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  1. #11
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Idealist View Post
    I'm going to be honest, my views concerning the self are somewhat bleak, in a certain sense, but they aren't entirely set in stone either, as I often keep pondering the nature of the human mind and what exactly it is.

    Presently, I view all real things as being in part constructed of matter (i.e. I'm a materialist), with ideas of all sorts being completely illusionary (now this doesn't mean that one cannot beleive in certain ideas, just that they don't exist absent our ability to percieve them). Therefore all things concerning the self, the personality, etc., can be reduced down to processes that occur within the brain. Our minds aren't much different than computers (ok, they are, but our intellectual abilities and overall design framework are very different); we intake data, it's stored as memory, certain kinds of information and data become learned, influence the way we think, etc. I should also mention here, that while I do beleive that no one is born with any innate ideas or knowledge per se, the structure of our brains and how they function are determined from birth. Thus we may be born a blank slate but the slate itself is fixed before we're even born. Beyond that, our psychology is often in a constant state of flux, ever changing and altering through our lives; like the Ship of Theseus, we slowly piece by peice change in certain ways until we become a ship far different than what we were before; thus the 'self' is dynamic, sharing only a spatio-temporal location at any given time. In addition we are really, when you think about it, a cluster of psychological properties and sensory data; our memory is simply recorded data, our thoughts but an analytical process, our 'minds' are but completely mechanical mechanisms of the brain itself. Essentially, the really isn't a 'self', that is but a term we give to the cluster of psychological properties that occurs in out spati-temporal location. When we experince something, or we think something, or we are conscious of something, then what is occuring is simply matter itself that is aware of its surrounding enviornment. This means that the idea of a soul or non-physical mind is simply illusionary. We are but physical things that undo constant change and growth as the result of complex mechanisms, and all that is produced from such outward psychology is percieved by others and oneself as a 'self'.

    Well, that's one theory anyway.
    My thoughts exactly. While it would be nice to believe that there's some sort of spiritual/philosophical aspect of the self or consciousness, I've yet to experience anything that might suggest that. I'm open to new perspectives and theories about this, provided they make logical sense to me, though for now I'll stick with the biological/psychological perspective.

  2. #12
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The Genii of our Genes

    We are here to perpetuate our genes.

    Our genes don't care who we are or what we do as long as we make more genes.

    Our genes are pure genius.

    The genius of our genes has created us to make more genes.

  3. #13
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    WHOOOO ARE YOU?
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  4. #14
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    You are the sum of your experiences. Or at least, I am. Or at least, I think I am.

  5. #15
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    you are also to some extent that which is defined by others as well. alone from civilization and in isolation, your role would be defined by the animals, trees and sky who would not care to recount memories of who you were, after you was. maybe sustenance for some other living organism after.
    "I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine. "
    -Bruce Lee

  6. #16
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xisnotx View Post
    You are the sum of your experiences. Or at least, I am. Or at least, I think I am.
    Are you experienced?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Are you experienced?
    Not in experiences.

  8. #18
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevlisZero View Post
    So I started thinking lately, who am I? Am I my memories, all the things I've done, thought, and felt up until this moment? Or maybe the only thing that matters is what I'm thinking and doing at this moment. Or could the self even encompass the future--all the decisions I haven't made yet but will at some point? And another thing, am I what I do, or am I something more? What is the "self", and how can it be defined?
    I'm of the opinion that people are defined by the neural network currently implemented in their brains. Even if we view it as present-only, the neural network itself stores representations of the past and creates models of possible futures -- the conception of time can be explained by these models.

    So yeah, you are your present (physical) self. Your present self thinks about the past and future. And souls, and good, and choice, and all that stuff that seems all hand-wavey -- it's just the way data is represented in our neural networks.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevlisZero View Post
    My thoughts exactly. While it would be nice to believe that there's some sort of spiritual/philosophical aspect of the self or consciousness, I've yet to experience anything that might suggest that. I'm open to new perspectives and theories about this, provided they make logical sense to me, though for now I'll stick with the biological/psychological perspective.
    Indeed, to believe that there is a soul/spirit aspect of oursevles would be nice and comforting, and to ancient people whom were not aware of the truth concerning how our brains really work, this was but the logical and most sensible assumption they took concerning people and their identity; hence where the origin of the sould comes from.

  10. #20
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munchies View Post
    "i think therefore i am"

    that's for egotistical people

    " i am that i am"
    for god and enlightened people
    I always get a little bit goosebumps from hearing that one, "I am that I am."
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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