Re: Can I kill the "original"?

Date: Sat May 20 2000 - 11:41:28 MDT

John writes:
> Suppose I step out of the transporter and say " Oh my God my soul is gone,
> I can't feel it, I can still get a high score on a IQ test but now I'm no more
> conscious than a rock, John Clark is dead!" I see no reason he would lie
> about that so we could conclude that the religious people were right after all
> and science can't duplicate a soul.

Yes, I suppose this surprising result would change your mind.

On the other hand, suppose a transporter-skeptic steps out and says, "Oh,
my God, I am the same person, I can feel it, I have a mystic awareness
of connection to my previous self that is much deeper and more complete
than anything I have ever known. It is as though God himself intervened
and transfered my soul from the old me to the new me." This surprising
result might change his mind as well.

I think in either case it is a sign of a transmitter malfunction,
or a proof of some mystical component to the soul. If we stick to a
materialistic view of the world, a properly functioning transmitter will
not surprise anyone, and doing the experiment will not shed any light on
the facts of the matter. In fact I don't think there is any experiment
which will provide facts about this question (in such a world), which
suggests to me that there are no facts.


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