Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby Wayfarer » Thu May 09, 2013 2:09 am

shel wrote:
jeeprs wrote:Do you think if a body was in suspended animation, and came to again, the subject would be saying 'now, where was I...' :smile:


Depends on the process (could be instantaneous?), and I guess whether or not the subject knew that they were going to be put into suspended animation. Regarding causal factors, there would be no cause for the subject to be any different than they were before suspension. Their intents and purposes would be the same.


I thought it was Buddhism that taught that nothing remained permanent from moment to moment. So I think the prospect of 'freezing a moment of thought' is rather like a scientific fantasy actually. It also implicitly states that the act of intention and the nature of consciousness is simply the disposition of the physical body, which is a basically materialist view. You are of course free to advocate materialist views, but they are generally at odds with the Buddhist understanding.
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby Roland » Thu May 09, 2013 2:11 am

Indrajala wrote:
Well.. People say that the neural connections in the Brain remain intact, a few hours after the clinical death. Since, Neural connections allegedly preserve our identity (i.e Memories etc. ), the believe some how in the future there will be technology to either retrieve the identity from the intact brain to a machine or whatever (some Cryonic facilities store only the severed head ! ) or re-animate the "frozen" body itself.


Rupert Sheldrake has some innovative ideas backed up with his own experiments about memories being stored outside the brain, which likewise helps to explain the mechanism behind telepathy which statistically shouldn't happen as often as it does.

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


If anyone is interested in Rupert Sheldrake, I recommend his visit to an episode of the "London Real" podcast.

If there are any Terence McKenna fans here, there are talks on Rupert Sheldrake's website under the category "Trialogues". These are talks between Sheldrake, McKenna, and Ralph Abraham. I find these talks very fascinating.

Trialogues
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby dharmagoat » Thu May 09, 2013 2:24 am

Indrajala wrote:Rupert Sheldrake has some innovative ideas backed up with his own experiments about memories being stored outside the brain, which likewise helps to explain the mechanism behind telepathy which statistically shouldn't happen as often as it does.

I know very little about the subject and am disinclined toward conjecture, but it seems plausible that quantum entanglement may lie behind these types of phenomena.
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby shel » Thu May 09, 2013 2:28 am

jeeprs wrote:
shel wrote:
jeeprs wrote:Do you think if a body was in suspended animation, and came to again, the subject would be saying 'now, where was I...' :smile:


Depends on the process (could be instantaneous?), and I guess whether or not the subject knew that they were going to be put into suspended animation. Regarding causal factors, there would be no cause for the subject to be any different than they were before suspension. Their intents and purposes would be the same.


I thought it was Buddhism that taught that nothing remained permanent from moment to moment.

It teaches impermanence of course. The thought experiment is not dealing with permanent suspended animation. I don't know what the point of permanent suspended animation would be.

So I think the prospect of 'freezing a moment of thought' is rather like a scientific fantasy actually.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but cryogenic suspension of human beings is scientific fantasy at this point in time. Not that a scientist can't put someone in their garage freezer. Some probably do, actually. Thawing is the hard part, I believe.

It also implicitly states that the act of intention and the nature of consciousness is simply the disposition of the physical body, which is a basically materialist view. You are of course free to advocate materialist views, but they are generally at odds with the Buddhist understanding.

No, it does not imply what you say. If someone is cryogenically suspended for a thousand years and is then unsuspended, they would be the same person. That could imply a great many things.
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby dharmagoat » Thu May 09, 2013 2:33 am

jeeprs wrote:I thought it was Buddhism that taught that nothing remained permanent from moment to moment. So I think the prospect of 'freezing a moment of thought' is rather like a scientific fantasy actually.

I agree. It would be like trying to suspend the moment of an electric spark or the splitting of an atom.
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby dharmagoat » Thu May 09, 2013 2:48 am

We can only imagine the consequences of reactivating a brain some time after all brain activity had ceased. It is possible that all memory would be lost.
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby shel » Thu May 09, 2013 3:01 am

dharmagoat wrote:
jeeprs wrote:I thought it was Buddhism that taught that nothing remained permanent from moment to moment. So I think the prospect of 'freezing a moment of thought' is rather like a scientific fantasy actually.

I agree. It would be like trying to suspend the moment of an electric spark or the splitting of an atom.


