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  1. @Doug Morris I think, under certain circumstances, that reason would qualify as evidence that something potentially dangerous is going on. I mean as long as you weren't on any drugs or hallucinating and you have every reason to believe that you should have seen it because you looked for it again very quickly and you didn't see it, then yes I would think that would count as evidence. @MisterSwig That is very interesting. I guess I was not distinguishing between knowledge itself and the study or theory of knowledge in my arguments. I agree with your statement about what epistemology is. But I was working off the assumption that epistemology ONLY involves using your five senses and rational inference therefrom. I was not including any element of "faith" or "revelation" in my argument. I guess I might have presumed that everyone else on this forum thought that way as well about epistemology. @Easy Truth Thanks for that link, I'll definitely check it out. I know I keep hammering at this but I was hoping you would help me understand specifically what you meant when you presented those two matrix claims and you placed the first one in a "permanently arbitrary" subcategory and the second one (which you mentioned was a variation of the first) in a "tentatively arbitrary" subcategory? I'm hoping to understand what your thought process was when you presented that second claim and what you meant by that second claim: "Everything we know COULD SIMPLY BE a simulation." What would you say is the difference between your second matrix claim and your first matrix claim? I know you placed that second claim together with other claims for which there is no evidence like the one about 9/11 being caused by the US. So in trying to understand what your thought process was, I was thinking about that 9/11 claim and I came up with this: Right now we have NO EVIDENCE that 9/11 was caused by the US but IF one day evidence for that emerges, we can rightfully entertain that possibility. And so, returning attention to your second matrix claim, following the same thought format, "Right now we have NO EVIDENCE that everything we know could simply be a simulation but IF one day evidence for that emerges, we can rightfully entertain that possibility." It seems like that second matrix claim leaves open the scenario of us one day obtaining evidence that we could be living in a simulation and then we would have to accept something like this: "we can no longer be certain that we live in the real world because NOW we have evidence that we could be in a simulation." But accepting that would put us in the same epistemological position as the first matrix claim you mentioned, which is a position that in your words is "unverifiable" and "to be permanently ignored" instead of in your words "Imaginable with no indication but verifiable (to be true or false) (given time)." In the 9/11 scenario, you could follow whatever evidence emerged and look for more evidence to verify it to be true or false. But how would the second matrix claim that you presented be verified to be true or false?
  2. @MisterSwig You could be a sort of deist of the simulated world. You would believe that if the world's simulated, then the Programmer created it but leaves it alone, so no changes to the simulated laws of nature. He doesn't interfere with anything. Once you accept the arbitrary, you might as well make the most of it. The Programmer also has a backup generator in case the power goes off and he has to keep the computers running. Agreed. Just wanna say a couple things about that. 1) Even if the Programmer or the creator of the simulation doesn't interfere after he creates the simulation, he still might have created it in the first place in some way that would eventually lead to the inhabitants of the simulation obtaining contradictory knowledge. What I mean is, even from the beginning, he could have defined humanoid inhabitants that possess all the abilities that we do and ONLY the abilities we do but he could have defined one humanoid inhabitant who could walk on water or walk through walls or fly. So he doesn't have to interfere after the simulation's creation to destroy our epistemology, because we know simulations are programs and at any time even before a program is run, all of the natural or physical rules are set by the Programmer's choices or whims, i.e no generalizations that we can make can be valid. 2) If you're a deist in the simulation and you believe that the Programmer leaves it alone and doesn't interfere, you are still injecting belief without evidence into your epistemology, so your epistemology is still destroyed, i.e. what you have is not epistemology at all, it's a belief system. I agree that this is arbitrary and this leads us to an infinitely regressive back and forth argument about us existing or not existing in a matrix/simulation. And I agree it should be rejected as arbitrary. My biggest question though is can the simulation/matrix claim be something that belongs to a "tentatively arbitrary" subcategory or should it be something that forever belongs to the "permanently arbitrary" subcategory?
