No, I won't be particularly concerned about not being the same person (any day that I survive or even believe I have survived is a good day), but I will accept it nonetheless. I might be somewhat concerned for my former self though depending on what type of state he is in at that point.Frosty wrote:After you have been revived will you really be worried that you didn't *really* survive you just thought you did? Are you concerned you're not the same person who wrote your first post on this thread a few days ago? I doubt it.johnkclark wrote: And this debate will still be going I'm sure. You'll be convinced you're still you and I'll be convinced I'm someone else. "
I think you are starting to understand my point. You indeed don't see things my way. In fact, you don't see anything and neither do I. You think the world as you experience it is any way an accurate reflection of reality? Color and vision is produced entirely in your brain, as is your perception of sound, touch, taste and everything else you accept to be reality. None of these have any physical manifestation outside of your head. It is 100% a subjective illusion and is a result of your brain attempting to make the frenetic Rube Goldberg machine we call the universe more tolerable for you to live in by presenting you with highly simplified abstractions of the world as it actually exists. Your thoughts, emotions, and your own sense of agency are all a part of that illusion. Underneath this sophisticated mirage, there are only particles and electromagnetic waves obeying rules. "Johnkclark" may be something that is entirely immaterial that can be copied freely and stored on a hard drive, but you are currently a set of moving particles and that is undeniable, as there is literally nothing else to you.johnkclark wrote:I am unable to see things your way, in fact I don't see how even you can consciously see things your way because if consciousness does not exist you can't see things any way.Frosty wrote:It becomes a lot easier to see things my way when you accept that we have no free will.
I am now very curious as to how exactly you define consciousness since apparently you don't equate it with free will and I personally thought the two ideas were inseparable, as I don’t understand how one could claim to be conscious without also believing they are able to make independent choices and judgments. If it's a good definition I may even concede that consciousness exists.johnkclark wrote: I strong suspect that other people are conscious but I am absolutely certain that I am, there is absolutely nothing I am as positive about as that.
johnkclark wrote:I can't accept free will and I can't reject it either, it is neither true nor false, free will is gibberish. Free will is an idea so bad its not even wrong. That's the trouble with much of philosophy, thousands of books have been written trying to answer the question "do we have Free will?" but I think it might be wise to first ask what the hell the term "Free Will" means.Frosty wrote: ...once you accept that we have no free will
I agree with you, free will is garbage and impossible to properly define. It assumes that if a human with "free" will was presented with several different potential courses of action of apparently equal utility (such as choosing whether to wear a red tie, a green tie or a blue tie) they might select different options if a scenario could be rewound and played out under identical circumstances multiple times (resetting their memory of their previous choices in the process). But would they ever actually choose differently? Being a person with subjective preferences that are unique to them, I highly doubt it. I suspect they would choose the same option each and every time, because this option has more subjective value to them for one reason or another, and that means it makes no objective or subjective difference to us whether or not we have free will. So instead of saying we have no free will, it is probably more accurate to say that free will has no meaning, and therefore has no place in philosophy or science.
What is energy recorded as? A number. What is temperature recorded as? A number. What is volume recorded as? A number. What is area recorded as? A number. What is entropy recorded as? A number. Every single measurement we have ever taken of reality is stored, communicated and understood via abstractions and symbols (better known as information) that humans invented out of nothing but their own instinctive desire to seek patterns everywhere, even where none exist. The universe itself is physical, the various symbolic conventions we have created to describe it are not (they are immaterial ideas). However, if I ever find a number "2" lying around somewhere in nature, I will take it all back and fully accept your view that information is physical.johnkclark wrote:If information isn't physical then energy, temperature, area, and volume aren't either. And neither is entropy. If physical isn't the thing that physicists study then what does "physical" mean?Frosty wrote: and the concept of information didn't exist until we came along to invent it and define it as subjective observers "
Although subjectively I might be tempted to agree with you, objectively I know that direct experience is dependent on consciousness, which I believe does not exist. So if you tell me something is best explained by direct experience, then you are telling me it does not exist. And a thought is a chemical reaction. See how much simpler definitions become when you base them on objective science instead of subjective philosophy?johnkclark wrote:Frosty wrote: one of the reasons why I have trouble accepting your view of consciousness as "thoughts" (whatever those are)
It would be silly of me to give you a definition of a "thought" because you already know what it means, you already have something far far better than any definition, better even than logic, direct experience.
