X-Message-Number: 18018
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2001 15:56:59 -0500
From: david pizer <>
Subject: Why philosophy?

>From: Thomas Donaldson <>

>Hi everyone!


>As for other questions: would Mike Perry and the others taking up
>this topic tell me why the notion of a person being in several 
>places but still the same person, at the same time, bears on 
>cryonics? I do not object to philosophy, not at all, nor to physics
>(which has now gone into some wild waters). But not all philosophy 
>or physics bears on cryonics. Maybe Mike can think of some close
>connections but I cannot do so offhand.

Fair enough question.  One of the possible reanimation techniques mentioned
often is where the future scientists fix your existing brain and walla -
you are returned.

But, another often discussed reanimation technique is where the brain
cannot be repaired just now and, "using a just as good reanimation
process," it is taken apart atom by atom, with exact measurements made, and
then a new brain is constructed and walla - you are returned.

Now, we are given the chance, before we go into suspension to discuss these
different reanimation techniques and pick one.  We can also say if we don't
want one used.  For instance the reanimator may be able to use one
technique in 100 years, but the other one won't be available for 200 years.
 Do you want to wait for it?

So, with these two different possible reanimation techniques in mind, we
need to discuss if a duplicate is really you.  Or more to the point, if
your duplicate survives, and you the original does not, did *you* survive.

One way to discuss this critical notion is to talk about being in more than
one place at the same time.  If you agree that *you* can be in two places
at once, then you probably will agree to the reanimation technique where
your original brain is taken apart and a new one made.  If you dissagree,
you probably will hold out until your original brain can be fixed up.

I think people like to discuss these ideas to try to figure out what
instructions to leave to their suspension providers.

Great question - thanks.

David Pizer

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