Re: Sincere Questions on Identity

Date: Wed Dec 12 2001 - 22:42:17 MST

In personal death, I suspect we fear loss of control, however that is
embedded into the nervous system that generates our "identity." I am
guessing, that in cloning, there are some who fear a loss of 'personal
meaning; or as philosopher John Leslie termed it "value death."

Larry Niven once has a story (All the Myriad Ways) set in an America which
had survived a nuclear war, over Cuba in 1962. The protagonist in the story
was a Los Angeles police detective, who was assigned to find out why there
was suddenly a rash of murders and suicides in the city? One later learned
that the scientists of that America had developed a means of crossing
worldlines, largely in the pursuit of new technologies. The Punchline was the
knowledge that had come down to the average public that there were some xerox
copies of themselves, doing other things, making other choices, made their
own place in this world, this universe; meaningless.

Similarly, clones and xeroxes of yourself, may act as way to diminish one's
self esteem. On the other hand, a bit of narcissism, or a lot of jolly, good,
humor, might make existence more bearable for all concerned. A 100 man Lee
Crocker party might be a bit of fun, after-all. Though having sequential Lee
Crockers might make a better choice, in the sense that the deceased Lee would
know that the universe would simply get another Lee, to carry on his writing,
will, and grief, would certainly not be a primary feature of life, anymore.

Lee Daniel Crocker stated:

<<I don't think there's anyone here who will rationally argue
with the contention that if I underwent a non-destructive
atom-by-atom copy process, two 100-kg lumps of matter would wake
up with the memeories I presently call "mine", as well as the
sensations, perceptions, values, desires, and intentions I call
mine. It doesn't matter to me which one I call "me", what
matters is what actual consequences will this action have on
the world, are they likely to happen in the future, and which
of them are good and bad?

What it is that we want? What is it that we fear?>>

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