  3. @Doug Morris Pardon my ignorance, but why is this a claim about "epistemological possibility" and not simply a claim about the future? How is it different from "That plane must have crashed."? Well the claim “That plane must have crashed” is just a past tense claim instead of a claim about the future. And I would say that both of those claims are claims of “epistemological possibility.” The reason I brought up the two senses of possibility is because it is relevant when you’re trying to make a determination about where on the epistemological spectrum a claim belongs: arbitrary, possible, probable, certain. If you claim for example, “The plane can crash,” you can validly make that claim without having to provide any specific evidence of your own because that claim does not make any assertions about a particular plane in a particular set of circumstances. That claim only asserts that an entity has a potentiality. And we already have all the evidence we need to know that airplanes have the potential to crash. So claiming that an airplane has the capability to crash is the metaphysical sense of possibility. But this is very different from the epistemological sense of possibility in which you’re trying to advance a hypothesis about a particular situation. So your claim “That plane must have crashed” is an assertion about a PARTICULAR plane in a PARTICULAR SITUATION. And so are my examples “This plane is going to crash” or “This plane will crash.” Both of those claims are advancing a hypothesis about a particular airplane under a particular set of circumstances (in a particular situation). And these claims CANNOT be validly made if the person who makes the claims doesn’t present specific evidence for them. You would have to present something specific about the plane that you are making a claim about that would cause or contribute to a crash, like that the specific plane in question was damaged or that the specific plane in question encountered bad weather or something else that is specific to the airplane in question. Otherwise, in the absence of specific evidence, those kinds of claims about specific entities have to be classified as arbitrary and thrown out. I was contemplating the two matrix claims that Easy Truth made and why he put each one into different subcategories of “arbitrary.” I couldn’t understand why the second claim belongs in his “tentative” category of arbitrary. He placed his first claim “Everything we know is simply a simulation” into a category of arbitrary that he stated is “unverifiable” and that should “be permanently ignored.” And I completely agree with this. But I don’t understand what makes it appropriate to place the second claim “Everything we know COULD SIMPLY BE a simulation” into a “tentative” subcategory of arbitrary. And that’s when I started asking myself “What does Easy Truth mean by this second matrix claim? Is he expressing a claim about metaphysical possibility? Is he saying that we CAN create simulations of reality in general? I was thinking if that’s what he is saying, we already know at this point that that claim is true because we know we can create simulations of reality as I’ve already mentioned. But if his second claim is claiming “The specific reality that we exist in COULD ITSELF be a simulation,” I just don’t see how that differs at all from his first matrix claim and I would say that both of the claims should both be placed into his first subcategory of arbitrary: “Unverifiable” and “To be permanently ignored.” If we assume a simulation that perfectly fakes vision for us, why not assume that it perfectly fakes all of our other senses, including our sense of touch and our kinesthetic sense? That seemed to be the case in The Matrix. Rather than go down a rabbit hole debating what the simulation does or does not do, we should just reject the whole idea as arbitrary. Yes, we can go ahead and assume that for the purposes of being clear about what exactly the simulation claims are claiming. But I would say that it is a mistake on our part or anybody's part to make an assumption like that, not just because that assumption is arbitrary, but also because it implies that the senses or our perceptions are not good enough to differentiate between the "fake vision" and "real vision" along with all of our other senses. And I would base my argument on a course lectured by Binswanger called "The Foundations of Knowledge." But I agree with you that debating against an arbitrary claim does make us go down into a rabbit hole and I would agree that we should reject the whole idea as arbitrary. You are correct that they have been spotted in Australia but I think that that example still does have some value because it lends itself well to understanding Easy Truth's two subcategories of "arbitrary." Permanently arbitrary and tentatively arbitrary (i'm paraphrasing his categories a little). He distinguished some arbitrary claims that would become true if sufficient evidence in favor of them ever emerged from arbitrary claims that would remain arbitrary forever. I think the "black swan" example is a good example for a claim that in a past context of knowledge had no evidence and then in a future context did have evidence and so it's a great example of an arbitrary claim that became true over time.
  4. @Easy Truth I was considering the some of the other claims that you placed in your "tentative" category of arbitrary: I can see why you place these claims in your "tentative" category of arbitrary but I don't see how the matrix claim belongs in the same subcategory with the rest of these examples. I would place both of the matrix claims in your first subcategory of arbitrary, the first one which you mentioned should be permanently ignored. I would say the difference between both of your matrix claims and the examples quoted above is that there seems to be an implication with your matrix claims that our senses are not good enough to tell the difference between a simulation and reality but the claims above make no such implication. The claims like the "black swan" or "9-11 was caused by the United States" and the others are arbitrary solely because of a lack of evidence and if evidence turns up in the future, these claims would no longer be arbitrary. But the implication in both of your matrix claims is that any future evidence in favor of us living in reality won't be good enough, because "what if" the matrix can just "simulate" that evidence too? So we are forever cut off from any solid evidence that we are living in reality. But again, I would say that both of your matrix claims are saying this and they belong in the same subcategory, the first one you mentioned.
