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The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Cycswan
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The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Cycswan » March 29th, 2018, 2:31 am

Nothingness being logically impossible and monism being true implies generic subjective continuity (gsc). My flavor of generic subjective continuity rests within a b theory, eternalist metaphysics, where change/becoming is impossible. All stages of one's life, eg, are static within spacetime. So there's no enduring self, from any two moments, no matter how relationally similar. What gives the illusion of a self that "goes through spacetime" is self referential memory. But here are where the implications get disturbing, and my opinion, horrific. Given monism, you can think of us all being parts of one mind (any non experiential states are irrelevant given gsc), and "you" can only be one moment/stage at a time. Given this, it's best to see death as a junction between two drastically different world lines, where the self refential memory ends for a specific world line, and there being countless "unrelated" world lines that follow spatiotemporally. So we're all one, but can only experience one part at a time. This means we have to "pass through" countless iterations of conscious moments of the highest bliss, worst tortures, and all in between - indefinitely! There might be a transfinite region of spacetime where the threshold of pain/pleasure is less extreme/more tolerable, but there's no reason to believe that those experiences are adjacent to the ones we likely will experience after death. Post death will be very similar to the first moments of your current world line. A feeling of never existing prior, but only because birth/death is break between self referential memory, that which creates the illusion of passage. No one's ever given me a compelling reason why this metaphysics is false. It follow basic laws of logic that are foundational to truth. I don't like the idea of perpetual existence, because "I" don't want to "pass through" countless torturous incarnations, but that's the reality I see being the case.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Halc » March 30th, 2018, 8:17 am

Cycswan wrote:
March 29th, 2018, 2:31 am
Given monism, you can think of us all being parts of one mind (any non experiential states are irrelevant given gsc), and "you" can only be one moment/stage at a time.
Quite the dualistic description of monism then. Given monism, there is no separate 'you' that can 'be' at a moment. Given the b-series wording you described, every state has its state of experience (Doesn't have experience, just has the state of it, a difference).

So your post goes on to describe what one "will experience after death", or an "I" that "passes through", again a non-monist descriptions. Perhaps you are trying to argue against the monist view (hard to tell), but I see little description of it.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Halc » March 30th, 2018, 9:38 am

I read up a little that I could find about GSC. It claims to be a monist stance. The implications of this claim are that there is a crumbling skeleton somewhere with a brain long since eaten by worms, and that skeleton (perhaps long since dispersed as dust) is what is experiencing your life, not you or your current brain. This is experience after death, and you have to assume you've already died a number of times.

If this is a misrepresentation of the view, then how do you define what you are (in a non-dualist manner, so no supernatural essence), that this defined 'you' expects to continue experience after death?

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Cycswan » March 30th, 2018, 12:04 pm

What I'm saying is that we are all one/of the one. One being the totality of all there is. Nothing is separate from anything else. And there is no "you" that endures through time. Just virtually similar conscious states that refer back to a prior self. What I'm saying is that birth/death is a break in the continuity of self refential memory (memory that gives the sense of an enduring self). Since we're all one, "we" can only ever be one part/aspect of the one at any given time, but "we" can never not be a thing that isn't conscious, because there's no experiential content embedded into non experiential states. Taking this to its logical conclusion, means that given enough iterations of conscious states "we" should expect to experience countless kinds of things. The worst being torture of any kind (burning alive, etc).

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » March 30th, 2018, 12:06 pm

Cycswan:

If you have time and interest, I suggest that you read some of my posts on this forum, for instance this:

http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... =2&t=15258

You may find that we have very similar metaphysical views.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Cycswan » March 30th, 2018, 9:29 pm

Tamminen:

