Re: Consciousness/Uploading

Randall R Randall (
Mon, 6 Jul 1998 11:08:14 -0400

On Mon, 6 Jul 1998 03:52:35 -0400 (EDT) Daniel Fabulich <> writes:

>Actually, I find this dubious. If I am playing Bach's "Goldberg
>Variations" on my CD player, and then remove the CD and replace it with
>another identical one, is the same music being played? Yes. The CDs
>different, but the music is the same.

This seems to me to be a very common
mistake. :) The music *isn't* the "same"; it is only very similar. That is, they are not really one piece of music, but two,

that happen to differ only in location. They do differ, though.

>Similarly, if I replace all of your cells with cells which act just like
>your cells, then perhaps I am doing the same thing as switching the CDs.
>There is no externally observable difference between the music on the
>CDs; there would be no externally observable differences between your
>consciousness before the experiment and whatever was left.

I will agree with this. There is no way to tell the difference, if you are not aware that there are really two different CDs. Of course, if the CDs themselves are expected to be aware, then the first CD will never know it is "offline", any more than other dead people know that they are dead.

>Since we can and do presume the existence of consciousness which we
>feel based on observed behavior, and since the observed behavior would
>identical, we must conclude that the consciousness would be identical.

Very similar, at least.


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