  5. @Easy Truth I think if you mean "might be" or "may be" without evidence, that is still a claim of something being "possible" when it's actually arbitrary. And I think that you agree with this as well, that's why you placed it into a subcategory of "arbitrary." I'm just trying to understand the difference between the two subcategories, and I think, in general, I do understand. One subcategory is "tentative" and the other will always remain arbitrary. But as to the two specific simulation claims you presented as belonging to those subcategories, I don't know. I also agree with you about this: I just want expound on this a little bit. I remember hearing a Peikoff lecture in which he stated that "can be" is an expression of "metaphysical possibility" and that is not exactly the same as an expression of "epistemological possibility." When somebody tries to make a claim about "metaphysical possibility" they often use words like "can" or "could." Like when someone claims "This plane can crash" that is perfectly valid and certain because under some circumstances, it can in fact crash, it is metaphysically possible for it to crash. But when someone claims "This plane is going to crash," that is a claim about "epistemological possibility" and that has to be supported by evidence or it is arbitrary. This is partly what I was thinking about when I was trying to understand the difference between the two simulation claims you mentioned and which subcategory they belonged to. Regarding the differences between a simulation and reality (by the way, I am using "simulation" and "matrix" interchangeably in my argument, for me they mean the exact same thing) Ok here is what some differences would be. If we're talking about a simulation inside a computer than one difference would be that all the "entities" within it are not real entities in the sense that they are not 3-D objects. Computers show you projections of 3-D objects on a 2-D screen but those objects are not really 3-D. All of those objects are really just bits of information that are inscribed in computer chips. So I argue that if we were in a simulation (matrix), we would not have the spatial awareness that we do. We would not be able to touch rocks or chairs or cars or anything and sense that those objects have spatial extent in 3 dimensions. Additionally, we would not have the self-awareness that we do. You have a self-awareness of your entire mind and body as unified whole. If we were living in a matrix and our senses were valid, we would feel like computer microchips, because we would only be occupying that space. And I already noticed that someone else in this thread already responded to this by saying (and I'm paraphrasing their argument) "what if the simulation is so technologically advanced that you just can't tell the difference?" I argue that NO AMOUNT of technological advancement CAN EVER INVALIDATE THE SENSES. Technological advancement is achieved STARTING with the usage of our VALID SENSES. The argument about there being no difference ASSUMES UNJUSTIFIABLY that there would be no difference while ignoring the fact that the "objects" inside a simulation are just bits of information in a microchip and real objects have properties like mass and volume which are knowable with our valid senses. Also, assuming we were human beings in a simulation, epistemology could not be different in a matrix. We would still rely on our senses and concepts that we would form according to Ayn Rand's Theory of Concepts. And if it is "possible" that we are living in a simulation right now, that does imply that our senses are not good enough to tell the difference. And I argue that does lead us to an epistemological state in which we could never be certain about anything because nothing is set in stone in a simulation. Every physical law you ever discover in a simulation has been programmed to be there by a programmer like with the examples I gave of humans flying like birds or walking through walls that look the same as walls you can't walk through. So how could your generalizations in a simulation ever be valid, i.e how could you ever know anything in a simulation when everything in it is subject to the whim of a programmer?
  6. @Grames I have question about what exactly you mean when you state "hierarchically prior?" If you vertically integrate the concept "cat" to the concept "animal" and the concept "dog" to the concept "animal," is this an example of horizontally integrating the concept "cat" with the concept "dog?" I wasn't sure if the term "hierarchically prior" is interchangeable with "higher level." In the example I just gave, the concept "animal" is a higher level concept than "dog" or "cat" but I don't know if it is "hierarchically prior." I think if "animal" was a "hierarchically prior" concept to "dog" and "cat," the mental process I verbally described above would be an example of horizontal integration, but I just wanted to ask you be sure?
