a question of identity

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a question of identity

Postby TerraFrost » Sun Jun 15, 2003 12:23 am

i was looking through some old philosophy assingments of mine, and there was one in which we had to elaborate on some story...

in the story, there are two people - wanda and a friend of wandas. wanda gets her head mashed by a car, but her body is just fine. her friend gets her body mashed by a car, but her head is just fine. some doctor then uses wanda's body and her friends head, and... good as new!

so the question is... who is this new person (in the story called schwanda)? is she wanda or her friend?

now, i think most people would argue that schwanda is wanda's friend, but... since this was a philosophy class, there were a few other things we had to consider, hehe.

ie. where does the soul reside? if the soul is somehow bound to the body, it would be in the head, as that is the one organ that we have yet to do transplant surgery with, heh. that's significant because... well... with heart transplant surgery, people don't change who they are. but what if the soul is connected to the body and the brain, somehow?

that was probably my weakest point, heh... i like these better:

who schwanda is could depend on how people react to her in the future. John Locke believed that the soul was the sum of our experiencs - but what of our future experiences? will people look at someone's face, and decide how to treat them from then on, or will it be their body they look at?

another thing to consider is... what if schwanda expected people to treat her as they would treat wanda? would schwanda subconciously act like wanda, then, or what?

anyways... blah... what do you think?
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Postby Roadkill » Sun Jun 15, 2003 12:28 am

does a soul exist?

the schwanda would actually be treated as an outcast, because she seems to have "stolen" her wandas body, while her freind retains the mind.

Perhaps somewhere else she could be treated like another person (assuming the stitches were hidden well), but certainly not with her/her freinds past relatives/freinds.

Therefore, the human soul is contained throughout the entire body, and not in one specific area.

A mixture would make an entirely different soul. Like from the movie final Fantasy: the Spirit Within, there is a soul to every bit of that body.
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Soul? or Consciousness ?

Postby Druidwizard » Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:03 am

OK.. and hello.... ive been reading these post and thay are interesting,
this is my first time on this board so be gental.

I have very much expereience whith philosophy's and how they work. Most are put to you as what If's very few are based in facts. a sorrowful insite i came to a while back, however it makes them no less interesting to talk over and debate on.

to my point , or my veiw on this i should say:

The Soul as you call it i say resides in the head and hers why I belive this,
the brain does not contain the soul but acts as a connection to it for us, to our Consciousness or soul or intity that is the real us. i believe that our soul or consciousness mainly resides in another plane or deminsion. Much in the way that 2d and 3d relate to each other our barin and consciousness relate but on a much grander scale, one we have yet to comprehind.

Like this: If you take a 3d Ball and place in on a 2d plane all you see is a dot on the 2d plane , and if you push the 3d ball through the 2d plane, as it goes through all you see on the 2d plane is a circle that changes in size. so does this mean that to the preson living in a 2d world that (becuase they cannot see or interact compeltly with the 3d ball that it does not exsist?

I think not, in this manner, or shall i say at this Dot and growing,or shrinking circle that is our brain is where we connect to or consciousness or as some say soul.

Pls any opinions will be welcome and any holes poked in my thought prossess on this are welcome as well. :poke
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Postby TerraFrost » Sat Oct 25, 2003 6:51 am

your idea of the brain containing a connection to our soul is remescent of descartes idea that the pineal gland was the location in the brain where the mind and body connect. as for our souls residing on a different plane... that's sorta remiscent of descartes ideas, as well, although not quite as much so as your previous point. descartes believed that our bodies might not have even existed - that they were just sorta in our head, and illusionary, thanks to the work of an evil genius who would decieve us. this was sorta the inspiration for descartes famous line... "i think therefore i am". anyways, the similarity between this and your second point is that, while descartes believed that the soul was sorta in the normal world, and the body was in some sort of lesser / pretend world, you seem to be saying that the body is in the normal world, and that the soul is in some sort of higher world. in both of these, the soul is one up from the body.
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not a high form

Postby Druidwizard » Sun Oct 26, 2003 12:39 am

well yes and no .
I disagree with what descartes writes on a lot of things(however he has a lot of very interesting points) such as "I think therefor i am" there are many things that do not think and still are here. And we are definaty here and real, just the fact that we can discover new things we have not seen or thought of befor proves we are, becuase if we were creating a world from our own minds it would only be filled with the things and experiences we already have in our minds there would be no surprises. now that would be boaring.

Also the connection between our Consciousness and bodies is more an overall connection i belive, than at any given point in the body. the Brain being the most direct contact though. Our brain works more as an access point and proccesor. and our bodies and nervous systems would be the Pharipherals, such as in a computer. the communication to our Consciousness from our bodies is mostly along the nerual path. this being more prominate and clustered together in the brain .(human electric lines so to say)

Also i see what you mean about similarities of the soul bing in a higher realm. thats not what i mean to put forth sorry, More along the line that our Consciousness and soul is on just a diffrent level not a higher one. moreover i think it is acceeable to us we just havent gotten that far yet. i see this in some shamanistic areas, a connection to a wider connection to ourconsciousness. also in other ways ,astral, meditation,some effects with drugs(altough some Narrow this gap insted of widening it. and im not condoning this just stating), ESP,and some other religous rites.

Ive also studied Ci Cong for some time im not expert by a long shot but ive come across some interesting things and i belive there is a connection in our bodies to something bigger, and i belive that something bigger is us, we just havent streched out that far yet, or in a long time.

if you can think of other simalrites to this train of thought pls shoot them at me. im always looking to further my thought on this subject.

thx :poke
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Postby TerraFrost » Sun Oct 26, 2003 6:12 am

well yes and no .
I disagree with what descartes writes on a lot of things(however he has a lot of very interesting points) such as "I think therefor i am" there are many things that do not think and still are here.


descartes would probably retort with something like... how do we know that anything other than ourselves exists? we know something exists because *we* see evidence for it, but... whose to say that that which we see is correct, and not some illusion? we can't ever be sure of that, save for when we are questioning whether or not we are illusory. we can't be, lest we would not be able to ask the question in the first place.

And we are definaty here and real, just the fact that we can discover new things we have not seen or thought of befor proves we are, becuase if we were creating a world from our own minds it would only be filled with the things and experiences we already have in our minds there would be no surprises. now that would be boaring.


if the world that we create was only created using stuff in our minds, then that seems to suggest to me that we should know everything. if it didn't, then what would happen when we brought about a situation in which we didn't know what would happen? for example, say we didn't know what would happen if we mixed an acid and a base together, and then you do decide to mix an acid and a base together. what would then happen? if they fizzed, that would be a source of surprise, because we didn't know it would do that. if it did nothing, that would still be a source of surprise, because, as far as we knew, it could do anything.

Ive also studied Ci Cong for some time im not expert by a long shot but ive come across some interesting things and i belive there is a connection in our bodies to something bigger, and i belive that something bigger is us, we just havent streched out that far yet, or in a long time.


this sounds kinda similar to the idea of emergent properties, which basically states that certain things can, in essence, be more than the sum of their parts. here's an interesting article of sorts about that:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence

(i'll try to reply to your other paragraphs later today or tomorrow, or something, if i can think of something :))
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self illusion

Postby Druidwizard » Sun Oct 26, 2003 10:58 pm

Thx for the reply
and the link on emergent properties, i found a lot of intersting stuff there.

let me think on each part of that reply and ill get back to it.

and pls send more info if possible.
thx :poke
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