If you are prepared to claim that you are not a physical part of this universe, but some sort of emergent and immeasurable quality of matter, then yes, you can say you are an adjective. But you are flirting with religion here. I could accept that you are actually two different related nouns (an arrangement of molecules and the combined motions of those molecules), but otherwise, it sounds to me like you are saying you are something that doesn't exist and although I haven't seen you face-to-face, I am fairly certain you do.johnkclark wrote:Matter and electromagnetic waves are nouns, I am not a noun. My third grade English teacher was incorrect when she told me "I" is a pronoun, it is not, "I" is an adjective. I am the way atoms behave when they are organized in a Johnkclarkian way; right now there is only one chunk of matter in the observable universe that has that behavioral property but there is no reason that should always be the case. And consciousness is the way data feels when it is being processed.Frosty wrote: Simply put, since nothing that physically exists (like matter or electromagnetic waves) has actually been transferred, it can't be the same consciousness
As I am sure you know pretty well by now, I see the universe as collections of particles interacting with each other. So the most logical way for me to view the universe is as one continuous dynamic system with no clear boundaries of separation anywhere. Although I believe this is by far the most accurate way to view reality, this approach would not even permit me to recognize Frosty and johnkclark as separate individuals, so unfortunately, I have to allow myself at least one layer of abstraction if I am to define any structure that is smaller than the universe itself.johnkclark wrote:And I don't think you can claim they are NOT the same person without invoking something supernatural. You are claiming that the original has some quality of supreme importance, something more important than even brain structure, that the copy doesn't have and the scientific method can't detect. And that I think is a pretty good definition of supernatural.Frosty wrote: they will not be the same person, just a close replica, which of course won't bother the replica at all but I don't think we can definitively say they are still the same person without invoking something supernatural.
Recognizing this need for abstraction, the simplest way I can think of to define a particular entity in this shifting sea of particles is by drawing an imaginary sphere around it and saying that all the atoms within the sphere are known as "johnkclark" and all the atoms in this other imaginary sphere over here are known as "Frosty". That is the simplest definition I can use to define us that relies on the fewest abstractions possible and is therefore probably the most valid. In essence, this is the view I have been holding to throughout our entire debate.
However, I could take this approach a step further and add a grid of imaginary lines connecting all of the atoms within each of these two spheres (like a three-dimensional game of connect-the dots) and say the structures I have drawn are johnkclark and Frosty. This definition would be somewhat more satisfactory to you personally, but since it involves adding a second layer of abstraction in addition to my imaginary spheres, I know I am already getting pretty far from reality at this point. However, even this second layer of abstraction wouldn't be enough imaginary lines to satisfy johnkclark, as I still haven't captured the motions of the particles, only their current arrangements.
To come closest to your definition of johnkclark, I would actually have to add a third layer of abstraction, represented by tiny arrows of varying lengths pointing outwards from the center of each atom indicating their current direction and magnitude of momentum. Only after adding this third layer of imaginary structures would you say I have finally accurately defined johnkclark.
So based on your own reasoning, we have determined that biological johnkclark, despite appearing to be made of atoms like the rest of the universe, is actually best defined as a sphere, some lines, and some arrows. I actually have part of you preserved already right here:
Do you feel immortal yet?
The only reason you experience a sense of mental continuity from sleeping to waking is because you don’t remember the last thought you have before falling asleep (hardly anyone does). By the time you wake up that thought has long since been erased from your short-term memory, and so the version of johnkclark who experienced those thoughts has died (under your criteria). You have been dying and coming back from the dead without realizing it every night of your life under your current definitions, no different than a computer clearing its RAM each time it is powered off.johnkclark wrote:No, sleep is not death because "I'm starting to fall asleep" is NOT my last thought, it is immediately followed by "I'm starting to wake up"; immediately from my point of view that is, and that's the only one that counts because it is my death that is under consideration.Frosty wrote: The only reasonable explanation I can come up with as to why going to sleep doesn't frighten you (since it equates to death under your definition) "
johnkclark wrote: To give up vital ultra-structure you'd have to get something of colossal value in return, but all you can come up with is that Alcor's way does better at preserving some sort of mystical heebie jeebie ...something ... a vague something that the scientific method can neither measure or detect or even provide evidence of existence. Think what you're giving up and what you're getting in return! You're betting that heebie jeebie is more important than the cellular ultra-structure of your brain, and that sure sounds like a sucker's bet to me.
