Silly TV Show Thought Experiment

Author: Paul ,

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  • Paul
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    I saw a TV show where people from the future were traveling back in time by somehow downloading their minds into a person in the past just before that person dies. We don't need to talk about plausibility, it's just completely ridiculous in every conceivable way, but one thing I thought when I saw this show turned out to be worth contemplation.

    The way your brain learns is by brain cells shooting out dendrites which connects it to other brain cells, they do this your entire life from birth. Dendrites are little hairs that grow very rapidly out of every brain cell. The more you listen to/write about/talk about/ practice something the more your brain makes dendrites. Learning equals growth of dendrites.

    What this means is that learning physically changes the structure of the brain so it's not as if your thoughts have no physicality at all, in fact it's the opposite of that. Not only your thoughts but the way you think is hard wired into your brain in real time.

    So let's say we take a dead brain and reanimate it by forcing some kind of energy through it, what would likely come out? Most likely what would come out would be the guy who owned the brain when it was alive.

90 days later

  • ethang5
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    --> @Paul
    There are experiments where a person undergoes a lobotomy and retains his personhood with half his brain gone! 

    Doesn't that argue against the idea that personhood is only in the physical structure of the brain?

    Consider this. What directs the growth of dendrites? How does your brain know which neurons to connect to? What maps out those circuits?

    No matter how you approach it, materialism seems to be illogical nonsense.
  • Stronn
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    --> @ethang5
    There are experiments where a person undergoes a lobotomy and retains his personhood with half his brain gone! 

    Doesn't that argue against the idea that personhood is only in the physical structure of the brain?
    A lobotomy only severs connections to the prefrontal cortex, it does not actually remove part of the brain.

    That detail notwithstanding, yes, there are instance where "personhood" is retained even when ;large areas of the brain are damaged. That is not evidence for personhood lying  outside the brain, however, only of the brain's ability to adapt. For irrefutable evidence of personhood outside the brain, you would need to show me someone who retains personhood with no brain at all.
  • ethang5
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    A lobotomy only severs connections to the prefrontal cortex, it does not actually remove part of the brain.
    A lobotomy severs the connection between the two hemispheres of the brain. Half the brain is not physically removed, but much of it is no longer available for use.

    That is not evidence for personhood lying  outside the brain, however,
    That is not what I said. I said, "Doesn't that argue against the idea that personhood is only in the physical structure of the brain?"
    And it certainly does.

    ...only of the brain's ability to adapt.
    People wake up from the operation with their personhood intact. When did the brain adapt?

    For irrefutable evidence of personhood outside the brain, you would need to show me someone who retains personhood with no brain at all.
    That is illogical. You are opposing something I didn't say. I said, again, that maybe personhood may not be only in the physical structure of the brain.

    I did not say personhood was independent of the brain. But there is a way to look at personhood that keeps the physical brain necessary, AND, still be true that personhood is separate from the brain.

    A program cannot run without a computer processor, but still a program is not the computer processor.
  • Stronn
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    --> @ethang5
    That is not what I said. I said, "Doesn't that argue against the idea that personhood is only in the physical structure of the brain?"
    And it certainly does.
    I don't see how.  It is merely evidence that  personhood (whatever that is--we have not really defined it)  is stored redundantly in the brain.

    People wake up from the operation with their personhood intact. When did the brain adapt?
    The brain's redundancy allows other parts to take over when one part is damaged.

    Also,  when we say that personhood is intact after a brain injury, we don't mean it is entirely unaffected. Even when the recovery seems remarkable, there are still profound effects from loss of brain tissue on things like cognitive function, memory and emotions.

    I did not say personhood was independent of the brain. But there is a way to look at personhood that keeps the physical brain necessary, AND, still be true that personhood is separate from the brain.
    Ok, so we  agree that a brain is necessary for personhood. Sure, there may be some other component outside the brain, too. But to show evidence of  this, you would need to show that changing something outside the brain affects personhood. It is not enough to show that damaging the brain doesn't always affect personhood, especially when we know that the brain is highly redundant.
  • WaterPhoenix
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    --> @Paul
    What was the show called?
  • ethang5
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    --> @Stronn
    I don't see how.
    Maybe you need glasses. It is consistent with personhood not being solely in brain structure. It also argues for redundancy in the brain. But its only your fear of God causing you to reject the obvious.

