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 AUTHOR
 Divinity
Joined: 2/16/2008
Msg: 8
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Are we our body or our mind?Page 3 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7955846.stm


I think this is interesting article to read regarding to your question.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 17
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Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/26/2009 5:12:07 PM
I would like to add, that, after I held a funeral for myself, I would then steal my inheritance from myself.

"Medical science knows the brain sends and receives energy frequencies" utter nonsense, does not prove your point at all.

In addition sending/receiving energy frequencies, proves nothing.

On the other hand, for those of you clinging to your souls, is the fact that AI has completly flopped (as I predicted, of course ): ). We simply cannot find that part of the brain where "awareness" sits. Some make the argument that we can never do so. It may be a clue, or not. On the other hand, AI was based on an erroneous platform (the digital computer), even though any electrical student can tell you that the brain is an analog machine. Marvin Minsky said that if AI failed, it would mean that there is, indeed, something "special" about brains. I would posit that he was right.

Another clue would be psychic phenomenon, which remains elusive, as least as far as empirical eveidence goes.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 19
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Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/26/2009 6:21:53 PM
"Medical science knows the brain sends and receives energy frequencies" utter nonsense, does not prove your point at all.


If you are going to quote someone Twill try to do so in context so as to clarify your position. Unless of course you wish to misrepresent someones statements.

"Medical science knows the brain sends and receives energy frequencies, but to what extent and to what purpose there is still much debate - now, is this our thoughts? Who is to say, but consider this, the military is testing the use of brain waves for communication. They might be on to something."

What point do you presume that I was trying to prove pray tell?

Before you go off on someone, it might behoove you to check resources first. Otherwise you don't come off sounding like you know what you are talking about.

Universities conducting research on brain wave frequencies in various applications: Stanford, UC Irvine, U of Chicago, U of Birmingham, U of Penn. To name just a few.
Simple google Twill, you might try it. "

I have to tell you your own point? Oh wait, I beleive that I do.

Your statements are as obtuse as they are obscure, oh Oracle!
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 21
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Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/26/2009 8:50:18 PM
Here's a real doozy: suppose a scientist built a transporter, but when the transporter created the new you, it used all new molecules. But this time, the transporter malfunctioned, and instead of simultaneously disintergrating the original version of you, that original version was left just as it was. Now, there are TWO yous, both identical, both with the same body, and the same mind. Which one are you?

Like as not, you are you. We really won't know if you stop being you, from you, because if you stop being you, you won't be around to know and tell us, now will you?
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 28
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/27/2009 10:05:48 PM
The topic of existence and identity fascinates me. Are we what (or who) we think we are? What does it really mean to "live" or to "die"? If we exist, do we exist in eternity, or in some perceived slot of serial time? The questions are endless and the answers only create even more perplexing questions.

All we can know is based on our perceptions and we have no assurance that our perceptions are accurate (that they perceive some objective "reality"). They may only be conventionalizations created by the mind in an evolutionary, unconscious effort to function (whatever that means) in a "reality" which may be nothing like what we perceive it to be.

Poor old Descartes thought he'd solved much of the riddle with his statement "I think, therefore I am." Of course we all know now that he was begging the question and his statement was fallacious. (Give the guy a break; he did the best he could with the logical tools of the day.) Inasmuch as we have progressed a long way in the last 400 years, we remain no closer to answering the fundamental questions regarding "reality", "existence" and "identity".

It is the subject of identity that I wish to address, because at least with that concept we have some (scientific) hypotheses upon which we can reason. This won't be any kind of formal discourse, but WILL utilize some standard propositional reasoning (without the formal calculus that I'd probably screw up anyway) in plain old ambiguous english (in the hope of leaving a back door to excuse any logical fallacies I produce - lol)

Proposition #1: If an an organism type capable of movement through its environment can't differentiate between organism and environment it cannot function in its evolutionary niche.

Example: Bees must know the difference between bees and flowers, or instead of pollinating, they would simply economize on expended energy (seeing no need to leave the hive in search of nectar, not recognizing the "space" through which they might fly, not knowing the difference between bee and nectar, etc.) and stay in the hive, probing themselves, other bees and the hive itself for nectar (sort of like the humans who sit home watching "reality" shows on the 2D fantasy we call TV instead of going out and living in the (presumably) 3D "reality"). Not even knowing the difference between themselves and nectar, they would simply suck themselves dry (cannibalize each other). Needless to say, if bees were like that, they'd all die in one short generation. The process of natural selection would make short work of them.