There's nothing heebie-jeebie about it, we just have different goals. Your goal is to have future johnkclark have the best and most complete information available to him about what current johnkclark was like at the precise moment of his clinical death. This is consistent with your own definition of people as information and subjectively, there is nothing at all wrong with that approach. My goal is to extend my biological life (as I conceded very early on) because I believe the only alternative to continuing my biological life is biological death. This means preserving and eventually reviving the only body and brain I've ever known. This being my goal, I accept that I am a changing system, not a static snapshot (and I believe you accept this as well). The definition of what Frosty is right now won't be the same as what Frosty is five minutes from now or five years from now or five centuries from now. All of these various states of Frosty will eventually be lost, in turn, and I see nothing inherently wrong with that. My primary goal in being cryopreserved is not to achieve perfect preservation (although it would be a nice bonus), it is to continue my biological life in the future once science has made that possible.
The protoplasm physically exists, math doesn't. Neither has any inherent meaning because meaning is in the eye of the beholder, but I never claimed matter has any meaning, now did I? My argument is simply that it is better to base logical arguments on things that are tangible and real as opposed to things that are not, especially considering cryonics is aiming to be an objective science. I don't think that should be too controversial.johnkclark wrote:Two can play that game. What is the objective meaning of dead frozen protoplasm, or even of living non-frozen protoplasm?Frosty wrote:Math is just another form of information and so has no objective meaning either
Any particle that is even a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a degree above absolute zero will possess at least some relativistic mass based on its current vector of motion relative to an observer (which is unique to that atom, because relativistic effects are not quantized) in addition to its rest mass (which is identical for every atom). Particle physicists generally ignore relativistic mass entirely because they like to construct equations that are observer-independent (even though such a reference frame is impossible to achieve in practice). Bob’s relativistic mass may be affected by cooling, but it is still unique to that atom, and upon rewarming when Bob once again has a discernible physical location separate from the condensate, Bob will remain unique in this manner. This suggests Bob’s history has not been entirely lost.johnkclark wrote:But the scientific method says there is no way those different histories make the atoms behave differently, there is no way those different histories can even be detected because there are many ways the atom's history can be erased. For example, suppose you had a trillion hydrogen atoms, quantum mechanics would say there are a trillion separate objects with a trillion different Schrodinger wave functions. Let's give one of those Hydrogen atoms a name, we'll call him Bob the atom. Now we cool the trillion atoms down to a millionth of a degree above absolute zero and things are transformed, a Bose–Einstein condensate is formed. Now quantum mechanics would say there is only one object and only one quantum wave function. If you then warm things up again the atoms come back but it is impossible to say which one of those trillion atoms is Bob even in theory.Frosty wrote: The histories of your atoms could be very different from mine, and most likely are.
In addition, the information encoding Bob’s state prior to cooling is only lost in this scenario if you view the condensate as a closed system. It is not. Notice I said the history of a particle is only partially encoded in its current relativistic state. As you reduce the temperature of an atom, it will necessarily emit electromagnetic energy in all directions. This energy will travel at the speed of light until it is absorbed by another atomic nucleus, perhaps causing one of its electrons to transition to a more energized state. Additionally, as the particles in the condensate are cooled, all of their relativistic masses will collectively decrease and thus, their net gravitational pull on other atoms will reduce, and this change in gravitation will also propagate outwards at the speed of light, eventually subtly affecting the position of a large percentage of all the atoms in the visible universe in an ever-expanding sphere centered upon the location where the condensate was formed.
A hypothetical external observer who can see all this happening and measure the entire universe would thus be able to work backwards and connect these events to determine which particles were involved in every step of the reaction, reconstruct Bob’s original characteristics, and continue this process all the way back to the Big Bang. Unlike my hypothetical all-seeing observer, quantum physicists generally have an extremely narrow view of reality (that happens when you spend your entire career staring into a microscope) and that is one of the reasons they have had so much trouble developing a quantum theory of gravity. So despite your best efforts, I contend that Bob has survived and could still be identified if needed.
