Re: Can I kill the original?

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Sun May 07 2000 - 22:06:30 MDT

>From: "Harvey Newstrom" <>
>"Dan Fabulich" <> killed his former self and then

> > But if it doesn't jive with your goals, with which goals does it
> > I've already made the case that it doesn't conflict with your desire for
> > "self" preservation, whatever "self" turns out to be. Rather, instead,
> > only seems to conflict with your goal to preserve consciousness streams.
> > And as far as I can tell, you adopted that position because you took it
> > that this was the only way to preserve your "self". I'm arguing that
> > is not the case, that you can preserve yourself while stunting your own
> > conciousness streams.
>Again, wrong. I don't like my self. I think it should be better. The
>should be upgraded. The brain should be faster. The thoughts should be
>more advanced. The activities should be god-like. This is transhumanism.
>I want to evolve so far that I no longer bear much resemblance to my
>self. I have no desire to preserve anything of myself now, just as I don't
>miss any features missing from feotus-Harvey who no longer exists. I do
>want to extend my current consciousness stream so that I am around to
>experience the god-like Harvey. If that stream ends, then I miss out on
>I really do want to preserve my current consciousness stream. I really
>don't care about preserving any portions of my "self".

I agree that the bulk (if not all) of the problem here is one of semantics.
I want "me" to live forever. I'm sure you each feel the same way about
"you." The problem is in defining who "I" am. Is it the hunk of meat that
constitutes my brain? Is it the patterns of neurons and synapses that
happen to exist in that hunk of meat? Or is it that collection of
experiences that I happen to remember? IMO, therein lies the rub. With the
technology of the past (and the present) the answer to that question didn't
really matter because the one could not be separated from the other. Once
the technology is available which will allow that separation (while
permitting the other pieces to remain in tact), this question becomes of
*paramount* importance.

If your recollected experiences can be separated (or copied) from the
patterns in your brain, and the patterns in your brain can be separated (or
copied) from the brain itself, which (if any) of these three things would
you consider to be "you"? I believe that your answer to this question will
tell you what it is about you that you most want to preserve.


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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