[extropy-chat] Probability of identity - solution?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sat Oct 14 16:04:37 UTC 2006

Rafal writes

> ### Lee, we [happen to] 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.

However, for what constitutes a *person* in our daily usage, we do have something
pretty close to "objectively correct".  If someone claims to be Napoleon, he is
simply wrong, and if ten days from now I claim not to be Lee Corbin, then either I
am objectively wrong or I have undergone extensive brain damage.

You're right in that when we extend these concepts into heretofore unfamiliar
ways, more latitude necessarily obtains when conceiving of what a person is.

> Others may [deny they're the same person]  unless also connected by a
> continuous thread of existence (whatever that may mean...  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.

That would be different if you loved them, of course. 

We are discussing to what extent a duplicate is you. Opinions do differ.
But in my opinion, it is simply erroneous to contend that you are not
the same person today as you were yesterday just because someone
made a duplicate of you while you slept and killed the original. That's
simply wrong.

I'm fond of how I described it a few days ago:

      In the end, it matters whether one embraces most closely a higher
      level concept of who you are (your values, your beliefs, your
      memories) or the lower level aspects of who you are (your current
      sensations, your current moods, and your current thoughts). 

      Those of us who most strongly adhere to the former tend to be
      patternists; those who cannot help but identify with the latter, a
      sole instance somewhere, are not.


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