Just who is it that experiences your life?

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androidbleepboop
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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby androidbleepboop » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:31 am UTC

poxic wrote:When a thing is deemed important, the part of the brain that noticed the thing (the telephone pole in the sidewalk) attempts to get the attention of "central command" (my conscious attention). If I'm too enthralled in texting someone to pay attention to my visual system's frantic hand-waving, I will collide with the pole and someone will upload the video to YouTube with "dumb woman texting while walking".

I refer to "central command" as though it were one thing, but that's a simplification. You've noticed how you are sometimes a very different person one day to the next, or with one group of friends compared to another. Our "selves" are built of masses of subroutines that can be triggered by the environment, and by other subroutines. There could be dozens running simultaneously, only a few of which you're noticing (brushing teeth while thinking of a song and digging to remember the words, while below the surface the emotions of the song are linking up with assorted memories of yours that carry the same emotion. Also breathing and pumping blood and standing upright and tuning out the sound of the garbage truck in the alley).

Our brains are massively parallel -- sight doesn't hinder hearing which doesn't hinder taste or touch. Our conscious attention can certainly be overwhelmed by data coming from one or another sense, but the processing of the other senses doesn't stop.

Very interesting! I think this is an extraordinarily insightful perspective, the idea of consciousness acting as "central command" organizing our brain's activity and responding to the demands and dangers of the external world. I agree with you fully on this point, and find it quite a fascinating look at the interface between subconscious neural activity and explicitly conscious attention, and how attention is divvied up from moment to moment. Cheers to this- full agreement from me on these points.

Now for my disagreement:
poxic wrote:What I believe, roughly, is this: selfhood is an illusion created by the brain to give humans narrativium, making it easier for them to cope with big things (e.g., life and death and other people). Having a story makes things easier, much easier, than not having one. Not only does this give us all of our religions, but also our sciences -- when we can say "this causes that", we can control things better. The more closely our stories conform to reality, the better our control. Our stories are good enough now to give us computers and rockets, but not immortality or immunity to all diseases.

To explain the self = illusion thing: there is no unique, unchanging "I" who is experiencing my life. There are, instead, many areas of my brain that process many, many things. These brain parts change their wiring over time as new data comes in and stale data is discarded.

I can see what you mean when you say "there is no unique, unchanging "I" who is experiencing my life", based on your description. However, I think this understanding of selfhood which takes into account changing moods, mental functions, and personalities (in the case of behaving differently around different people) does not get to the heart of the matter, the heart of what selfhood is.

I think the most central, fundamental core of selfhood is subjective experience. In my perspective, my self is the one which experiences my experiences, for example, the one who is experiencing the sound and meaning of these words as I type them. Regardless of what mood I'm in, or who I'm around, or even if I have a catastrophic brain injury such that my experiences are fragmented in a totally alien way to my normal mode of perception, my self is the one who experiences my experiences. I don't at all see how this self could be illusory- if I am having experiences, the one feeling the reality of those experiences is my self, plain and simple. Does this clarify my position?

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby androidbleepboop » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:58 am UTC

chridd wrote:"Consciousness" and "experience" are fairly fuzzy terms

Now that you point out that these are fuzzy terms for you, it is clear that they are probably fairly fuzzy for many people. I have a very specific concept in mind for each of these things, which I had assumed was shared widely, but it is worth stating explicitly. Consciousness is the phenomenon within which experiences occur. For something to be conscious is for that thing to have experiences. Being conscious and being an experiencer are perfectly synonymous.

Experiences are adequately described by the word you use, qualia: all experiences represent qualitative sensations in awareness; one is aware of every thing they experience (you could argue and say that "I am always experiencing breathing even when I am not conscious of it" but I would answer, no, you are only experiencing breathing when you are conscious of it. When you are not conscious of it, breathing is subconscious, and is therefore not experienced.) I thought it was important to state my understanding of these terms up front, so that my further disagreements can be understood in this context.

chridd wrote:A brain is a physical object, a bunch of physical/chemical/electrical interactions that happen in certain patterns. The brain experiences things, and consciousness is a property of the brain (and the patterns within the brain).