I qualified my proposition by stipulating an organism capable of movement through space, though that MAY not be necessary. I think we can all agree that flowers are organisms (and some might say "moving" organisms, though others could disagree depending one's definition of "movement"). In any event, a flower that couldn't differentiate between seed and earth/water wouldn't grow for the same reason that the bees wouldn't look for "real" nectar. So flowers too would die off. I exclude them from my argument simply because a flower (seed) whose dna was so arranged couldn't be classed as a flower, or even an organism. It would be closer to a rock. Rather than getting caught up in the minutae of whether plants are animate, or whether "unliving" plants are organisms, it seems easier to just exclude them from my argument and restrict it to organisms which have freedom of movement in "space" (whatever that is) by some means of locomotion.

Good Lord! Have I written all this crap only to get to this point? I think I'll dispense with trying to lay out a firm foundation for a logical argument (and for that matter, with the logical argument itself) and get to the "fun" stuff, assuming anyone who started reading this is still awake and hasn't left in disgust.

The thrust of what I'm trying to argue is that animate organisms must differentiate between the organism and it's environment. Organisms which move must successfully navigate their environment. Organisms that navigate must be aware of both the environment itself (sentience) and their position in the environment (self awareness, or consciousness).

It would seem then that sentience (perception of environment) is a necessary condition of survival for organisms (and I even include plants -- Flowers "know" where the sun is.). Further than that, it appears that navigating organisms must be conscious. (This is where we can exclude plants from being conscious; they have no need of self awareness to survive).

At this point it becomes relatively easy to argue that ego (our sense of self; our identity) simply evolved and that it is likely that all self sufficient, navigating organisms have one, or something close to it. The question to be asked (and hopefully answered) now is: "Is the ego a true perception of self as it relates to environment, or merely an illusory conventionalization; simply a mechanism resulting from evolution that allows us to navigate our environment?"

Other questions we can explore are:
If ego is an illusion (as the Buddhists maintain), can we dispense with it (nirvana?) permanently and still function, or must we "put it back on" to survive? If nirvana is the extinction of ego and a dissolving of the artificial boundary between self and universe (cosmic consciousness?), how does nirvana differ from the perceptual state of a newborn baby? Does it differ? Is the quest for higher consciousness a quest for "pure" perception, untainted by the artifacts of experience and learning? As I said before, the questions are endless and answers in very short supply.

Geeze! All this writing and I STILL haven't gotten to what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to explore whether ego was required to function in the environment, or if type identification (humans, bees, etc) and knowledge of discrete existence (for "navigation" only; no ego) was sufficient for function.

Oh well, Maybe next time. I have to be going. (The villagers are winding their way up to my place with torches -- and they don't look too happy!)
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 29
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/27/2009 10:57:12 PM
Something else to consider; if the universe (multiverse?) is infinite in extent, then there are an infinite number of "you" living an infinite number of identical lives (and corresponding numbers of all possible permutations of your "lives") in an infinite number of identical (and nearly identical) large finite spatial regions we could call universes. Therefore, if the universe is infinite, the concept of individuality and the uniqueness of your existence goes down the drain with the dishwater.

Brain cells die all the time. How many can die before you stop being "you". If we can agree on some arbitrary number of cells, and instead of that number dying, we transfer them to another body, do we now have two new individuals, or only portions of one individual now living in two places? Do people with damaged brains become someone else?

If your brain is severed at the corpus callosum and becomes two separate half-brains, which half gets the (alleged) "soul", or is the soul similarly divided? I think we have to dispense with the concept of a soul; there is no evidence for one and it only complicates the discussion. We have to consider that the very thing that most of us treasure most may be no more than an illusion borne of wishful thinking.

