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

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Jun 23 09:10:45 UTC 2007

On 23/06/07, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> > For example, you could make yourself believe that
> > after your death, you survive if the rest of humanity survives;
> Exactly. Or they might believe that they'll become a particular
> sun flower, or a particular river that they're fond of. And they'd
> be just plain wrong, if not nuts.

And the reason they're wrong is that going to bed and being replaced
by a sunflower or a river in the morning will not reproduce the
experience of going to bed and waking up as myself, whereas going to
bed and waking up as my exact duplicate will.

Going to bed in the knowledge that I will die overnight while my
duplicate of a few minutes ago sleeps soundly in the next room does
not reproduce the experience of going to bed and waking up normally,
but is more like going to bed and not waking up at all.

The counterargument is that going to bed as per the last paragraph is
similar to going to bed and waking up with a few minutes' amnesia. If
I take a drug such as midazolam which will I know will wipe out any
memory of the next few minutes when I wake up tomorrow, then during
that period that I know I won't remember I will be in a position
analogous to that of contemplating my imminent death, knowing that my
present self will have no direct successor.

If I can overcome my fear of anticipating no successor experiences
then I should (logically, I would argue) overcome my fear of death. On
the other hand, if I can find consolation in the survival of a copy
who branched off from me some time ago then I should also find
consolation in existence of past versions of me, who definitely
existed and definitely shared my memories etc. After all, once this
instance of me is permanently dead his relationship to past, present
and future copies is all the same.

P.S. I am shocked at the acrimony this thread is causing!

Stathis Papaioannou

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