I agree with the first sentence here fully, however, the second sentence strikes me as fallacious. If consciousness is the faculty through which experiences happen, then it isn't the brain that experiences things, it is the property of the brain which brain activity produces, consciousness, that experiences things.

chridd wrote:It would also be accurate to say that the person experiences things and is conscious, just like it would be accurate both to say that my fingers are typing this and to say that I'm typing this.

A person experiences things through their consciousness. As for the second sentence here, It is accurate to say both, but these statements say precisely different things. To say your fingers are typing this denotes a description of mechanical causality, the efficient cause for the keys being pressed. To say that you are typing this describes an act of willful causality explicitly tied to consciousness, to the brain activity which enables you a conscious, experiential context of understanding within which to combine ideas and choose actions.

chridd wrote:It also seems that people are not particularly good at thinking of our brains as physical objects, and tend come to have faulty beliefs about what this implies (e.g., thinking that it implies we have no free will, or that because we have similarities to machines that we should treat each other like machines, or that the phenomenon of qualia requires that consciousness is non-physical). (I say this because of my own internal conflicts about the subject, and because of having read some arguments about the subject that seemed flawed.)

Agreed, and it's no surprise that we have such difficulty- these are extraordinarily complex topics. Very interesting nonetheless. For what it's worth, I think it clear that the phenomenon of consciousness is indeed not physical (consciousness being the fabric of experience, which has none of the usual indicators of physicality such as mass, extension, or objective observability), but that it is certainly very intimately tied to the physical, in that the brain activity which enables it is fully physical.

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby poxic » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:23 am UTC

Illusory may be too strong a word for what I meant -- one's own experiences are real enough. It's maybe the notion that we are a unified self that is the illusion, or that there is a solid "thing that I am" other than my physical body and brain.

To the unified self idea, in addition to the multi-me experienced by people with brain injury, I can add a small anecdote. I've occasionally experienced a kind of tiredness that leads to me feeling like I can't hold together the "one me" experience. When that happens, usually for only a few moments at a time, I feel my consciousness divide into two, one for each hemisphere of my brain. (That sensation of a left/right split could be an illusion caused by knowing about brain hemispheres. It's often said that we see what we believe, rather than the other way around.) I'm not very functional in that state, of course. Could just be the tiredness.

To the idea of a consistent experience: when I wake up in the morning, I'm in the same bed I was in the previous evening, and in the same clothes. My breakfast tastes the same every morning, barring variations when sick with a cold (or eating different food, of course). This gives my world a durable quality, as though I were experiencing one constant reality.

In fact, my experiences are consistent because my brain chemistry is consistent (enough, at least). I've never taken LSD but I've done a few other kinds of drugs. Change the proportion of the neurotransmitters in the brain and your experience of reality changes. Especially true for the strong psychedelics like LSD -- oh lordy, the stories I've heard from friends.

The drug molecule isn't running around inside your brain causing havoc. Instead, the drug is causing a change in the balance of your own brain chemicals. That different mix of neurotransmitters is what changes your perceptions. Suddenly your friends look like insects and you're only comfortable speaking Elizabethan English and you're communicating telepathically. (Observers who aren't high will note that you're actually shouting at your friends very loudly, but your subjective experience is quite different from that.)

Our everyday perceptions probably aren't as different from underlying reality as a drug high is, simply because evolution would have kicked us to the curb if we couldn't muster a survival-friendly cocktail of brain chemicals. The lesson is still valid -- subjective experience can be mightily unreliable. (That's why the scientific method is the best we have at getting more accurate stories about the universe. It's designed to rub our noses against the hard data when what we usually want instead is to spin around in lovely words and build stories to impress ourselves.)
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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby androidbleepboop » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:41 am UTC

These are all really good points, quite insightful. I love that you pointed out that in the absence of a subjective experience which accurately models the reality of the external world, a species could not adequately survive the rigors of evolutionary pressure. I use this as an argument when someone suggests that the reality we experience isn't really real- we have abundant evidence that it is in fact very real, and that it behaves in the way that science has uncovered (especially in light of this evidence from evolutionary biology vis a vis our subjective experiences).

poxic wrote:In fact, my experiences are consistent because my brain chemistry is consistent (enough, at least). I've never taken LSD but I've done a few other kinds of drugs. Change the proportion of the neurotransmitters in the brain and your experience of reality changes. Especially true for the strong psychedelics like LSD -- oh lordy, the stories I've heard from friends.

