X-Message-Number: 14199
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 23:35:56 -0700
From: Lee Corbin <>
Subject: Re: You are the same person through time

On 23 Jul 2000 at -0500, Dave Pizer wrote in #14156:
>We would all agree: Everything in the universe is
>in the process of change at any time.  

I am forced to agree because of the multiverse (Many Worlds
Interpretation of quantum mechanices).  Even a single atom,
which we should regard as being in a superposition of states
across the many worlds, undergoes change, it can be argued.

But as interference effects maintain the integrity of a rock
in most universes, and even more so maintain the integrity of
a typical atom, I have to say that we should regard atoms as
unchanging.  (Incidently, I think that the best way to learn
to talk about the multiverse is via David Deutsch's wonderful
non-technical book, "The Fabric of Reality".)

>THEREFORE: Since we (and everything else that exists) are
>always changing, there is no reason due to "change" that
>our future (changed) selves and also our past (changed)
>selves along with our present (changing) selves can't be
>the same person.  There is no reason due to "change" that
>an evolving person is not a surviving person.  

Quite right!

>So people who give examples of a person being different
>each second of his/her live are not giving evidence of

Yes---it's a red herring.  As systems that we call "people",
those individuals sacrifice today to gain tomorrow, just as
do we all.  So they act (and should talk) as though their
identities are preserved.

>A person is a self-aware continuum (or a series of
>processes ever changing) while being the same person.

That seems to sum it up---although I'll agree with
Robert Ettinger that some problems still exist, at
least in articulation.

Lee Corbin

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