[ExI] Let's play What If.

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 26 13:08:29 UTC 2010

Alan Grimes <agrimes at speakeasy.net> wrote:
> Lets say you went in for a non-destructive
> uploading. Lets say that, to
> your great surprise, you woke up in both situations
> simultaneously.
> While retaining your original consciousness, you
> also, at the same time,
> and in the same way, experienced everything your
> upload did (and vice
> versa).
> What say you to that?

I'd say it's a very revealing question.  It might be
worth pondering what this "you" that you are referring
to, actually is.  The question implies that there is
an immaterial being that is somehow connected to a
brain, without there being any actual connection.

This dualistic view makes no sense to me.  In your
scenario, it seems likely that two people, both you,
would wake up in their respective situations and start
to diverge.  At no point would there be any more
communication between them than there is between any
other two people, and certainly no shared

The central point is this:
There is no 'you', except for what your brain does.  

If you don't accept this, you are a dualist, and
uploading is irrelevant to you.

If you do accept it, it logically follows that if you
reproduce what your brain does exactly, there will be
another, separate and complete 'you'.

I know that the concept of 'two separate people, both
you' is difficult for many people to grasp (probably
due to lingering tendencies to think dualistically),
but until it is grasped, there's no real point in
discussing uploading. All that will happen is you'll
get into an argument that can't be resolved.

I'm tempted to recommend that such people write out "I
am what my brain does" 1000 times, in the hope that
enlightenment will strike, but to be honest, I doubt
it would work.

Ben Zaiboc


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