LSD may even convince you you've encountered insights into, say, the nature of consciousness that are profound and perspective shifting. You might find you cannot shake the compelling nature of those insights even after sobering up, and even after months (or years) of debate with intelligent people. Parts of the psychedelic experience are kind of like intelligence on hyperdrive, at least for certain people. Debatable, to be sure. Did that get too candid, suddenly?

poxic wrote:The lesson is still valid -- subjective experience can be mightily unreliable.

And yet the fact that it is experience and subjective is unquestionably reliable. I refer back to "cogito ergo sum", and the realization that if I'm doubting the existence of my subjective experience, it's impossible to doubt that I'm doubting it.

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:02 am UTC

And yet the fact that it is experience and subjective is unquestionably reliable. I refer back to "cogito ergo sum", and the realization that if I'm doubting the existence of my subjective experience, it's impossible to doubt that I'm doubting it.
You can doubt your ability to genuinely doubt; you can even doubt that your subjective existence is actually happening. Doing so just leads you to weird places.

I'm not a neurologist, but I agree with the sentiment expressed by poxic; consciousness seems to be little more than an emergent property of our biology -- a happy accident of evolution. One's sense of self is likely largely illusory. A simple thought experiment comes to mind:

If I make a copy of you and disintegrate the original you, we agree that the new you is not the original you. But if I replace the individual cells of your body -- one by one, over an extended period of time -- with mechanical versions that exactly replicate their function -- it becomes much harder to say that "you" have been lost. What's the fundamental difference? It's just a matter of scale. How slowly must I replace you for you to remain you? Now remember that your cells are being replaced all the time. You are in a constant state of self disintegration and replication.

It seems very likely to me that our perception of a continual self is largely just a way of organizing our thoughts along a certain coherent path so we don't go crazy. Or to put it another way, our sense of self is just a narrative convenience.

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:08 am UTC

This is why I'm always kind of appalled at philosophers who haven't read much in the way of science fiction. Don't purport to opine on consciousness if you haven't read of the Ship of Theseus, Neuromancer, Fire upon the Deep, etc.

Android, you evoke neurobiology with very obviously minimal understanding of what you're bringing up. I suggest you stop doing so.
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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:48 am UTC

Things I know:
  • I exist in some form
  • The universe exists in some form
  • Math

Unless I can derive it from first principles, it gets thrown on the "I Don't Know" pile
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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby PeteP » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:47 am UTC

Btw androidbleepboop for better understanding of your mindset: If I have an universe like our own, just a bit smaller with a sun and a single planet. It has no life but the same rules apply as in our unverse and the materials are there so there is a potential for conciousness. Since there is nobody who experiences anything is there still your universal experiencer? If not is it there when there is one thinking person?

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby addams » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:07 pm UTC

Pantheism is the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God,[1] or that the universe (or nature) is identical with divinity.[2] Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism

For some reason I think this might help.
God is separate from us. Yet; we are a part of God.

That is what the little Pantheists seem to think.
I listened to some Pantheists. One day, I decided they were correct.

Once upon a time persons of different faiths would talk to one another and the conversations were public.
The radio was an observer. Through the radio others could listen. I listened and some of those conversations were good.

One Theist was very upset at the idea of Everything being God. He used the example of 'Dog Shit'. (so funny. i was scooping dog shit at the time)
Yep. Like it or not, Dog Shit is made up of the same shit we all are. It is simply arranged a little differently.

Dog Shit is not self aware. The way we treat dog shit is important. Well; To me it is.
My love of the Dog is expressed in how I treat the dog shit.

The way we treat other people is important, too.
Some people think, "We show our high regard for God in the way we treat other people."

