The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Are We Immortal?

Ultimately, it depends on one’s definition of identity. If I build an exact copy of an object, is it the “same” object? In the case of inanimate matter, the temptation is to answer that a copy is just that: a “copy”. But things assume a more sinister look when dealing with brains. If I build an exact copy of your brain, which presumably yields the same mental life as yours, is that copy “you”? Does identity require those specific atoms in that specific place, or only the same kind of atoms and the same way they are related?

It is likely that only a finite number of brains are possible, because brains are self-organizing systems, i.e. they are systems that tend to happen at certain “attractive” configurations while shunning many others. No matter how complex the brain is, there are probably only so many configurations that realize a stable system that works like a brain. In other words, some brains just cannot exist.

If that is true, then as long as life repeats itself on an Earth-like planet, “you” are likely to be eventually “rebuilt” again, i.e. to live again.

Assuming that the universe’s life is infinite, i.e. that it will exist forever and ever, then the odds that it will again reach (somewhere sometimes) the conditions present on today's Earth are significant, and thus your brain, given enough time (which is in vast supply in eternity), is likely to be created again. Not only once, but infinite times.

Will that be really “you”, or just something with the exact same genes and brain that you have now?

 


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