Re: Is the fourth time is the charm?

From: John Clark (
Date: Thu May 18 2000 - 23:16:39 MDT

The question nobody wants to answer clearly because is would just sound
too stupid is this:

Question: I've been making and destroying a billion Harvey Newstroms
every second since you were a one celled zygote, so who is the original
Harvey Newstrom?

Lee Daniel Crocker <> says this:

>OK, then: an "original" is that instance of a thing which existed at the
>point in time at which the process of "copying" commenced, where "copying"
>is understood as the process of creating another instance of a thing that
>shares as many properties with the existing thing as physically possible.

A keen grasp of the obvious. I've given up trying to getting a straight answer from
Harvey but I've only asked you twice so perhaps there is still some slight hope; in the
example I have given who is the original Harvey Newstrom? I don't want to hear
"In general the original is [...], don't want any more useless generalities and vapid
definitions, I want a clear unambiguous statement about this specific example.

 I know why you've been hesitating and maybe I'm a little sadistic for pushing
 so hard but I want to see if you can really say with a straight face that the only
 true original is that one celled zygote.

>> Harvey Newstrom needs no such definition [of self], he has something much much
>> better, an example. Definitions are seldom important in life and certainly
>> not in this case.

> But he doesn't have an example

All human beings who are not in a coma have a sense of identity, the reason we
fear death is we fear it will be lost and it's the only part of us that's important. I know
of no good definition of "the self" but I know of a real good example and I know this
has nothing to do with atoms, people felt this way long before they even suspected
atoms existed. I might add that my thought experiment is not really that far fetched,
every second trillions of atoms leave out body and trillions more take their place.

             John K Clark

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