I am so sorry to take your conversation off to the weird. But; I used to think about this stuff.

I can get along just fine with that kind of Theist. Other people are like Dog Shit to them.
We show our hight regard for God, by being careful with other people. OK! I can do that!

Does God care? Not when God is a pile of Dog Shit.
When God gets its self all together and becomes a Church Lady, IT CARES!

Back to the basic Question: Who experiences your life?
It is a tough question, Sometimes.

I knew a little Contemplative. He was a Thinker. He thought and thought and thought.
He walked and thought. Thinkers are famous for that. The way humans are put together, we think very well while we walk.

That little Contemplative had walked 400 miles during the days before I met him. His little mind was all warmed up.
We did some talking about thinking. He was stumped and saddened by a question like this question.

At one point he smiled and said, "I am The Human Camera." I should have left that statement alone. But, I didn't.
I looked at him and said, "Yes. At in the end of your days; The memory card is tossed away;
Thrown on to the Bon Fire of Eternity. Your's, mine, their's all the same."

That was not a nice thing to say to a sweet little Contemplative. He was tired. He had walked 400 miles.
He had seen so many beautiful things. He had weathered a Hurricane, outside on his own.

It set him to thinking. He was already such a good little thinker.
He had a cell phone. He called home. His wife and son were waiting for him.

We talked about how he can share with the persons that he loves what he had experienced.
He told me about Pillow Talk between himself and his wife.

He said he tells her things he remembers and it is as if she were there.
He said he thinks of her as he is walking and it is as if she were there.
He was not nuts. He knew she was at home, far far away.

We talked about what he tells his son. His son was too young to walk 400 miles.
That turned into a different conversation. His son is NOT too young to walk 400 miles.

That little contemplative does not have the patience to walk 400 miles with a young child.
Humans migrated across this planet and they took little children with them. Children can walk. They walk sllooooww.

Who experiences your life? It is a question that sometimes sends people into an existential funk
The Human Camera; Fully alive and spontaneous; Then tossed onto the Bon Fire of Eternity.

How many humans? Why do I wonder about other humans?
How flat the experience becomes when we think our joys and sufferings are of no more import that that Stupid Tree that falls in the Woods.

George H. was really into that tree for a while.
He wanted everyone to answer that question.

What was Up with him? Was he looking for a new answer or more Ruthless people?
How did you answer it? I said, "Yes. It makes a sound. If no one is there to hear it; Who gives a Fuck?"

yes. i said 'fuck' way back then.
it was not the first word i ever learned.
it may be the most useful word i ever learned.


Who experiences your life?
I don't know. Some people do not experience their own lives.
Some people are watching from the wings.

I read a book. That book stated the definition of Sane.
The author wrote, "Spontaneous and Fully Alive."

Who experiences your life?
Like that stupid tree.
If there is no one to laugh when I fall into the rosemary bush; Who gives a fuck?

Remember; I am a pantheist. That pile of Dog Shit will not laugh.
The Dog Will! Dogs laugh! I swear! It's true! They laugh at our stupid human tricks.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby androidbleepboop » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:03 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
And yet the fact that it is experience and subjective is unquestionably reliable. I refer back to "cogito ergo sum", and the realization that if I'm doubting the existence of my subjective experience, it's impossible to doubt that I'm doubting it.
You can doubt your ability to genuinely doubt; you can even doubt that your subjective existence is actually happening. Doing so just leads you to weird places.

You can doubt your ability to genuinely doubt, but you can't doubt the fact that you are doubting. If I think "I doubt, I do not believe, that my subjective experience is actually happening", I have to be able to subjectively experience the fact that I'm doubting it in order to do so. This leads me to the weird place of certainty that my subjective experience of my doubting definitely is actually happening.

The Great Hippo wrote:I'm not a neurologist, but I agree with the sentiment expressed by poxic; consciousness seems to be little more than an emergent property of our biology -- a happy accident of evolution. One's sense of self is likely largely illusory. A simple thought experiment comes to mind:

If I make a copy of you and disintegrate the original you, we agree that the new you is not the original you. But if I replace the individual cells of your body -- one by one, over an extended period of time -- with mechanical versions that exactly replicate their function -- it becomes much harder to say that "you" have been lost. What's the fundamental difference? It's just a matter of scale. How slowly must I replace you for you to remain you? Now remember that your cells are being replaced all the time. You are in a constant state of self disintegration and replication.

