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Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
09-20-2016, 12:41 PM
Post: #1
Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
Does the self really exist?

The answer depends on what you mean by self and on the expert with whom you speak. Some philosophers suggest there is no such thing as a self, while others consider a self to be a collection of experiences, memories and personality traits. Still others suggest persisting patterns of information represent the self. And while these definitions require a brain, some people suggest the self transcends the physical realm and instead is or involves some sort of nonphysical, spiritual or cosmic consciousness.

Such contrasting views and thoughts on self do not converge. But let's not stop there. What do these musings on the self mean for death, the demise of the body and the destruction of the brain? Can the self survive? And could your self be uploaded into another brain, even a nonbiological one?

http://www.livescience.com/56166-can-you...eath.html?
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09-20-2016, 01:57 PM
Post: #2
RE: Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
I read an interesting article detailing how the brain could operate as a transmitter/receiver, opening up the possibility that the 'self' could reside essentially anywhere. Interesting thought, wouldn't you say?
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09-20-2016, 02:45 PM
Post: #3
RE: Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
(09-20-2016 01:57 PM)vixen Wrote:  I read an interesting article detailing how the brain could operate as a transmitter/receiver, opening up the possibility that the 'self' could reside essentially anywhere. Interesting thought, wouldn't you say?

I find it very interesting. And from standpoint of giving birth twice; literally its as if this little newborn - you've been carrying inside you, now in your arms for only several hours since birth , absolutely has a definite 'personhood', or personality. I ponder it a lot now my kids are young adults- that even in the hospital , 3 yrs apart....21+ yrs ago.........they were very very different babies. They have the same parents(well, us!), yet 'How' could they have a personality, and just 'where' & 'when' does this begin?

And with alzeihmers, the opposite of gaining more memories & ideas- the loss of memories & names......Gramma was so advanced in her Alzheimer's journey, she would see herself in the mirror, and introduce herself to herself(though had lost her own name by then)-so would forgo the name, but was polite to her reflection. But she somehow kept a very strong part of her original personality - kindness. Wanting to help, or babysit! Even though she forgot exactly 'who' I was ... The 'kindness' must be the 'old' deep set part of her they say stays intact longer than recent memories.

'Can yourself survive death', is a very thought provoking subject! (Sorry, I didn't address 'death'. The subject is very interesting to me though)
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09-20-2016, 03:08 PM
Post: #4
RE: Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
I don't have any children, but was present for the birth of my god son. There was a moment shortly after he emerged when the room became charged, and he changed somehow. It's hard to describe, but it seemed like a light went on. Again, doesn't relate to death, but...
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09-20-2016, 03:33 PM
Post: #5
RE: Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
The self is contained in the brain as a way of linking everything you've experienced together and begins forming the moment we start experiencing. If I were to suffer memory loss I would technically still be me, but I would not be able to perceive me as myself because I would be missing links in the timeline that tell my brain this is how I know so and so, this is why I love this, this is why I fear this, I know this information because I did this, etc. I'm still me but not the way I was. If it was some outside, ever existing "self" brain damage wouldn't make a difference because it would still be present to fill in the blanks. So that says to me that once the brain dies the self dies. I don't know if that makes complete sense (it's hard to put down in words for me), but that's how I view the self.
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09-20-2016, 04:01 PM
Post: #6
RE: Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
(09-20-2016 03:33 PM)starpixie Wrote:  The self is contained in the brain as a way of linking everything you've experienced together and begins forming the moment we start experiencing. If I were to suffer memory loss I would technically still be me, but I would not be able to perceive me as myself because I would be missing links in the timeline that tell my brain this is how I know so and so, this is why I love this, this is why I fear this, I know this information because I did this, etc. I'm still me but not the way I was. If it was some outside, ever existing "self" brain damage wouldn't make a difference because it would still be present to fill in the blanks. So that says to me that once the brain dies the self dies. I don't know if that makes complete sense (it's hard to put down in words for me), but that's how I view the self.

That was well said!
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09-21-2016, 10:23 AM
Post: #7
RE: Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
If the brain were transmitting and receiving to a 'self' existing elsewhere, then damage to it would damage the 'self's' link to the body. The effect would be the same.
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09-21-2016, 01:37 PM
Post: #8
RE: Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
Ok, so a person is alive with brain damage, the link is broken, what happens with the self until the person dies?
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09-21-2016, 01:39 PM
Post: #9
RE: Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
Who knows? Disconnected? Stuck with awareness? There are people who've awakened after long comas who describe occasional, or more disturbingly, constant awareness while 'out'.
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09-21-2016, 05:53 PM
Post: #10
RE: Can Your 'Self' Survive Death?
I'm referring to people who have suffered brain damage and walk around with memory loss, emotional changes, personality changes, they are conscious but they are no longer their "self".

And there's studies being done on covert cognition, consciousness while in a coma, some patients are even able to follow simple commands while in a veg. state. This is a really written by a woman who was in a coma and experienced covert cognition: http://www.csicop.org/si/show/covert_cog...experience
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