```X-Message-Number: 25063
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 22:05:07 -0500
From: Francois < var s1 = "asimov_orion"; var s2 = "videotron.ca"; var s3 = s1 + "@" + s2; document.write("<a href='mailto:" + s3 + "'>" + s3 + "</a>"); >

It is really worth examining the concept of identity because it is very
important to the whole cryonic experiment. Lets say that I volunteer for an
experimental duplication procedure. The procedure in question must be
performed while I'm under general anasthesia, so I won't be aware of it. I
lie down on an operating table and I'm "put under". When I wake up, I'm in a
hospital bed. There is a second bed in the room, with someone who looks
exactly like me who is also waking up. We look at each other. Then what?

Well, there are two individuals in the room, lets call them A and B. The
copying procedure is exact, so all the physical characteristics of the two
individuals are the same, down to the atomic level. One of the scientists
who conducted the experiment enters the room and asks individual A for his
name. Individual A answers that his name is Francois. Then, the scientist
asks the same question to individual B. He also answers that his name is
Francois. There are in fact only two people in the room, the scientist and
Francois.

Obviously, what individual A feels is not shared by individual B. If the
scientists pricks individual A's hand with a needle, individual B will not
feel it. A and B cannot read each other minds and each has different
memories of what happened after they woke up. They however have the same
memories of what happened before. If they are not told which one physically
walked into the lab to undergo the duplication procedure ans which one is
the result of that procedure, they will never be able to decide which one is
which.

This is an extremely bizarre concept. Effectively, Francois exists in
individual A's location as well as individual B's. Both subjectively
experience continuity of identity with the pre-duplication Francois. If
either A or B were to die at this point, Francois would continue to live as
the surviving individual. If we now consider the qualia aspect, would
Francois truly exist in both A and B, or would we end up with two distinct
qualia experiencers. One really important factor is that it would be
impossible for A and B to find any difference in the way they subjectively
perceive qualia, however deep their investigations would go. Separate
brains, yet same qualia. The only true difference would be in the fact the
individual A lies in one bed while individual B lies in another. It would
certainly make a difference in what each individual perceives of the world,
but not in who does the perceiving.

Francois