    The brain's redundancy allows other parts to take over when one part is damaged.
    Person hood is not a trait like math ability. You are saying a complete copy of "personhood" is stored in the brain. You have no evidence of this, or the ability to tell us what duplicates, manages, and activates, these "copies"

    Also,  when we say that personhood is intact after a brain injury, we don't mean it is entirely unaffected.
    Again you defend against what I didn't say! Personhood is intact enough that the "person" persists and is recognizable even after the massive brain structure change.

    Ok, so we  agree that a brain is necessary for personhood.
    No. I did not say that. You are doing your cartoon cut-out argument against a Christian trying to use consciousness as an argument for God. Pre-fab arguments don't work against me very well.

    I agree that a brain is necessary for human to human personhood interface. Like my computer analogy, an interface is neither the computer or the program. I think people tend to mistake the interface for the program.

    Sure, there may be component outside the brain, too.
    I did not say or imply that there may be a component outside the brain. That is just your paint-by-the-numbers pre-fab argument again responding to what you anticipate I'm going to argue.

    There is no other "component" outside a computer needed to run a program, yet the program is not the computer's processor.

    Without an interface, we cannot detect or interact with a program. But the program remains an independent creation, independant of the processor.

    ...we know that the brain is highly redundant.
    We know that the brain is redundant with traits, like the ability to speak or gregariousness. We do not know if the brain is redundant for personhood, which is not a trait.
  • EtrnlVw
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    --> @Stronn
     For irrefutable evidence of personhood outside the brain, you would need to show me someone who retains personhood with no brain at all.

    Don't wish to derail anything but this is a silly argument lol, sorry not being rude but the proposition that the soul exists independent of the physical body including the brain would be a soul without a human body and brain of course. So at least through the physical sense perception you can't be shown a soul (personhood) without a physical form or a live being without a brain.

    In order that the soul interact with this world it must have a physical body including a brain that confines and regulates its experience to this environment. So you cannot observe a form in this world that confines a soul (intelligent being) without a brain and under normal circumstances the soul escapes the detection of the physical eye much like the full spectrum of color is unseen the same way.
    The spirit body (which also confines a soul) exists at a much finer vibration and frequency but the brain is needed in terms of the physical experience as a conduit or conductor like electricity needs to be contained within a unit or circuit panel for it to be utilized.
    Likewise the soul needs to be confined to a vessel to be useful here, the conscious soul is electrical or energetic and so it also needs a vessel that is alive and active and capable of housing an energetic entity and so the brain is much more compared to an electrical compartment it doesn't create beings or conscious entities (personhood).

    The convincing evidence you would want to at the very least consider outside of your own observation and commonsense would be NDE's, spiritual encounters, paranormal activity and religious claims/testimonials. That would be the evidence that correlates with the nature of what we are proposing. Rather than assert all these experiences are purely the workings of the brain (even though the normal operations of the brain don't travel outside the body) be a bit more flexible because conjecture can get you in trouble.
    We know through direct experience what the brain is capable of, during NDE's and OBE's the conscious soul is able to move OUTSIDE the body and travel freely (after brain DEATH) often times observing its own physical body while leaving it. This should be an indicator to you that this is not brain function. Spiritual encounters are another thing to consider even though they may seem absurd to your way of viewing the world, 1 out of three people claim to have either seen a ghost/spirit or had an experience with something. That's pretty darn good evidence as far as numbers are concerned, or something being blatantly obvious.

    Since the soul is confined to the physical sense perception including the nervous system anytime the body or brain is damaged the soul experiences that ….however personhood and being are never lost, the image of the soul can be distorted but not destroyed itself. In other words the soul could be completely intact with say a person with brain damage, the souls experience will be obscured but the conscious soul itself remains perfectly intact, when it leaves the physical body it has its normal perception back. It would be like looking through a warped image or using a piece of damaged machinery but the actual user or being is unaffected.

  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @ethang5
    There are experiments where a person undergoes a lobotomy and retains his personhood with half his brain gone! 

    That is really cool. What did they do to determine that this 'personhood' you speak of was still intact, and what were the results? Do you still have access to these papers? I would like to read myself if possible as I have always been interested in the nature of human identity.
  • ethang5
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit

  • Paul
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    --> @ethang5
    What directs the growth of dendrites?


