On Being Human

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Introspection -repparttar ability to construct self-referential and recursive models ofrepparttar 122353 world - is supposed to be a uniquely human quality. What about introspective machines? Surely, sayrepparttar 122354 critics, such machines are PROGRAMMED to introspect, as opposed to humans. To qualify as introspection, it must be WILLED, they continue. Yet, if introspection is willed - WHO wills it? Self-willed introspection leads to infinite regression and formal logical paradoxes.

Moreover,repparttar 122355 notion - if notrepparttar 122356 formal concept - of "human" rests on many hidden assumptions and conventions.

Political correctness notwithstanding - why presume that men and women (or different races) are identically human? Aristotle thought they were not. A lot separates males from females - genetically (both genotype and phenotype) and environmentally (culturally). What is common to these two sub-species that makes them both "human"?

Can we conceive of a human without body (i.e., a Platonian Form, or soul)? Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas think not. A soul has no existence separate fromrepparttar 122357 body. A machine-supported energy field with mental states similar to ours today - would it be considered human? What about someone in a state of coma - is he or she (or it) fully human?

Is a new born baby human - or, at least, fully human - and, if so, in which sense? What about a future human race - whose features would be unrecognizable to us? Machine-based intelligence - would it be thought of as human? If yes, when would it be considered human?

In all these deliberations, we may be confusing "human" with "person". The former is a private case ofrepparttar 122358 latter. Locke's person is a moral agent, a being responsible for its actions. It is constituted byrepparttar 122359 continuity of its mental states accessible to introspection.

Locke's is a functional definition. It readily accommodates non-human persons (machines, energy matrices) ifrepparttar 122360 functional conditions are satisfied. Thus, an android which meetsrepparttar 122361 prescribed requirements is more human than a brain dead person.

Descartes' objection that one cannot specify conditions of singularity and identity over time for disembodied souls is right only if we assume that such "souls" possess no energy. A bodiless intelligent energy matrix which maintains its form and identity over time is conceivable. Certain AI and genetic software programs already do it.

Strawson is Cartesian and Kantian in his definition of a "person" as a "primitive". Bothrepparttar 122362 corporeal predicates and those pertaining to mental states apply equally, simultaneously, and inseparably to allrepparttar 122363 individuals of that type of entity. Human beings are one such entity. Some, like Wiggins, limitrepparttar 122364 list of possible persons to animals - but this is far from rigorously necessary and is unduly restrictive.

The truth is probably in a synthesis:

A person is any type of fundamental and irreducible entity whose typical physical individuals (i.e., members) are capable of continuously experiencing a range of states of consciousness and permanently having a list of psychological attributes.

This definition allows for non-animal persons and recognizesrepparttar 122365 personhood of a brain damaged human ("capable of experiencing"). It also incorporates Locke's view of humans as possessing an ontological status similar to "clubs" or "nations" - their personal identity consists of a variety of interconnected psychological continuities.

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .

Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com

Time is an Illusion or How to get more things done today 3 of 3

Written by Ken Myrback

Continued from page 1
If your still with me and like this whole fluid time idea. Try this:repparttar next time you’re in a boring situation, like say stuck in traffic, Relax take a few deep breaths and tell yourself that “five minutes are as one" and repeat that several times. This will change your perception of time so though you will still have to drive those five minutes they will seem like only one minute. And I am willing to bet thatrepparttar 122352 commute won't "seem" nearly as long as usual. There are so many application of this conceptrepparttar 122353 only real limit is your imagination. Allot of people are fascinated byrepparttar 122354 concept of time travel. There is a lot of controversy both inrepparttar 122355 scientific community andrepparttar 122356 hypnosis community. From everything I have read I believe that using current life regression and past life regression as well as other modalities it is possible though not physically possible to go back in time it is possible to alter past personal events to effect your present and your future. The reason I believe this is possible is that not only is time flexible but so is our perception of our reality. For example, let's say there is someone who is deathly afraid of heights because of a trauma as a child. But using any of several techniques we removerepparttar 122357 trauma from that memory so that all subsequent height memories no longer have that trauma and fear connected with them. That person would no longer have a fear of heights. So, have we traveled back in time? I will leave that for you to decide. Butrepparttar 122358 same concepts can be used to visit past lives as well for either therapy or discovery. It felt as though I have been writing for well over an hour but in fact by my watch it has been about 40 minutes. Notrepparttar 122359 five to one ratio I was hoping for but that will come with practice. Go have some fun, go change your perspective today.

Ken Myrback along with his wife Maria are Certified Hypnotherapist and Energy Healers. They can be reached in their office: Holistic South, Inc. 770-713-2804 Or onrepparttar 122360 web at: www.holisticsouth.com

Ken is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Energy Healer living and working in Metro Altanta.

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