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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Where Is The "Swim" In A Swimmer?

Here's a concise and nicely presented video by QualiaSoup about the problems with the philosophy of dualism.

I should add that substance dualism is also not consistent with the experience of people who go through general anaesthesia.

They describe feeling drowsy before the operation and then abruptly awake after the operation, as if no time had passed in between.

This subjective continuity of consciousness is a problem for dualists - where did the consciousness "go" during those hours?

If consciousness can be suspended in this manner by chemicals, then it cannot be independent of physical reality. The strong possibility exists that consciousness is simply a process of physical reality, and can be obliterated via physical means.

Also, if an "eternal soul" is supposed to persist even when consciousness is suspended during anaesthesia, this suggests that they are distinct entities.

If someone's "eternal soul" survives physical death but is not linked to her consciousness, then she didn't really survive.