Re: Is the fourth time is the charm?

From: m (
Date: Fri May 19 2000 - 07:50:06 MDT

--- John Clark <> wrote:
> The question nobody wants to answer clearly because is would just
> sound
> too stupid is this:
> Question: I've been making and destroying a billion Harvey
> Newstroms
> every second since you were a one celled zygote, so who is the
> original
> Harvey Newstrom?
> I know why you've been hesitating and maybe I'm a little sadistic
> for pushing
> so hard but I want to see if you can really say with a straight
> face that the only
> true original is that one celled zygote.

Pardon me for butting in, but in one sense the original IS the
one-celled zygote, period. If you don't like this, I assume it is
because you don't accept the zygote as being "Harvey" (or an adumbral
stage thereof).

I assume this is because you (reasonably) value the sense of
identity, and don't believe that the zygote would be capable of this.

BUT the said zygote would (if it were lucky) grow up to be a
conscious Harvey. It would have a continuous space-time line going
back to when it was that *first zygote* that you began copying. The
continuity of the space-time line seems to me to be the only
reasonable standard.
> All human beings who are not in a coma have a sense of identity,
> the reason we
> fear death is we fear it will be lost and it's the only part of us
> that's important.

The copies may well have consciousness and continiuty of *memories*
with the original they came from, and value their sense of
identity/consciousness, and good luck to them.

This still doesn't mean that they ARE the original.


> I might add that my thought experiment is not really
> that far fetched,
> every second trillions of atoms leave out body and trillions more
> take their place.
Yes but the pattern of the ensemble is reasonably constant, (and the
majority of atoms will remain at each stage for what it's worth) and
the ensemble will have a continous space-time line. I don't think
this is the same as making a copy (with the same number of EXTRA,
atoms) in another place.


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