Re: Can I kill the

From: John Calvin (
Date: Fri May 19 2000 - 19:30:21 MDT

On Fri, 19 May 2000 15:50:43 -0700 wrote:
>Lee Daniel Crocker writes:
>> There is not even any
>> real debate about what such a process would do: everyone knows
>> exactly what the result of such a copying process would likely do,
>> how each thing would likely feel and behave; there simply aren't
>> any interesting facts in controversy here.
>J. Goard replies:
>> Hell, yes, there are. If I'm facing a choice whether to be copied, should
>> I expect this self-awareness to continue in the original? Or continue in
>> either the original or the copy, with a 50% probability of each? If I'm
>> facing a choice whether to step into the (Star Trek) transporter, then the
>> first possibility above would mean that my self-awareness would cease 100%
>> of the time, and the second possibility would mean that my self-awareness
>> would cease 50% of the time. Neither of which sound very appealing to me.
>> The end of my self-awareness, my sense of ego, is what I call "death", nor
>> is this merely a semantic matter.
>But this is not a factual matter, in that there is no experiment you can do
>which would settle it.
>If you do step into the transporter, you will agree that someone
>steps out. He has all of your memories, experiences, habits, and so on.
>To him, it will feel like the transporter "worked" and did not eliminate
>his self awareness. So this experiment will not answer the question for
>And it will not answer the question for the body which steps into the
>transporter, because it's not around any more.
>The issue is whether you want to call the guy who steps out "the same
>person" as the one who stepped in. It's a semantic question independent
>of any factual issues, as far as I can see.
>Can you suggest any experiments, at the end of which you can say whether
>copies preserve the self-awareness of the original?
Just for a moment lets ponder the transporter experiment. Modified so that it is a non destructive transporter. Meaning "I" step on the transporter pad and bam in two shakes of a tail (or preferably a much smaller measurement of time)an exact duplicate of "me" appears some arbitrary distance away. This entity has all my memories, facial hair, tattoos, receding hairline, etc. To that entity the experience is rather like stepping through a door. Both entitities could even meet and play chess if they wanted. However, as for "me", "I" am still here. Now we have two seprate entities. imho if you were to kill either one you would still be a murderer. For both of us, what matters now is the particular point of view of the particular stream of conciousness that exists as a function of the individual entities existance. Both of us would avoid a destructive Transport like the plague because we both see that we are in fact seperate entities and that destructive transport would therefore be suicide on the send si

Not really a strong logical argument, just the way "I" feel.

John Calvin

"Mr. Clark, you are under arrest for the serial murders of Harvey Newstrom. You have the right..."

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