[extropy-chat] Probability of identity - solution?

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Oct 14 14:39:58 UTC 2006

On 10/13/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> Exactly!  Souls don't exist; we all know that.  There isn't any real problem
> here except in the ways that some people occasionally try to prescribe
> actions. So long as one remembers that duplicates are selves, one will
> avoid making or prescribing erroneous action choices.
### Lee, we agree in our respective definitions of self (i.e. "Rafal"
and "Lee") but I don't agree with you that only our brand of
definition is in some rigorous way objectively correct. Others may
disregard the possible future experiences of entities structurally
similar to them unless also connected by a continuous thread of
existence (whatever that may mean, since it appears that a whole slew
of notions are advanced here). It may lead them to actions that could
increase the likelihood of duplicates suffering horribly. Well, that's
their problem, not mine. As long as only their duplicates are
involved, it's no skin off my back, by my definition, and I feel no
desire to convert them.

I general, there is indeed confusion in the mind (as Eli writes)
whenever our desires interact with our rational mind in situations
when feedback is insufficient (including our thought experiment). Our
rational mind has a grab-bag of tricks that have been honed during
evolution to improve attainment of desires. Even math feels true
because of evolutionary feedback, since the math-challenged who can't
work out the task "There are four of us, and five of them - Fight or
Flight?" got weeded out. Pose a situation where the tricks cannot be
evaluated by external feedback or by reference to known past, and the
mind boggles, randomly pulling different rabbits out of the hat,
trying to rewrite desires, creating internal feedbacks and long reams
of email output.


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