[ExI] dualism

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Tue Apr 4 18:33:03 UTC 2023

On Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 1:39 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 04/04/2023 08:43, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
>  <foozler83 at gmail.com> <foozler83 at gmail.com>
> Date:
> 04/04/2023, 02:33
> To:
> ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Jason, I think, wondered how many of us were dualists.  I wonder too.  Are
> you?  I am not.   bill w
> Not really a fair question, I think. Certainly not one that will give us
> much of an idea.
> The reason I think this, is that there are quite a large number of people,
> I've observed over the years, that I classify as 'crypto-dualists'. That
> is, people who claim not to be dualist, but whose arguments are firmly
> grounded in a dualistic mindset. This is most clearly revealed in the (I
> hardly dare say it!) arguments about identity in a 'mind-copying' scenario.
> The old 'If someone makes a copy of my mind, is it still me?' question.
> I'm not trying to revive that tired old debate (because it never goes
> anywhere useful, it just polarises entrenched opinions even more), just
> using it to illustrate what I mean. In order to think that a perfect copy
> of your mind isn't really you, you have to have a dualistic mindset,
> regardless of what you claim. So, I think that just asking the question
> won't get accurate answers. People may not lie, but they may well be
> mistaken in their answer. It needs a test, not a straightfowrward question,
> to reveal the truth.
> So, Bill, you say you are not a dualist. Do you think that a perfect copy
> of your mind, instantiated in any capable processing system (including, but
> not limited to, another biological brain) is still you?
> Do you think it's possible for there to be two yous, each with equal claim
> to be 'the real you'?
> If you agree with both of these, I accept that you're not a dualist.
> There are plenty of crypto-dualists on this list (or certainly were, about
> 10 years ago). I have no intention of starting the argument up again, just
> wanted to give my take on how this question isn't much use.

I very much like your idea of a position statement/test like this rather
than a label which can be interpreted in various ways. And I think this
question gets to the heart of the matter: is one's consciousness something
fundamentally unexplainable/magical or not.

Personally I believe that duplicates are self.


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