[ExI] Next moment, everything around you will probably change

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Jun 22 04:42:24 UTC 2007

Stathis writes

> On 21/06/07, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> > I admit that there is irony in the situation of a person or program trying
> > to destroy instances that are identical to itself, even though it has been 
> > programmed to safeguard "its own existence".  But I consider the
> > programs or persons acting in such a fashion to simply be deeply mistaken.
> > All *outside* observers who are much less biased see them as 
> > identical.  Why aren't they identical?  Why should we view them as
> > separate *people* or separate *programs* just because they're at
> > each other's throats?
> They obviously view each other as separate people if they are at each
> other's throats.

Not necessarily, as you yourself seem to demonstrate here:

> Conceivably they may be acting in this way because they are actually
> mistaken about their twin, believing them to be a completely different
> person who has fraudulently taken on their appearance.

Yes, but that is the uninteresting case where (for example) they're
fighting blindfold inside a chamber where they can't be heard, and
would stop immediately if they only knew!

> However, suppose they are convinced that their counterpart was
> in fact 100% them until the moment of differentiation, which might
> have been mere seconds ago, and are still at each other's throats:
> what mistake would they be making in that case?

The only mistake, in my opinion, that they would be making
would be philosophical in nature. They would be failing to see
that they were really the same person, and that (in a certain
sense that alas cannot be rigorously justified) they should 
anticipate all the damage that accrues to their opponent as
well as to their own instance, and that they should (on physics
principles if nothing else) regard all benefit coming to their
opponent as in truth coming to the person who they are.

In short, they'd be failing to see that they were in a futile fight
against themselves. But they could indeed *consistently* do
that.  People, for example, could *consistently* want to kill
Jews, no matter how clearly you showed them that there
exist continuums between Jews and non-Jews (e.g. mixtures),
and no matter how clearly you demonstrated that the events
taking place within Jewish nervous systems were incredibly
similar to those taking place in non-Jewish nervous systems
("Hath not a Jew eyes?", etc.).

> You can be mistaken about a matter of fact or of logic, but
> you can't be mistaken about the way you feel.

Right.  But we all often lament, "darn it, I feel X about Y
even though that isn't rational or I don't want to, and I wish
that I could stop", or even, "I feel X about Y, and know
that it's illogical, but it's too much fun to stop, or I have
inner needs that require me to---I must!---continute to feel X".

> You have said in the past that you would edit out such
> primitive feelings if you had the chance, and that's fine,
> but it sounds not dissimilar to editing out impediments
> to acting on any other ideal that you care about,
> such as "all men are brothers". 

If I understand you correctly, then yes:  it would be very
similar to anyone editing themselves for almost any reason.
Namely, *the* way to get rid of internal conflicts is to 
alter one of the agents involved!


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