Sincere Questions on Identity

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@MSX.UPMC.EDU)
Date: Fri Dec 14 2001 - 14:33:24 MST

From: "Jacques Du Pasquier" <>

The second is distinction between distinct objects, possibly similar
(and in fact possibly, at least in theory, identical), which is
somewhere in the very basic layers of common sense --- and routinely
used in science, too, of course.

### This distinction is irrelevant to our discussion - I do know that my
copy is a distinct physical object, not identical to myself, but for the
purposes of my survival this copy is as good (a subjective value statement)
as myself, just like a quarter is as good any other quarter for the purpose
of buying a can of Coke.


Will you, once "shuffled", deny that one is the one we had named missile A, and the other the one we had called missile B, whether you can now tell or not ?

### They are different but it's irrelevant for me (might be important for you - a value judgement).

---- Proper names like "Lee Daniel Crocker" designate a singular entity, not a class, not a design. It is not a common name, it is not an abstraction.

### I do hope that when copying technology is perfected I will multiply to hundreds or thousands of copies. Each one of me will be able to offer my professional services as "Rafal M. Smigrodzki, copy# XXXX". My proper name will stop being a name used to describe the 154 lb of flesh where I am housed now - it will be a brand name for all of me. Employers will hire them, maybe saying, "Let's get a few Rafals and a couple Lee Daniel Crockers, they seem to work well together".


If you introduce the "you/me" pronoun, and the fictional unity that this imply, then you must say that YOU ARE THAT LUMP OF MATTER.

### No, I am not - I am an information processing pattern housed currently in that lump of flesh. I am software. You might construe your own identity as hardware - it's a personal value judgement.


But what you are now is just THAT lump of matter, and if it gets back to dust, you get back to dust, because you are nothing else than that.

### This is incorrect - if you ask any lump of matter physically identical to my current lump of matter, you will hear the answer that it is an embodiment of me, and I will of course agree with it - and I am the only person with the authority to answer this subjective question, by my definition of self. If your definition of your own self is built differently, your views pertain only to yourself, never to me.

I still hope that if I use the mantra "personal value judgement", or "a matter of taste", I will be finally able to convince people not to try to force me to accept their "objective" ideas of what is me, R.M. Smigrodzki.


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