X-Message-Number: 25363
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 07:38:19 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #25349 - #25353

RBR has said something that begs to be considered carefully. As I
understand, he will accept changes which occur (relatively) slowly
as not necessarily changing or abolishing his identity. Fine. So
here is a direct quote from the 18 Dec Cryonet, Message #25351:

"My subjective inner life is a set of changes that happen to a
particular physical system; if you alter the system in such a way
that those changes are still possible, my subjective inner life
can still happen, but if you alter the systemin such a way that
those changes are not possible any more, then I can no longer happen."

If I take an EXACT record of your state, and then destroy you, and
then one year later, reproduce you exactly as you were from my
exact record, this argument suggests that you will continue. Since
you are entirely a physical system, an exact copy, including a
copy of whatever physical substrate supports your QE, then you 
SHOULD continue to happen. Just what is it that tells you that
those changes can't happen in this case but can in the case of
some slow change? For that matter, given that I've made an EXACT
copy, just what is it that could make those changes cease to
happen? If anything, they should continue as before.

And don't bring up multiple copies or anything of that sort. I 
only made the one single copy of you. For that matter, let's
suppose that destruction of the older you, after I made the
exact record, makes a great big explosion. You won't learn about
this explosion until I remake you. How is that explosion relevant
at all to your QE continuing to go on?

Your statement, in fact, also covers the possibility that physics
itself works in such a way that every instant a new version of
you is created --- but it is of course identical in all significant
respects. It's THAT identity, rather than all the incidents going
about you, that makes you continue to happen. (I do not believe
the notion that quantum mechanics plays some essential role in
our existence or consciousness).

You have said it all yourself, right in Message #25351. Are you now
going to come up with some special coda to your definition which
allows only slow change -- or any other coda which excludes
the possibilities I've listed here? 

             Best wishes and long long life to all,

                  Thomas Donaldson

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