It seems very likely to me that our perception of a continual self is largely just a way of organizing our thoughts along a certain coherent path so we don't go crazy. Or to put it another way, our sense of self is just a narrative convenience.


Did you read my response to Poxic? It applies equally well to what you are putting forward here. I can see what you mean when you say "it becomes much harder to say that "you" have been lost", based on your description. However, I think this understanding of selfhood which takes into account changing cellular makeup and personal identity (personality, memories, styles of thought, etc.) does not get to the heart of the matter, the heart of what selfhood is.

I think the most central, fundamental core of selfhood is subjective experience. In my perspective, my self is the one which experiences my experiences, for example, the one who is experiencing the sound and meaning of these words as I type them. Regardless of what mood I'm in, or who I'm around, or even if I have a catastrophic brain injury such that my experiences are fragmented in a totally alien way to my normal mode of perception, my self is the one who experiences my experiences. I don't at all see how this self could be illusory- if I am having experiences, the one feeling the reality of those experiences is my self, plain and simple. Does this clarify my position?

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby androidbleepboop » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:06 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:This is why I'm always kind of appalled at philosophers who haven't read much in the way of science fiction. Don't purport to opine on consciousness if you haven't read of the Ship of Theseus, Neuromancer, Fire upon the Deep, etc.

Android, you evoke neurobiology with very obviously minimal understanding of what you're bringing up. I suggest you stop doing so.


Thank you for your suggestion. I disagree that I have a minimal understanding of what I'm talking about with regards to neurobiology, and you merely asserting that I do does not make it so.

What special insight has reading those books given you?

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby androidbleepboop » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:07 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:Things I know:
  • I exist in some form
  • The universe exists in some form
  • Math

Unless I can derive it from first principles, it gets thrown on the "I Don't Know" pile

And what is the faculty through which you come to have knowledge of those things? Is it the "I" you speak of? How do you account for the existence of that "I", if you are certain it exists?

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby androidbleepboop » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:11 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:Btw androidbleepboop for better understanding of your mindset: If I have an universe like our own, just a bit smaller with a sun and a single planet. It has no life but the same rules apply as in our unverse and the materials are there so there is a potential for conciousness. Since there is nobody who experiences anything is there still your universal experiencer? If not is it there when there is one thinking person?

Very nice simplification, thank you. The potential for consciousness to exist represents the Universal experiencer, but that potential hasn't been engaged through neural activity, so it is devoid of experiences. When there is one thinking person, one healthy brain, that potential is engaged, and the Universal experiencer wakes up to that specific (rather lonely) perspective.

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:14 pm UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:Thank you for your suggestion. I disagree that I have a minimal understanding of what I'm talking about with regards to neurobiology, and you merely asserting that I do does not make it so.

What special insight has reading those books given you?
The language you are using and the claims you are making lead me to believe you have less than a layman's understanding of neurobiology. Respectfully, if this is false, indicate your level of neurobiology expertise.

The insight granted is that none of the ideas you've put forth are A) new, B ) supported as fact, or C) game changers. Orson Scott Card, a good storyteller but not a particularly innovative writer, supplied the idea of a sort of universal soul-oneness in the Ender's series. It was hackneyed there/then too.
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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby androidbleepboop » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:22 pm UTC

addams wrote:Pantheism is the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God,[1] or that the universe (or nature) is identical with divinity.[2] Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism

For some reason I think this might help.
God is separate from us. Yet; we are a part of God.

That is what the little Pantheists seem to think.
I listened to some Pantheists. One day, I decided they were correct.

Once upon a time persons of different faiths would talk to one another and the conversations were public.
The radio was an observer. Through the radio others could listen. I listened and some of those conversations were good.

