I've taken into account what you all said about the last theory I proposed and have developed it a bit more to try and overcome those criticisms. Feel free to criticise me back again :D
So I’ve been kind of absent for a while, mainly because I caught swine flu and was puking and shitting everywhere, nice huh? Anyways I have further mused on my reincarnation blog taking into account what people had said, so here’s part two.
The biggest problem you all had with what I proposed was that metaphysical particles would not just constitute a mind. The concluding factor of feedback from my point of view was you all had a problem with each incarnation being the ‘same person’. I full heartedly agree with this, you wouldn’t be the same person and I tend to agree with Hume that our personalities are simply the sum of all our experiences. The main point however that I think is missed is actually what reincarnation, and also the personality, can be defined as.
If we take typical religious views like Hinduism (I think) the rule is we are reincarnated depending on our actions in our previous lives. I’d call bullshit on this one as I believe everything is determined. Regardless I’ll humour the Hindu’s and see a way of explaining it. If we say that our next life was determined by our previous (surely the use of the word determined there says something) then our actions in our lives do have an impact on others around us, this is a misnomer. It could be theoretical that somehow these affect, ever so minutely, the actions of others that we then will experience in a subsequent life. Even if we reincarnate tens of thousands of miles away this is still possible if you think of the butterfly effect.
If we take a more non-religious view of reincarnation the main theory is that we are reincarnated with a sort of pool of collective memories we can access between life and death. This pool of memories does however influence any subsequent lives ever so minutely. I have a very difficult problem with this theory in that we end up with the whole mind/body separation where we have two different substances. There can be no rational justification for substance dualism in my view; in order for this pool of memories to affect us we need a third substance. We then need substances to breach each gap created by a further substance which leads to an infinite regress. If anyone’s interested this is Plato’s third man argument.
So we are left with my original theory where we simply blip in and out of existence when our metaphysical particles realign in a certain formation. I believe all reincarnation can only theoretically be justified this way as any other way leads into huge problems that are irreconcilable. The problem everyone had next however was that we wouldn’t be the same person.
If we take into account what I just proposed then we wouldn’t be the same ‘person’, this is true. But what is a ‘person’? In reality we are simply the sum of our experiences, the only thing that can remain between lives is the cellular memory (on a metaphysical level) that I mentioned in the previous blog. We effectively get to the final sum of our memories and then are almost annihilated by death, only leaving very small trace remains behind. These remains are so minute that we could not recall them in a subsequent life, but they are just enough to continue a consciousness of some kind. All that connects us between lives is the ability to be a conscious being made of the same particles.
The only problem I could see someone bringing up was that we would all effectively be the same consciousness, just one big blob of possible consciousness. This isn’t so however because those minute cellular memories are just enough to keep us different from each other.
Anyway, I apologise if this is a bit long, thought I’d input the next saga of it into the machine and see if anyone had any more feedback. It’s always fun to continue thinking about these things I find.
We’re all determined anyway