Personhood
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13-02-2014, 02:17 AM
RE: Personhood
(13-02-2014 01:23 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 12:58 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  That's not what I read from the question

No shit.

Quote:Preferably without a kilometer thick layering of philosobull, how do you think the question is answered?

Read my posts if you are interested to know, you dictionary thumping simpleton.

Clearly you don't know anything about neuroscience, philosophy or lexicography. So rather than trying to kill me with your rhetorical powers why don't you just fuck off and go read a book.

"Free Thought". What a fucking joke. It should be "Cheap Thought".

Wow. Chippy insulting throwing insults, what an unexpected shock.

Though your advice is excellent; I think I will "go read a book" as you put it. Really do need to finish War and Peace and move on to Anna Karenina. But then I'll need to find a new book...

Though I never said I was trying to kill you 'with my rhetorical powers', that would be absurd, you can't kill with rhetoric. Well maybe if you 3D printed out the word and beat someone with it, but I suspect that is not the same. Though to be honest I'd scarcely waste my time trying to kill you anyway, with rhetoric as you so earnestly suspect is possible or otherwise; why put the time and energy into something like that when they could be put to better use lounging about, reading or studying.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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13-02-2014, 03:06 AM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2014 03:26 AM by BeccaBoo.)
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 05:59 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(12-02-2014 11:30 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  Cognition is not the same as sentience.

True. Having only a brainstem will give you only basic sentience.

Quote:Response to stimuli is a more refined kind of response to stimuli.

???

Quote:A computer can respond to stimuli but not in a subjective manner, for instance, it only does what it has been programmed to do.

Having only a brainstem will not give you a subjectivity as you or I experience it. The infant in question will experience sensations in some way but he will not have an integrated and complex subjective life because all that comes from the cerebrum, which he does not have. Bear in mind that he has no short- or long-term memory, no emotions, no thoughts, no capacity for reflexive thought and no sense of subjective, experiencing "I". His interaction with the environment and with his own body is confined to primitive stimulus-response processing.

edit: I meant "Subjective" response to stimuli.

Of course he will not experience life the same way we do, or the types of cognition we can with complete brains. However, the point I was making with the example of half of a brain compensating for the missing half's functions is simple deductive reasoning. General hypothesis: the brain system (including the brain stem) may compensate for functions that are of similar or younger evolutionary age, but younger functions cannot compensate for significantly older functions. In other words, the cerebrum cannot compensate for a damaged brain stem, but one half may eventually compensate for some of the function of a missing half (as we already know does occur), and maybe the brain stem can compensate, albeit in an almost neglible level from our perspective, for some functions of the missing brain.

Previously it was mentioned that through MRI brain imaging, scientists have been able to watch the cognitive processes at work, but how many MRI's have been done on children like this one? I'm not saying a child with only a brain stem can calculate or think in the way we do, but IMO it does stand to reason that, with the brain stem alone, there is a nascent form of sentience that still renders the person able to subjectively respond to stimuli, as some family members in these cases have attested.
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13-02-2014, 03:12 AM
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 07:48 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(12-02-2014 09:42 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  1) No brain function is possible without the brain stem, and

That is not true. The brainstem can be destroyed and the cerebrum can continue to function; this can happen in cases of brainstem compression, brainstem haemorrhage and basilar artery thrombosis. In these--admittedly rare--cases the patient will experience a locked-in syndrome.

Quote:2) When a half of the brain is missing, the other half eventually can compensate for a great deal,

Not quite. That is something of an exaggeration and it applies only to the cerebrum because of its lateralization of function. The brainstem has no capacity for functional reorganization with respect to functions that are performed by the cerebrum. To claim otherwise is the equivalent of claiming that the liver can replace the function of the kidneys.

Quote:
It appears that there is much more we don't know about the brain than we do know, and that there is some form of sentience (feeling and subjectivity) functioning in the brain stem.

No, the brainstem by itself is unable to create a subjectivity as we experience it, all that it can provide is primitive stimulus-response processing. People that have a non-functioning brainstem lose only the somatic aspect of their subjectivity, it is otherwise intact. Subjectivity is a complex phenomenon that is produced by the cerebrum. The child in question would experience somatic sensations but it is unlikely they will be as we experience them.

Very well. Read post 52 to understand where I was going with that, I think it is still possible that the conclusion still applies.
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13-02-2014, 03:17 AM
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 07:15 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  
(12-02-2014 07:07 PM)Anjele Wrote:  I would like to note that there are people who are born perfectly healthy and with all their faculties that do not contribute a damn thing to society.

Potential...

