My Constipated Brain and thoughts on Eternal Consciouness

My brain has been constipated lately. 

At least that is the best way I can describe it when a thought is bursting to come out but the words just won’t come and so it sits in there getting bigger and uncomfortable til’ my head feels like it will explode.

Well Stephen Hawking may have provided me with the mental prune juice I require (how do you like the imagery so far).

Hawking has released his atheistic idea on how life after death could be achieved via this article. The very basic premise is that one could copy the brain’s content onto a computer thus providing a form of life after death. 

I honestly was just having this conversation with one of my incredibly brilliant friends and I have struggled to get across my primary objection to the whole idea.

Essentially I do believe we will advance technologically to a point where we will be able to make exact duplicates of people’s brains. However a duplicate/clone is not the same as me. I do not believe a duplicate or clone is the key to eternal life or whatever you want to call it…even if the duplicate has all of the same memories etc. 

The primary issue I have is the lack of consciousness continuity. 

What I mean is that a duplicate is simply that, a copy; it may believe it’s consciousness extends as far back as mine (and in fact it could) but it is not me in the sense that I no longer exist. My primary consciousness has ended and another duplicate has taken its place like a doppelganger. For the external world it would be as if I never died but to the original me this is not so. I will die.

I suppose the point I am making is that I do not believe consciousness can be transferred. We might be able to re-create consciousness but to extend it…that is the question. The core of my belief here is metaphysical I suppose. I believe consciousness is more than the sum of our parts…more than the sum of my brain cells. I believe something outside of myself is necessary for my consciousness to be sustained.

To go all Christian theological on you I believe we will be resurrected physically, spiritually and emotionally into an eternal existence that maintains continuity with my current existence. I believe this to be supported by scripture and I believe that who I understand God to be is the source or glue of consciousness (the soul). 

You see my struggle? I agree with Hawking at a physical level but cannot agree with him at the metaphysical level and trying to communicate this has been challenging. Honestly I am not sure I have become fully “unblocked” as it were but at least this post relieves some of the pressure. 

2 thoughts on “My Constipated Brain and thoughts on Eternal Consciouness

  1. James Deagle

    This made me think of the essay that comprises the introduction to “The Mind’s I: Fantasies and reflections on self and soul” by Douglas R. Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mind%27s_I)

    This essay begins by proposing a thought experiment: you are marooned on Mars, and your only chance to get back to Earth (and to “survive” at all) is to step into a machine that will deconstruct your body’s cells and transmit your genetic data back to Earth, whereupon a ‘duplicate’ of you is assembled.

    The rest of the essay is concerned with whether this reconstituted you is really you or just a duplicate that thinks it is you and thinks it is a continuation of your consciousness.

    One question that I remember from that writing is: “Do I have a mind or am I a mind?” (I may not have the wording verbatim.)

    Like

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