[ExI] The Soul (was: Re: No gods, no meaning?)

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sat Apr 25 07:21:24 UTC 2020

On Sat, Apr 25, 2020 at 1:34 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 24/04/2020 23:57, Jason Resch wrote:
> > I'm currently writing a book on the science of the soul
> Oh, wow!
> You realise how revolutionary this is?
> Before you write your book, I think you should publish your scientific
> evidence for the existence of a soul.
The evidence and theories are already published and out there. These
theories aren't my theories, I only demonstrate what these theories imply
for the properties of the soul (consciousness).

> I always thought it was just a fantasy, some non-falsifiable made-up
> idea to make it easier to control people.

You're conscious aren't you?

You probably are thinking "I have a consciousness, but I don't have a soul"

Consider if my book shows how well-established scientific theories (special
relativity, quantum mechanics, the computational theory of mind,
mathematical platonism, etc.) -- all standard theories by scientists in
those domains--inevitably lead to the conclusion that your consciousness is
eternal, uncreated, immortal, can reincarnate, resurrect, and is in a
manner one with all other consciousnesses.

If your consciousness indeed possesses these properties, would it not be
more apt to call it a soul?

> Be prepared for lots of questions. Personally, I'm interested to know:
> What is it, exactly?


> Does your soul remember your past?

There are situations in which you will find yourself in a position where
you have consolidated memories from many experienced lives. For instance,
awaking as a Jupiter brain that just spent the last hour living the lives
of every being on a particular planet it chose to simulate.

To put this in a more human-relatable example, do you remember playing as
Link from Zelda, and Mario from Super Mario Brothers? Now consider the
perspective of a billion year old uploaded being who has lived a million
lifetimes in fully immersive VR (and uses memory blockers while in game)
and wakes up after dying in the game.

How does it relate to the mind and the brain?

Consciousness is a result of the computation performed by the brain or any
other computational substrate. If you believe in mathematical platonism,
some minds can exist as the mathematical equivalent of a Boltzmann brain,
i.e. as a Turing machine with unlimited computational resources where that
Turing machine exists purely as a mathematical object without a base
universe. But those are probably far more rare compared to brains that
evolve from simpler systems such as ourselves.

> What is it made of?

Patterns of information; computation.

> What is its mass?

Information has no mass, however the machinery of one particular instance
(incarnation) of a mind can have a mass.

> Do dogs have souls? (Socialists, Canadians, hamsters, goldfish, etc...?)

As far as we know. Though I don't know if it can ever be proved, the cost
of being wrong (wrongly assuming something doesn't have a soul) can be very
high. Descartes for example performed vivisections on his own dogs, under
the assumption that they has no consciousness and despite their cries were
not suffering.

> How does it arise? (can we make one in the laboratory?)
Many computer programs running on our laptops or phones may possess some
minimum consciousness. Consciousness is awareness of information.
Self-driving cars probably have at least insect-level consciousness.

I like to say that the "If statement
is the atom of consciousness, since it is the most basic aspect in
programming where a system can react differently based on the state of some
information. For there to be information, some system or processed must be
informed, which means that system or process has to enter a different state
based on that information.

> and, of course, what is your proof that it exists?
Roughly it comes down to these two things:
1. The fact that you know you are conscious (consciousness exists) + 2. The
rational conclusions that can be drawn from assuming our best scientific
theories are true, which imply all the aforementioned properties of

> I'm sure there will be many more questions, if you can demonstrate that
> you're actually on to something.

Let me know if you have any others.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20200425/e5427b8d/attachment.htm>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list