[ExI] Fwd: Strong AI Hypothesis: logically flawed?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Sep 30 21:53:05 UTC 2014

On 30 September 2014 12:39, Dan <danust2012 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Friday, September 26, 2014 7:41 PM, Stathis Papaioannou
> <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> Possibility implies necessity if all possible worlds exist.
> This has interesting implications. For example, if being
> raised from cryinic sleep has only a 1/10^100 probability,
> then in a multiverse where all possibilities are realised
> you will definitely find yourself waking from cryinic sleep.
> There's not only the problem of whether possibility implies necessity, but
> of how an instance in one possible world is related to an instance in
> another. The relationship you're holding is it's one of identity: the object
> in one world is the same as the object in another. But that seems debatable.
> Might it not be that the two objects are related but not the same? For
> instance, I'm me in this world, but in other worlds there are Dan Usts who
> are not me. We don't share anything more than that they play the role in
> those worlds as I do in this one? Also, in many of those worlds, presumably,
> I don't exist, so whilst in some worlds I might be king, in others peasant,
> in still others there might be nothing filling the role I play (perhaps I
> was never born, vertebrates never evolved, stars never formed, the fine
> structure constant is zero, etc.). So, this is all speculative and there
> seems to me to be no strong reason to accept the view that any of us is
> identical with our counterparts, if possible worlds actually exist.
> Also, to add another wrinkle, even if there's a multiverse, no reason to
> believe different universes in it are related in the possible worlds fashion
> to each other in a way that helps us here. It's kind of like saying this
> instance of you is all well and fine come what may simply because there are
> other beings like you somewhere. But just as other universes aren't this
> one, the other beings like you aren't really you. Your extinction, if it
> comes about and sad as it would be, would still mean you're gone for good.
> (Of course, this is just one possible way of interpreting this, but merely
> positing a multiverse doesn't entail, IMO, all you believe it does.)

The problem is that it is impossible to meaningfully distinguish
between a copy that is really you and a copy that only has the
delusional belief that it is really you. Suppose you are informed that
you have a disease that causes you to die whenever you fall asleep at
night so that the person who wakes up in the morning is a completely
different Dan Ust who shares your memories. This has been happening
every day of your life, but you have only just found out about it.
Would this information worry you or make any difference to how you
live your life?

Stathis Papaioannou

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