That post is brilliant. Better explains what I've tried to elucidate. Due to the inherent linguistic paradoxes to this concept, it's very hard to explain. That's why I like using analogies. I actually wish this metaphysical view was false, but no one has given me convincing arguments to the contrary. Have you encountered any good counterarguments to this type of "naturalistic rebirth" concept? I hate the idea of going through indefinite body incarnations, in which countless involve unimaginable suffering. Obviously we've all experienced these things prior, but birth/death is a break in continuity of self referential memory. This concept is very esoteric, and the eastern traditions that come close to it are unfortunately tainted with non-naturalistic elements within them (free will, escaping existence, etc.). Intellectuals like Sam Harris, Brian Greene, Sean Carroll have all ignored my messages on this topic.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » March 31st, 2018, 4:26 am

Cycswan wrote:
March 30th, 2018, 9:29 pm
Tamminen:

That post is brilliant. Better explains what I've tried to elucidate. Due to the inherent linguistic paradoxes to this concept, it's very hard to explain. That's why I like using analogies. I actually wish this metaphysical view was false, but no one has given me convincing arguments to the contrary. Have you encountered any good counterarguments to this type of "naturalistic rebirth" concept? I hate the idea of going through indefinite body incarnations, in which countless involve unimaginable suffering. Obviously we've all experienced these things prior, but birth/death is a break in continuity of self referential memory. This concept is very esoteric, and the eastern traditions that come close to it are unfortunately tainted with non-naturalistic elements within them (free will, escaping existence, etc.). Intellectuals like Sam Harris, Brian Greene, Sean Carroll have all ignored my messages on this topic.
I have found only one member of these forums who comes close to this view:

http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... =2&t=14163

Perhaps TylerVo has come to the conclusion that it is impossible to discuss this because no one really understands. And it is true that it demands a peculiar kind of insight. I have been more stubborn, and if you use the search property you can find several attempts where I have tried to make my point clear, without success, I am afraid. Wittgenstein wrote in the preface of Tractatus that perhaps his thoughts can be understood only by someone who has already had similar thoughts. And it is also true that this metaphysical hypothesis has some paradoxical elements.

I have found no serious counterarguments, only silence, but I think it is because you must first understand the argument before you can propose counterarguments. What you do not understand seems usually nonsense. But all in all, this seems to be the only theory that solves the existential and logical paradoxes of our being in the world.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Cycswan » April 1st, 2018, 2:34 am

Tamminen:

Another question that arises: what is the selection process (if any) for what you'll become after death? Of course I don't believe in becoming, so that would be illusory, but there'd still have to be a relational connection (I'd assume) to your last conscious state and whatever next "you" will experience. To better conceptualize this, think of a flashlight that is moving through holes in wall. Each hole being a conscious moment. Some holes are closer to each other. Some might have some kind of informational relationship that is unique, maybe? If the flashlight is, so to speak, moving past my last hole in my current world line, what is it likely moving towards next? Wayne Stewart has this idea of Exestential Passage. Very similar to our ideas. He postulates something like that "you" become the thing closest spatiotemporally to you (or at least temporally?) after death. There's no intuitive logic to what kind of conscious state to expect after death that I'm aware of. Thanks for your input and links.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » April 1st, 2018, 1:20 pm

Cycswan:

I have thought of the same problem, and I have not found any other logical solution than what you proposed: temporal order in physical space-time. But this will probably remain hidden from us because if we knew it, that could cause all kinds of logical and ethical paradoxes. We do not know everything because we are inside the universe and cannot jump outside of it to see it "with God's eyes".

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » April 23rd, 2018, 1:57 pm

I must confess that I had never heard of 'Generic Subjective Continuity' before this post from Cycswan, but I find that I have written about it all the time in my posts. It is a metaphysical theory with nothing supernatural in it, but unfortunately it is untestable. We must only appeal to its consistency and power of clarifying our existential situation. It has some difficulties and seeming paradoxes especially if we claim that there is only one stream of experiences, as I do, but I cannot see any logical contradictions in it. A short version of it can be found here:

http://www.naturalism.org/philosophy/de ... bjectivity

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by BigBango » April 24th, 2018, 11:29 pm

Tamminen:

I really like your writing and am very impressed with your analysis of the problems. I think I understand what you and Cycswan have concluded. My own thesis mostly gets misunderstood and people lack the interest to be burdened with such nonsense.

