X-Message-Number: 11056
Date: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 07:26:26 -0800
From: "Joseph J. Strout" <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #11048 - #11054

In 11050,  wrote:

>If it indeed becomes possible to download and upload your soul(all the
>information, memories & experiences in your brain) it will not be you, just a
>copy of you.

This is meaningless unless you have a theory of personal identity that
explains why a copy is not the very same person as the original.  And that
theory should also explain why you are the same person from day to day, or
after hypothermic surgery, etc., yet you are no the same person as your
identical twin.  If it's a really good theory, it will also explain why, in
some cases, we say things like "she's just not the same person since the
accident" and such.

Without such a theory, you're just basing your assumption that a duplicate
is not the same person as the original on your intuition.  But intuition is
based on experience, and we have NO experience with personal duplication
whatsoever, so intuition here is pretty much worthless.

I have a theory of personal identity which is simple, logically consistent,
and fits with all of the above.  And it concludes that a copy *IS* the same
person as the original; that "copy" and "original" are just meaningless
labels we use to keep track of instances, not identities.

>Suppose we could download
>your "soul" and upload it into a cloned version of you.  Now suppose we did
>that while you were still alive.  Will your consciousness exist in two
>separate bodies?

There will be two consciousnesses, both you, of course.  There is no
problem with this, except that it strikes us as very odd, because in all
the history of the world, it has never happened (yet).

Best regards,
-- Joe

|    Joseph J. Strout           developer: MacOS, Unix, 3D, AI     |
|                 http://www.strout.net              |

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