Re: The role of consciousness (Re: The GLUT and functionalism)

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Sun Apr 06 2008 - 20:06:11 MDT

--- Heartland <> wrote:

> Matt Mahoney wrote:
> > Am I making the right decision? My tribal elders can't help me. They say
> > that consciousness can't be copied.
> That's actually not what the elders would say. They would probably say that
> copying
> and transferring are two nonequivalent operations and, while consciounsess
> could
> certainly be duplicated, transferring-by-copying operation will not exist as
> long
> as 2 != 1. They would probably advise you to avoid teleportation and stick
> exclusively to nondestructive uploading.

But my tribal elders base all their decisions on the ethics of a culture that
maximizes the reproductive fitness of my tribe. In the ancient past when
teleportation technology did not exist, there was simply no rule. The closest
approximation to duplication would be having a child. My elders do have
advice about children. You should have as many as possible. Once you are too
old to reproduce and your children no longer need care, it is your duty to die
and stop using resources. It does not matter if your death is painful or not.

With copy machines, evolution selects a different rule. As long as I can copy
myself, I am reproductively viable and valuable. It is my duty to make as
many copies of myself as possible as fast as possible. Copies don't need to
be reared, so if I am unable to copy myself, it is my duty to die immediately.
Only those people who can copy themselves as fast as the fastest copiers are
conscious and deserve to live.

-- Matt Mahoney,

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