Re: Can I kill a Copy? (long)

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Fri May 05 2000 - 11:01:12 MDT

A copy of "Eugene Leitl" <> wrote on Friday,
May 05, 2000 7:15 AM,

> Zero Powers writes:
> > Killing a sentient being, whether an identical twin, an exact replica
of you
> An exact replica of you (you do realize what that means, don't you?)
> is you. This means, there are two instances of you, both being in the
> exact the same state. As long as they don't bifurcate, I don't see why
> you can't delete one of them.

Eugene, let me paraphrase your viewpoint into a different viewpoint. What
you are saying sounds similar to the belief that the copy is an inactive
backup. As long as it hasn't been activated or allowed to process a single
thought on its own, it can be deleted. Since it has never run it's neural
processor or processed a single thought, it is more like a standby computer
with a backup disk that has not ever been turned on. Until we turn it on,
it has never been alive.

Is this consistent with your viewpoint? Stated in the above words, I must
agree. An inert backup copy that has never become functional is just a
backup copy and can be deleted. Its software program is not running, has
never run, and cannot be terminated. At this point, you are merely
destroying one of my backup copies, but not a running consciousness. Your
analogy with abortion is very close here, with this copy ready to be born
and become alive in an instant.

I think I agree with both points of view, and we are getting caught up with
semantics of "what is death" and the details of "why" the copy is not yet
alive. I was so distracted by your argument that the copies must be
identical, that it had not previously occurred to me that the copy had not
yet been allowed to have independent thought on its own yet. To put my own
semantic spin on things, you are interrupting the process of creating a copy
and not finishing the final step of giving it consciousness. Until that
final step, it is not yet alive. It is an inert clone of spare parts that
has not been animated.

Harvey Newstrom <>
IBM Certified Senior Security Consultant,  Legal Hacker, Engineer, Research
Scientist, Author.

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