Re: Extropian Views
Fri, 1 Oct 1999 12:37:29 -0500 writes:
>>Even consciousness is beings studied (although with less obvious success, mainly due to vocabulary problems). Happiness is a subjective state, but it can be studied on many levels - from the evolutionary background of happiness to the neural basis to the relationship of my happiness to my personality - in a scientific manner. There is no real problem here, unless you get into the muddy linguistic-philosophic waters of the philosophy of mind debate.<<

I am familiar with some of the studies on happiness. Mostly from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. My point was to emphasize the difference between human and animal. This is something everyone tries to see the similarities in rather than the differences. We can find that we are similar to almost every animal if we look hard enough. I prefer to see what makes us human.

>>Are you referring to zombies in the philosophical sense, a being with no internal experience but that behaves like a conscious being?<<

I am saying do we loose these human traits (consciousness)? Would we become animals governed by hedonistic or survival urges or by the creative, intelligence aspects we presently have? Is humanities consciousness isolated to our genes? When I speak of consciousness I am referring to the ability to be self aware and dreamers. We again seem to be the only creatures with imagination as far as my limited experience has shown.

>>Huh? I'm doing research into memory and amnesia, and I don't see how that claim of science can be supported. <snip> So in this case we really are memory, but so is anything.<<

So a newly born child is not human in this case? A child must acquire social skills and a history from which to reference? I am not well versed in the scientific study of memory as you are but I do question our memories are what makes us human. If you can advise a few books in this area I am open to acquiring this knowledge and confronting my ignorance.

>> I think you are not seeing the wonderful picture of the mind that is emerging, you are in some sense stuck in the old idea that since mere matter is so inflexible and base, all the wonderful stuff we experience must come from something different. I beg to disagree, I think "mere matter" is a contradiction in terms and that we are now seeing just how our highest functions are implemented in it. We still have a long way to go before a good theory of mind or even emotion, but that is not something impossible within the current paradigm.<<

No... I am interested in enhancing myself a to greater state than nature is capable. I am new to the whole "download yourself into a computer and make back-ups" concept so I wanted to see how others view this. I understand that matter holds these things I talk about but can another medium hold something that is not tangible? Emotion/creativity is not something we can see under a microscope so how do we feel we can create this or find another medium in which to hold it? Again I am open to books that express this in another way.

>> We share 98% of our genes with chimpanzees <<

Then why are we so different in the non-physical sense?? I don't see chimpanzees discussing how to become transhuman. This again strengthens my point of humanity having a non-genetic edge over all things. If genes were our humanity we should be like chimpanzees. Am I missing your point?

Thanks for your response. I hope to expand into a better understanding of the scientific view many here share. Not having degrees in these areas it's difficult to know where to start. This is all personal interest and resonation with the aforementioned topics.