One Theist was very upset at the idea of Everything being God. He used the example of 'Dog Shit'. (so funny. i was scooping dog shit at the time)
Yep. Like it or not, Dog Shit is made up of the same shit we all are. It is simply arranged a little differently.

Dog Shit is not self aware. The way we treat dog shit is important. Well; To me it is.
My love of the Dog is expressed in how I treat the dog shit.

The way we treat other people is important, too.
Some people think, "We show our high regard for God in the way we treat other people."

I am so sorry to take your conversation off to the weird. But; I used to think about this stuff.

I can get along just fine with that kind of Theist. Other people are like Dog Shit to them.
We show our hight regard for God, by being careful with other people. OK! I can do that!

Does God care? Not when God is a pile of Dog Shit.
When God gets its self all together and becomes a Church Lady, IT CARES!

Back to the basic Question: Who experiences your life?
It is a tough question, Sometimes.

...


:D That was very intelligently put, and charming, Addams. I picture you as a wrinkled old zen monk, laughing in a monastery on some Japanese mountain. I like your peculiar style-- may I ask, are you a native English speaker? I swear you strike me as a native asian, but I'm not saying you don't have a mastery of english, just unusual mannerisms.

I am actually a full-on pantheist as well- Spinoza is far and away my favorite philosopher. For the sake of this discussion, I have confined all my reasoning and arguments to the empirically evident account of consciousness as being a result of physical brain activity, because that is all that is required to make the specific points I'm making. The broader argument for a Cosmic Awareness type entity through which all physical reality comes to have being is quite more nuanced and difficult to make, and I'm currently writing my next two videos to outline that case. Stay tuned on that. I'm sure we can all have an intriguing debate on those points in the future, but I definitely feel that it is necessary for me to organize a really compelling argument in their favor before trying to have that discussion.

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby PolakoVoador » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:40 pm UTC

You're still failing to provide the so called abundant evidences to the Universal Experiencer. Until this happens, it's not very different from the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

And before you ask me to watch the video: I already did. There are no real evidences there. Jumps from "consciousness arises from brain activity" to "It seems to imply that <whatever I want>" is not how evidences work.

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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby addams » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:59 pm UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:
addams wrote:Pantheism is the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God,[1] or that the universe (or nature) is identical with divinity.[2] Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism

For some reason I think this might help.
God is separate from us. Yet; we are a part of God.

That is what the little Pantheists seem to think.
I listened to some Pantheists. One day, I decided they were correct.

Once upon a time persons of different faiths would talk to one another and the conversations were public.
The radio was an observer. Through the radio others could listen. I listened and some of those conversations were good.

One Theist was very upset at the idea of Everything being God. He used the example of 'Dog Shit'. (so funny. i was scooping dog shit at the time)
Yep. Like it or not, Dog Shit is made up of the same shit we all are. It is simply arranged a little differently.

Dog Shit is not self aware. The way we treat dog shit is important. Well; To me it is.
My love of the Dog is expressed in how I treat the dog shit.

The way we treat other people is important, too.
Some people think, "We show our high regard for God in the way we treat other people."

I am so sorry to take your conversation off to the weird. But; I used to think about this stuff.

I can get along just fine with that kind of Theist. Other people are like Dog Shit to them.
We show our hight regard for God, by being careful with other people. OK! I can do that!

Does God care? Not when God is a pile of Dog Shit.
When God gets its self all together and becomes a Church Lady, IT CARES!

Back to the basic Question: Who experiences your life?
It is a tough question, Sometimes.

...


:D That was very intelligently put, and charming, Addams. I picture you as a wrinkled old zen monk, laughing in a monastery on some Japanese mountain. I like your peculiar style-- may I ask, are you a native English speaker? I swear you strike me as a native asian, but I'm not saying you don't have a mastery of english, just unusual mannerisms.

I am actually a full-on pantheist as well- Spinoza is far and away my favorite philosopher. For the sake of this discussion, I have confined all my reasoning and arguments to the empirically evident account of consciousness as being a result of physical brain activity, because that is all that is required to make the specific points I'm making. The broader argument for a Cosmic Awareness type entity through which all physical reality comes to have being is quite more nuanced and difficult to make, and I'm currently writing my next two videos to outline that case. Stay tuned on that. I'm sure we can all have an intriguing debate on those points in the future, but I definitely feel that it is necessary for me to organize a really compelling argument in their favor before trying to have that discussion.

