Re: The role of consciousness

From: Jeff L Jones (
Date: Fri Apr 11 2008 - 21:57:43 MDT

On Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 4:36 PM, Lee Corbin <> wrote:
> You may not be aware of the facts concerning identical twins.
> (I wasn't for many years.) They are not in any way exchangeable
> in the eyes of those who know them; they are much MUCH
> less alike that you and your recently created duplicate would
> be.

I have known several different pairs of identical twins, so yes... I
am fully aware of what an identical twin is. My whole point is that
different copies made of someone are not the same person. They are in
no way interchangeable (just like the twins) when you are incorrectly
saying that they are. They are different persons with different
livelihoods. They just happen to share some (but not all) memories.

> What keeps these discussions from boiling down to being "incredibly
> boring", as you write, is that *actions* will depend on our views.
> The main point is to properly prescribe actions. The chief such
> action that you have to decide (or will have to decide when uploaded),
> (and need to decide now if you want to be philosophically prepared
> for all eventualities) can be seen from this following example:
> An exact molecular duplicate of you was created
> ten minutes ago and lies in the next room frozen
> in a cask of ice. On top the cask of ice is a briefcase
> containing $10M dollars. The choice facing you (the
> version, instance, who is now breathing and conscious)
> is (A) to undergo disintegration, in which your ten-
> minute-ago duplicate is resurrected and the money
> becomes his (i.e. in my view, yours), or whether the
> frozen copy in the other room is disintegrated (along
> with the $10M).
> Please tell me what you would do in this situation. If you make the
> sensible decision, then yes, we are only arguing terminology.

Assuming I could trust the people who were supposedly going to revive
the copy with the $10M, it's a no brainer... I would disintegrate and
let the copy wake up and have $10M dollars. I've explained why in
my earlier post on "objective anticipation".

Hopefully, this is the decision you're calling "sensible". So do you
agree now that arguing about personal identity is entirely about
language and mostly a waste of time?


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