X-Message-Number: 27604
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 12:02:13 -0500
From: Daniel Crevier <>
Subject: How I stopped worrying about uploading
References: <>

There is a point of view that drastically simplifies all these discussions
we've been having about identity: it is to consider that sameness is not an
ontological property. Going back to the example of the continually refilled
cup of coffee: the cup in the morning and the cup in the afternoon are not
the same or different, they just are. "Same" and "different" are our own
constructs. They are just tags that we mentally apply to things. I believe
that however essential and necessary they may appear, our reasons for
applying those tags have purely pragmatic origins. It makes sense to say
that B is the same as A because, in so doing, we can infer useful properties
about B. Evolution saw to it that we got wired to do this.

I decide that a person I meet today is the same as the one I met yesterday
because it facilitates my interactions with her. This way, I can infer that
she will remember certain things and behave in certain ways.

Even if I'd never heard of Socrates, I would probably decide that my
entirely rebuilt boat is the same boat as before the reconstruction because
if it is, I'll keep on owning it.

I know that there will be an interruption in my consciousness when I go to
sleep tonight. Yet I decide that the person who will wake up in my brain
tomorrow will be the same as me today because otherwise, I'd go sleepless.

Likewise, it is entirely up to me to decide whether my uploaded or
reconstructed self would be the same person as me. If it has my memories and
behavior, I choose to decide that it would be. It's as simple as that.

Daniel Crevier

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=27604