2 Answers

  1. You can't even prove that you are the same person every next moment. You may have appeared only a moment ago, but with the idea (memory) that you have existed for years. The “Ship of Theseus paradox” that is being discussed here is not entirely appropriate. This is rather a Buddhist kshanikavada-the doctrine of the instantaneity of any being.

  2. No way.

    The philosophy of consciousness is generally an extremely interesting thing, which is full of questions and not a single answer.

    So, for example, it is worth starting with something that refers to it quite indirectly — the paradox of the ship of Theseus.

    According to Greek mythology, the ship on which Theseus returned from Crete to Athens was kept by the Athenians until the time of Demetrius of Phalerum, and was annually sent with a sacred embassy to Delos. When it was repaired, it was gradually replaced with planks until nothing remained of the old ship.�

    At this point, the question arises: if you replace all the components of a complex object, does it remain the same object, or does it already become a new one? If it is still only the same ship, then in the case of building a second ship from old boards, which one will be considered real?

    Many theories have been put forward to answer the question, each of which is based on the definition of the phrase “same ship”. So, according to Aristotle, only the material has changed, not the form and essence, which means that the ship remains the same. Other philosophers believe that the ship has remained the same “quantitatively”, but has changed “qualitatively”. However, this hypothesis, when introducing a large number of characteristics, loses any possibility of identity, forcing the same ship from a different angle to be a “qualitatively” different ship.

    How does this relate to the philosophy of consciousness? This story is used as an analogy to the hypothetical paradoxes of time travel and teleportation.

    So, for example, the duplicates paradox seems interesting to me. It was first raised in 1775 by Thomas Reid, the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, in his letter to Lord Kames:

    I would be glad to hear Your Lordship's opinion on the following: when my brain loses its original structure, and when, hundreds of years later, an intelligent being is created out of the same material in an amazing way, will I be able to consider it myself? Or if two or three similar beings are created from my brain, can I assume that they are me, and therefore the same intelligent being?

    He quite describes the essence of the paradox, but I find Derek Parfit's version of teleportation more interesting, which, by the way, was played in the 2006 Christopher Nolan film “Prestige” and the video game from the studio Frictional Games — SOMA.

    Its essence is as follows: a person is placed in a teleporting machine on earth, which works in such a way that it first immerses a person in sleep, breaks them into atoms, and then recreates them from the same atoms in the same order and sequence on Mars. Of course, the person recreated there will remember the memory of entering the teleport and will even feel the traces of a cut from a morning shave, but will the one who entered there on Earth continue to exist, or will it be a complete copy of him, but not himself?

    If you intuitively answer that, of course, you will (which means that you are a fan of physicalism), then Parfit improves the machine so that it does not break a person on Earth into atoms, but only reads their location and recreates an exact copy on Mars.�

    Using thought experiments such as this one, Parfit argues that any criterion for determining a person's identity will be insufficient, since there are no further facts. What is really important, in his opinion, is not personal identity — any psycho in the hospital can say that he is Napoleon, but this does not make him and Napoleon one person. Sychological connectedness is important, that is, memory, properties and characteristics of character.

    If it seems to you that disconnecting you from your consciousness is still far off, and cloning (we are talking about complete cloning of a person, while science is only able to recreate the genotype), time travel, cryopreservation and teleportation are still found only in fiction, then I hasten to upset you: this paradox will affect (moreover, most likely already touched) you as well.

    The fact is that all the atoms in our body are replaced on average every seven years. This means that at 7 years after your birth, you have a completely different set of components than at 14 and 21. That is, answering some shameful things from your childhood, the fact that you were a different person at school, you will be literally right.

    The only advice you can give if you have a phobia of waking up a different person is to hold on and stay awake. As much as you can! This way you will keep your identity as long as possible.

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