X-Message-Number: 25355
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 12:54:04 EST
Subject: tats

Mike Perry writes in part:

>as  you suggest, [survival through a duplicate is] a matter of  
>definition, [but patternism reflects] a good choice of definition,  however, 
to my mind.

But you patternists have not, as far as I can see, explicated or justified  
your criteria for a definition--and, worse than that, you tend to confuse  
analysis with definition.
One more time. The patternist claims that the "person" is defined by his  

material configuration, and if several configurations differ significantly only
in location, all of them "are" the "same" person, in different 

"instantiations,"  and if one is destroyed he nevertheless "should" be 
considered to have 
survived,  so long as at least one duplicate remains. 
Again, this is just an assertion or definition or expression of personal  
preference. It is not a logical conclusion from agreed premises. It requires,  
but does not justify, a radical change in viewpoint.
As a practical matter, Mike's view is probably mostly harmless, although  

some may be seduced into passivity or complacency if they take it seriously. But
there will be some of those latter. 
Also, I think Mike overestimates the likelihood of the multiverse being  

factual. Plenty of the leading thinkers disagree, and believe hidden variables

will be found. One hint is in the existence of phenomenological quantons such as
 phonons and several others. They act like quantons,  but result primarily 

from classical wave phenomena. I have  never seen an explanation of a mechanism
for interference between quantons  in different "universes." Any  mechanism 
that involves waves seems to  imply the existence of some substrate, something 
that can wave, a form of hidden  variables.
Incidentally, Thomas Donaldson also manufactures definitions, saying (as I  
read him) that a brain is continuous if it is subjectively so. You "continue" 
if  you "awaken" with no sense of hiatus, even if an outside observer saw you  
destroyed and then later reconstructed far away. As far as I can see, that's  
just playing with language. It implies, among other things, that if you were  
constructed one minute ago, complete with false memories of a non-existent 

past,  then you would be "continuing" something, even though there was nothing 
 continue. (In fact, one of Thomas' short stories includes something along 
these  lines, with partially implanted memories.)

Robert Ettinger

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