Re: Can I kill "the original"?

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 13:34:58 MDT

> John Clark wrote:
> > Harvey Newstrom <>
> >
> > >The new guy is alive, but I'm still dead. We are identical, except
> > >dead and he's not.
> >
> > I'm not exactly sure what a "consciousness stream" is but it doesn't
seem to me that
> > it's been interrupted and surely you don't think the atoms are
important, I doubt you want
> > to invoke an immortal soul; so what has changed so much that the fellow
who believes
> > with every fiber in his being that he's good old Harvey Newstrom is
actually wrong?

To you, the original and the copy are identical. You can't tell them apart.
Therefore you think they are interchangeable. And they are, for your

For my purposes, there is an obvious difference between the two. I could
never get them confused. I can perceived the thoughts of the original "me".
I cannot perceive the thoughts of the new "me". I can control the actions
of the original "me". I cannot control the actions of the new "me". The
original "me" is always here and is never disconnected. The new "me" is
over there, it is never connected. I know that I am alive, because "I
think, therefore I am." I can't tell if the new me is alive, because I am
not sure what it is thinking or if it is just claiming to think it is me. I
know I am alive, because I am still thinking. If the new "me" goes out of
sight, it can be killed without my knowledge. I have no way to know if it
is alive or dead.

Not only can I easily tell the difference between the old and new "me's", I
could never get them confused. My perception of the old and new "me's" are
so radically different, that they are not even similar. Until I perceive
the new "me" as being here, connected, and functioning under my control, I
don't see how I could ever perceive it as "me".

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

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