[extropy-chat] Probability of identity

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Tue Oct 10 20:45:44 UTC 2006

Heartland wrote:

> Jef wrote:
> "So, the logically consistent way to look at the above 
> situation must be from the third party point of view: That 
> the future scenario would contain one individual 
> indistinguishable from you, and 99 new individuals being tortured."
> Indeed. Hopefully, these sort of thought experiments begin to 
> show why patternist view is logically inconsistent.

Looking back, I just realized that I let this statement implying
agreement go unresponded.

For the record, I think the "patternist" view of personal identity is
consistent within a much greater context than the "threadist" view that
you assert.  My reasons are essentially the same as those expressed to
you by John K Clark and others.

While supporting the patternist view that "if the duplicate functions
identically to me then for *all* practical purposes it can serve as me",
I disagree with those who would extend the concept to say that all such
duplicates "are" necessarily me.  The distinction is based on the lack
of shared agency, which is at the root of the concept of self.
[Supporting examples:  (1) If an exact duplicate and I were in an
enclosure and only one could exit, it would make no difference (to
anyone) which instance emerged.  (2) If I could spawn copies of myself
-- whether exact physical duplicates, physical copies with limited
resemblance, or virtual copies in a computer system -- I would consider
them to be instances of myself to the extent that they were acting on
behalf of the instantiation which I considered to be myself.]

- Jef

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