There are children like this who do contribute to society, perhaps not as big economic producers in their time, but that can be the case for artists or scientists whose works were completely ignored during their lifetimes of indigence, but who were posthumously recognised for their brilliance.

That said, something's gotta be said about how we decide or define a person's right to live. It has to be, it must be axiomatic or we will fall into traps that make civil society impossible.
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13-02-2014, 03:22 AM
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 09:50 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(12-02-2014 11:30 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  I didn't say I had any "training in the field."

Cognition is not the same as sentience. Response to stimuli is a more refined kind of response to stimuli. A computer can respond to stimuli but not in a subjective manner, for instance, it only does what it has been programmed to do.

According to you then, "sentience" is present in caterpillars, etc.
So what. ANYTHING that can "experience" sensation is "sentient" ? I think not.
"Response to stimuli is a more is a more refine kind of response to stimuli".
Say what ? Tautology much ?

Oops, I meant to say: "Subjective" response to stimuli is a more refined response to stimuli.
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13-02-2014, 03:22 AM
RE: Personhood
(13-02-2014 02:17 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  Chippy insulting throwing insults, what an unexpected shock.

That is an ill-conceived and poorly executed sentence. A shock is by definition unexpected. Also, insulting shouldn't be there.

Quote:Though your advice is excellent; I think I will "go read a book" as you put it.

Though means "despite the fact that" so your sentence is illogical. If my advice is excellent then there is no "though", you will "go read a book" not in spite of my advice.

Quote:Really do need to finish War and Peace and move on to Anna Karenina. But then I'll need to find a new book...

More like masturbate, watch anime and play video games.

Quote:Though I never said I was trying to kill you 'with my rhetorical powers', that would be absurd, you can't kill with rhetoric.

So you don't understand metaphor either.

In your bio you wrote:

"I also hope to study evolutionary biology and other sciences."

You are a 17-year old with a dictionary so you know all that can be known.
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13-02-2014, 03:24 AM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2014 03:29 AM by Dee.)
RE: Personhood
BeccaBoo wrote,

"That said, something's gotta be said about how we decide or define a person's right to live. It has to be, it must be axiomatic or we will fall into traps that make civil society impossible."

Dee:
On issues like this, I believe polarity or stalemate is best until we become wiser or more learned.

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." Orson Welles
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13-02-2014, 03:34 AM
RE: Personhood
(13-02-2014 03:06 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  and maybe the brain stem can compensate, albeit in an almost neglible level from our perspective, for some functions of the missing brain.

No it can't do that anymore than the liver can "compensate" for missing kidneys. As I have already explained to you the cerebrum is able to "compensate" for damaged and missing portions by reorganizing its functioning and it is able to do this because its functions are localised and lateralised. The brainstem does not have a morphology which would permit that--it has no hemispheres.

Quote:You mentioned MRI brain imaging and scientists being able to watch the cognitive processes at work,

No, BuckyBall did.

Quote: but how many MRI's have been done on children like this one?

Do you need an exact number?

Quote: I'm not saying a child with only a brain stem can calculate or think in the way we do, but IMO it does stand to reason that, with the brain stem alone, there is a nascent form of sentience that still renders the person able to subjectively respond to stimuli, as some family members in these cases have attested.

No, that is not possible. He needs at least a cerebellum to form conditioned responses. And even with conditioned responses he can't be said to "subjectively respond". Conditioned responses don't form a part of subjectivity, they happen "unconsciously" just like reflexes.
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13-02-2014, 03:42 AM
RE: Personhood
(13-02-2014 03:17 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  There are children like this who do contribute to society

No they can't because they have no brain. The boy has no thoughts, no emotions, no memory--all he has is primitive somatic sensations and reflexes in response to environmental stimuli.

Quote:That said, something's gotta be said about how we decide or define a person's right to live. It has to be, it must be axiomatic or we will fall into traps that make civil society impossible.

Indeed, but we can't be sentimental about these matters. It is an entirely empirical matter what an anencephalic can or can't do. Your speculations, hopes and conjectures don't help, they only confuse the issue further.
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13-02-2014, 04:10 AM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2014 04:15 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Personhood
(13-02-2014 03:42 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 03:17 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  There are children like this who do contribute to society

No they can't because they have no brain. ...

Unless you count the data gathered from such cases, which adds to the body of knowledge, as a contribution.

Consider

Last words of the monkey vid you posted:
"If the right kind of maternal presence was not there during the critical years, then that infant might grow up to be an adult incapable of forming healthy relationships with other kinds of people"

Hands up, everyone, to whom that applies?

Angel

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