[ExI] dualism

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Wed Apr 5 10:17:56 UTC 2023

On Wed, Apr 5, 2023, 3:30 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 04/04/2023 21:54, bill w wrote:
> > en, if it were possible to copy my brain contents into a clone or a
> > computer, it would be another me in a sense, but I can't see how I
> > could be conscious in both 'bodies'.  So, yes, true dualist. Otherwise
> > it's just magical thinking in my opinion.  It follows that if a copy
> > were made and put into a clone after I am dead, my consciousness is
> > still dead - there is no more 'me'.  Although the copy would fool
> > anyone.   bill w
> Sorry, you've confused me now.
> Earlier, you said you are not a dualist, now you're saying "yes, true
> dualist". I assume that was a mistake, and you meant "true materialist"?
> Your statement above classifies you, for me, as a cryptodualist. "Yes a
> copy of me would be me in a sense, but I can't see how I could be
> conscious in both bodies". Full rejection of dualism requires acceptance
> of multiple instantiations of the self. Two independent you's, both
> equivalent to the original in every sense, including consciousness
> (independent but initially identical constiousnesses, no 'group-mind or
> anything like that). Weird, yes I know, and takes quite a bit of
> pondering to wrap your head around (certainly did with me, anyway), but
> logically necessary. I find the example of an amoeba dividing to be a
> good way of thinking about it. Think of your mind as an amoeba, dividing
> into two identical amoebas, which then separate and go about their
> individual lives. There is no 'original amoeba', they have exactly equal
> status, but where there was one, now there are two.
> The thing that most people can't seem to get past, is the idea that
> there can only be one you. That any 'extra you' has to be 'not-you' in
> some sense (as if the amoeba had a 'special' organelle that for some
> reason can't be copied, and has to be handed to only one of the two
> daughter amoebas). I can see that this is natural, seeing as we've never
> had to think about this idea in the past, but again, as with my post
> about the language we use (see that I'm not exempt from this either, I
> still say 'your mind', etc.). if there can only be one you, even when
> everything about you is copied, then there must be /something else/,
> that's not copyable. That impllies magic, the idea that 'mind' and
> 'soul' are in fact different things, one subject to the known laws of
> nature, one not. That's dualism.

I think a relativity provides a way to help overcome this difficulty, as it
reveals two important facts about reality:
1. There's a symmetry and interchangeability between space in time. What
counts as time for one person might be space for another, and vice versa.
2. All moments in time are equally real, and exist eternally. The flow of
time is only apparent.

Now consider: we are all accepting of the fact that the same person can
exist in the same place at different times. E.g., a person sitting in a
chair over five minutes.

Then relativity tells us we must extend our intuition to be equally
accepting of the possibility of the same person existing in the same time
in different places. E.g. a person steps into a duplicating machine and the
original is maintained.

Relativity's interchangeability between space and time mean the above
scenarios are identical. Actually some inertial frames would  blur the two
cases so one scenario could appear as the other. Moreover, accepting that
all points in time are equally real shows we each possess many slightly
permuted instances of ourselves across time. Each of them real, continually
existing in their own time, all believing and feeling that they're you. If
this can happen across time, as we know it does, then it can happen across
space as well.


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