X-Message-Number: 25310
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 11:53:47 -0800
Subject: Side Notes on Materialism
From: <>

Dear Valera,

You wrote:

"From the materialistic perspective the contents of either book are 
paper and ink. Thus the contents of one book are NOT the same as 
the contents of the other, even if the ink patterns are similar."

Exactly! The uploader jumps from 'seeing a story' where there is 
only ink and paper, to believing in the existence of the story, as 
a kind of Platonic ideal. From here, he can conclude that two 
stories are the same even though they are 'stored' on different 

In fact, stories do not exist. Ink and paper exists. A story is a 
particular way of interpreting an arrangement of ink and paper. And 
inasmuch as a 'way of interpreting' is not something that exists, 
but something that happens to our brains, it is not valid to think 
of stories as factually existing things.

You wrote:

"If a book had material consciousness, i.e. consciousness as a 
product or state of its paper and ink, it would be clearly distinct 
from the (material) consciousness of any other book."

Indeed. Consider a radioactive isotope, which decays. If the 
isotype were destroyed, it could not decay any more. In a similar 
way, when my brain is destroyed, I cannot experience any more.

The fact that some other isotype may be decaying is irrelevant with 
respect to the decay of the destroyed isotope.


You wrote:

"You may only survive teletransporting or destructive copying if 
either (1) your 'self' is immaterial or consists of matter unknown 
to the current science, or (2) you are the ultimate altruist and 
see your personal survival as the survival of your external 
qualities (your 'STORY') in your copy for other people, not 
survival of your inner world."

Very well said. 

Francois, like all uploaders, DOES believe in an immaterial self, 
and it's called a 'pattern'. Unfortunately, as patterns don't exist 
(and even if they did they wouldn't 'transfer' mysteriously from 
one body to another---see my ignored message to Thomas), they won't 
be very helpful when it comes to surviving.

Best Regards,

Richard B. R.

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