[extropy-chat] Probability of identity

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Tue Oct 10 23:58:17 UTC 2006

Heartland wrote:

> Jef:
>> 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. 
> But, Jef, these are mutually exclusive views. If you disagree
> that your duplicates are indistinguishable from the first
> instance of you, then that would be inconsistent with the
> patternist view.

Well Swalomir, I'm hesitant to embark on a discussion that may need more
time than I have available for it, but I'll tell you what:  If you will
paraphrase what you think I was trying to say about the crucial element
of agency, then I'll work through it with you.  If you recall, several
months ago you agreed that I accurately represented your assertion about
the importance of continuously threaded identity, and I think doing this
is important in order to avoid talking past each other.

>> [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.
> If "anyone" includes an instance of you that stays behind,
> then it makes a big difference to that instance from its POV.

Of course you're right about that, and I knew I didn't close that
loophole for the (intended) sake of brevity and because it seemed
obvious that something with no output has no effect.  The way that
particular thought experiment usually goes is that only one person ever
comes out because the other instantiation is instantly disintegrated or
some such.

- Jef

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