Getting back to a divided brain, we can keep dividing it right down to the cellular level, to single neurons (or pairs if you feel synapse is required). Is a pair of neurons sufficient for an identity? If so, which of the billions of pairs is "you", or are there now billions of portions of "you" wishing you hadn't come apart like that, OR, is a pair of neurons insufficient for identity? If so, we now find ourselves on a slippery slope of choosing some arbitrary number between two and the full complement of billions.

The concept of identity is FAR more complex that we can probably imagine! Frankly, my(?) head hurts from all the this speculation. Maybe it's time to do some research and kill some of my brain cells? Well, maybe not, but all things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia!
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 30
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Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/29/2009 9:21:05 AM
RE Msg: 30 by JustDukky:
Geeze! All this writing and I STILL haven't gotten to what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to explore whether ego was required to function in the environment, or if type identification (humans, bees, etc) and knowledge of discrete existence (for "navigation" only; no ego) was sufficient for function.
I doubt ego is necessary. I don't need to distinguish that I AM an I, to navigate. All I need to do, is to know where I need to go. I've been reading a book that explained that John Von Neumann worked out how to develop guidance systems that were self-navigating, in spite of all sorts of problems. Guidance systems have neither sentience, or consciousness.

RE Msg: 31 by JustDukky:
Something else to consider; if the universe (multiverse?) is infinite in extent, then there are an infinite number of "you" living an infinite number of identical lives (and corresponding numbers of all possible permutations of your "lives") in an infinite number of identical (and nearly identical) large finite spatial regions we could call universes. Therefore, if the universe is infinite, the concept of individuality and the uniqueness of your existence goes down the drain with the dishwater.
Not just that. AFAIK, according to Hugh Everett's multiverse solution of Schrödinger's Cat Problem, every single possible different result generates a different universe in which that result is played out. In other words, every possible alternative way that the universe could have played out with the same laws, exists, and these universes keep growing with each passing second. So every possible variation of your life is played out. So you really don't have a YOU. In one universe, you're a serial killer. In another you cure cancer. In a 3rd, you are a bank manager. In a 4th, you are a hippy. There is no YOU, apart from your genetics, and that changes in each universe as well, because in different universes, you end up with different genetics. So really, within the scope of the multiverse theory, it sounds to me that none of us exist, and we are all just randomly dealt this hand in this universe, which is really just a random selection of choices prior to this moment.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 31
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/29/2009 10:14:59 AM
@scorpiomover

"Guidance systems have neither sentience, or consciousness."

By definition, a guidance system requires a means of distinguishing the navigating object from the rest of the environment in order to navigate. Granted, one could argue that the guidance system is not the object in question (or a "self"), but the guidance system doesn't know that (in the same way that the brain's "navigation software" doesn't know it is not the physical body navigating the real world.

If sentience is defined as awareness of environment (ability to "sense" position in a coordinate system, and to "sense" various real objects (rocks, walls, etc.), then a camera equipped robot with the above guidance software is by definition sentient. Since the guidance software must distinguish between robot and other objects, it has a "sense" of the navigating object as distinct from other objects within the environment and is therefore "conscious" of the robot's position. Since the guidance software doesn't "know" it is not the robot in question, it may not have an ego, but that's because we haven't rigorously defined one and can't make that determination (yet). For the moment it is sufficient to say that (by the definitions) the working guidance system is both sentient and conscious.

With respect to the multiverse, the only area where I have problems with the "many worlds" version of quantum theory is in the idea of conservation of energy or momentum. I think creating an entire new universe to accomodate a quantum-positional change of a single elementary particle is (intuitively speaking) a pretty expensive proposition with respect to energy (though when dealing with infinities, all bets are off). I think I have found a workaround that makes me more intuitively comfotable though. If we consider the total energy (or essential elementary "stuff" of which the universe is composed) totals "X" (which may be finite or infinite) and that X is conserved, it seems to me that there need only be one universe, whose total "existence" is the sum of all the probabilities of permutations of its configurations. Put another way, the "existence" of any one permutation of the universe is only the PROBABILITY of existing at all. Put yet another way. Nothing exists completely, or existence itself is uncertain and only a probability.

It may feel uncomfortable, but I think somebody could make a good case for the universe not existing at all! At least, not existing in the sense that we usually think of existence (as a certainty, or probability=1).
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 32
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/29/2009 5:47:58 PM
I think it's time to explore the concept of ego and by what evolutionary mechanism it may have arisen.

