Re: Good exchange with Eliezer

From: John Clark (
Date: Mon Apr 03 2000 - 15:39:06 MDT

Mark Gubrud <> Wrote:

>killing the person and replacing her with a copy is a mere description of
>the physical facts in this case.

Mere? Call me a Silly Billy if you want but I tend to think that's rather important,
especially the physical fact of the copy saying nothing has changed and he's
still the same person.

>The paradoxes arise from the unjustifiable claims about identity.

I asked before I'll ask again, name one paradox.

>There is no paradox as long as you stick to describing physical facts.

You are correct sir.

>But in that case, you are unlikely to entice many people into being
>killed and duplicated.

Perhaps, but It works for me.

> But two copies can be made, or arbitrarily many.

Yes. Apparently you think this is a "paradox", I reserve that word for
things that are logically contradictory, being strange is not enough.

>So which one do "you wake up in"?

If you ask them they will all say they are you, 5 minutes later they will still say
they are all you but now all will also say they are not the same person as all
those other fellows who were duplicated. As I said before nobody will ever be
able to prove them true or false but I see no compelling reason to assume that
all of them are lying all of the time. I think it's probably true.

>I have proven that it is false.

Yea, and I invented the internet.

>I EXIST NOW. This fact is completely unambiguous.

By "I" do you mean a few hundred pounds of protoplasm?

>The extension of my identity over time is unambiguous also

The only reason you think that is because you have memories of the past,
but that just means your brain is in a certain state at the present time.
It all seems a little ambiguous to me. ^^^^^^^^^^

>>Matter (and energy) are generic but we know from personal experience that
>>minds are not.

>I'm not sure what you mean by "generic."

One hydrogen atom is as good as another.

>Information does not exist in the same sense as matter.

Exactly my point.

>You cannot have disembodied information as your stand-in
>for the disembodiable mobile soul.

Who said anything about "disembodied", the information is incorporated
into a computer made of matter, but matter is generic so it's the information
that makes the difference, the matter can come from anywhere.

       John K Clark

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