Re: Uploading and Consciousness (was: electronic intelligence and ethics)

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Feb 24 2000 - 14:04:48 MST

Joseph Sterlynne wrote:

> > Ziana Astralos
> > With scanning, in its various
> > implementations, you have the problem of potential
> > loss of important information, as well as that pesky
> > problem of whether your consciousness will also
> > transfer when your scan comes on-line, and if not,
> > then where is your consciousness going to end up, in
> > the original body, or your uploaded data?
> You're sounding like a dualist here. Consciousness is not some magic thing
> which floats around waiting to be embodied in one brain or another. It is a
> result, in your current organic brain, of a set of neurons performing some
> operation. Both your scanned brain and the new non-original brain, if they
> meet the right conditions (that is, perform the right operations), will
> produce consciousness.
> The real problem (which you might have been referring to) is the notion that
> we want our consciousness to feel continuous during the upload procedure.
> So that you feel like you have actively migrated to the upload computer, not
> like you're still sitting in the operating room watching your new copy run
> off having a great time. The soft slow replacement method that Mike
> mentioned would appear to give us the former. A scan of some sort would
> seem to result in the latter.
> The problem, though, is this: does it matter at all. If a brain is scanned
> and the process which is consciousness is the same in both brains then both
> will consider themselves to be the same identity. Both will claim to have
> been (and one will claim to still be) in the original body.
> The one in the original body really can only say that his instantiation has
> no causal relationship to the new one and therefore his awareness never
> migrated. Scanning does not constitute a causal relationship because it
> requires no involvement of the actual process of consciousness. He might go
> on to say that having multiple instantiations does not imply that all
> instantiations have the same status. One might have been running for twenty
> years as a human brain; another might have been running for five minutes
> after an upload procedure.
> But this is immaterial; a process is a process, regardless of where in its
> lifetime it is started and for how long it has been running. This reminds
> me of the philosophy of mind notion of intensionality, which I never
> accepted as it seems to claim that past causal relationship has something
> important to do with current process.
> As far as I can tell it seems that the way to feel that your awareness is
> continuous is to use a replacement method.

At which point its time to start lobbying for the forced abortion of all twins.
ONLY ONE BABY PER BIRTH! A scanned upload is not the original, but a softclone
of the original. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, it does not
matter, of course, but to the individual, the rest of the world can go suck

Mike Lorrey

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