THE MAIN MIND PARADOX.
WHY THERE IS NO POINT IN BACKING UP BRAIN AND PERSONALITY
Attempts to reproduce animateness using appliances generates a paradox that provides a new view to life and death, that differs from both religious and atheistic visions. Everything might be much more interesting. Let's consider the basic logical theses.
For a start, we will resolve the notion of mind into its component parts - the condition (brain), the content (personality), and functional (perception).
THESIS ONE. BRAIN
Trying to preserve a brain is meaningless. If we replace all the atoms or molecules of the brain, nothing will happen, as they change throughout life as a result of metabolism. We depend on neural network structure, but not on the matter they consist of.
Replacement of all the molecules is like making backup copies. Paradox "Ship of Theseus" in this case does not make sense. Each will carry a clone of your mind, but with its own future destiny. And if the original and the copy do not know who they are, they will not be able to determine who is who. Parfit’s Teletransportation paradox which describes teleportation and destruction of the original, suggests that the original will still feel the emotions of dying, and his clone is still another creature. But we will return to this later.
THESIS TWO. PERSONALITY
Our self-concept often looks like a picture of a person. But, theoretically, you can be sent to a neurosurgeon who will erase your memory, change feelings, habits, and settings. Transplant other parts of body. What then will remain of you? Finally, we are changing over time, believing that we are ourselves. At what particular moment should a cast be taken?
You are not your mind, your feelings, your memory or body. You are what will perceive this neurosurgeon’s changes after anesthesia. You are the perception function. Blank "Tabula rasa", the possibility of perception. But a person is made up of memory information. Your memory can replaced during sleep and you will wake up a different person. A just created copy can be given thousand years’ life memories. In a thousand years’ brain an illusion can be created that it has just been born. A mind that exists for a limited time can be given a sense of immortality and infinite existence. A copy can be given the memory that it is the original, and the original can be driven into believing that it is a copy. And perception will honestly consider itself what its memory shows it.
THESIS THREE. PERCEPTION
If you taken into atoms, gently move them and assemble again. Will the new version be you? It would be a mistake to believe that your perception inseparably exists in your body since birth. Perception is a function, an effect which exists only in the present. When you fall asleep, it disappears. And with each new morning it is new. Every day, every moment new electrons produce a new effect. Exactly equal, but not the same. There is no connection between yesterday's you and tomorrow’s your. This connection is only provided by the memory format.
Let’s complicate the logical experiment. If you are taken into atoms and created from other atoms, will this copy be you? Yes. And what if only half of your atoms is used to create a copy? And what if teleport from multiple copies into one body, which minds of which copy will disappear? Parfit’s paradox makes no sense. Waking up in the original and copies will be equivalent. Since the original had no perception during the sleep, a new one arose in the new copy.
What if change the personality, the memory and the body at the time of assembly? By 5%? By 50%? By 100%? Assemble an entirely different body. Will mind appear there? If the principles necessary for such appearance are not broken, it will. Will it be you? Depends on what is considered to be YOU. You will be another personality in another body. What has remained of you?
Perception is not linked to personality. It does not care where to emerge. It only needs a suitable condition. here is no tag on perception that tells about the personality continuity. Just as well you can emerge next time in any condition and body. What percepts, exists. It is perception that is the principle of animateness. Without perception, body and person do not make sense.
The brain neurons will tell the new perception who it is and how long it has been living in this body. The thing is that memory is bound to the body and is lost at its destruction. Perception may have no other experience. Therefore, perception rightly considers itself trapped in its own body.
The mechanism is based on the difference. If you do not perceive the difference between colours, the brightness of objects’ contours, you do not have vision. If you do not perceive the difference between one entertained idea and another, your thinking does not work. If you do not feel the difference between sensations, emotions, feelings, the difference between the images in the memory, the difference between existence and nonexistence – you simply do not exist.
Life can be eternal. Though not in the format that you expected it. We are perception, the effect of electrical impulses refraction in neural networks, wandering from one body to another during evolution. Part of nature and eternal life that cannot be destroyed. But then slaughterhouses and wild nature come to our memories. Where hunger, fear, and pain are the most common sensations. Where less that 10% of the young survive into sexual maturity. In this respect, the care of all religions of any living being like of yourself becomes quite clear. However, all this gives rich food for thought.
In addition, an attempt to obtain perception, or animateness by technical means, suggests the following conclusion. If a thought, an emotion, a sensation arises in our brain, this is not our merit. Today, we do not even understand how they are generated and how mind works. This is created by natural laws of our world, which clearly know the position of neural networks and the current process. The single format of these interactions supports the processes where we have not moved in time and space. The world does not simply peep into, it creates all this. Believers call it “God”, atheists - impersonally “Nature”, philosophers – “panpsychism”.
This is not we who has designed and is controlling it. We are but a willed result of the surrounding world activity.
Then how can our world be thought of as endless bleak vastness of the cold Cosmos? This is a very lively and busy system, which contains all options for properties, feelings, sensations, which may occur in it.