More scientific fantasy of course, but it seems artificial intelligence is not too far away. Such sentient beings would most likely have an on/off switch, don't you think?
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby Wayfarer » Thu May 09, 2013 3:22 am

Shel wrote:More scientific fantasy of course, but it seems artificial intelligence is not too far away. Such sentient beings would most likely have an on/off switch, don't you think?


If it has a switch, it is a machine, not a being. If it is conscious, it is a being, not a machine. I think it would be immoral to create a being by any means other than procreation. Because how could the being give consent to being artificially created? It would put such a being in an intolerable situation (remember BladeRunner?)

Besides, I think 'artificial intelligence' is an oxymoron, like dry water, or perhaps, as you say, a fantasy, like anti-gravity or faster-than-light travel.

The point about conscious states, knowledge, and judgement, is that they are all in some sense, not able to be reduced to anything physical. I know you might say that the brain contains or generates such things, but I don't regard this as proven. The brain is part of a nervous system, which is embedded in a body, which is part of the environment. The act of thought is not in one particular location, exclusively, even though, clearly, the brain plays a role in it.

In any case, I'm sure it is a mistake to say that the disposition of a set of molecules constitutes an act of thought. You might say that it represents an act of thought, but that is what symbols do, like these words I am entering here. In order to understand the meaning, a conscious subject needs to read the symbols and say 'hey I think that's wrong', or whatever. No computer ever does that, in my view. A computer is a large set of switches. That is all. I have debated this on Philosophy Forums at length and it is controversial. Many scientific types really insist that the mind is no different to a computer. in fact it is an article of faith for them. But I regard that as a philosophical failure. The problem is, modern thinking does not have an ontology. It doesn't recognize that a being is not the same as an object. Most of the time when I say that, I get baffled expressions, but I am confident it is true, although it is one of those kinds of things that is hard to prove. So I summarize it in various aphorisms, like, 'being is not an object' or 'the source of existence is not amongst the things that exist'. Of course to most scientists those sorts of statements simply do not compute.

Which is the point, in a way. :smile:
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby Jesse » Thu May 09, 2013 3:58 am

jeeprs wrote:
Shel wrote:More scientific fantasy of course, but it seems artificial intelligence is not too far away. Such sentient beings would most likely have an on/off switch, don't you think?


If it has a switch, it is a machine, not a being. If it is conscious, it is a being, not a machine. I think it would be immoral to create a being by any means other than procreation. Because how could the being give consent to being artificially created? It would put such a being in an intolerable situation (remember BladeRunner?)

Besides, I think 'artificial intelligence' is an oxymoron, like dry water, or perhaps, as you say, a fantasy, like anti-gravity or faster-than-light travel.


Humans are essentially machines, bio-chemical machines. The only difference between us and an intelligent machine would be the material from which we are made. Also, I don't think any of us gave "consent" on our "creation", if so I would of probably chosen to be born a god. Lol.
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby Wayfarer » Thu May 09, 2013 4:00 am

If you believe that, why are you posting on a Buddhist forum? You know that Buddhism is not materialist, right? Or do you think the two can be accomodated?

And - why do so many people type 'lol'? Are they machines, or something?
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby Jesse » Thu May 09, 2013 4:05 am

jeeprs wrote:If you believe that, why are you posting on a Buddhist forum? You know that Buddhism is not materialist, right? Or do you think the two can be accomodated?

And - why do so many people type 'lol'???? Are they machines, or something????


I don't understand what you're asking. I don't really care about the Materialist vs Buddhist thought debate, I believe what makes sense. The truth is we are machines, by any definition of the term.
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby dharmagoat » Thu May 09, 2013 4:06 am

shel wrote:More scientific fantasy of course, but it seems artificial intelligence is not too far away. Such sentient beings would most likely have an on/off switch, don't you think?

In my previous post where I questioned whether memory would be lost after a brain had ceased all activity, I resisted the temptation to compare a brain to a computer.

Although there are similarities in the overall function of brains and computers, it is clear that their structure, operation and composition is vastly different. It is also possible that brain neurons, due to their electrochemical sensitivity and subtlety, can function to some degree on the quantum-realm scale, and therefore are influenced by quantum mechanical effects such as quantum entanglement. As such, I believe it is unrealistic to expect machines equipped with artificial intelligence to ever possess anything resembling the sentience of a living creature, and that it is a mistake to ever consider them sentient beings.
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby Jesse » Thu May 09, 2013 4:07 am

dharmagoat wrote:
shel wrote:More scientific fantasy of course, but it seems artificial intelligence is not too far away. Such sentient beings would most likely have an on/off switch, don't you think?

