Bryan Moss (bryan.moss@dial.pipex.com)
Thu, 16 Jul 1998 18:05:14 +0100

Letís define a copy:

Is the copy "me"?

Correctly phrased the question should be, "am I the copy?" As I've said before, there is no reason to make the distinction between copy and original. It serves absolutely no purpose.

Imagine for a minute sitting in a symmetrical room looking at your copy from across a symmetrical table. You both experience the exactly same sensations, you both react to them in exactly the same way, and you both behave in exactly the same way. You try to start a conversation, this is no different from talking to yourself Ė you know what youíre going to say, you know the answer, and you "both" say it at the same time.

This only leaves room for a mystical difference and a semantic difference. I believe the problem is the latter, and that's the reason we should not make the distinction.

Having two versions of you that are exactly the same cannot contribute to your actions (i.e. your ability or power has not doubled). The copy will display the same behaviour, opinions, and reasoning as you, it will also experience the same sensations as you.

There is functionally one person. The senses can be said to have the same spatial location (because they recieve the same information) and subjective experience will be identical. The number of processors and the location of those processors will have no effect on the subjective experience.

Letís look at the method of replacing each cell, one by one, with an artificial one. If, instead of putting the cells in a pile, we arranged them to recreate the "original" but leave them inanimate, have we committed murder? Likewise, is creating a copy (refer to the definition given above) and destroying the original murder? Since the copy cannot contribute anything to the original (and vice versa) they can act as redundancy, destroying one is not murder.