  • Paul
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    --> @WaterPhoenix
    If I remember correctly it was called Travelers, I think it's on Netflix.

  • Paul
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    --> @ethang5
    Severing the connection between the two hemispheres of the brain is called a corpus calloscotomy, a lobotomy is something else entirely.


  • Paul
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    I watched a video this morning about corpus calloscotomy.


  • ethang5
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    --> @Paul
    I asked: What directs the growth of dendrites?

    From the first sentence of your link:

    Dendrite development is an important and unsolved problem in neuroscience.

    I've noticed its more often the people who don't know science, who always seem to offer answers.


  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @ethang5
    I think you accidentally gave me the wrong link. The one you gave me wasn't about any experiment like you described and in fact mentioned nothing about lobotomies at all (see your quote in post 9).

    If you no longer have access to the paper detailing that experiment you mentioned that is fine, thanks for your time.
  • ethang5
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    Its in there. It's just a long paper.

  • Paul
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit

  • Paul
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    --> @ethang5
    The answer to your question is so long nobody is going to type an answer for you so I gave you the link. While it could be an unsolved problem we do know a lot about what goes on. I seriously doubt you have solved the problem, but go ahead and tell us what you have in mind.

  • ebuc
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    --> @ethang5 @EtrnlVw @Paul @Stronn
    Soul = biologic ergo they are synonyms biologic/soul.

    12 - 24 { bilateral? } cranial nerves extend from or beyond the brain i.e. a bran is irrelevant with out rest of nervous system and vice versa

    31 bilateral--ergo 62-- spinal nerves extend beyond the brain as part of a nervous system that includes the brain

    Metaphysical-1, ego * i  *,  is beyond the brain and a resultant of brain/nervous system, not the other way around.

    Human person hood is the ego * i  *

    All of the following is resultant of metaphysical-1, ego as person hood

    .....Pi^3 = 31.00 62 7 66...................
    ...3rd powering upon XYZ { 3D } cartesian volumetric accounting............

    Pi^4 / 4 = 24.35 22 7 27...................
    ...Pi^4 divided by 4 is a 4D back to 3D, process of re-normalization.........

    Pi^4 - 31 = 66.4.........................................................................
    ...Pi^4 minus 3D value leaves us with Time a cosmic Time value 66.4....................

    Person hood * *  is a resultant of Time, and not the other way around.

    Person hood stems from biological/soul not the other way around.

    .......................SPACE( Time *) (* Time )SPACE....................................

    ......................Gravity ( > Time > *) i (* <Time < ) Gravity...........................

    .......................................mass attracts mass...........................................

    .............' sometimes suddenly; they attract axons and form synapses '......

    ...."Spines grow on dendrites, sometimes suddenly; they attract axons and form synapses. Spines have unique shapes and varied geometrical placement. A strong signal to one spine can immediately cause others to form around it—to connect to that same neuron."...




  • ebuc
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    --> @ethang5 @EtrnlVw @Paul @Stronn
    Humans are closer to fungi than plants and we know know some magic mushrooms induce the growth of new brain cells long after 25 years of age.

    ..."A strong signal to one spine can immediately cause others to form around it—to connect to that same neuron. Spines can be thin, stubby and mushroom shaped and are altered rapidly by neuroplasticity.".....


  • Paul
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    The first one is the wrong one try this one:


    Wow this one is wrong as well.

    I cant figure out where that original article went. Every time I try to go to it I get a different article!
  • ethang5
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    --> @Paul
    The answer to your question is so long nobody is going to type an answer for you so I gave you the link.
    What question?

    While it could be an unsolved problem we do know a lot about what goes on.
    OK. But the point was that we do not know.

    I seriously doubt you have solved the problem, but go ahead and tell us what you have in mind.
    What are you talking about? What problem do you believe I'm trying to solve?
  • Paul
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    --> @ethang5
    What directs the growth of dendrites?
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @ethang5
    Its in there. It's just a long paper.

    Ctrl+F revealed zero instances of the word 'lobotomy'.

    You also didn't link me an experiment paper, you linked me an essay. That is one reason I assumed you accidentally sent me the wrong link.