Re: [UPLOADING] Is an exact duplicate "me"?

Peter C. McCluskey (
Mon, 20 Jul 1998 14:57:50 -0700 (Harvey Newstrom) writes:
>Would my stream of consciousness somehow jump from the original to the
>copy when the original is destroyed? I see no scientific basis for
>this. The two are separate individuals with no mystical connection.

They have the same kind of causal connection that my current consciousness has with the consciousness of the person (me?) who went to sleep in my bed last night, for those of us who consider consciousness to be information processing. You can probably come up with a different concept of consciousness for which these causal connections aren't equivalent (involving continuity of some aspect of consciousness), but I have yet to hear a clear version of this that is consistent with most people's concept of identity. (Harvey Newstrom) writes:
>What is it about the copy that makes me lose my will to live? Is it the

I don't think I understand your will to live, but my will to live consists of wanting my memories, behavior patterns, and similar observable quantities to exist in the future. Can you clarify what features you value in the biological Harvey Newstrom that will exist 24 hours from now that might be missing from a copy, without using subjective classifcations such as "it's me" or "it's perceptions are my perceptions"? (Harvey Newstrom) writes:
>This may be my problem as well. Until I have some proof that the other
>entity is me, I will give up my current will to live. Not being able to
>prove that it isn't me, isn't enough. I have to stop experiencing me as
>only this body, and somehow start experiencing me in the other body. If
>my perceptions don't transfer, then I don't feel that the "me" has

Do you mean anything by the word "transfer" here? I think that if you could translate this last sentence into something that is potentially falsifiable, we might be able to make some progress. But given your current formulation, I'm unable to tell whether you want something unverifiable (did your soul or vital force get transferred?) or whether scientific analysis can potentially answer your concerns.

How about imagining a process that disassembles X% of the atoms in your brain and puts them back where they were a microsecond later. Is the resulting person you or is it someone else? Does the value of X matter? Does it matter if some of the atoms are replaced by equivalent atoms from somewhere else?

Peter McCluskey          | Critmail ( | Accept nothing less to archive your mailing list