[extropy-chat] Life and Death is not like 1 and 0 (Identity over Interruption)

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Apr 29 10:52:13 UTC 2007

On 4/29/07, Heartland <velvethum at hotmail.com> wrote:

But before we can go any further with this investigation we need new clues
> that
> arrive after spending some time on defining what it means exactly "to
> live." I
> define "living" as being able to "access reality" which reduces to being
> able to
> think and process sensory information. I survive only by maintaining that
> access
> and perish when I lose it. With that, I may resume my quest for the subset
> of
> processes that cause life.
> Based on my definition of "living" I should not be interested in all
> processes that
> cause the mind but only in those that allow access to reality. Finally, it
> is the
> collective instance of those mind subprocesses that allow access to
> reality that I
> want to preserve. Death occurs when that instance expires which could be
> well
> before medical staff observes flat EEG.

You can define death in this way if you want (and indeed I sometimes define
death in an even more extreme way, as occurring every conscious moment), but
the question you have to answer is, what is the significance of this
definition? The millions of people who have had general anaesthetics will
say, "If that's what death is, then death is no big deal"; and they would
then form a new view of death, call it hyper-death, in which even the
illusion of continuity is lost because no copy survives, to take the place
of the old death as something to be avoided.

Stathis Papaioannou
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