Neuroscience has now firmly established that consciousness and awareness are measurable brain functions and although a full understanding how they are generated in the brain is not yet deciphered, it is obvious that the material brain is fully involved in the process. Claims that your awareness is not part of your brain, defies reality. This has been shown in the study of brain injuries and medical processes that awareness is closely tied to the condition of your brain.
The identity of who you are rests on your memories. Without memories,
as in cases of total amnesia, you would not be your old self. Your self-awareness is totally depending on your brain. What happens to the data, your memory, if your brain dies? We all like to think that death is not the end of our awareness and many theories, some religious, some based on speculation of the latest science discoveries, claim that this data, which comprises your memories is going to be duplicated to another realm. Others have proposed that sometime in the future, we will be able to transfer all this data to a mechanical brain, which will then carry our ‘self’ into the future. I am not going to dispute any of these claims, one of them might be correct. The religious notion that this data is transferred to an unknown medium upon death, begs the question what about the state of this data, which could be partly destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease or brain injuries. What about young babies who have not developed a full adult awareness yet, do they grow up in the hereafter? I leave the answers to these questions, to the proposers.
We can all agree that to continue awareness after death we somehow must transfer the memories and awareness, stored in the brain cells, as we have discovered by all the research that has been already accomplished. We must transfer the data to another medium, as proposed by many. The problem is this: imagine we can transfer our data, from our brain to a Robot. The Robot will then recognize itself as you, without a doubt, and carry on in the belief that your ‘self’ still exist, and so would any other copy of your data, in any medium, absolutely believe you are still around. The problem is that a copy is not ‘you’, it just thinks it’s you. Imaging you could clone your body and transfer your brain data to it. Your clone would be absolutely convinced it is you, but from that point on, you would both have different experiences and thus become two different ‘selfs’.
I have always wanted to write a short Science Fiction story where a Star Trek type transporter, by a malfunction, send a user to two different spots simultaneously. The two eventually meet and realize that after the mishap they had different experiences and thus were not the same person. They then realized that the original user actually died the first time he used the transporter.
Realize you are unique and your ‘self’ depends on your material brain. Even if a duplicate of you carries on in another realm, this is the only chance you will ever get to be aware of this awesome universe, Make the most of it.