loss". If it is, what does that suggest about memory itself? Is memory just the neurons in the brain?

Frankly, I don't think any of these studies really get us closer to understanding what memory, or cognition, or more fundamentally, what consciousness is. If the brain acts as a physical mediator between consciousness and the body, then the mediator itself is subject to many different types of limitations. So long as the neuron remains bushy, the memory will be strong in mind; but as soon as the neuron vanishes, the memory seems to go as well.

I think an interesting experiment would be to show that a "lost" memory could be retrieved and regrown in the mind through neuronal growth in the hippocampus. If the old memory associated with a particular neuron (say, of you banging your knee) was killed; and somehow, the memory was retrieved - and a new neuron had sprouted, than this could indicate that the brain merely acts as a limited storage device for consciousness. Not all our experiences are hardwired in the brain. Some fall out; but where do they fall?

Asking that question almost forces us to utilize hypnosis and occultism to figure out how consciousness and the brain interrelates.

In the end, I think the physical and the mental are two sides to the same coin. A deeper question could be: what of the experiences we have while alive? These are "mental" phenomena. Do they exist as psychic things imprinted on the mental landscape? When we die, do we re-experience the events, as near death experience and religious teachings have indicated?

But how could science ever validate these claims? I know it's extremely premature to be asking this, being so early in the scientific enterprise. But still, it's an fascinating question to ask: will new technologies emerge to help us "sense" these mental realities?



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 03:22 AM
link   
reply to post by tadaman
 


The thread is implying that somehow we are not just the sum of our collective intelligence in one shell or another, but that we are in fact MORE and that MORE is un-transferable.

That is a hypothesis, not a fact.


I say, we are MORE and that MORE is absolutely present in any shell, in duplicate, in parts, anywhere and in all forms. I dont take issue with transhumanism because of this. ultimately it is an effort to improve the physical aspect of our bodies and world, and as such is not an infringement on our spirit.

Transhumanism is – on the surface – an entirely materialistic philosophy in which consciousness is simply an epiphenomenon of neural activity. In fact, as I have been arguing, it is just an unusually pathetic new form of idealism, for consciousness and personality are thought by transhumanists to be capable of existence outside the body. So while I agree with you that transhumanism is mystical mumbo-jumbo, I don't think many transhumanists will.


your question of "what is a soul".....is unanswerable. Not because the words arent there, I am sure I could think of something, its just that you show your hand. In fact this entire post is not even for you but rather is for the discussion. You have already made up your mind or are just fooling around.

Are you suggesting that anyone on this thread (yourself included) hasn't made up his or her mind a long time ago? Here you are, preaching that men have immaterial souls, and you have the effrontery to tell me my mind is closed? At least there is plenty of evidence to support my opinions. Can you say the same of yours?


dont be turned off from "evil" transhumanism. Not that long ago being gay or black was considered evil.... So....make up your own mind and look at the facts, then ask your self who is making you think any certain way.

I don't think transhumanism is evil. I merely think it is impossible, and that the people who espouse it, however astronomical their IQs, are being as gullible as any semiliterate believer in statues that drink milk or weep tears of blood.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 11:48 AM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 





I don't think transhumanism is evil. I merely think it is impossible


Yet you have avoided explaining that, assuming materialism is true, how exactly would transhumanism be impossible. Is there some physical law that would forbid it?
You only implied that it would be undesirable (because such an existence would be "fake" or "not real", as if a perfect simulation is somehow distinguishable from the "real" thing by inside sentience). That is a subjective opinion, and I am not taking it from you, I agreed to disagree when it comes to that. But contrary to whether something is wanted/unwanted, whether something is possible/impossible is not an opinion, but an objective fact. You cannot claim something is impossible without giving a proof.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 11:45 PM
link   
reply to post by Maslo
 


Yet you have avoided explaining that, assuming materialism is true, how exactly would transhumanism be impossible. Is there some physical law that would forbid it?

No, it is impossible because the concept has no practical meaning.

Actually, Maslo, I have explained this repeatedly. Try reading through some of my earlier posts again.



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 12:48 AM
link   
I see no reason to think we're more than our flesh and blood. Occams Razor says to keep the simplest explanation and that's what I do. So, yes, I agree with the transhumanists that we're no more than our body and our brain. Where I disagree with them is the idea that we can make a perfect copy of ourselves or even that immortality is desirable. We may be able to copy our brain and create a body for it, but it'll never be perfect and it may require the destruction of the original brain.

I guess what I'm saying is I think we WILL be able to upload/download memories and people will no longer be limited to physical bodies, but none of it will be a perfect process. It will be patchwork holes and imperfections. It'll be survival of the fittest all over again in a new arena.

Change is the one constant. Whether we live long or short lives we will, no matter what, die. No person stays the same from one day to the next. They all change. And as the years add up, more and more changes occur. Even if people kept their youth they would inevitably change, either due to accident or desire to. We cannot escape change and thus we cannot escape death, since death is the ending of the past and the rebirth of a person in somebody else or in some other form.

Many fictional stories have followed this concept wherein a person is given a choice to live longer but be different or to die and retain their identity. Some choose to die. One example is a book written by Arthur C. Clark. Ask yourself, if you were given the chance to live almost forever in a world that's substantially different from the one you came from, would you? Or would you rather choose to die, in an attempt to respect your memories and the people you knew?
edit on 17-7-2013 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 03:38 AM
link   
reply to post by jonnywhite
 




Change is the one constant. Whether we live long or short lives we will, no matter what, die. No person stays the same from one day to the next. They all change. And as the years add up, more and more changes occur. Even if people kept their youth they would inevitably change, either due to accident or desire to. We cannot escape change and thus we cannot escape death, since death is the ending of the past and the rebirth of a person in somebody else or in some other form.


Indeed, and this is also the central theme of the sci-fi book I linked earlier (Schild's Ladder). Its hard enough to stay the same person for 70 years we live now. So how about a sentient entity that lives for 10 000s of years, with no end in sight? Wouldnt it after some time, for all intents and purposes, become a completely different person, effectively making the old person dead? The book concludes that this is not such a bad thing as it appears. Indeed, change is the only constant, but as long as you follow the Schild's Ladder algorithm (periodically consciously examine the way you are changing and ask yourself whether its desirable or not), it wont be a change for the worse, and thats what matters.



new topics

top topics



 
5
<< 3  4  5   >>

log in

join