Are You Surprised that You're You?

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Are You Surprised that You're You?

Postby iconoclastic on May 29th, 2018, 7:43 pm 

Your existence is surprising enough (if one of your ancestors had decided they didn't want to have sex that night, you wouldn't exist), but it's even more surprising that you're you: why aren't you someone else? I'm not conscious of being anyone else, so why am I conscious of being me? Does it surprise any of you that the birth of some random person (you) was, well, you? (I'm not asking "why am I who I am and why do I act how I act". That's genetics. I'm asking why I am conscious of being myself, in other words, why am I myself).
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Re: Are You Surprised that You're You?

Postby davidm on May 29th, 2018, 8:55 pm 

The chances of you being you are 100 percent — 1:1 — unity.

Nothing surprising about that.

There are two different notions of probability at work here. One is the probability of you being you — that’s 100 percent. The other is the probability of you existing at all — the odds against you existing at all are astronomical, off the charts. Yet, here you are. Which just goes to show that “extremely improbable” does not mean “impossible.” Given enough trials, all events, no matter how improbable, will converge to unity.

Consider a lottery in which every person on earth, about 7 billion, are assigned a card. All the cards are blank, except one, which has WINNER printed on it. What are the odds that you will draw that card? One in 7 billion.

What are the odds that someone will draw that card?

One hundred percent.
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Re: Are You Surprised that You're You?

Postby Event Horizon on May 29th, 2018, 11:06 pm 

I'm not surprised at all. It's just bloody typical that I'm me again... My unique potential to exist is something I'm stuck with I guess.
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Re: Are You Surprised that You're You?

Postby Don Juan on June 24th, 2018, 12:23 pm 

iconoclastic » May 30th, 2018, 1:43 am wrote:Your existence is surprising enough (if one of your ancestors had decided they didn't want to have sex that night, you wouldn't exist), but it's even more surprising that you're you: why aren't you someone else? I'm not conscious of being anyone else, so why am I conscious of being me? Does it surprise any of you that the birth of some random person (you) was, well, you? (I'm not asking "why am I who I am and why do I act how I act". That's genetics. I'm asking why I am conscious of being myself, in other words, why am I myself).


There is a sense of wonder I would say. I often ask myself and others 'how come I am?'

This existence in my point of view, this I experience, is mind-blowing for me. I seem to be a hierarchically stable state of relationships of some things in time in this universe. I wish to be a scientist of my own phenomenon from within.
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Re: Are You Surprised that You're You?

Postby Serpent on June 24th, 2018, 2:11 pm 

iconoclastic » May 29th, 2018, 6:43 pm wrote:Your existence is surprising enough

No, it really isn't. We all exist, or we wouldn't be here to hoo-haw over it. In fact, there is far too much human existence, at the price of many thousands of other species ceasing to exist.
Are you ever surprised at what doesn't exist, but should?

but it's even more surprising that you're you: why aren't you someone else?

Because Someone Else is filling that ecological niche and there wouldn't be enough room for both of us, while my ecological niche would be vacant and likely fall prey to some other parasite.

Does it surprise any of you that the birth of some random person (you) was, well, you?

What makes you think I'm random? I am, in point of fact, the culmination of 3 billion years of precision nucleic acid sequencing.

I'm asking why I am conscious of being myself,

I don't know about you. My excuse is that the anaesthetic wore off.

in other words, why am I myself

Maybe you're not. If you were someone else, you would still think of yourself as "me". I know this, because everyone is convinced of him- or her-self being "me". And, as you've pointed out, the odds against the existence of even one "me" are overwhelming, so there is no way we all can be "me".
So, how do you know you're not actually someone else suffering from a delusion of myselfhood?
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Re: Are You Surprised that You're You?

Postby mitchellmckain on June 24th, 2018, 5:12 pm 

No.

Nor am I surprised that apples are not oranges and that dogs are not trees. The suggestion is not even coherent, and so it does not surprise be that incoherent things are not the case, for it is hard to imagine that they even could be.
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Re: Are You Surprised that You're You?

Postby BadgerJelly on June 24th, 2018, 10:17 pm 

If I was someone else how would I know? That said thre are things we can learn about ourselves so in part we really are “someone else” that sense.

Existence is certainly a great mystery.
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Re: Are You Surprised that You're You?

Postby Angelo Cannata on July 8th, 2018, 1:20 am 

I think that the question raised by iconoclastic is so important that I would say that it is not a question of philosophy, but the question of philosophy today.
Today I see nothing more important in philosophy than dealing with our subjectivity, our perception of being I. For example, it represents, in my opinion, the basis for non-violence: I will have respect of humans and even of animals, plants and objects, on the ground of my perception of myself as I, because from here I can suspect that other people have their living perception of being I and even things, like a simple stone, can be suspected of having some kind of I, especially if we note that between our DNA and any other atom there is not a gap, but only a difference about quantities, amounts of complexity.
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