X-Message-Number: 3770
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 23:26:54 -0800
From: John K Clark <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS uploading



    >The question is how we OUGHT to feel about it [an upload, or a duplicate] 
    >given perfect logic and maximum information.

That's not possible, logic can show us how to achieve goals but
it can't tell us what fundamental goals to strive for. Pleasure
is not more logical than pain and I can't think of a logical
reason to choose life over death, I don't care, I chose life
anyway and if logic doesn't like it logic can lump it.

    >John Clark thinks that he "is" what his brain "does," and that
    >something else that "did" him (an upload, or a duplicate)       
    >would be him. However, what about the case where

    >"you" are duplicated at a great distance in time or/and space? [...]
        >Why should any of us be comforted by the possibility, or even the 
    >knowledge, that the others exist? 

The duplicate world would need some sort of feedback mechanism
to keep the worlds in synchronization, non linear effects would
amplify tiny variations, even quantum fluctuate into big
differences, but this is a thought experiment so who cares. In
the first two cases below the results would vary according to
personalities, remember there's a lot of illogic even in the
best of us.

1) I know all about the duplicate world and you put a 44 magnum
to my head and tell me in ten seconds you will blow my brains
out, am I concerned ? You bet I am because I know that your
double is holding an identical gun to the head of my double and
making an identical threat.

2) I find out that for the first time since the Big Bang the
worlds will diverge, in 10 seconds you will put a bullet in my
head but my double will be spared , am I concerned ? Yes, and
angry as well , in times of intense stress nobody is very
logical. My double is no longer exact because I am going through
a traumatic experience and my double is not. I'd be looking at
that huge gun and wondering what it will be like when it goes
off and if death will really be instantaneous. I'd be wondering
if my philosophy was really as sound as I thought it was and I'd
also be wondering why I get the bullet and not my double and
cursing the unfairness of it all. My (semi ) double would be
thinking "it's a shame about that other fellow but I'm glad it's
not me".

3) I know nothing about the duplicate world, a gun is at both
our heads and were both convinced were going to die. One gun
goes off , making a hell of a mess , but the other gun, for
inexplicable reasons misfires . In this case NOBODY died and
except for undergoing a terrifying experience I am completely
	>It is often asserted in argument that "we" remain the same
	>despite the constant turnover of atoms--as well as other, more  
	>important, changes. But that is only an assumption,
	>although an apparent working necessity. Any other assumption
	>would apparently cut the ground from under us entirely and lead 
	>to pure fatalism, a total disregard for consequences.

It wouldn't make me despair, it would just mean that for reasons
I don't understand remaining the same isn't nearly as important
as I thought it was. It's like those old Twilight Zones when at
the end the hero is horrified to discover that he's really dead,
even as a kid I never understood that, I'd be astounded and
delighted to discover I was dead because that would mean death
wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

				      John K Clark       

Version: 2.6.i


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