Essay

(now with easy to read english subtitles)

 

A One of the most interesting things about modern science, in the days of Quantum Reality and Holographic Paradigms, is the almost preternatural convergence of science and philosophy, an almost cyclic reaquaintance of two seperated twins. Higher level thought in subatomic science seems to be approaching an almost Zen-like transendence.

I didn't realize the implication of Einstein's Theory of Relativity and the later developments of subatomic cosmology in the field of personal identity until I sat down and really thought thru my understanding of what modern science is saying about the nature of Reality.

'E=MC2' seems to be saying that there is a direct correlation between matter and energy: that these things are not different, but rather that they are the same stuff. The Time-Space Continuum seems to imply that Space and Time and Matter are directly interelated and interdependent.

The study of subatomic particles has produced as its fruit the likes of Neutrons and Protons and Electrons, of which all things are made on: each thing divisible to Molecules then Atoms then [even smaller] subatomic particles. The further disintegration of these [Neutron and Protron] particles by the use of super-colliders has revealed, my favorite, the Quark, a creature of a variety of colours and flavours. This inestimable Quark has proven itself to be comprised of even another particle type ... the Muon, the Neutrino and several others. This Parade of Particles suddenly ends when the Muons and other infinitesimal particles are crunched, since they disappear, leaving a most interesting Wizard of Oz behind the curtain of matter, our fore-shadowed Electron.

Lo and behold, the mighty Electron at the base of 'IT ALL.'

It seems energy in all its varieties of pattern, amount, vector and Vibration is the basis of Stuff, that different forms of matter, much as the different rate of vibration in water is responsible for the 'Heat' change of form from solid to liquid to gas, are just different Vibrational Rates of Attenuated Energy.

All of matter, and space, and time, bounded by the varieties of Vibrational Energy is an amazing enough conclusion by itself, even though fully supported by the evidence of modern science, but the implications of this (dare I say?) Unified Theory of 'IT ALL' leads us boldly onward:

If all things are forms and patterns and amounts of Vibrations of Energy;

If each thing is different from another things due to qualities of Vibrations of Energy, such as Vector, Pattern, and Amount;

I, therefore, hold: that personal identity is a product of specific Rates of Vibrational energy on specific vectors, in specific patterns, in specific amounts; that a person is defined as an identifiable being by these qualities of matter; that each person, each thing indeed, has a different 'whole' definition of each of these qualities which defines that person as an identical creature/phenomena equal only to itself.

B Griogair, while you have obviously given a great deal of time towards thinking thru the basis of this theory; for which I commend you and assure you I feel you rightly deserve the highest grade possible; I do feel, however, that you have not fully thought out the implications of what you have said derives from the implications of modern science.

In your final sentence you make a statement that is the first that comes to mind, in no way saying that I agree with the remainder of your proof. You have stated that the Qualities of this Vibrational Energy define each phenomena as an identical phenomena equal only to itself, which seems fine on the face of it, but I question if this is so, would not I be able to produce energy with these qualities and thereby create the same criteria, by which you judge identity, in a second phenomena thereby causing a fault in your theory by way of the Principle of Identity which would contradict the possibility of two phenomena being identical?

This would seem to say that there is some other quality which defines personal identity which is not thought on in your philosophy, to pilfer a good line from Shakespeare.

C Thank you for so fully attending to my idea, Griogair. I am pleased to have so skilled a commentator as yourself, and if I may, I also extend my belief in your merit, but I am afraid that I do no agree that the Principle of Identity causes a problem with my theory at the base of it, as well I hold you have built a strawman argument in which you have assumed an ability which is circular in proof.

First off, you have said that if you could create these phenomena then you would have the phenomena which I hold doesn't constitute sound reasoning, although I do see you point and the implications of such a possibility, given greater time and better reasoning, could cause some consternation if I did not continue further and state that I do not hold the Principle of Identity with any regard. I would like to draw your attention to the problem, as I see it, with this Principle: in order to judge identity a thing must be able to be identified, which is a process of an observer. If I have a pen and I lose this pen, only to find another 'exactly similar' pen two days later I will have no way of making any statements about the Identity of the pen. I can say it is 'similar to the one I lost' or 'dissimilar to the one I lost,' but to know if the Primary Matter of the pen is the Identical would require some sense of the immaterial (non-phenomenal) nature of the pen which is an absurd notion.1 For this reason I hold that the Principle of Identity makes assumptions not wise to make and is in fact a convention of how we view the world and not an actually useful tool in delving in primary matter, of which I for one am not convinced of as an existing non-phenomenal creature.2

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1 This is absurd because to say something is non-phenonenal is to say that it cannot be sensed, which would make the use of the phenomenal senses useless in the determination of identity if indeed identity were non-phenomenal, but short of as yet undemonstrated trans-natural abilities it appears that the determination of identity by the identifier is thru the medium of the phenomenal sense.

2 Originally, I had intended to refute the objection raised by the Principle of Identity in a different way:

The Principle of Identity, in light of the modern understanding of time, causes an absurdity and proves itself to be just a convention of neurocentric prejudice and linguistic convention.

If I were to get up from where my computer is and walk into the kitchen to get a snack then I could say that I had just started a process and ended a process with me (a phenomena identical to me) at the begining and at the end. Let me call this process CÉK, which we know to be true.

If I were instead to get up from where my computer is and walk downstairs to the mailbox to see if I've won the Ed McMahon Sweepstakes again then I could say that I had just started a process and ended a process with me (a phenomena identical to me) at the begining and at the end. Let me call this process CÉM, which we know to be true.

At this point I think you may see the direction I am heading, but to continue: These two processes, both of which I know to be true, if occuring at the same time would then necessarily, by the Principle of Identity, cause one of the two to be false: ~(CÉK) ~(CÉM). This is an absurdity if I can show that having two things occur at the same time doesn't alter the basic nature of the equation, and for this purpose I now turn, once again, to Einstein.

The Theory of Relativity, in part, implies that the way in which we view time is inaccurate. The flow of time is not a steady universal heartbeat. That the flow of time is altered by conditions of motion and mass and other physical qualifications has been shown by the implications drawn from E=MC2. If this is true, which I hold and so holds the scientific community, then saying that things occur at a specific time is misleading. Rather it would be more useful to speak of process, to speak of things occuring in a specific order, than it would be to say that time is a definitive way in which to equate to events.

Relativity, as I understand, shows that using time as a reference between events and objects and phenomena is a mere convention of how we, as humans, view the world, but not rather how the world is: which is the essence of existential uncertainty validated by so-called hard science.

So, to say that two processes occur at the same time or at different times is misleading. Therefore, the two processes mentioned above are not to be thought as being affected by our thought experiment of shifting times, since time shifts are normal and scientifically commonplace. Therefore, the Principle of Identity causes an absurdity and cannot be trusted as an accurate part of how the cookie crumbles.

Now, there are, of course, objections to this. The major one I see is that if I can say that processes occur in a certain order then I can specify that the two processes must occur one after the other in order to be thought of as a whole process, but what the heck? What's a little hole like that going to do, stop the grinding wheels of progress? I think not!

This objection, ultimately, is why I didn't use that example on the test to refute the Principle of Identity.