[extropy-chat] Avoid Too Much Change

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Apr 9 03:50:05 UTC 2007

On 4/9/07, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

Stathis writes
> > This example is one more reason why there is no "truth of the
> > matter" about continuity of personal identity from moment to
> > moment.
> I not only dispute that, I claim that you dispute it too.  I claim
> that in every way that matters, your actions and beliefs reflect
> a contention that Stathis Papaioannou is someone, and
> someone special in the sense that if he is purged from the
> simulation, then in no real way does he "continue in other
> people" or anything.
> Please let us use the term "personal identity" to refer to that
> continuity of staying alive that we all cherish (except the
> suicidal).  Your "self" is that which the police will come after
> tomorrow if you commit a crime today.  Your "self" is that
> which you want to continue to exist in all our teleportation
> and duplication experiments.  It is vapid to deny that there
> is some sort of thing that you want to keep on living, and
> I think that we should use "self", "I", and "me" in the same
> way that 99.9999% of the world's people do.

Of course I do use personal identity in this everyday sense, and even though
I call it an illusion, I am very keen to preserve the illusion because that
is the way my brain has evolved. If anything, you are more rigorous in your
treatment of the idea than I am when you say that we should treat copies as
selves, whereas I would insist in my illusory state of mind that I can only
be one person at a time, struggling to use the personal pronouns in the way
I always have.

Stathis Papaioannou
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