[extropy-chat] Indexical Uncertainty.

John K Clark jonkc at att.net
Tue Oct 17 20:17:12 UTC 2006

"MB" <mbb386 at main.nc.us>

> The word "soul" and "spirit" have many religious connotations for me, but
> I do not have another word that seems to describe that part of me beyond
> my body.

The word you're looking for is "information". Information is as close as you
can get to the traditional concept of the soul and still remain within the
scientific method. Consider the similarities:

The soul is non material and so is information. It's difficult to pin down a
unique physical location for the soul, and the same is true for information.
The soul is the essential, must have, part of consciousness, exactly the
same situation is true for information. The soul is immortal and so,
potentially, is information.

I don't want to push this too far because there are also important
differences between the soul and information. A soul is unique but
information can be duplicated. The soul is and will always remain
unfathomable, but information is understandable, in fact, information is the
ONLY thing that is understandable. Information unambiguously exists, I don't
think anyone would deny that, but in the unlikely event that the soul exists
it will never be proven scientifically.

> At what point does the Alzheimer's sufferer become "not" the person they
> were?

Point? Glass does not have a melting POINT, as it gets hotter it just gets
softer and softer. Questions of this sort are not decided at a POINT, they
are decided by a grey blob.

  John K Clark

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