The previously mentioned robot need not have an ego. In fact the guidance software need not even be contained within the robot, it could be broadcast to it from another location. In a real organism, however, it is most likely that the software resides with the organism.

Natural selection soon eliminates organisms that die before reproducing and organisms that can preserve their "life" longer have a higher probability of reproduction. It is therefore reasonable to see a "fear of death" as enhancing the chances of survival and reproduction.

If we add to a conscious organism a sense that it is of some greater "value" (to itself at least) than other objects in its environment, we endow that organism with the rudiments of ego. Organisms with such a sense, seeking to preserve that value would be more likely to preserve their existence and reproduce. It is my guess that a fear of death logically follows from that as an efficient means of motivating the organism to avoid hazards and thereby survive.

In order to have a fear of death, the organism must have as a precondition some sense of being "alive", or more valuable than other objects (special). It is again my guess that this is the elementary ego, which I would say is a product of evolution. It is a product that is most fully developed in humans (arrogantly assuming we sit at the top of the tree of evolution).

The question now is: what happens if we lose it?
 GURULOUNGE
Joined: 3/10/2009
Msg: 34
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Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/30/2009 5:44:46 AM
I very well do understand the topic and;
WE and everything else that has been pounded into our brains from birth is an
Illusion. Everything.
"Reality is merely an Illusion/ Albeit a very persistent one"
'EINSTEIN'
And a little something from the deepest darkest little space that may still be available;
'Reality is not only stranger than we can imagine/ But stranger than we can imagine'
Doc.

we are star dust/ love it/ live it and enjoy the ride.
all those that are seekers/ don't stop. you stop/ you wither and die
also it keeps ya young and frisky :)
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 35
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/30/2009 12:03:55 PM

Are we our body or our mind?


Do we have to be one or the other? Can't we be both (and maybe more to boot), or neither? (consider what else we might be)
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 37
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 3/31/2009 6:15:09 AM

all the research and information you
need is in the good book!


Isn't that what they told Copernicus and Galileo?
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 49
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 4/2/2009 10:54:51 PM
A body without a mind is a sad thing indeed. Check out your nearest seniors care center. This will then answer your question. It is called dementia. And you do NOT want to go there. (sigh) You can face the ruin of the body but never the mind.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 52
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 4/3/2009 10:01:37 AM

How about a poor scientist with bad communication skills... should we believe him?


It seems a lot of us do...especially after a bunch of beers!
 Oceanside77
Joined: 4/20/2009
Msg: 53
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/10/2009 6:06:32 PM
I like to think that I am neither the body or mind. They are only the current vessel.
 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 54
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Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/10/2009 7:13:23 PM

I like to think that I am neither the body or mind. They are only the current vessel.


Good for you! You deserve a nice pat on the head!
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 55
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/10/2009 7:15:13 PM
We have to consider the possibility that one's body is an illusion, as is the illusion of self. How could we possibly know that we aren't only software running in a virtual reality simulation in a computer somewhere in "reality" {or inside yet another simulation (nested virtual realities)}

In point of fact, we would never know whether or not what we consider body & mind , or what we consider "life" & "soul" are any more than a series of bits (or qubits) being processed. Seen from this (plausible) perspective, one is forced to consider whether or not we exist at all.

Descartes said "I think therefore I am"; problem is, he presupposed the existence of "I" and really (like us) had no idea what "I" was. The question shouldn't be "Are we our body or our mind?" so much as "Do we even exist?"
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 58
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Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/12/2009 7:56:22 PM
"We have to consider the possibility that one's body is an illusion, as is the illusion of self. How could we possibly know that we aren't only software running in a virtual reality simulation in a computer somewhere in "reality" {or inside yet another simulation (nested virtual realities)}

In point of fact, we would never know whether or not what we consider body & mind , or what we consider "life" & "soul" are any more than a series of bits (or qubits) being processed. Seen from this (plausible) perspective, one is forced to consider whether or not we exist at all."


We would not know, until "God" told us so.

BUT...we WOULD know, that there is a reality, an ultimate reality, that contained that computer that we are "running" on, and stuff, and that we are still a small part of that reality. So, I don't think this scenario really proves anything, since reality is still real, even if our experiences are not!