  7. @Easy Truth What I was asking about was your position on the validity of the claims “Everything we know is simply a simulation” and “Everything we know could simply be a simulation.” I was asking about your position about where on the epistemological spectrum each claim belongs: Arbitrary, Possible, Probable, Certain. My understanding is that “certain” claims are claims which qualify as real knowledge. They are claims which are supported by a wide body of objective evidence which integrates without contradiction to point to a single conclusion. Probable means that a majority or a preponderance of evidence points to a single conclusion while some evidence points to another. Possible means you have some but not much evidence that allows you to hypothesize a claim. And arbitrary claims are claims which are completely wanton, they have no evidence or basis in reality whatsoever to support them. It looks like this matrix possibility topic has been extensively and heavily discussed and it has led up to discussion about precisely what “arbitrary” means. It looks like you have come up with a couple of subcategories of “arbitrary” and then you have attached the two claims I mentioned to those subcategories. One subcategory you mentioned was: And you attached the former simulation claim to it. And the other subcategory you mentioned: And you attached the latter simulation claim to it. This is why I asked about why you thought the latter claim was “tentatively arbitrary” because “tentative” means “subject to change.” It seems to me that you are saying that the latter claim is “verifiable” to be or true or false GIVEN TIME but the former claim is “unverifiable” and I am wondering why the latter claim is “verifiable” but the former claim is not? When I was wondering this, I was thinking about what the essential difference was between the two claims. I have an idea about what you might have meant (please tell me if I’m wrong). So, regarding the former claim, “Everything we know is simply a simulation,” that claim means that right now we are inside something like a computer program, that all the objects, living or non-living, that we’ve ever encountered are not spatially extended entities, they’re just bits of information, that are being processed by a computer in some “real” reality in which real entities exist. And therefore all of the knowledge that we have that is based on the objects we have encountered is only valid in the simulation and not valid in the “higher” reality outside of the simulation we live in. Is that what you meant by the first claim? And regarding the latter claim, “Everything we know COULD SIMPLY BE a simulation” means that all encountered objects and the knowledge we have that is based on them CAN BE simulated. One meaning that I can think of that you are referring to is that ALL OF THE OBJECTS we have ever encountered can be simulated in a computer. If that is what you mean then we already know that that is true, not merely possible. We already have simulations like flight simulators, we have video games, we have computerized 3-D drawing programs, we know that we can simulate reality, but it’s still a simulation which is different from reality. You wouldn’t be able to form the concept “simulation” unless you had valid senses with which you could observe reality. In order to form the concept “simulation,” you have to observe reality and simulations and differentiate “simulation” from reality. So what I think you meant by the latter claim is already “verifiable” and it has been verified to be true. But you may be meaning something else with this latter claim so I was just trying to understand what you meant because I don’t see any difference between the two claims otherwise. I wouldn’t put them in separate subcategories of “arbitrary.” The more I think about this topic, the more I find that this unavoidably leads to Cartesian doubt. I am interested in what everybody’s position is on this. My thought is that if it is “possible” that we are living in a simulation, then that completely destroys the field of epistemology itself? Why? Because in order for us to possess knowledge about anything which is certain there cannot be any “possibility” that points to an alternative or conflicting idea. We know in the case of video games which are basically simulations, that they are made by programmers and programmers are volitional beings who can program the simulations to run any way they choose. For example, they can program some objects like walls to be solid which forbids a character in the simulation from being able to walk through the wall. But if the programmers want, they can choose to define another wall which characters can simply walk through under the same circumstances, and the walls can look exactly the same. The programmer can choose to define a humanoid character which cannot fly and then just because the programmer feels like it, they can define one human which can fly under the same circumstances in which all the other humanoid characters cannot. And those characters can look and function exactly the same. And I’m sure that anybody can think of numerous other concrete examples of this so the concrete examples are not important but the deeper point is that a real possibility of us all being in a simulation destroys the validity of our generalizations. If living in a simulation is a real possibility, then it follows that we can no longer form generalizations which are certain because whoever created the simulation can set and violate any physical rules that they want. Any time that we would ever form a generalization about anything, we would be condemned to entertaining the possibility that we could encounter a violation of that generalization in the future just because whoever created the simulation felt like making that happen.
  8. @Easy Truth I was hoping ask you a couple questions about the following two example claims that you gave. I was hoping you could first state what the difference is between these two claims. You mentioned that the latter claim belongs in a category of arbitrary that “is the hardest – it seems tentatively arbitrary?” So what makes you think that the latter claim belongs in a “tentatively arbitrary” category? What is “tentative” about it or what makes it more “tentative” than the former claim?
