Re: There's more to me than memories...

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Thu Mar 13 2008 - 23:17:03 MDT

Slawek writes

>>> Yes, this person in California would definitely "feel like Slawek",
>>> but why should "someone who feels like X" imply "someone is X"?
> Lee:
>> Because he accumulates additional experience just as the original
>> Slawek did.
> Sorry Lee, but this is not the *kind* of answer I'm looking for. All the answers
> I've received so far from you and other people already assume that memories are
> important whereas the original question is still why are memories important in the
> first place, and not just to survival, but why are they so important, period.

What in the world does that mean? How can something be important
in the abstract without being important to someone, or for something?

And *survival* is what is important in these arguments. You do wish
to survive, I take it, and you can readily understand why survival is
so important for people. You know, people who are afraid to
teleport, for example, are merely afraid that they won't survive the
trip. Quite reasonable, actually, to worry this way.

But maybe survival isn't important to you, if it's still the case that you
wouldn't permit the use of a general anesthetic on your person. Or
else you would, but claim that you wouldn't survive the treatment.

> Thank you, though, for trying and I encourage you to keep trying.

Surely. No problem.

> Lee:
>> Consider: after you've been an hour in California
>> getting used to Lee's body and Lee's circumstances, then we
>> transfer your memories to Stuart's body in Vienna for that period
>> of time. (Yes... please! I know I'm assuming that "you" are being
>> transferred, but hear me out.)
>> When it's all over, and you're back in Slawek's own house in
>> the old familiar body, you would have no doubt that you had
>> traveled to California and then to Vienna.
>> Now if you want to say, "Oh, well, that wasn't me in California,
>> it was someone else", then answer me this: if you weren't in
>> California during that hour, where were you while all this happened?
> Oh, I can answer this in detail, but let me just say that I'm not interested in
> debating whether you or I am right about this. This would not be productive at this
> stage. We won't be ready to do that until you can answer why memories are
> important....

Hopefully, I successfully criticized what you seem to mean by
"important" and also explained that survival is what is at issue
for most of us in these discussions.


> Right now, and just for fun only, I can give you an outline of what that
> answer would look like, but hope you leave it alone, at least for now. :)
> From my perspective, (what I define as) "I" (different from what you mean by "I")
> never went anywhere. I never left my house even though I remember now having an
> experience of being in California and Vienna in other bodies. I only remember this
> but have not experienced being in California or Vienna. What I actually
> experienced was a replacement of Slawek-type memories with Lee-type memories and
> then replacement of Lee-type memories with updated Slawek-type memories that were
> pretty cool. You see, my "I" is not attached to any type of personal memories.

Er, sorry, can't resist. So you *are* attached to your atoms! Was JC right?

> While personal memories are fun and precious, they do not define what I am (notice
> "what" instead of "who") so they are expendable. I would compare Slawek-type
> memories that currently occupy my brain to a role I'm currently acting out or to a
> bunch of clothes I'm used to wearing. I can act out different roles in different
> clothes without affecting my existence in any way.
> Slawek

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