In adition, thee seems to be the notion floating around, that computers have "copys" of things inside them. This is wrong, a misunderstanding of how computers work. Suffice to say, there are no "copys" of anything, in any compurter on this planet, unless they have "magic boxes" I'm not aware of yet.

To Art: You are much more patient than I. I ran out of pearls to cast before swine a long time ago! :)
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 60
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/13/2009 7:57:29 AM
I don't think this scenario really proves anything, since reality is still real, even if our experiences are not!


Yes, but we may have no concept of what the actual reality would be like. For reasons outlined in a different thread awhile ago, what we perceive as reality could be very different from the actual one. More than our experiences would be virtual; WE would be virtual. Would we exist at all? Yes, maybe in the sense that a language exists, but most of us would not care to acknowledge that we don't exist in the sense that we tend to think we do, or that what we call reality, is only loosely (maybe extremely loosely) tied to the real one. Actual reality might be seen as a far-out fantasy in a virtual reality, if it could be imagined at all.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 62
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/13/2009 10:13:07 AM

YOU exist outside of your body. YOU cannot and will not die because YOU are spiritual.


Alternatively, it could be said that: You are NOT spiritual and therefore you can and will "die."

It may also be said: "You" do not exist either inside or outside your body.

corollary: "you" may not exist, because you don't know what either "existence" and/or "you"are.
Also one does not know what it is to "die" because one does not know what it is to "live".
All we know is that there seems to be a process we call "living" that apparently ceases with the cessation of the body's function of "living"; we call that cessation of function "death."
 M.w.G
Joined: 5/27/2009
Msg: 76
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Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/15/2009 4:22:21 PM
The term that needs to be defined in this Question "we"? l is ego in all instances, regardless what we like to tell ourselves. lf one believes in the continuation of life beyond the death of the body, then whatever continues was also there before. l personally think it is hilarious that no one seems to recognise that there is a new religion on this planet, it's called Science! How many scientific experiments have you personally carried out? You get your information from a book and believe it with blind faith! It has more rules than any of the religions, and the rules keep changing. lt is just as restrictive in terms of possible experiences. lt is cold and sterile. Sterile is defined as "without life". All this is like the blind arguing over what red looks like! Are we our body or our mind? is not either or question, we are neither, we are both, we are more than just these two components, we are human and we have no idea what that is, or what that means!
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 77
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Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/15/2009 5:46:18 PM
"Science has now proven that consciousness happens in a much higher vibrational medium than the physical/material mass of the body. "

Really? Can you show me where it says that, like, on Science Daily? Cause I read it every day, and I missed that.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 80
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Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/16/2009 5:56:54 PM
The link you posted:
"Lasers Used To Induce Gamma Brain Waves In Mice"

It's an article about using light to stimulate neurons.

So, what's your point? Because the article has nothing to do with what you were posting about, although it does lend a false aura of authority. Emphasis on false.

the other links are obvous BS. I read REAL SCIENCE. You should try it!! :)
 2hi-iq-4u
Joined: 5/29/2009
Msg: 87
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/17/2009 8:15:59 PM
..."if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to see it fall, does it make a sound?"...the answer is NO.


I don't know if you got the question right. I am blind, and didn't see anything, but I sure heard it. Was that a tree falling?

The koan is to cause you to think. It is not a question which requires an answer. One hand can clap against a thigh. A one armed man can applaud the things he appreciates.

Dinosaurs and fish lay eggs. The chicken came much later.
 2hi-iq-4u
Joined: 5/29/2009
Msg: 89
Are we our body or our mind?
Posted: 6/17/2009 8:57:12 PM
Please do not misunderstand my point, which is that it is the "observer" that makes the difference here
If you say so. I simply observe that a sound is a wave form that exists whether you percieve it or not. It is a simple scientific fact.

Like my point, which is that you got the question wrong, and the answer wrong too. If you can't perceive that, then who wants to talk about perception? If a post is written on POF and it is misunderstood, is it actually written?

If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody hears it, it doesn't make a noise.

"Noise" requires a judgement decision. Are the rabbits going to make such a judgement?
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