  9. @Eiuol I mean, if you don't think the mind is or has fundamental constituent(s), there's no reason to bring it up. I am not sure what I am “bringing up?” I mentioned that your body has fundamental constituents, not your mind. All these points that you have made about continuity being “wildly disrupted” have all referred to higher-level mental faculties. The absence of those faculties does not imply that the continuity of the individual has been “disrupted.” As long as you exist, your body undergoes a basic process (a continuous self-sustained, self-generated action) that continues to exist until you don’t exist anymore. Whether you have a split-brain or not, whether you get injured or not, whether you’re in a coma or not, whether you are sleeping or not, as long as you are alive (i.e. as long you exist), that basic function of your body still exists and that is why you still exist in all of those scenarios. What that basic function is is up to scientists to show. I guarantee you that no one in the scientific community is interpreting your ability to go to sleep and wake up as evidence for your ability to die and come back. It’s not evidence for your ability to die and come back. And that’s because you going to sleep is not the same as you dying. And that’s because your continuity goes on during sleep, regardless of the fact that your higher-level mental faculties may be absent. And this equally applies to brain injuries or comas or whatever. I think that current scientific knowledge states that oxygen respiration done by the lungs and the consumption of oxygen done by the brain are examples of bodily functions that are always present as long as the individual is alive (i.e. as long as the individual exists). The higher-level functions you mentioned might not be required to occur to keep your existence going. It would be no different than you choosing to raise one of your hands. The EXACT bodily function that happens when you raise your hand is not going to be the same as the function of your body when you are sitting or relaxing at rest. But that doesn’t mean that your continuity gets disrupted when you choose to stop raising your hand. Your circulatory/nervous system was functioning the same on some level before, during, and after you raised your hand. It’s that function, that most basic function, that must continue. And “basic function” does not mean that your functions have “fundamental constituents.” Your body has fundamental constituents and the processes that your body goes through can be impaired or they can intensify or they can become more or less complex and they can still remain the same process without the continuity of the process being disrupted. The mind doesn't exist as an entity either (which you agreed with earlier). Yes, but the argument I made was this: Ultimately, regardless of the mind-related complications introduced into these debates, if an individual is an entity that undergoes continuous, self-generated action, then it follows that he is not any other entity, living or non-living, currently existing or yet to be constructed by a “transporter,” etc. And I agree with your definition of entity, a “physically bounded object, usually on the perceptual level.” By forming this first-level concept of what an entity is, you should be able to grasp that it has to be a “*specific body*” which has to continue to undergo a continuous, self-generated action. You can use the definition you mentioned to always keep track of an entity so you can differentiate it from all other entities, i.e, all other individuals. If you ever encounter two functioning entities that are equal copies you can know that one is not the other because of the spatial relationship between their physical boundaries at any particular time. If you damage one entity, you can tell that the other is undamaged. If you destroy one, you can still see the pieces that it used to be made out of while seeing that the other entity is unharmed. Like the car example, you know that one functioning car is not the other despite the fact that you can’t tell the difference between them because they have a different spatial relationship with respect to you and with respect to each other, just like two functioning human bodies that are equal copies. Having a mind only means that each functioning human body can perceive that which exists, it's not a magical pass that gives a functioning human body an ability to be another functioning human body or as many functioning human bodies as the "transporter" constructs. That is what is inconsistent and that is what you are arguing in favor of when you mention the alpha, beta, etc multiple Eiuols. Their physical boundaries are one way that you can always differentiate them. You can at least know that there is a difference between them.
  10. @Eiuol That's fine, but this is exactly why the whole bit about fundamental constituents doesn't make sense. It's not consistent, it doesn't fit in with the argument you're going for What is not consistent about it? What does not fit in with the argument that I am going for? You've probably described it accurately enough. It's not a separate experience. This is probably best left to scientists to explain rather than me but I'll try to explain it like this. What this shows is that when it comes to actions that an entity can do but doesn't have to do (such as tell you what it sees or demonstrate how to use what it sees), certain portions of the one whole integrated individual entity undergoing continuous self-generated, self-sustained action contribute to the abilities to execute certain actions but not others. There is no more a violation in this case than the fact that my stomach stores the food that I eat but not my brain (in a simple sense, of course). My legs are used for walking but my hands are not. I use my hand to write but not my hips. This is just a case of certain pieces of a human all contributing their part to the overall integration and the integration has been damaged, but it's not gone. And this is the difference that I'm identifying as something that should be considered when considering whether or not the individual exiting the transporter is the individual who entered. We should. And I don't know much about intellectual property. I do have some doubts about whether it is valid or not. And there may be some parallels between the transporter topic and the intellectual property topic. However, I think even if it is valid, that its validity would be consistent with my argument, especially because it has to do with a lot of stuff that doesn't exist as an entity, such as laws or ideas. I remember I read once what I believe is an Ayn Rand quote in which she states that the mind and body are one and that we distinguish them only conceptually. I was trying to look up that quote but I can't find it anywhere now. I can't state for sure that was what her statement was because I don't remember. Have you ever read or heard a quote like the one I've described about the body and mind of an individual being one?
