X-Message-Number: 25525
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 09:04:16 -0800
Subject: More of the Duplicates Paradox
From: <>

More handwaving from Mike Perry et al on the issue of survival.

1. Suppose I fall asleep, am destructively scanned, and two 
duplicates of me are created, one looking at the sun, and the other 
looking at the moon. While you may be able to say, neither one of 
them remains me for very long (as you said in your last message), 
you still have yet to answer the question, when I fall asleep, and 
wake up, what do I see? The moon or the sun? I cannot possibly see 

The correct answer to this question is that I will see neither, 
because I was destroyed. However, I would like you to answer this 
question in your own view, and provide a justification for your 

2. Imagine someone making a duplicate of you while you are awake. 
The duplication process takes only 1 hour. After the duplicate is 
made, you talk with him for a few hours, recounting childhood 
memories, and then take him to dinner and a movie. Then, after you 
have concluded your day, I come to you, take out my pocket knife 
and plunge it into your chest repeatedly, until your writhing body 
moves no more.

Here is my question for you: assuming I let your duplicate live, 
would you consider the survival of your duplicate to be your own 

Now answer this question carefully, because IN YOUR VIEW, this 
scenario is identical to a different one, in which an 
anesthesiologist puts you to sleep, you have some operation, and 
then you wake up.

Why? Because the drugs the anesthesiologists use frequently include 
an amnesiac ('just in case'), so you will forget everything that 
happened approximately six hours prior to the operation.

In the first scenario, you and your duplicate were identical 6 
hours ago, but then diverged. In the second scenario, you lose all 
your short-term memories, thus reverting to an earlier self.

If you want to be consistent, you would have to say that the 
duplicate DOES constitute your survival, even though I stabbed you 
so many times, and you died a horrible death. In fact, if presented 
with the situation, if I asked to stab you as a mere academic 
exercise, you should have no problem with that (provided I gave you 
some strong painkiller), because after all, you survive in your 
duplicate, so there is no need to be concerned with the particular 
hunk of matter in your head.

Here I think many people will diverge from you. The survival of the 
duplicate cannot be considered your survival in any useful way.

You are that hunk of matter in your head we call a brain. Protect 
it well.

Best Regards,

Richard B. R.

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