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Your self, your soul, is merely a story you tell yourself

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Duke of York, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    As a defence mechanism according to the research posted earlier.
    Part of the fairly standard adaptations that are necessary in the evolutionary arms race. It is common to a remarkable number of animals in differing degrees.
     
  2. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    No, however, I think there are significantly different levels.
    Many creatures operate through instinct, which might at lower levels be classed as consciousness.
     
  3. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    How is consciousness a defence mechanism? Are you thinking about survival instinct?
     
  4. Nanook_rubs_it

    Nanook_rubs_it Star commenter

    Of course, but that's to be expected in an evolutionary developed attribute.

    How does an instinctive decision differ from a conscious one? Did you read the bit where bees were taught how to negotiate objects and the could apply it to changed circumstances?
     
  5. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    Smoke and mirrors... Doubt it.
    I post, therefore I am.
     
    Didactylos4 likes this.
  6. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    An interesting story I heard recently concerned a woman who suffered from Parkinson's Disease in her mid forties. Parkinson's is apparently caused through a lack of dopamine which regulates our motor skills. She was treated with a dopamine drug which allowed her to function normally for a while.

    However although she was able to control her muscle activity again, the treatment destroyed her life...

    To set the scene, this woman had been brought up as a card carrying Christian in the bible belt and had lived a life without sin. After she was over the Parkinson's problem, some friends suggested she join accompany them to a sporting event taking place in Las Vegas. At some point, while she was there, she put a few dollars into the slot machines and became instantly addicted to gambling.

    To cut a long story short, the thought of gambling would never have entered her mind before this. Her family, her upbringing etc. regarded gambling as a sin, but once she'd tried it, she couldn't wait to get out of church to find some form of gambling to feed the addiction she's acquired.

    The net result was she frittered away all her savings, lived in filth, her husband divorced her etc. etc. etc. She ended up in rehab.

    It was around this time that better understanding of the drug she was on was learnt. She wasn't the only one being prescribed this drug whose behaviour changed as a consequence of being prescribed it.. They took her off it and immediately her gambling addiction ceased. Her lack of motor skills returned and somehow she is rebuilding her life.


    What relevance does this have to this thread?

    The suggestion is that we evolved a reliance on dopamine for motor control to assist with pattern recognition. Back in the days when we needed to hunt for food and didn't have Tinder to help us reproduce, we relied heavily on our ability to recognise patterns so we could identify things we could could catch to eat and things we could mate with. Good motor skill is essential in these, but equally so is the ability to recognise patterns.

    Success stimulates us to do the same thing over and over again, so when we think pattern recognition is the key to success, we will be inclined to focus on that. Gambling is about pattern recognition too. They think that over-simulating our dopamine needs will sod up our normal pattern recognition needs and draw us into the sin of gambling.

    I hasten to add this is the theory of some experts and open to alternative theories, but it just goes to show how easily it is for our sense of self can be altered in ways that the Good Book can't control.
     
    Nanook_rubs_it likes this.
  7. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    I did not say instinctive decisions differ, I suggested it might be CLASSED at lower levels as consciousness.
     
  8. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    As with all elements of sentience it goes beyond the mere instinctive survival mechanisms and enhances them by adding personal fear, knowledge of individual pain and, in many creatures, of loss
     
  9. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    You are referring to memory or learning from experience, or are you?
     
  10. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    But if memory and learning from experience kick in, then there is an "I".
     
  11. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    Historically and continuously, yes
    The ability to do so is mostly tied to consciousness

    I see delnon beat me to it
     
  12. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Memory and learning therefrom are a small part of sentience which many infer is a part of consciousness.
     
    delnon likes this.
  13. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    Indeed. Which means that there is an "I".
     
    lexus300 likes this.
  14. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    By modern definition it's actually the other way around though dictionaries can conflict on this
    It depends on whether sentience is used to include a level of subjective thought or even reaction
     
  15. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    They are such close conditions were one ends and the other begins is a matter of opinion and possibly pedantry.
     
    lexus300 likes this.
  16. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    But if there is learning, memory and sentience, there is an "I".
     
    lexus300 likes this.
  17. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    That would be my thoughts too
     
  18. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    But then the burning question is: does the "I" survive the death of the body?

    Going now: bedtime + 60m. :(
     
  19. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    No
    In my philosophy at least
    There are others
     
  20. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    "Burning question" is all too apt, given some of our beliefs. :eek::eek::eek:
     
    delnon, lexus300 and Nanook_rubs_it like this.

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