[ExI] Fwd: [tt] Identity thread again

i2i 0.20788 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 14 14:07:11 UTC 2015

Dear Rafal,

I did not say that "the concept of identity" is fictitious, I said
that identity (as a thing in itself) is fictitious. I also did not say
you are fictitious, although I don't know for sure. The status of AI
being what it is, you must be at least one person. You have passed the
Turing test. Congratulations.

I did not say "the hard problem of consciousness" is "entailed by our
mind's ability to categorize self", I said it is an illusory problem
that arises from the confusion of a mind regarding itself as an
object. This does call for elaboration - more than I will give here.
But basically, the "hard problem" is just the difficulty of giving a
coherent expression, in any language, of what we perceive in this
situation, which is uniquely different from any situation in which the
"subject" is discussing "objects" external to and other than itself.

Maybe it is obvious to you that our ascription of "identity" to
"objects" is just an aspect of how we think, but it was not obvious to
me; it took me a long time to understand that and I still encounter
many people making silly arguments about how "identity is preserved"
in one situation and not in another, as if "identity" were an aspect
of the world itself (Parfit's "further fact").

As to rights, they exist only in a social context. The "right" of
suicide, for example, is hotly debated. In general, most people agree
that suicide is not a right, it is a wrong. Urging others to suicide
is almost always regarded as a wrong, and even as a crime. There must
be some deep reasons why most people regard human survival and human
security as worth protecting against all threats, even those that
arise from human activities and even against the possibility of
pathological choices. But that's another discussion.

best wishes,

Mark Avrum Gubrud
gubrud at gmail.com
+1 (240) 602-1841
twitter: @mgubrud
blog: gubrud.net

On Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 8:42 AM, Rafal Smigrodzki
<rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 10:38 AM, Mark Gubrud <gubrud at gmail.com> wrote:
>> "My identity," and indeed, identity in general, is a fictitious
>> property ascribed by a "subject" to its "objects" as it regards the
>> actual universe.
> ### To answer your fictitious email, no, the concept of identity is not
> really fictitious. But my fictitious self is not interested in elaborating.
> After all, this would be all fiction, wouldn't it?
> ---------------
>> "Objects" are just a useful way of organizing the
>> world, one which reflects many survival-important, functional features
>> of the world. Tigers, berries, and sticks and stones are "objects," so
>> are other people, so is one's self. [The greatest confusion arises, of
>> course, when the "object" is the "subject" itself; this is exactly
>> what gives rise to the (illusory) "hard problem of consciousness."]
> ### Again, no, not really, the hard problem of consciousness is not entailed
> by our mind's ability to categorize self. This does not need elaboration.
> ---------------------
>> One can articulate (obvious) reasons why it is useful to organize the
>> world this way. But the physical boundaries of our "objects" are fuzzy
>> and mutable. The question of identity is just the mind's question, "Is
>> this the same object I saw before?" One can lay out criteria for a
>> definite answer to that question, and such criteria are not entirely
>> arbitrary. But there are often cases where criteria that seemed to
>> resolve the question unambiguously in most or all situations up to
>> now, fail to resolve it in some new situations. The fundamental reason
>> for this is that our ascription of "identity" to "objects" is just an
>> aspect of how we think.
> ### Well, yes, obviously. How could it be something else?
>> So, you are entitled to define or redefine "my identity" any way you
>> like; what I won't accept is any argument that your concept of
>> "identity" is the true and correct one, and that you can use this
>> putative "fact" to justify the otherwise unjustifiable - such as, for
>> example, the "replacement" or "transformation" of nature, human flesh,
>> human beings, and even all humanity, by or into technology and its
>> products, on an argument that "identity" is somehow preserved.
> ### I won't accept any attempts to deny me the right to replace my own human
> flesh with technology, whether based on some fictitious arguments about my
> identity or not. What you want to do with yours is your problem, just stay
> away from mine, will you?
> Rafal

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