No, this is not a religious question that a priest will ask his followers. This is a scientific question. Is the bionic arm of the Bionic Woman part of her? Can she legally pitch for the major league with her bionic arm? How about the new heart of a heart transplant patient? Things just get more interesting when it comes to the brain. If part of your brain needs a transplant, is that new transplant part of you or not? How will you feel after the operation? Have “you” survived the operation even though your body has? What if that transplant is an artificial one? Hello? Anyone still inside the brain?
Who am I?
You may think that there is a little Self sitting somewhere inside your brain to receive those signals that get into your brain. When the Self gets it, you get it. But brain studies reveal that the brain is really a distributed system and there is really no “Self” in it. A signal entering the brain always causes some group of neurons to change their firing patterns, and that's it! No one is inside watching the mind's TV screen. No one, not according to science. So, who is getting the signal? Who am I? Who is that feeler within?
What is consciousness? What is a mind? Why aren't we mindless? Why aren't we unconscious?
Ultimately, the question is: Will we survive our physical death? My answer is yes.
But we need to know who we are before we can talk about our survival and afterlife. If we don't know who we are, we will just be left wondering “who” actually survive.
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Kar Lee received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Washington. After a two-year post-doctoral research appointment in a national accelerator laboratory in Virginia, he left the world of fundamental physics research for industry. Since then, he has been in various technical, managerial, and consulting positions in technology and product development. Science and philosophy, particularly that of the mind, are his life long passions.