Re: [UPLOADING] This is just a copy

Harvey Newstrom (
Wed, 15 Jul 1998 02:12:07 -0400

John K Clark <> wrote:
> >But if no one died, who is that dead guy?
> I don't see any dead guy, I just see a bunch of nasty looking protoplasm.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The body that used to be live, now has a bullet in its brain and is not alive. But you don't see a dead body. Surely you are speaking metaphorically? Surely you agree that it is a dead body, but it's "OK"?

> It didn't have to jump because if consciousness has a spatial location, which
> is doubtful, it's certainly not where the brain is but where the senses are.
> The brain by itself has no way of detecting position, or time for that matter.

Mysticism Alert! You seem to be saying that consciousness exists outside of the physical body, outside space and time, and that space and time and position and laws of physics don't apply to this ethereal consciousness. This allows a copy to be made, and for "you" to instantly appear, faster-than-light, in a new location without really moving.

> (Harvey Newstrom) On Tue, 14 Jul 1998 Wrote:
> >So killing the one body is not murder, but killing the other body
> >that only differs by one 10-second memory is murder?
> Yes, 10 seconds can be a very long time.

Definition Change Alert! Your definiton of "killing" and "death" obviously are not based on any definition of "life" and "death" that have existed until now. Please clearly define these new definitions for these words. Until now, I have never heard that you can put a bullet through someone's brain and not call it murder based on what thoughts are inside their head. Certainly this is not the usual definiton of "killing"?

> If you kill me instantly and without warning I'll never know I'm dead which
> is good but unless I have a copy I'll never know I'm alive either which is
> bad. If I do have a copy I still won't know I'm dead but I will know I'm
> alive exactly as I did before, I won't notice the slightest change. As I said,
> my definition of death is having a last thought and in this scenario they are
> absolutely continuos and have not even slowed down.

Circular Logic Alert! This only works if you assume, as you do, that both copies are "you" and that the new copy's thought is a continuation of the original copy's thought. If you assume, as I do, that the two copies are two seperate but identical people, then your original copy did have its last thought, while the new copy had its first original thought. This doesn't support what you believe, but merely states it.

By the very nature of circular logic relying on the pre-assumed beliefs, I think that you and I can agree on your entire paragraph, but based on our original belief come up with different conclusions. This is why these examples seem to go nowhere, because we both agree with the examples in toto. But the circular-logic in the example points to pre-existing assumptions, wherein we differ, so each of us "proves" our own point with the same circular-logic example.

Self-Referencing Evidence Alert! Is there any way to test the original to see if it is not dead? Since the identity of the copy is at issue here, it is not valid to reference it as proof as to what it is. This is like quoting the Bible to prove that it is the Word of God. It is self-referencing circular-logic. We must be able to measure the original to see if still continues. If you wish to move the measuring devices from location to another, you must first prove that by doing so you are following and measuring the same thing as was originally measured. If you change the reference point in the middle without reason, then there is no reason to think that both things being measured are the same.

> I think the basic difference is that I don't think I'm a noun, I'm not matter,
> I'm the complex way matter reacts when it is organized in a certain way.
> I think people are more like music than bricks.

Straw-man Alert! You seem to assume that I and others who think as I do are giving some significance to our specific atoms. This is not necessary for our objection. I have seen numerous examples given here to explain away the physical matter requirement. I think that is a straw-man position that you and others are projecting. I haven't seen anyone here claim it, and I certainly don't.

Platonic Mysticism Alert! The question is whether two identical copies of anything can exist. You and others seem to say that they cannot, and as soon as they become identical, they become one. This is the old Platonic Forms argument, that there is only one true form of every object, and that all such instances are really the same object expressed in different locations. I and others do not believe in Plato's forms, and if we see two people, we think they are two people. No matter how closely similar they become, the still are two people. At no point do they become so similar that the magically and instantly become one.

Sorry for all the "alerts!", but I'm trying to point out logical flaws. I'm tired of the conversation going around and around and going nowhere. So, I'm trying to be more specific about where logic flaws lay, or why a specific belief is rejected, or where definitions are changing. I hope this will more directly analyze the problem and help the discussion move along.

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