In my previous post where I questioned whether memory would be lost after a brain had ceased all activity, I resisted the temptation to compare a brain to a computer.

Although there are similarities in the overall function of brains and computers, it is clear that their structure, operation and composition is vastly different. It is also possible that brain neurons, due to their electrochemical sensitivity and subtlety, can function to some degree on the quantum-realm scale, and therefore are influenced by quantum mechanical effects such as quantum entanglement. As such, I believe it is unrealistic to expect machines equipped with artificial intelligence to ever possess anything resembling the sentience of a living creature, and that it is a mistake to consider them sentient beings.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_computer :smile:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_computing

Also, the structure may be different but is most certainty based on the same principles. With advanced enough technology we could indeed create biological computers similar to a human brain, if not superior.
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby dharmagoat » Thu May 09, 2013 4:14 am

Jesse wrote:Also, the structure may be different but is most certainty based on the same principles. With advanced enough technology we could indeed create biological computers similar to a human brain, if not superior.

I suppose the difference is that I don't share your faith in technology. It is one thing to conceive of these things, quite another to make them reality.

Very interesting articles, though. Thanks for posting them.
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby randomseb » Thu May 09, 2013 4:20 am

A computer is based on a linear processing process, whereas a brain is a massively parallel emergent process. While it might be possible some day in the future to program a couple billion chips, each with millions of connections to neighboring chips, to work in an emergent pattern, this is not an easy task!
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby Jesse » Thu May 09, 2013 4:22 am

dharmagoat wrote:
Jesse wrote:Also, the structure may be different but is most certainty based on the same principles. With advanced enough technology we could indeed create biological computers similar to a human brain, if not superior.

I suppose the difference is that I don't share your faith in technology.


If there is any problem with technology, is the way we use it.. not technology it'self. The universe is beautiful in such a way, that we can use the same principles from which it is constructed to create anything we can imagine. DNA is pretty much a programming language, from which all of life is created.. it is a naturally occurring technology. No?
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby randomseb » Thu May 09, 2013 4:25 am

Jesse wrote:The universe is beautiful in such a way, that we can use the same principles from which it is constructed to create anything we can imagine.


While this is all very nice and good, the purpose here is to step outside of the universe, because this universe is a product of your own mind. So by creating fancy gadgets inside of the universe, you are creating attachments anchoring you there and holding you back.. Now if you don't care about this, perhaps you are on the wrong spiritual Path..

:rolling:
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby Jesse » Thu May 09, 2013 4:35 am

randomseb wrote:
Jesse wrote:The universe is beautiful in such a way, that we can use the same principles from which it is constructed to create anything we can imagine.


While this is all very nice and good, the purpose here is to step outside of the universe, because this universe is a product of your own mind. So by creating fancy gadgets inside of the universe, you are creating attachments anchoring you there and holding you back.. Now if you don't care about this, perhaps you are on the wrong spiritual Path..

:rolling:


Oh. This Forum is a fancy gadget that has allowed all of us to learn and grow on our spiritual paths. Damned gadgets!
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby Wayfarer » Thu May 09, 2013 4:36 am

Jesse wrote: The truth is we are machines, by any definition of the term.


But it is simply not true. It might be a myth, or it might be mistake. Or a delusion. But a machine is a manufactured device, which is composed of components, designed for a purpose, and which runs on mechanical or electrical power. A human is, among other things, an organism, which has a metabolism, which is capable of reproduction, self-determination, and so on. So machines and organisms are fundamentally different kinds of things. These are the definitions of the terms - it is not a matter of opinion.

Randomseb wrote:Now if you don't care about this, perhaps you are on the wrong spiritual Path.


Wrong forum, more likely. :smile:
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Re: Cryonic Preservation and Rebirth

Postby dharmagoat » Thu May 09, 2013 4:37 am

Jesse wrote:The universe is beautiful in such a way, that we can use the same principles from which it is constructed to create anything we can imagine. DNA is pretty much a programming language, from which all of life is created.. it is a naturally occurring technology. No?

Yes, you make a valid point.

It is like flight. Humans didn't invent it, but copied how to do it from nature.
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