[ExI] Let's play What If.
jonkc at bellsouth.net
Sat Oct 30 16:57:52 UTC 2010
On Oct 29, 2010, at 1:54 PM, Damien Broderick wrote:
> John explicitly stated that the original would be set free, and asked how the original would feel about the prospect of his duplicate being tormented.
But remember all this hasn't happened yet, the copying process will happen tomorrow and I asked if there was any reason to be nervous about it today. When the branching occurs the next day you are convinced that your soul or spirit or essence or whatever you want to call it will follow one branch and totally ignore the other, but you can not give even one reason to think that is true that even hints at logic. You can't even explain what this "something" is that is so very very very important.
> Since I am the original prior to any duplicating
Neither the atoms nor the information that arranged those atoms are unique, so I repeat my question, what is so original about the "original"?
> I know I'm safe
The tricky part in the above is "I". In these sort of thought experiments everybody always plays the part of the mighty original, but just for a second take the part of the copy and imagine what his subjective experience would be. He remembers experiencing your early childhood just as you do, he remembers going to school, falling in love, joining the Extropian list and thinking my arguments were nonsense. He remembers marching into the duplicating chamber happy and full of confidence certain that in just a few minutes he would be going home with a full pardon. The copy remembers seeing a man who looked just like him appearing 2 feet in front of him, and he's not the least bit surprised because that is exactly what he expected to happen. You are also not surprised when two very large guards with no neck enter the chamber, you wait for them to grab that other poor fellow but to your astonishment they go for you instead. You scream "No, I'm the original, he's the copy not me, he must be, I just saw him suddenly appear right in front of me!". The no-necks ignore your protests and drag you to the torture chamber.
The copy in the torture chamber certainly doesn't identify with the Damien Broderick lounging around at home with his family, but he does identify with the Damien Broderick who entered the duplicating machines with high hopes, and I see no reason that identification shouldn't be reciprocal.
John K Clark
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