So what does current johnkclark have that a future copy won't? History. A history that can be used to objectively trace the original johnkclark's birth to a much earlier point in time than that of your copy, and thus prove empirically that the two are separate entities with separate origins. The implications of this fact could lead one to justifiably conclude that the original johnkclark has died and been replaced, and dying is precisely what I thought we are all trying to avoid.
Did I say I have a soul? I never claimed that. I said the history of my atoms can theoretically be traced back to the Big Bang. That is my only claim.johnkclark wrote:So a nanosecond after the Big Bang when that Hydrogen atom in you brain was made it was already infused with the soul of Frosty even though you wouldn't be born for 13.8 billion years.Frosty wrote: Every atom in your head has a long (and perhaps infinite) history that is partially encoded in its current relativistic state, and fully encoded in the universe as a whole.
So you are now arguing it’s impossible to infer the past from looking at the present? I am in a building right now. Should I assume the building simply popped into existence at some point or can we safely assume it was constructed of raw materials taken from the environment, and that we could perhaps identify the locations where these materials were harvested from with a little bit of effort, and by carefully analyzing the isotopes present in each panel of wood, we may even be able to source them to specific trees?johnkclark wrote:No, the universe is not reversible, that's why the arrow of time exists and why the future is different from the past.Frosty wrote: It will always be possible (though certainly not easy) to prove where the atoms in your body came from
The universe as we observe it to be right now has a 100% probability of existing (obviously), and there is only one set of previous events that could have logically led it to its current state, and all of these previous events could be inferred with enough data and computing power (at least, in theory). The only alternative to this view is that the universe is not fully deterministic and there are certain events in the universe's past that happened for no reason whatsoever (which I know you are about to suggest, and that’s because reality is predictable).
I disagree. I believe “randomness” is nothing more than a pattern that is too complex for humans to understand (like the lottery, which is also deterministic). Our own inability to predict the outcome of an event as 3D observers does not mean the outcome has no cause, it means we have practical or absolute limitations of measurement (or insufficient control over the precise conditions of our measurements, rendering them non-repeatable) that may or may not be overcome in the future. That’s why statistics was invented. Besides, as I am sure you are aware, you can't prove a negative (such as that an event had no cause, or that there is not currently a teapot orbiting around Pluto) so whoever told you that was making a highly unscientific claim.johnkclark wrote:But we don't live in a deterministic universe. Some things have a cause but we've known for 90 years that some things don't. In retrospect it really shouldn't have been all that surprising, after all there is no law of logic that demands every event have a cause, we should consider ourselves lucky that at least some of them do.Frosty wrote: That's the nature of living in a deterministic universe.
In every way that counts to "johnkclark", definitely.johnkclark wrote:It means it's equivalent in every subjective way, that is to say in every way that counts.Frosty wrote: Your inability to detect that you are a copy does not mean that you are equivalent to the original
Come on now, of course there had to be at least one objective Alcor member or you could never have a decent debate around here, and where’s the fun in that?johnkclark wrote:Yes but is that really controversial, is this really a debatable point? I thought it was the goal of every Alcor member to find a way for their subjective experience to continue forever, or at least continue until they decide they don't want it to continue anymore.Frosty wrote: it seems you only care about your subjective experience of reality"
It occurred to me today that our definitions of immortality aren’t really all that different. You view immortality as never having a last thought (meaning your previous thoughts are never lost or forgotten), which I contend is nothing more than a chemical reaction occurring in your brain. My definition of immortality is essentially for my physical brain to never have a last chemical reaction and that is why I have such a strong insistence on preserving and using my current biological brain in my revived body if that is at all possible. Your view of immortality is much more flexible (and subjective) than mine in that you do not care about the medium in which these thoughts occur (allowing for yourself to be duplicated), but it is similar in all other respects. Philosophically-speaking, it would seem we are not all that far apart after all.
However, oddly enough, under your definition of immortality, you have already died many, many times (and thus have already failed to achieve your goal) and under my definition I have never died, so I still have some hope to achieve it. Perhaps my view has some advantages of its own?