X-Message-Number: 24959
From: "Michael C Price" <>
References: <>
Subject: Probability of resurrection alternatives is meaningless?
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 07:32:20 -0000

Mike Perry makes a good point with his analogy between
infinitely scarce techno-Hells and being released from a Poeian
Hell by the flip of a coin, on a daily basis.  Yes, I too might 
accept such a sentence in return for a million pounds (or even 

But I think there is a fundamental difference between being in
a situation where you know the objective future branch 
probabilities (i.e. release from the "Pit and the Pendulum" 
scenario based on a coin flip) and trying to assign prior 
probabilities or weights to where subjectively you seem to 
end up after being copied, which Universal Resurrection 
requires.  Do probabilities exist in the UR scheme?  
What I mean by this is: if your consciousness is copied, and 
then diverges, can you assign a prior subjective probability 
to each subsequent branch of your world-line, of 
"ending up in it"?
It seems to me that we cannot assign prior subjective 
probabilities for two reasons:
1) they are non-operational quantities.  No experiment can
ever measure them.  This should make us suspect that they
are meaningless or "metaphysical" in the Ayerian sense.
2) contradictions abound with them.  If Mike is copied to
create MikeA and MikeB then symmetry says they have
equal probabilities?  But what if MikeB is subsequently 
copied again?  Do we have a symmetric situation amongst
all three, or is it a 1/2, 1/4, 1/4 split?  Equally convincing 
arguments can be made for both sets of weights, it seems,
which is contradictory.

For these reasons we cannot assign prior subjective probabilities 
to where we end up when copied.  Therefore we cannot dismiss 
even infinitely scarce techno-Hells as places we are "unlikely" 
to be revived in.  All we can say is that if they exist they will
contain copies of us.  Same for techno-Heavens.

Michael C Price

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