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

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Mon Apr 07 2008 - 03:29:52 MDT

On 07/04/2008, Matt Mahoney <> wrote:

> Example: teleportation. It works like this. I step into a booth at point A
> and a copy of me is produced at point B. The copy at point A is slowly and
> painfully killed by being crushed between the soundproofed walls of the
> teleportation booth in a process that takes 24 hours. For $2 extra I have the
> option of having the copy at point A injected with an overdose of a narcotic,
> making the death fast and painless. But I have teleported hundreds of times
> both ways and can't tell the difference. I always come out at point B and I
> would rather save the money.

The process of walking from A to B results in the copy at A painlessly
vanishing from the universe and another copy appearing at B. This is
what ordinary survival from moment to moment is all about. So if a
form of transport such as destructive teleportation reproduces this
process, I wouldn't worry about it. But if some new form of walking is
discovered which leaves a copy at A to be slowly crushed, which is
equivalent to your non-destructive teleportation scenario, that would
be worrying indeed. This is because with two copies extant at the same
time, I have a subjectively 1/2 chance of becoming either of the two.
In a sense I don't really "become" my copy even if there's only one of
them, but I feel as if I do because that's the way my brain has
evolved to think.

Stathis Papaioannou

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