  11. @Eiuol The statement from me that you've quoted from me doesn't imply that the mind and thinking are made up of fundamental constituents. They're not. I have tried to explain this before. I have not been defining "you" as a particular body. I have repeatedly stated that I am defining "you" as an entity that undergoes continuous, self-generated, self-sustained action. This is a definition of your identity and it encompasses BOTH the mind and body of you as an individual. Not partially, completely. There's no "you" without your functioning body. I don't think you understood what I was arguing for the continuity of. I was not arguing for the required continuity of your body, I was arguing for the required continuity of your mind AND your body. And what that means is, I was arguing for the necessary continuity of your functioning body. And this doesn't mean that I'm arguing that your body's functions or actions are fundamental constituents. And it doesn't mean that I'm saying that "you" are your body. If either your body's functioning or your body ceases to exist, there won't be a "you" anymore, certainly not if you construct another functioning body somewhere away from where the individual entity in question was. I think Ayn Rand would agree as well because she argued that man is an "integration of mind AND body," with the two being metaphysically inseparable, just like you can't separate a functioning entity from its function or its body without killing the individual entity in question. That's why "your first person awareness" won't just be "interrupted," it will permanently disappear. And more often than not, the issue of whether the continuity of a particular entity undergoing continuous self-generated, self-sustained action is satisfied or not is a scientific one, like the prosthetics example you brought up. But what I can say is that the preservation of a particular functioning entity's structural integrity (body) AND overall functioning (mind) is going to be the key. You have to preserve both if you want that entity (that individual) to keep existing. Additionally, the split-brain example you've brought up is another bad example. You are implying a contradiction here. If they "basically act independently," then how can the brain "naturally figure out how to adapt?" I'll tell you how. Split-brain illnesses are not evidence or examples for "multiple first person experiences." And the explanation for why not is more a scientific one than a philosophical one but it ultimately reduces to philosophy (as pretty much everything does). The primary link, and the keyword is "primary," that links the left and right hemispheres of the brain is severed in split-brain patients. But there are still other links (I think 4 others if I'm not mistaken) that are intact and ARE ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING in the split-brain patient's overall first person awareness. The split-brain example is no more meaningful than if I closed one of my eyes and claimed that since I closed one of my eyes, only one of my two brain hemispheres is involved in generating/sustaining my first person awareness and the other half now has its own first person awareness. That would be a false claim. There aren't two separate brains, which is what you are implying. Instead what's happening is there is still one brain but the continuous self-generated, self-sustained action has been harmed, but it is not gone, and that's what makes it possible for the brain to learn "how to adapt." As long as you are alive, you have your first person experience as one whole integrated individual entity that continuously undergoes self-sustained, self-generated action. Since everyone is proposing some examples to support their arguments let me propose one. If you and I were to independently buy a car of the same make, model, color, everything the same but two separate cars, let's say for example two blue 2019 Toyota Camrys. I'm arguing that my car is one individual car and your car is another individual car despite the fact that they are perfect copies of each other. They are perfect copies and that's it, not one individual car. And if you turned your car on, it would function JUST LIKE mine, the functioning would be the same. This is just like the functioning body that enters the transporter and the OTHER functioning body that exits the transporter. Even though the cars look and function the same, I don't own your car, you own your car. Your car is another car, a separate existent that is not my car. If what you're arguing is true, then I can take you to an objective court of law and tell a judge that I should own your car because your car is my car. As you put it, it "walks like a duck, talks like a duck..." so your car must be my car. So, according to you, if our cars are both on and functioning, I have a right to take your car because I own it. This is what I've been arguing against. That's right, the "certain intensity" portion of my definition is what I think is necessary but not sufficient and that's the part I had a problem with if that's all there was to it. But the "healthy biological processes" portion of my definition is what I was hoping would have been elaborated on in terms of the "specific actions" that "are done to generate/sustain consciousness." All I was trying to say here is that I am ok with complexity and intensity being a part of it, but I was expecting some discussion of what specifically the functioning body does to generate/sustain consciousness, which "healthy biological processes" is a placeholder for in my definition that you quoted. So in my definition I have included both what specifically is done and the intensity/complexity.
