I had a simple thought that has lead to a bit of philosophical pondering. I seek input.
My thought was; in many sci-fi novels the tech exists to upload your memories, your brain pattern and basically your consciousness. If you had the tech implanted so you were always backed-up, when your body died would you still be alive?
My gut reaction, strangely is ‘no’.
I am not religious, I believe our intelligence is what defines us and that is the sum of our biology and experience. Ergo, if that survives so should we. But knowing I was backed up, if someone threatened to shoot me I would still be afraid of dying. Therefore I must think ‘I’ die.
All my reason points to the fact that I should say ‘yes’, I live on.
We live in a construct of our own making, we ‘see’ the front of a book and our mind fills in the missing sides and gives it mass. We have no direct experience of the ‘real’ world, everything is an interpretation by our senses. Light hits the eye, is turned into electrical signals which the brain interprets by medical voodoo. We are not seeing the object, we are receiving an interpretation of electrical signals.
I think therefore I am, (I think, therefore there must be something doing the thinking, call that something ‘I’ therefore ‘I’ am/ I exist) but beyond that we cannot be certain. If, the outside world is mere construct surely we can reproduce it to keep the ‘I’?
Of course there’s the famous Samuel Johnson kicking a rock “I refute it thus!” By which he shows he perceives a rock to have matter, solidity and indeed existence then kicks it, supposedly proving it’s existence by the pain he receives. This sophistry can be dismissed by what turns out to be a fake Buddha quote (bloody internet!) “The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.”
Again it is just the interpretation of signal, not the actual ‘reality’.
So the outside world has no independently verifiable reality, it is all just interpretation of electrical signals. These are the perfect conditions for our uploaded consciousness to continue.
If my brain was to be transplanted into another body I would feel that ‘I’ survived. So it just a biological prejudice?
I am still me, even though I have two false teeth. There is the key word though, ‘false’.
I think a programme that was running “Buck 1.1” would be a (I shudder to use the word) soulless machine.
However perfect a copy it would not be me.
So what is ‘me’?
I must be missing something.
Sorry for the sloppy structure, I’m not clear on my arguments here, I’m just fumbling for an answer to a question I don’t fully understand.
Any clarification/ answers would be appreciated.
Bonus points for answering the other simple one; the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Demerits, the dunce’s cap and a lengthy spell on the naughty step for answering “42”.