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What is the formal seat of identity?
Posted: Posted January 21st by nullfather

I.e. what is the thing that makes it so that I am I instead of you?

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There are 8 Replies

On the one hand your specific genetic blueprint is what makes you unique. But then if a clone of you with the exact same genes were to exist that would still not be you, so even genetics doesn't hit the mark of your question.

But I think we can go even broader with this idea. Instead of just asking why I am I and you are you, we could ask: Why are things distinct from each other in general? What makes a tree THAT specific tree, and a rock THAT specific rock? Why isn't the Universe uniform, immaculate, and singular?

To say that there are multiple things in the Universe, may be another way of saying that the Universe itself is disjointed, uneven, or pocked. If we think like this then maybe the Universe is composed of multiple things (i.e. the Universe is uneven) because something about the fabric of our reality is unstable, just like storms exist because of unstable weather conditions or like how sunspots exist because of unstable magnetism in the Sun. So maybe distinction itself is a "storm" in the unstable fabric of reality.

And that may be the reason I am I and you are you.

Edited January 21st by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
No love = No future

It is somewhat self-evident that reality is "uneven", as without gradients and boundaries there would be no information or existence. What I want to know is not if there are gradients and boundaries, but which gradients and boundaries harbor the minimal necessary information for conveying identity.

Posted January 21st by nullfather
nullfather

It is somewhat self-evident that reality is "uneven", as without gradients and boundaries there would be no information or existence.

And what I'm saying is that because reality is "uneven" maybe something about it is "unstable."

What I want to know is not if there are gradients and boundaries

I didn't tell you "if" there are gradients and boundaries. I gave my opinion on "why" there are gradients and boundaries.

but which gradients and boundaries harbor the minimal necessary information for conveying identity.

Gradients and boundaries are what identity objectively is. Beyond that, identity is nothing more than the human brain focusing on things and categorizing them.

And as I said there maybe something unstable about reality itself that is responsible for conveying gradients and boundaries (i.e. identity). As for what that instability is or what its active properties are, you're not likely to find that information on gametalk. And considering the limitations on the laws of physics, there's a good chance humanity will never know for sure.

Edited January 21st by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
No love = No future

There's an interesting theory called "neural binding" which suggests that the distinct "i" and "you" lie between signals some neurons simultaneously broadcast and signals which are received by other types of neurons. As for objects being distinct, I don't think thats actually true at all, your brain just separates things out for processing reasons.

Posted January 21st by Xhin
Xhin
 

Gradients and boundaries are what identity objectively is.


Which? Or do you simply say that identity is determined by all boundaries that one possesses? Is there no simpler description? Furthermore, if identity is determined by all boundaries that one possesses, can identity be fully understood given that we do not fully understand the physics of our reality?

Posted January 21st by nullfather
nullfather

Which? Or do you simply say that identity is determined by all boundaries that one possesses? Is there no simpler description?

You can get more simple by categorizing things and using the word "identity" to refer to these categories. That is how humans think. The collection of atoms that you are currently made of is the "nullfather" category. But we can just identify you as nullfather to make things simpler. But objectively this "identity" doesn't mean anything. It's just an abstract category that we made up.

Furthermore, if identity is determined by all boundaries that one possesses, can identity be fully understood given that we do not fully understand the physics of our reality?

Like I said:
And considering the limitations on the laws of physics, there's a good chance humanity will never know for sure.

Edited January 21st by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
No love = No future

The collection of atoms that you are currently made of is the "nullfather" category.


Similar to the clone argument, however, if there were another collection of atoms that were arranged in exactly the same way, would that be "nullfather"?

I'm not talking about symbolizing the set as something else. I'm talking about what the smallest necessary set is.

Posted January 21st by nullfather
nullfather

Similar to the clone argument, however, if there were another collection of atoms that were arranged in exactly the same way, would that be "nullfather"?


Therein lies my case. Categories are not things. If there was a clone of you, then the "nullfather" category would mean the two of you. So if you wanted a more unique identity then you'd have to make up something more specific. Like nullfather A and B. But again these new identities are not real. Just labels.

I'm not talking about symbolizing the set as something else. I'm talking about what the smallest necessary set is.

That answer may lie in the properties of this instability in reality, and since physics is not fully understood, this instability may never be fully understood, meaning the smallest necessary set of identity may never be fully understood. And ALL of that is assuming my guess of reality being unstable is the real reason for individuation to begin with.

Edited January 21st by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
No love = No future
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