  12. @Eiuol My point about the statement that you quoted was that the body of an entity is ultimately made out of fundamental constituents (whatever they may be) that cannot be broken down and that are separate from all other existents in the universe. The integrated actions performed by those fundamental constituents or macroscopically that specific body corresponds to a particular individual's mind. It was meant to refute your claim that a "branched" version of "you" would exist if someone used the transporter on you but without deconstructing you. I am saying that that "branched" version of "you" you mentioned would be another entity, made out of separate fundamental constituents that may or may not be doing the same actions as the original fundamental constituents that comprise the real one and only "you." Because it would be a separate entity made out of separate fundamental constituents even if they are doing the same actions as the real one and only "you," it would not be you. And by the way, that would also serve as evidence for why the individual who gets constructed and exits the transporter is not the individual who was deconstructed after he entered the transporter. The entity who exits the transporter is made out of separate fundamental constituents that happen to be doing the same actions as the entity who entered. The actions may be the same, but the fundamental constituents doing the actions are separate from the original fundamental constituents that are who-knows-where. Remember, when the transporter deconstructs the individual who enters, what it does is pull the individual's body apart into fundamental pieces (rendering them unable to function to generate/sustain a mind). But what happens to those fundamental constituents after separate ones are used to construct the body of the individual who exits? They certainly have not been destroyed because they cannot be destroyed. They are the fundamental constituents that comprised the body of the individual who entered the transporter and they are in disarray located at the transporter's entrance. Those are the fundamental constituents you would have to use to reconstruct the macroscopic body of the individual who entered the transporter if you want to claim that that individual was brought back into existence. Because "you" are not "your consciousness." "You" are an entity that undergoes continuous, self-generated, self-sustained action. Your consciousness is a state of awareness you can achieve by undergoing that continuous, self-generated, self-sustained action. You can differentiate yourself from all other existents by identifying yourself as your definition of what an entity is, "some sort of physically bounded object, usually on the perceptual level." But of course, not just any object, an object or entity that continuously undergoes self-generated, self-sustained action. So your specific body would not be "you," your specific body which continuously undergoes self-generated, self-sustained action would be "you." Not some other body exiting the transporter that continuously undergoes its own continuous self-generated, self-sustained action. And yes I had a problem with intensity and complexity being "all the definition is," as you put it. Keyword "all." I was interested more in what specific actions are done to generate/sustain consciousness not just the complexity and intensity, but I think the answer to what I was interested in is a more scientific issue, that's all. I have no problem with consciousness having complex and intense characteristics as long as that is not everything that is necessary. Why are you not concerned about the specific body? I am arguing that you should be if you are claiming that the individual who exited the transporter IS the individual who entered. The "specific material parts accomplishing the process" constitute one individual's body. Other "specific material parts accomplishing the process" constitute another individual's body. If you are claiming that the individual exiting the transporter is the individual who entered, then you are in effect claiming that the body and mind exiting the transporter (the body undergoing continuous self-generated, self-sustained action exiting the transporter) IS the body and mind that entered the transporter (the body undergoing continuous self-generated, self-sustained action that entered the transporter). And I am arguing that it is not. That is why it is not the only question whether this process can restart if it stops (it is a question but not the only question). Let us assume that it can restart. As I have been arguing, if you successfully construct another entity that is separate from an individual (meaning an entity whose body is ultimately comprised of fundamental constituents which are separate from an the body of the individual in question) and that other entity's body is undergoing the same continuous self-generated, self-sustained action, then, despite the other entity undergoing the same continuous self-generated, self-sustained action, that other entity is not the individual in question. You have not "restarted" that process, you have started that process on another entity. You mentioned being in agreement about what SL stated. It is my understanding that SL, Don Athos, and me are arguing that the individual who gets reconstructed is not the individual who got destroyed. I think we might have our own different reasons for why we are arguing what we are arguing. I don't want to speak for Don Athos and SL too much. You and Devil's Advocate are arguing that it is the individual who got destroyed and he comes back into existence. Correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.
