What do you think is the source of your consciousness? Can it be copied or transferred?
We are who we are because of our life's experiences. If we could go back and change something in our past then we would not be the person we are today. What makes us self aware? Maybe we all belong to some sort of a collective consciousness and we return to that at the time of our death.
It seems that this is more a discussion of theseus' paradox than it is anything to do with consciousness specifically.
Agreed! But is suppose it all depends upon definitions. If we're defining consciousness as our thoughts and feelings produced by our brain states - then yes, I would think it could one day be transferable. But if we're defining consciousness as our subjective first hand experience of the world we inhabit - then no it's not transferable.
Though I would argue that, under the second definition, every time we go to sleep at night our consciousness is lost forever and every time we wake up in the morning we're a different person.
However, I think it's a mistake to confuse consciousness with identity. Identity is transient. It's always in a state of flux. And what makes me "me" isn't any single conscious state. Rather, it's the sum totality of my aspirations and experiences and how I relate to myself and my environment and my loved ones and my community.
Perhaps one day we will be able to copy consciousness. But to copy consciousness isn't to copy identity.
Has science conclusively defined what consciousness actually is ?
I don`t know.
Before we were born we had no awareness of conscience , we had no brain.
While we are alive , we develop consciousness over time , because we have a brain, and we grow.
When we die , our brain dies , our consciousness must die with it., because it is associated with the brain .
People on life support systems are turned off when their is no function of the brain , in other words no consciousness.
To speculate that consciousness somehow crosses over to the spiritual world , if such a world really exists . at the point of death , has no scientific backing and belongs in the realm of science fiction.
In my belief system, intelligence is what you're referring to. As I understand and believe, intelligence is eternal. It is one of two elements that exist in the Cosmos. The other is matter. One acts and the other is acted upon. Intelligence comes in many grades and is co-eternal with God. We all existed as intelligences before we were spirits, and we all were spirits before we were flesh, and because of Christ we will be resurrected as perfect physical beings of great power and glory -- but not all will be equal. In other words, intelligence cannot be created nor destroyed. Animals aren't as intelligent as humans, and cats are more intelligent than dogs. It's just the way things are. Even humans differ in intelligence just as celestial bodies differ from terrestrial bodies.
That said, artificial intelligence apes real intelligence, but it can't feel, nor does it have (nor can it be made to have) self awareness. It would be a fascinating field if intelligence could be created in a laboratory, but it can't. That doesn't mean we should stop studying and building upon artificial intelligence, as I believe it holds great potential, but intelligence is more than code. Code reacts predictably to input unless it is written to react randomly. Intelligence often reacts randomly, but not because of code; it's frequently unpredictable and irrational. Yet it can learn from experience. Code can try one thing, then another, and can even predict, but it can't feel. It can't be guided by emotion such as fear or love no matter how well you can program.
My religious views are my own and I certainlyI can't prove them. But my non-religious views, above, are surely open to debate. If you haven't read it, I recommend a book entitled What Is Intelligence? by James R. Flynn. One of the things he reports is that real intelligence, flawed by our physical limitations, is yet capable of great expansion and growth. Humans, for example, can be motivated to progress. Our experiences and how we respond to them mold us into who we are, which may be why we're here. Code can't improve or progress, nor form opinions. Flynn notes: "If people have adopted the language of science and use logic and the hypothetical freely, why do so many of them believe nonsense about the Loch Ness monster, flying saucers, astrology and so forth? The answer is that scientific language and abstract argument can be used just as easily to defend nonsense as sense.... The vocabulary and habits of mind fostered by science do not automatically engender critical acumen or wisdom. They provide a foundation but much has to be done to build a temple of reason on that foundation."
So I suppose that's why there are so many religions and personal beliefs in the world. Atheists think religionists are nuts and religionists, in many cases, consign atheists to a neverending hell because they don't believe as they do. There are Muslims, Mormons, Methodists, Mennonites and many other beliefs. And I don't believe code can ever form criteria enough to form any sort of opinion. Even Flynn calls "flying saucers" "nonsense" when many intelligent people, including highly trained NASA astronauts, believe in them.
I think it's a mistake to confuse consciousness with identity. Identity is transient. It's always in a state of flux. And what makes me "me" isn't any single conscious state. Rather, it's the sum totality of my aspirations and experiences and how I relate to myself and my environment and my loved ones and my community.
It seems to me that self awareness and consciousness and experience and memory is unique and part of each identity. I think that identity is unchangeable, given, assigned, a constant, a fingerprint. Things are what they are. I do not think that identity has to experience self awareness or conciseness to exist.
There could be some way to have a person experience the illusion of someone else’s consciousness and self awareness and memory but I also think that the framework of reality cannot be changed and transferring or copying the substance that makes up a person's self awareness to someone to experience if it is only some physical substance does not transfer identity, it would be experiencing an unreality because it is the experience of some else not your own. But who knows???
It is late.
intelligence is eternal. It is one of two elements that exist in the Cosmos. The other is matter. One acts and the other is acted upon. Intelligence comes in many grades and is co-eternal with God. We all existed as intelligences before we were spirits, and we all were spirits before we were flesh - Coldsteel
Mormon cult gibberish.
You certainly are a man of faith Coldsteel.
Think of this in relation to what others have said about cloning or putting our brain patterns in another form.(fleshly or robotic)
When you cut certain starfish a specific way and remove their arms, they can regenerate complete whole new bodies.(in time) Is the starfish that you started with the same now? Are the duplicates now sharing an intellect/instinct?
Even certain worms can be cut into and grow into two bodies from the one. Are they the same? How are they different?
It would be a fascinating field if intelligence could be created in a laboratory, but it can't.
I disagree that intelligence can't be created. Are our actions really random? Our moods are based upon a release of chemicals in our brain, dopamine, etc. Our actions and reactions are based upon past experience, memories, stimulus of the senses, etc. A robot could be programmed to learn like a human, and if a reward system was programmed to match a human, then I think it's very possible for it to become self aware and learn as a person, but even exceed our intelligence.
Cofty: Mormon cult gibberish.
Y'know, Cofty, your lack of substance is more than made up for by your childish oblique. As someone once said, abuse is a weapon of the vulgar.