X-Message-Number: 27597
Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2006 20:35:07 -0500
From: Francois <>
Subject: Validity of Sam-on-the-ground's claims

>> I think Robert's mathematical definition of identity is probably
perfectly valid, although I do not have the mathematical training
to fully understand it. <<

>It looks like you have merged the identities of Robert and me.

Oops! Very sorry about that. My only excuse is to point out that one's 
memory is not always as reliable as one fancies it to be.

>In this case, you say we know that individual B survives individual
>A because individual B says so, and, well, 'his is the only opinion
>that matters.' Let me say, this is plainly one of the most
>ridiculous arguments for patternism that I see (but also one of the
>most common).

>In this case, Sam-on-the-ground will make numerous claims about his
>past: viz., who he married, what he did a week ago, what the names
>of his parents are, etc., that are demonstrably false, because we
>know for a fact that Sam-on-the-ground was synthesized from
>scratch, and never had a wife nor parents, and he didn't exist a
>week ago. So we know for a fact that 99.99999% of the claims Sam-on-
>the-ground makes about himself are false, because he was created
>mere moments ago. So when he says, 'I'm the same Sam, I really did
>survive!' you honestly want us to take him seriously?!?

Here it is! You have hit the nail exactly on the head. You have attempted to 
demonstrate that Sam-on-the-ground's claims of survival are invalid because 
his Objective Identity is not the same as Sam-on-the-ship's Objective 
identity. But Sam-on-the-ground doesn't claim the be the same as 
Sam-on-the-ship, he simply claims to be Sam. And by that he means that he is 
a sentient individual that feels about himself like Sam-on-the-ship felt 
about himself. Not the same Sam, but Sam nonetheless. So, his body has 
existed only for a few minutes and he never actually did any of the things 
he remembers doing. Who in the Universe cares? Not me, and certainly not 
him. The point is that he does have the memories and the personality to 
match, and he is happy with that.

Lets consider the following example. Suppose you are directed into a room. 
On the wall facing you, about 5 meters away, is an opening through which you 
can see outside. The opening is a square two meters on the side. Through it 
you see part of a nice garden on a sunny day. Now, you could be seeing the 
garden directly, or you could be seeing an image of the garden reflected 
from a large and well made flat mirror. The only contact you will ever be 
allowed with that garden is what you see through that opening in the wall. 
Direct or reflected, that image provides you with the same visual 
impression. You will like or dislike the scene to the same degree 
regardless. Sam's brain will come to the same conclusion whether the 
memories it accesses have been acquired the normal way as in 
Sam-on-the-ship's case, or exactly duplicated as in Sam-on-the-ground's 
case. Direct or reflected, the garden's image will be registered in exactly 
the same way by your eyes, who simply don't care about the difference. 
Original or recreated, Sam's memories will appear equally real and personal 
to Sam-on-the-ground's brain as they would to Sam-on-the-ship's brain, who 
again simply don't care about the difference.

The Devil fears those who learn more
than those who pray

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