X-Message-Number: 25253
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 10:30:40 EST
Subject: Scott's questions

Scott Badger writes in part:

>Perhaps my time-worm scenario example wasn t a good
>one.  Apologies. But if you could go back in time and
>meet yourself, would it  make sense to ask which one
>was you?.
Going into your own past--or more generally, having two different scenarios  
at the same unambiguously designated spacetime location--would be a logical  
paradox, so unless the laws of logic are wrong it can't happen.
>Let s try something else. How about the
>classic thought  experiment where the natural brain s
>neurons are replaced, one at a time,  by artificial
>neurons which are precise duplicates until the  normal
>brain was completely replaced by an artificial brain?
>Where  is the line at which the QE is destroyed and how
>do you justify the  existence of that line?

"Artificial" (inorganic?) neurons might not be capable of ALL AND ONLY the  

functions of natural ones. If the new neurons are physical duplicates, then we
have the same old tentative questions and answers, as follows.
1. Some systems are highly sensitive to small changes. "You can't be a  
little bit pregnant." It might or might not be possible to replace neurons  
gradually without disturbing the qualia.
2. Assuming that gradual changes can be made without disturbances of  
feeling, then there is little difference from ordinary life, in which changes  

constantly occur. My tentative answer, once more, is that your connection to  
and future selves is validated by the physical overlap in space and time  and 
matter. If another version of "you" (a very similar system) does not overlap  
you in material and space and time, then it is not you in any degree. 
But we need to know much more about both physics (space, time, matter) and  
biology before we can have much confidence in anything.
Robert Ettinger

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