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Thread: Logic....*ERROR*

  1. #1 Logic....*ERROR* 
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    Okay...a body consists of cells, which consist in turn of atoms and molecules. Now, I came into existence by cell-splitting. Tracing it back, I was once a sperm cell and an egg (both?).
    And these were no "I". They were created in the testicles and in the 'eggholders' (sorry don't know the English word for it).
    So it was once just a part of my parent's body, maybe earlier even food they ate.
    And this food was once an apple on an appletree, or a cow, or whatever.
    So what the f*** am I actually?
    And what IS the "I"?
    While I come from dust, I can recognize myself. Dust cannot.
    But that's where I come from.
    So who am I?
    Where does the "I" come from?


    I am.
    You can't deny it.
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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    You are an emergent property.

    The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.


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  4. #3  
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    Youre probably (in the context of atoms and molecules) pretty much not even the atoms and molecules of the egg and sperm as most of that would have been turned over and would have left the body by some mechanism eg metabolic.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    Assuming you aren't going the religious route with this...

    You have three options really. Either you, as your -self-, was created at conception, your self is a singular construct of one provider, or you always existed. Let me explain:

    We all know that before the child there was the sperm and the egg. If you want to believe that you existed while still in two parts (sperm and egg) then where did you come from? That's a long-winded lecture I'm not gonna type out.

    Second, if you believe that you existed before conception, and yet cannot exist across both egg and sperm, then you'd have to have come from one parent or the other...An individual-consciousness-division, like a cell.

    Thirdly, you are created after conception.

    I suppose there's a fourth possibility, in that whatever it is that makes you -you- is born of two halves, same as your body. So in that case, I guess you could say that you really did exist as both egg and sperm, as a split package of consciousness before conception.

    This is making my head hurt...I need a beer...
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    You are an emergent property.

    The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
    I was going to say something pretty much to that effect!
    You beat me to it.
    It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong. --- Isaac Asimov
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  7. #6  
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    This makes me think of Richard Dawkins's theories about how our bodies are just coincidental vessels for the propagation of individual genes(temporary groupings of genes). In his way of looking at things the "I" you're referring to is nothing more than a convenient mechanism for strands of DNA to ensure their own survival.

    I don't know what his views are on consciousness though (these coincidental groupings of dust can think afterall, as you've pointed out Mastermind)!

    I have one of his books which I think is titled "The Extended Phenotype - The long reach of the gene", but I never studied it in detail.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    Don't know about anyone else...but if I came to develop-or-believe in a theory that said I wasn't anything more than amino acids and that my conscious existence was just a defense mechanism...I'd shoot myself.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Don't know about anyone else...but if I came to develop-or-believe in a theory that said I wasn't anything more than amino acids and that my conscious existence was just a defense mechanism...I'd shoot myself.
    Why? Your personal experience is exactly the same regardless of whether we are chemical accidents or placed here individually by God himself.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Why? Your personal experience is exactly the same regardless of whether we are chemical accidents or placed here individually by God himself.
    The idea that my personality, my -self-, is meaningless, makes life meaningless IMO.
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  11. #10  
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    I certainly can't argue with that, we each assign value in different ways and there's no right or wrong. For ME however, I have no problem being what I believe we all are. The end products of billions of years of nuclear reactions, recycled star material, a chance chemical reaction, and then a few billion more years of evolution. It's pretty extraordinary, really.
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  12. #11  
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    Funny thing is, why the curve?

    If our intelligence and consciousness (and in that, also our independence and personalities) are just evolutionary creations for the sake of survival...why'd we get so advanced?

    We could survive perfectly well without half the brain power we have. Heck, if we had a smidgen of intelligence more than primates, we'd be set.
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  13. #12  
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    I don't know, I imagine the advantage gained from increased intelligence outweighed the cost. Why exactly, I am not sure as I'm not a human evolution expert. Maybe when I get home from work I'll have a little time to dig up some answers
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    ...a human evolution expert.
    If you ever find one, let me know.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Funny thing is, why the curve?

    If our intelligence and consciousness (and in that, also our independence and personalities) are just evolutionary creations for the sake of survival...why'd we get so advanced?

    We could survive perfectly well without half the brain power we have. Heck, if we had a smidgen of intelligence more than primates, we'd be set.
    But we're better off. That's the whole idea of evolution: becoming better than the other creatures.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

    http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php

    Theists welcome.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    But we're better off. That's the whole idea of evolution: becoming better than the other creatures.
    WHAT other creatures? Are you trying to tell me that one of these fuzzy/slimey/rubbery things wandering around is competing against humanity?
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    Okay....we're digressing.
    The notion with the "soul" in our bodies doesn't make any sense at all to me, yeah, honestly! Because there'd be no explanation whatsoever.

    Hm, but where do we start? I mean, to fathom that, don't we need some kind of logical-experiential-trace-back, which we cannot do?
    I mean, everybody can tell us that we come from a single cell and sperms and egg cells, but does that have to be true? Don't get me wrong. I do believe that it is so, but how do WE find out? I mean, we cannot logically elicit any solution by looking at science OR religion. Neither of these, I think, can help us there. Why not science? Because science deals with stuff we can actually see or experimentally prove. But we talk about stuff beyond our experiences. And we do not make the error to fall into the occults of religion to tell us how it works out.

    We need to find another, unique way to disentangle it.
    Let's see...