My main complaint with your theory is that you seem to be stuck in "Analytical Philosophy" You can keep sharpening it and sharpening it, yet it fails to deliver a path for any further metaphysical analysis. That leaves us with the subjective "I" reawakening, instantly, at death all nicely incarnated in the next body of physical states. I can see the logic of this never ending subjective state of awareness.

I'm not so much disagreeing with your analysis or wanting to change it because it goes about as far as one can go with a purely analytical analysis. What I would like to contribute are possible metaphysical insights that may seem to soil your analysis but IMHO furthers it by pointing toward further speculation or even new empirical opportunities.

My thesis asks if there are advanced civilizations from before the BB that have survived the BB. Without going into repeating my former explanations for why they would be very tiny let's just assume they are. What this brings to your thesis, is the question of what is the status of their physicality. If they are just matter like us, only much smaller, aren't they still the objective world? In that case your analysis says that at best those tiny things could only exist if they were also the object of some subject. Then we are stuck with an infinite regress. I don't think this is necessarily fatal. There are infinite series that repeat endlessly and there are series that converge.

The point here should not be whether an infinite regress of physical/mental is possible or not. The point should be does a first decomposition make any sense in our world.

Let's look at some of the simple interventions by beings in our world and see how it effs up our scientific, physical "Monism". We have a good theory of gravity but does it anticipate the increase in mass by space capsules, golf balls and other trash that have been abandoned on the moon? No. In other words, there are subjective states (desire to go to the moon) that can never be anticipated in a purely physical theory of the world. The other point is that we should grant that advanced civilizations would have far greater technology than us at their disposal.

Given that micro advanced civilizations in every cell which they have constructed by messing with our natural chemistry we mistakenly think of our physical body as something that just emerges out of chemistry. But the civilizations in us are our soul. Their different states of socialization that result from what they experience through the physical cells they have built is our being in this world. When our physical body dies the civilizations still experience at a lower level and I am sure they are interested in reincarnating as soon as possible, unless they are yogic masters that have achieved bliss and need not play the game anymore. :bored:

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » April 25th, 2018, 4:28 am

BigBango wrote:
April 24th, 2018, 11:29 pm
I really like your writing and am very impressed with your analysis of the problems. I think I understand what you and Cycswan have concluded. My own thesis mostly gets misunderstood and people lack the interest to be burdened with such nonsense.
Someone once asked Ludwig Wittgenstein what he thought about Sören Kierkegaard, and the answer was: "He is too deep for me." I must say the same: you are too deep for me. Simplex sigillum veri.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by CIN » April 25th, 2018, 5:31 am

Cycswan wrote:
March 29th, 2018, 2:31 am
Nothingness being logically impossible...
I disagree with you right there. The proposition 'nothing exists' is not self-contradictory and contains no other logical error, although of course nobody could ever utter it truthfully.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » April 25th, 2018, 7:58 am

What improves the credibility of this hypothesis is the fact that at least Thomas W. Clark, Wayne Stewart, I, and perhaps also Cycswan, have all had the same insight independently, not knowing anything about each others' thoughts.

BigBango: There is no infinite regress in our theory. I do not assume there are extra universes before or after this one. One universe is enough, whether it has started from a singularity or not. Let's not make things too complicated.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » April 25th, 2018, 12:34 pm

CIN wrote:
April 25th, 2018, 5:31 am
Cycswan wrote:
March 29th, 2018, 2:31 am
Nothingness being logically impossible...
I disagree with you right there. The proposition 'nothing exists' is not self-contradictory and contains no other logical error, although of course nobody could ever utter it truthfully.
The whole idea of the Generic Subjective Continuity is seeing the absurdity of the thought that when we die, we pass into nothingness, and that there is such a thing as nothingness. But there is no such thing. There is only the last experience of someone and the first experience of someone else, and nothing between them. This is the only way we can speak of 'nothing'.

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