Thank you. (i think)
A wrinkled up old Zen Monk?
ok.

Native Asian? (tee hee)
That is, kind of, funny.
Are you Asian? What kind?

One time a friend of mine made me cry.
She said, "Asian mind is different."

You think so, too?
Would you like to explain?

Is Asian mind, 'Careful not Careless'?
Is Asian mind, Mindful not Mindless?

I think Asian people come in as many flavors as everyone else does.
Besides! The East Indians are now Asians. That makes the Italians Asian!

Where will it stop? Is everyone without Blue Eyes, Asian?
There is a Chinese boy with Blue eyes. Poor him.

His family seems to be taking it well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01LFxJ4SPPY
Spoiler:
Don't let it bother you.
It is a genetic ooppsy.

Blue eyed people sometimes have mildly superior dark vision.
And; They are a little light sensitive.

Edit:
Some of the Science on that clip is not quite right.
Don't let it bother you.


It is simply a positive Stereotype? Well..Thank you, again.
Asian. The nice kind? Good. Thank you.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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The Great Hippo
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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:50 pm UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:You can doubt your ability to genuinely doubt, but you can't doubt the fact that you are doubting. If I think "I doubt, I do not believe, that my subjective experience is actually happening", I have to be able to subjectively experience the fact that I'm doubting it in order to do so. This leads me to the weird place of certainty that my subjective experience of my doubting definitely is actually happening.
You can doubt that you are actually doubting. You can express skepticism that you are actually being skeptical. You can doubt that your subjective experience is even happening.

Your absolute certainty in the existence of your own subjective experience is a presumption; a very reasonable one, given the circumstances -- and the alternatives. But it's not something you can prove or demonstrate. It's just something we all have to take on faith.
androidbleepbloop wrote:Did you read my response to Poxic? It applies equally well to what you are putting forward here. I can see what you mean when you say "it becomes much harder to say that "you" have been lost", based on your description. However, I think this understanding of selfhood which takes into account changing cellular makeup and personal identity (personality, memories, styles of thought, etc.) does not get to the heart of the matter, the heart of what selfhood is.

I think the most central, fundamental core of selfhood is subjective experience. In my perspective, my self is the one which experiences my experiences, for example, the one who is experiencing the sound and meaning of these words as I type them. Regardless of what mood I'm in, or who I'm around, or even if I have a catastrophic brain injury such that my experiences are fragmented in a totally alien way to my normal mode of perception, my self is the one who experiences my experiences. I don't at all see how this self could be illusory- if I am having experiences, the one feeling the reality of those experiences is my self, plain and simple. Does this clarify my position?
I did read your response, and much like this one, it doesn't really address what either of us are saying -- it just sidesteps it by saying 'I don't perceive selfhood that way'.

Do you believe that if I disintegrate you now, and replace you with an exact duplicate I made five minutes ago, your 'self' will notice an ending? If so, do you also believe that if I disintegrate you slowly -- over the process of five minutes -- and replace you, cell-by-cell, with an exact duplicate I made earlier, over that time -- your 'self' will notice an ending? What if I take an hour to do it, or a day, or a week -- or a year? What if it's ten years? Exactly what is the threshold here regarding the self -- at what point will you notice your 'self' disappearing and a new 'you' taking your place?

I understand you don't see your self as illusory; that's the point of an illusion.

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addams
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Re: Just who is it that experiences your life?

Postby addams » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:06 pm UTC

Did you ever listen to what those Zen guys were saying?
It sounded like they said, "It's a joke. On a good day; It's a joke. And; It's really funny."

Most of everything is a run away nuclear reaction.
Some are really slow. Some are really fast.

Some we are in the middle of. Some we see from a distance.
umm. Maybe we should hold hands and stick together.

What do you think? Funny? Some times men hold hands.
If your culture does not allow it, then change your culture.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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