    If it is really so that there is an egg cell fusing with a sperm cell, then there must be something that activates the process of cell splitting. This is called DNA. But we already know that earlier, the egg cell and the sperm cell were apples, and these apples in turn were dust.
    Now, we know that we are of the EXACT same nature as the dust is, because the dust consists of atoms, and so do we.

    But in any way, if egg cell or not, we must have been dust, because we are not eternal. We were once not conscious, and therefore we came into the state of being conscious.
    Now I go to sleep.
    I am.
    You can't deny it.
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  18. #17  
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    I am having trouble with this issue as well I want to believe in a soul. You can remove my hand, my arm my limbs, some of my organs (without killing me!) and I am still me, I experience no change in my personality or who I am. (Relatively speaking!) So in this respet my body is just a vessel

    You can kill off a lot of my brain my spinal cord and I can still be kept alive with "me" intact. I know there are parts of my brain and my endocrine system which may essentially determine who I am what I am; me.

    But I prefer and still think it is a rational, reasonable choice to believe that there is something else there, that my consciousness, my existence goes beyond whether I am alive or dead, and however illogical it may seem to some of you I still believe (although I do argue with myself about it) that there must be a soul, something beyond these "vessels" were contained in.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mastermind
    Okay....we're digressing.
    The notion with the "soul" in our bodies doesn't make any sense at all to me, yeah, honestly! Because there'd be no explanation whatsoever.

    Hm, but where do we start? I mean, to fathom that, don't we need some kind of logical-experiential-trace-back, which we cannot do?
    Like I think I've said before already, look at the issue from the 30k foot level. What have you got?

    Either:

    A: Either there is no "soul" and there's just other strange things going on...

    -or-

    B: There is a "soul" which is supernatural, ie - divine, and thus is beyond worldly science...

    -or-

    C: There is a "soul" and it's a biological function consisting of elements we don't current understand...


    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    I am having trouble with this issue as well I want to believe in a soul. You can remove my hand, my arm my limbs, some of my organs (without killing me!) and I am still me, I experience no change in my personality or who I am. (Relatively speaking!) So in this respet my body is just a vessel
    I think the safer question to ask would be what is the -YOU- inside of you?

    Obviously if you take the approach that your -self- is simply the result of brain functions, then I could snuggle up to my circuit breaker box knowing that the 32 electrical switch box is my ancestor, and possibly intelligent. Or that if I built a quantum computer with 100-billion qubit switches, it would sprout a consciousness.

    Clearly something else is going on. What that is, who knows.
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  20. #19  
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    @Robbie:

    I doubt that you wouldn't change if you were amputated an arm or a leg. You would have to adjust to the condition and thus "feel" somewhat different, maybe incomplete. But I was never in need of something like that, so I don't know how it would be.
    I mean it is clear that our personality doesn't really change, because it's technically just responding to the environment in a certain way.
    We have to take a look @ the DNA I think.
    I mean, the DNA is responsible for all what life is.

    Desires as well - where do desires come from? Surely also from the DNA somehow.
    But I fell again into the old trap. I followed what the scientists say, but without any experience by myself of what "DNA" might signify.

    Oh well, the "miracle" of life...
    I am.
    You can't deny it.
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  21. #20  
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    well i can't exactly tell you who you are, but i can tell you that you are not what you think you are. You have constant thoughts running through your head, sometimes you might even say they just appear out of nowhere. Your brain is responsible for "controlling" these thoughts so you won't go crazy. there is actualy a part of your brain that is responsible for filtering out the paranoid thoughts such as "those people are laughing. they must be laughing at me." and "is this guy following me?" "maybe he is!" these thoughts are from plain and ol' evolution. it keeps us safe. however, are brain needs to regulate these thoughts.

    if a brain can't regulate these thoughts, you get disorders such as OCD, Schizo, paranoia, etc. basicaly, you think you are in control of your thoughts but you really are not. you can try to be in control of your thoughts, but they will always prevail (thats not to say you can try really really hard as "thinking positive" actualy changes your belief system if you get in the habit of doing it enough).

    We come up with millions of thoughts every day, even in our sleepf. Our brain makes sure these thoughts are "normal" and "rational." Just like our brains are responsible for what we think, its responsible for how we act. our brain percieves how to react happy, or angry at somebody and then what to do about it. a lot of our actions are learned and habitual but your brain has to categorize an action as something specific so that it can make you act a certain way.

    The good thing is you are in control of your brain and you are a conscious being so you can consciously filter thoughts instead of subconsciously doing it. However, don't underestimate the power of the subconscious. It is my understanding that a certain part of the brain filters out daily paranoid thoughts, like extreme paranoia (as in "im being followed, the fbi wants me, the world will end today"), of course im open to anyone who thinks this is total malarky?
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  22. #21  
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    Well you're ot entriely wrong bu when you examine the brain and what it does you become very aware of how littl we have control over and how much it does. In essence all we can do is decide to move muscle. We cant control out heart our digestion, our kidneys, we dont need to think about posture, we cant help feeling afraid in a dangerous situation. Consciousness is like a final filter, we may decide how to react but much of it is predetermined by the other functions of the brain.

    Mastermind, desires partly have an origin in the hypothalamus, you experience thirst hunger, need to sleep and many others which contribute to how you feel by release of hormones, DNA is simply instructions for making proteins, a cell must receive an external order to make such a protein for DNA to "work",
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