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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jack427's Avatar
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    Default Consciousness transfer.

    Let's say someone had their consciousness transferred to a computer program independent of their body. Their body was now just a bunch of fat, muscle, skin, and organs.

    Would their consciousness in the program or virtual reality still be them? Or would it be an exact copy? Would their soul be gone, having left the physical world? Or would it be your consciousness inside the program?

    If you were to be "deleted" would your soul leave this world, if it was still even here? Or what if the device you were in lost power?

    Forgive me if this question has been asked before. I am looking to see what others here think regarding this subject.

  2. #2
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    I'm of the opinion that your consciousness can't be deleted..only copied. If a computer were to have my exact same consciousness then I'd still have my own..but I'd recognize the computers consciousness as the same as mine. In the same way that, theoretically at least, I can recognize peoples consciousness as more or less like mine already..
    However, the question, I think, is impossible to answer without a definition of consciousnes, so it all just becomes speculation until that gap is bridged, imo.

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    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Consciousness is a very special thing, but I don't think it's special enough to assume that it isn't a consequence of physical rules in the material universe. If you could duplicate the shape of somebodies mind, then you'd have two minds and two 'souls'.

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    I've wondered this to. I've come to the conclusion that it probably would simply mean that you'd understand each other, but the consciousness would immediately change because you'll then be exposed to different environmental stimuli.

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    I think it would still be "your" consciousness, but it would be irrevocably changed given the different environmental stimuli it was now subject to. I'm not sure what the extent of those changes would be.

    I've sometimes wished that I was my consciousness and my body was either non-existence or completely irrelevant but I probably wouldn't be me if that was the case.

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    Junior Member GatoLoco's Avatar
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    Sounds like someone has seen Ghost in the Shell. And if not, you might want to as it's a Japanese fictional storyline on the topic of transfer of consciousness to synthetics, as well as synthetic developing consciousness, etc. etc.

    I personally believe what we consider consciousness is the unique combination of chemicals that formulate the chemistry of our mind and perceptions, and thus singularly bind them to a singularity in time-space.

    What is the concept of a second? Or a minute? How long is a second? Why is a second not much longer or much shorter? What if someone had a brain that took "samples" of perception 1000x more often than ours? It could theoretically exist for 1000 years inside (from our standpoint) one of our seconds, could it not? When you sleep, 8 hours transfer in a flash of instant darkness... same with anesthetic for surgery.

    Our human minds/collective consciousness is simply synchronized and fixed to this: a perception that is linear and fixed to one point in space-time (which is the very nature of consciousness, IMO) as well as a hard-coded traversal along that line. If you could duplicate precisely the same mind/chemical/nature, you would still not have consciousness as it's already bound to it's place in that time-space line collective.

    Everything we see and experience around us is infinite, when you think about it. Time must be infinite- you could keep going back in time forever, or you could keep going forward in time forever. Space, it seems from recent discovery, is also infinite- you could keep traveling in the same direction forever. Given both of these and how we exist in this time-ticking fashion with a precise consciousness of passing measurements, a logical conclusion would be this limitation is fake, and we're "bound" into a singularity amidst everything else that is infinite.

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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack427 View Post
    Let's say someone had their consciousness transferred to a computer program independent of their body. Their body was now just a bunch of fat, muscle, skin, and organs.

    Would their consciousness in the program or virtual reality still be them? Or would it be an exact copy? Would their soul be gone, having left the physical world? Or would it be your consciousness inside the program?

    If you were to be "deleted" would your soul leave this world, if it was still even here? Or what if the device you were in lost power?

    Forgive me if this question has been asked before. I am looking to see what others here think regarding this subject.
    It's a pretty interesting question. The same idea as transporters in Star Trek.

    My take -- The computer-program version of you would experience no loss of continuousness in consciousness. The organic (still computer-program, I guess) version would also experience continuous consciousness. "Soul" is just a term we use to describe a specific kind of input/output relation, so I guess both would have souls.

    I reject the idea that a soul is causally involved in the physical universe.

    Another way to look at it is that your consciousness is always being deleted and re-created every moment. We have no problem thinking of ourselves as the same person that we were in the previous moment, so imagining that the recreation aspect happens on a functionally equivalent computer instead of the same biological unit shouldn't change the way we think about it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jack427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GatoLoco View Post
    Sounds like someone has seen Ghost in the Shell. And if not, you might want to as it's a Japanese fictional storyline on the topic of transfer of consciousness to synthetics, as well as synthetic developing consciousness, etc. etc.

    I personally believe what we consider consciousness is the unique combination of chemicals that formulate the chemistry of our mind and perceptions, and thus singularly bind them to a singularity in time-space.

    What is the concept of a second? Or a minute? How long is a second? Why is a second not much longer or much shorter? What if someone had a brain that took "samples" of perception 1000x more often than ours? It could theoretically exist for 1000 years inside (from our standpoint) one of our seconds, could it not? When you sleep, 8 hours transfer in a flash of instant darkness... same with anesthetic for surgery.

    Our human minds/collective consciousness is simply synchronized and fixed to this: a perception that is linear and fixed to one point in space-time (which is the very nature of consciousness, IMO) as well as a hard-coded traversal along that line. If you could duplicate precisely the same mind/chemical/nature, you would still not have consciousness as it's already bound to it's place in that time-space line collective.

    Everything we see and experience around us is infinite, when you think about it. Time must be infinite- you could keep going back in time forever, or you could keep going forward in time forever. Space, it seems from recent discovery, is also infinite- you could keep traveling in the same direction forever. Given both of these and how we exist in this time-ticking fashion with a precise consciousness of passing measurements, a logical conclusion would be this limitation is fake, and we're "bound" into a singularity amidst everything else that is infinite.
    I have not seen that show often. I just thought it was some more stupid Japanese robot bullcrap. XD

    Actually, space is not infinite. If space was infinite then there would be an infinite number of stars. Our entire sky would be bright 24/7.Same thing applies to the universe being here forever. Some say the universe is expanding, others say it seems that way because our galaxy is moving.

    Interesting ideas. I never considered that consciousness could not be duplicated.

    @Evan- I have wondered the same regarding the transporters and the stargate. I think the soul is tethered to our bodies, when our bodies die the soul is then free.

    I have also considered that our consciousness is deleted and recreated every moment.

  10. #10
    Junior Member GatoLoco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack427 View Post
    Actually, space is not infinite. If space was infinite then there would be an infinite number of stars. Our entire sky would be bright 24/7.Same thing applies to the universe being here forever. Some say the universe is expanding, others say it seems that way because our galaxy is moving.
    Recent cosmology discoveries suggest the universe is expanding and is also infinite.

    Larence Krauss did a fascinating & humorous lecture on all of this, as well as how the universe had to come from 'nothing' (lol).. on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo

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