Re: [UPLOADING] This is just a copy

Harvey Newstrom (
Tue, 14 Jul 1998 10:26:17 -0400

John K Clark <> wrote: > (Harvey Newstrom) On Mon, 13 Jul 1998 Wrote: > >I submit that #2 and #3 are the exact same scenario for our world. > > Not true. The atoms in the two scenarios are arranged differently because > I've received radically different information so, unless the soul is > responsible for memory, the arrangement of atoms in my brain must be different.

Good point. I stand corrected. So the only difference is your memory? Your definiton of whether shooting someone in the head depends on what data is stored in their memory? This seems a weak basis for my tastes.

> Yes because staring at a gun pointed at my head for 10 seconds has changed
> me, changed the pattern of atoms in me, so I no longer have an exact copy.
> In scenario #3 we're both changed by an equal amount so I still have a
> copy although I do not know it.

So killing the one body is not murder, but killing the other body that only differs by one 10-second memory is murder? My definitons of life and death are more based on the condition of the body and future viability.

> There is no alternative. If one copy has been terminated I can't measure
> his viewpoint because he doesn't have one.

This seems to be the flaw (in my opinion) with your argument. You kill one person and therefore ignore his desire to live because he now has no opinion. This is true with any dead body. My point is that right now, before I die, I know that I am against it. I don't think we can merely discount the wishes of the people we kill just because after they're dead they no longer wish to live.

> >You seem to think that it is OK for one copy to die if the other
> >copy lives.
> Yes.
> >Is it OK for one copy to be horribly crippled in the murder
> >attempt while the other goes unscathed?
> No, because the poor horrible cripple does have a viewpoint.

Here again you seem to indicate that by killing someone, they lose their viewpoint, and therefore their desire doesn't count. It seems that I could argue the same thing and kill you right now. You have not copies, and you might not want to die, but after I do it you won't have a viewpoint so it won't matter.

> >If one of them were in pain, and it bothered you, would killing
> >it resolve you problem?
> Obviously.

Remind me not to ask you for help if I am in pain... But seriously, I think we understand each other's views enough to predict them. We just wouldn't choose those views ourselves. Where to steer the discussion from here, to help understand why our opinions differ so?

Harvey Newstrom                                   <>
Author, Engineer, Entrepreneur,              <>
Consultant, Researcher, Scientist.           <ldap://>