  13. @Eiuol I am not arguing for panpsychism. I am not insisting that the mind is a fundamental constituent. I have stated before that it is not an entity and not a thing. When I was describing fundamental constituents, I meant fundamental constituents that constitute the body, i.e microscopic entities that cannot be broken down into sub-parts and that are separate from all other existents in the universe. The integrated macroscopic interactions (actions) of those fundamental constituents correspond to the mind. And that doesn't imply that actions are reified as "things." It just means a particular macroscopic entity is doing those actions. That "there is something remaining when you physically pull everything apart" is not what I meant. There isn't. My point is not that ""you" is a fundamental, material soul." It's not. Your body is always in a state to support "you" as long as you are biologically functioning, which doesn't have to include higher level of functioning. When I say "higher level," all that I meant by that was a healthy and intensified version of the biological processes that are happening in a person who is in a coma, for example. What you call the "psychological processes" are just healthy biological processes of a certain intensity. That's why I stated before that it's really the biological processes that must exist in order for "you" to exist. And they still do exist for a person in a coma, they're just severely impaired but they are still happening, and that is why you would still exist if you would be in a coma and that is also why you have a chance of recovering while you are in a coma. When those biological processes cease to exist, then you would really stop existing and you would never be able to come back. And you wouldn't be anywhere else (heaven or hell) because like I stated before, "you" are not a material soul. You just wouldn't exist anymore. But "you" are there when you are in a coma or when you sleep because in all of those cases your biology is still functional. And I define "you" as an entity that undergoes continuous, self-generated, self-sustained action. The "self-generated, self-sustained action" is your biological processes. The actions are not entities or things. A particular entity is doing the action. If those self-generated, self-sustained actions should stop (no mind) or if your body is blown up let's say (no body and no mind), "you" won't exist anymore. And those self-generated, self-sustained actions are being done by your body while "you" are in a coma or sleeping and while you are awake. But those actions are not being done by your body when "you" are dead and no longer in existence. That's my position.
  14. @Eiuol No, I would say the same thing about identical twins and two separate human beings even if they were perfect copies of each other. One reduces down to fundamental constituents that are separate from all other existents and the other reduces down to other fundamental constituents that are separate from all other existents, in accordance with what I have stated before. They each perform their own actions that are metaphysically inseparable from them, i.e. they each have their own inseparable mind. There is a meaningful way to say that it is "you." A low-level continuation of the essential processes your body must go through is still in existence, and that's why you still do exist, as long as those are occurring. So even if you are "psychologically dead" as you mention, the required foundation (your biology) is still operative, so you're still alive. You may not be self-aware, I'll grant you that. Your higher level functions (beliefs, thoughts, awareness) might not be happening but your low-level functions (which are complementary to your higher-level functions and are also a part of what makes you an individual) are still working, so you still exist.
  15. @Eiuol I apologize for using distracting text. You wrote, "All you argued here is that a mind can't be disembodied. I don't disagree. This doesn't say how a conscious mind can or cannot be transferred to another entity." I would say that it does because by virtue of the mind being (at a basic level) a process that is done by a particular entity, that makes it inseparable from that particular entity and makes it a particular mind. It is not a process done by another entity, it is a process done by "this and not that" entity in accordance with the law of identity (whatever the thing is, dog, cat, elephant, human, whatever). And this is where the word "transferred" is inappropriate. That word "transfer" implies movement from one place to another, which is a concept applicable only to entities, which the mind is not, as you and I agree on. You also wrote, "If you want to define "you" as also the physical body you have, that doesn't make sense to me. As long as there is a body it doesn't matter. The question is if you have a psychological death, not just a biological death. It isn't enough to say "the light went out". Another way to phrase the question: if you die biologically, does this mean you always die psychologically?" Well I would say yes you do die psychologically if you die biologically. Because your psychology is ultimately based on your biology. If the required foundation stops existing, then anything that follows from it can't exist either. It would be like saying that a treehouse can exist without a tree. And I meant to define "you" as a physical body that continuously undergoes essential physical processes. That latter portion of the definition "that continuously undergoes essential physical processes" is an essential part of the definition. Furthermore, I would be careful about making claims that a FPE before a coma is distinct from after a coma and that a consciousness "completely halts" and comes back. Doctors say that "someone who is in a coma is unconscious and will not respond to voices, other sounds, or any sort of activity going on nearby. The person is still alive, but the brain is functioning at its lowest stage of alertness." That part, the "lowest stage of alertness" part is an indication that even in a coma your consciousness is still operative at a basic level. And a much stronger argument can be made for going to sleep and waking up, your consciousness is still there, it is only its strength that has changed. Even bacteria that is supposedly "frozen" and then "brought back to life" has never died. There are organisms on this world that have metabolisms that can continue to function in what is called "cryobiostasis." Their identities allow their organs to function at such a minimal level that we call "frozen" but they are not truly frozen or static like what you might think.
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