[extropy-chat] Meta re recurring threads was Personal Identity Bis

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Tue Apr 17 07:36:51 UTC 2007

At 02:51 PM 4/16/2007 +1000, you wrote:

>On 4/16/07, Keith Henson <<mailto:hkhenson at rogers.com>hkhenson at rogers.com> 
>> >>Materialists, i.e., engineering types, for the most part agree with you
>> >>that an identical copy of a person (or a computer) is equivalent and for
>> >>the most part can't imagine why anyone would have a different opinion.
>> >
>> >You probably feel that way after these many long discussions.
>>It didn't take these long discussions.  I have no memory of any time in the
>>past I had a different opinion, and my writings for the last two decades
>>are consistent with that view...
>I didn't mean you were convinced about personal identity after these 
>discussions, but convinced that "engineering types" will have the same 
>view as you do.

Sorry, misunderstood.

>I know lots of scientifically literate people who are perfectly sensible 
>materialists, with no belief in gods, spirits ar any other nonsense, who 
>nevertheless think that undergoing destructive copying would be suicide.

I don't think it would necessarily be suicide, but it goes on my list of 
dire, last resort methods.  I.e., I would opt for destructive copying if 
that was the only way to get away from where a miles wide asteroid was 
going to hit.

And if anything went wrong in the process, it might well *be* suicide.

My wife is an archivist and she has a very low opinion of destructive 
copying.  If such a device were offered to archivists they would recoil in 

Fortunately I see no reason whatsoever that destructive copying would be 
needed.  There are reasonable ways to upload your mental activity in stages 
where you could at any point switch consciousness back your regular brain.


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