[extropy-chat] Re: cryonics (was: Science and Fools)

ben benboc at lineone.net
Wed Mar 23 21:53:31 UTC 2005

Damien wrote:

At 10:49 PM 3/23/2005 +1100, Brett wrote:

>>Would it be accurate to characterise your position then Damien as being
>>that you could derive no further confidence in the rightness of your 
>>on this issue from any third-party judging process so it would be 
>>to explore the composition of such a judging process?

>Precisely. I know Eugen and others are equally adamant that the 
contrary is
>true and self-evident, which I find incomprehensible. It keeps coming 
>to this: if someone persuades me that in a trillion years or so, random
>recurrence will generate an exact equivalent to me as I am at the moment,
>hould I feel okay about someone blowing my head off right now? After all,
>"I'll" be alive again (or still alive, or something) in the remote 
>Bullshit, sez I. Blow your own damn head off.

>Given this assessment, how could *any* gathering of judges convince me

>This rejection is not necessarily to be conflated with a cryonics 
>that recovers me from vitrification, perhaps even by making cell-by-cell
>copies in situ. I do see the slippery slope here, which is why I'm not
>altogether persuaded of the merits of most cryonics-style programs. True,
>it will be wonderful for everyone *else* to have a copy of me around, :)
>but what's in it for *me*?

This seems to be an argument about what constitutes "me".

Is "me" a particular configuration of information-processing processes,
together with a particular set of memories, or is it a mysterious,
nebulous, indefinable essence? (is there another possibility? I don't
think there is, but i'd like to hear any opinions)

If you accept the former, then yes, the 'identical copy' IS you.
Completely and utterly you, so long as it is an *identical* copy (in
terms of the information processes, memories, etc., that is).

If you assert the latter, then - well, sounds pretty much like a
classical soul to me, so you are a cartesian dualist.

And, yes, i know that this leads to the problem of who is who if you are
copied, with the original still existing after the copying process. I
don't actually think there is a problem. You are both you. Two you's.
Both equally and completely you.
Does this make no sense? Only, i think, to a dualist. It might be
difficult to grasp, but so's quantum mechanics. That doesn't make it untrue.


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