[ExI] The Soul

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sat Apr 25 20:12:51 UTC 2020

On Sat, Apr 25, 2020, 10:32 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 25/04/2020 11:35, Jason Resch wrote:
> > The evidence and theories are already published and out there
> Oh, dear. Poe's law strikes again.
> OK, then.
> You seem to be vacillating between the normal concept of a mind and the
> normal concept of a soul.

I'm not vacillating between the two, rather I intend to show that the mind
goes much further than is normally conceived. The mind possesses many of
the properties normally associated with the "normal concept of the soul".

> I think you mean 'mind' when you say 'soul', but then you invite
> accusations of supernatural thinking by saying things like "your
> consciousness is eternal, uncreated, immortal, can reincarnate,
> resurrect, and is in a manner one with all other consciousnesses".

It may sound supernatural, but those are just natural consequences of
standard scientific theories.

> Of course, answering "what is the soul, exactly?" with "Consciousness"
> is no answer at all. You might as well have said "Flargness" or
> "Domaghen" or any other word without a definition. I suppose the next
> step is to ask "So what, exactly, is Consciousness?". But don't worry if
> you can't answer that. Nobody else can either.

I provided a definition and example in my previous email.

> I hope you don't really mean what you say with "If you believe in
> mathematical platonism, some minds can exist as the mathematical
> equivalent of a Boltzmann brain". Because that means that reality bends
> to belief. I'm pretty certain that's not the case. How could you resolve
> the fact that some people do believe in mathematical platonism and some
> don't?

I mean mathematical platonism implies mathematical Boltzmann brains.
Platonism is the default theory among most mathematicians. You don't need
to believe in it, but if the theory is true, then mathematical Boltzmann
brains exist. Actually then all self consistent mathematical objects exist:
all minds and universes and program executions would exist.

> It's irrelevant, anyway, because as I've already mentioned, information
> isn't something independent of matter and energy, so minds can only
> exist as physical incarnations, such as functioning brains.

What about a mathematical Boltzmann brain? Is that not independent if
matter and energy?

> 'You probably are thinking "I have a consciousness, but I don't have a
> soul"'
>   Nope I'm not thinking that. I'm thinking I am a mind (not "I have a
> mind", because that would raise the question "What am I, that has a
> mind?"). A fragile, mortal, singular, emergent, and soon-to-be
> permanently-snuffed-out (unless someone does something to prevent that)
> mind. I don't have a workable definition of 'consciousness' and as far
> as I'm aware a 'soul' is just a made-up concept used by religious
> organisations to scare their congregations into obeying the rules.
> Unless its your special definition of 'soul', which means 'mind'. Except
> when it doesn't. Unless it means 'Flargness' as you claim (or some such
> term), which doesn't have a definition. And around and around we
> frustratingly and pointlessly go. Remind you of anything? (Hint: it
> starts with 'R' and ends with 'eligion').

If you don't attempt to or want to understand my points then you're right,
this is going to be frustrating and pointless for the both of us.

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