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Why am I, me?

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by Superhero Sam, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Superhero Sam

    Superhero Sam Newbie

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    Why am I me, instead of someone else? • r/philosophy

    Even as a little kid, I thought about why I'm seeing through this perspective instead of the other person.

    I could be overthinking this, but to me is one of the biggest mysteries.
     
  2. expos4ever

    expos4ever Left This Site

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    I politely suggest you are indeed overthinking this. I agree that consciousness is indeed a profound mystery, but I think the "why-am-I-me-and-not-someone-else?" is a non-question.
     
  3. Superhero Sam

    Superhero Sam Newbie

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    What is a mystery about this?
     
  4. expos4ever

    expos4ever Left This Site

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    I probably will need more than one post but I believe the mystery of consciousness lies in the seeming "explanatory gap" between our decidedly structural / functional models of nature and the powerful intuition that conscious experiences - the experience of seeing a blue sky - transcend considerations of structure and function.

    To give an example: one could know all there is to know about the physical properties of yellow light as expressed in the standard theories of physics and yet not know "what it's like" to see a yellow light if, in fact, you have never actually seen a yellow light.
     
  5. Superhero Sam

    Superhero Sam Newbie

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    That is part of my question. How is it a non question?
     
  6. Michael

    Michael Contributor

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    I would say that the answer is that your consciousness is physically connected to your physical body, and that physical body determines your 'perspective' since it provides you with all of your various sensory inputs.

    You do have qualities like empathy and imagination that allows you to "walk in the shoes" of another, but apparently your consciousness doesn't have the ability to see directly through the eyes of someone else.
     
  7. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    I have often thought there are other reasons not to hate. One in particular is that we did not choose the hide or the time we were born in. We have to make good with the time, the hide, and the geography our lives will exist in.
     
  8. Papias

    Papias Listening to TW4

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    Michael, above, pretty much nailed it. You are you because your thoughts are the result of your physical brain, and of course your physical brain is not someone else's physical brain any more than this chair is that table over there.

    As Michael pointed out, all your senses come in as physical nerve impulses to your physical brain, where the physical nerve synapses process them and thoughts occur.

    Yes, consciousness is a big question, but it's a different question than asking why you are you.

    In Christ-

    Papias
     
  9. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting Berean through and through Supporter

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    Becasue God has multiple personalities
    so do we. A collective of ants is just not
    stimulating enough for God.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Superhero Sam

    Superhero Sam Newbie

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    Why am I my soul and not your soul? To me this is one of the biggest mysteries. Why is this perspective not being from any other random soul on earth?
     
  11. Dave-W

    Dave-W Our six grandchildren Supporter

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    Why am I, me?

    Because everyone else is already taken.
     
  12. Michael

    Michael Contributor

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    LOL!
     
  13. Papias

    Papias Listening to TW4

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    Did you read post #8, above?
     
  14. Michael

    Michael Contributor

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    Maybe you were just "designed" to be unique, unique in terms of DNA, and unique in terms of experiences too.
     
  15. Superhero Sam

    Superhero Sam Newbie

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    Is this a silly thread to you?
     
  16. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting Berean through and through Supporter

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    Reincarnation says you get to transport to
    another body. Enjoy the ride I guess.
     
  17. Michael

    Michael Contributor

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    It's not a silly thread, but it was a funny answer. I can appreciate a good sense of humor.
     
  18. expos4ever

    expos4ever Left This Site

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    It's a non-question in the sense that it is not really a mystery. If there are going to be 7 billion human beings, obviously each one is going to be "himself / herself" and not someone else.

    It seems to me like asking the question "why did the coin flip come out 'heads' rather than 'tails'?

    Perhaps I don't understand your question. I have already agreed that the nature of consciousness is deeply mysterious. But that is a different question than "why am I me but not someone else?". I "get" that it may appear to be a mystery, but I suggest a little thinking shows it could not be any other way.
     
  19. expos4ever

    expos4ever Left This Site

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    Agree.
     
  20. expos4ever

    expos4ever Left This Site

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    I wonder if your question is based on the unstated assumption that each person has a "soul" that floats free of their physical body. Given that assumption then, yes, I can see why it might seem mysterious that your "soul" happens to be paired with your particular body.

    However, I think such an assumption is dubious per the answer Papias gave - there is no such thing as a "soul" that can be ripped out of your body and inserted into someone else's body.

    Of course, this entire post depends on my speculation about an assumption you might be making.
     
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