[extropy-chat] Probability of identity

Heartland velvethum at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 10 23:02:27 UTC 2006

> While supporting the patternist view that "if the duplicate functions
> identically to me then for *all* practical purposes it can serve as me",
> I disagree with those who would extend the concept to say that all such
> duplicates "are" necessarily me.  The distinction is based on the lack
> of shared agency, which is at the root of the concept of self.

But, Jef, these are mutually exclusive views. If you disagree that your duplicates
are indistinguishable from the first instance of you, then that would be
inconsistent with the patternist view.

> [Supporting examples:  (1) If an exact duplicate and I were in an
> enclosure and only one could exit, it would make no difference (to
> anyone) which instance emerged.

If "anyone" includes an instance of you that stays behind, then it makes a big
difference to that instance from its POV.

> (2) If I could spawn copies of myself
> -- whether exact physical duplicates, physical copies with limited
> resemblance, or virtual copies in a computer system -- I would consider
> them to be instances of myself to the extent that they were acting on
> behalf of the instantiation which I considered to be myself.]

Yes, but that reduces only to the notion of goal preservation and not material
preservation of the first instance that produced those goals.

If we view this situation only in terms of pure material (or physical) identity,
patternist view breaks down very quickly. If we consider this only in terms of
functional identity, threadist or other views that imply instance preservation
break down.

My personal preference is to maintain material identity as I don't see any value in
preserving my functional identity.


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