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$1,000,000 Question


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Las Vegas developer, Robert Bigelow, is offering almost $1,000,000 to neurologists or psychologists as follows:

"Specifically, the billionaire wants to know if it is possible "the survival of human consciousness beyond bodily death ." To do this, scientists, neurologists and psychologists have until August 1, 2021 to submit a response of up to 25 thousand words. A group of specialist judges will select the winner on November 1. Thus the first place will receive 500 thousand dollars, the second 300 thousand and the third 150 thousand."

I think I can answer that question in 1 word but Mr. Bigelow requires 25,000.  If you're up for easy money, here's your chance. Enjoy!

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Of course it does, if one has children; or if one inspires a book that lasts a millennia or so.

Ones conciousness only has meaning in the eyes of another.

Is that too many word's, to win? 

 

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The question doesn't seem to be a scientific one on the surface, but rather a philosophical one. He's asking the wrong people.

It is akin to asking if the combustion of a candle can continue after the candle goes out. Can a process continue after the cessation of the process?  Bufofrog gave a great reply to that.

If 'human consciousness' is defined/modeled in a way outside of methodological naturalism, then it outside of the methodology of modern science.  Still, I am of the opinion that it can be treated as a black box and essentially reduced to the candle case.

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36 minutes ago, swansont said:

I remember a documentary where the claim was injecting you with window cleaner cause the brain to die last, and it could be preserved in a vat.

I saw that documentary and I was engrossed from start to finish!

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1 hour ago, Halc said:

Still, I am of the opinion that it can be treated as a black box and essentially reduced to the candle case.

Is that your pride or his?

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The original proposition is too poorly defined. Would heart stoppage be bodily death?  How long must human consciousness survive to qualify?  I had an elderly friend years ago who died at a square dance.  His hear stopped while he was talking to friends.  He felt his heart stop, got a puzzled look on his face, then then fainted.  It certainly appeared that his consciousness survived death by a second or two.  But, of course, it depends on how you define "bodily death."

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It rather depends on what you define as "human conciousness". If you take the view that my conciousness is an emergent property of my brain that has changed over time (ie my conciousness at the ages of 3yrs, 10 yrs, 16 yrs etc is very different to what it is now) but that it still constrained by my physical body, then the answer would be "no." At the death of my physical body I die. However if you mean "can some version of me survive my death" then (going a bit Star Trek) if you programmed a computer "conciousness" with an algorithm that mimicked my likes/dislikes and the sort of choices I would make would that then be an extention of me?

Edited by DuncanBourne
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