[ExI] Is a copy of you really you?

Ben ben at zaiboc.net
Wed May 27 14:48:00 UTC 2020

On 27/05/2020 14:29, SR Ballard wrote:
> The amoeba question is just the Ship of Theseus.
In which case, all living beings are a Ship of Theseus. Which sounds 
right. Our bodies are constantly being renewed, molecules replaced. This 
thought experiment is just an extension of that.

> It has whatever answer you would like it to have. The “daughter” amoebas are simultaneously the same as the “mother” amoeba without actually being the mother amoeba.
> If you were to copy yourself instantly with exactly duplicate memories, then you(a), as an agent would be unable to tell if it was you(a) or you(b) that was the mother-copy or the daughter-copy. Effectively, you(a) and you(b) are now just a normal set of twins.
My point is that the mother-copy only exists in the past. After the 
procedure, it's been transformed into two individuals.

> >From now on, any question about copies can be answered using the logic of twins.
> If I (twin-a) am killed, do I continue to live on through them (twin-b)? No.

> Assuming that the mother-copy is marked in some way
That's a different experiment. In mine, there is literally no way to 
tell. The molecules are randomly assigned to each version, so even 
isotopic labelling wouldn't work. Each version would have equal amounts 
of the label.

> ...

> The only way we could consider twin-a and twin-b to be one “you” (one coherent identity instead of twins) is if there was continuous bidirectional uploading. For example, you(a) and you(b) go about your daily experiences as normal. When you sleep your “consciousness file” is synced. After sleeping you will have some form of “shared” memory with your other self. That is the only way that “you” could exist in two bodies: if you were able to, in some way, share consciousness between the two.

Ah, now that's a different scenario. A very interesting one, but not 
what I'm talking about here.

Ben Zaiboc

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list