Re: Why qualia might matter

From: Emlyn (
Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 14:55:57 MST

Dan taunted:
> Emlyn wrote:
> > Dan Fabulich wrote:
> > > Actually, even in the uploading case, it doesn't matter.
> > >
> > > Consider a situation where you're going to die, no matter what, in
> > > five minutes. You have the option, however, of sacrificing your life
> > > a minute early so that a very imperfect copy of you can be created and
> > > live on.
> > >
> > > So, either five minutes, no copy, or four minutes, with a copy. The
> > > choice to me seems clear, no matter WHAT your views on identity,
> > > qualia, and the effectiveness of immortality-via-backup are.
> >
> > Why do I care if a copy lives on? Five minutes, you bet.
> You bear a significantly closer relationship to your copies than you
> do towards your children. Can you reconcile taking this attitude
> towards your copies and not your children?
> Or do you take that attitude towards children as well?

OK, try this...

I probably would give up one minute. But the motivation is *not* self
preservation. It's altruism, empathy for another being. A copy of me is
probably someone I can feel quite some empathy for. Giving up a minute of my
life to give him life, sure, good luck to him. But this is because...

- I wouldn't really be able to place a high value on that last minute.
- It would seem rather petty to deny someone else life, so that I could have
five minutes of waiting to die instead of four.

I wouldn't, for one second, believe that I was in any way getting a chance
to live on however, in this scenario. He's not me, he's someone else who
resembles me quite strongly, excepting that when he's alive, I'll be dead,
which I feel, personally, is a significant difference.

Emlyn James O'Regan - Managing Director
Wizards of AU
"Australian IT Wizards - US Technology Leaders
Pure International Teleworking in the Global Economy"


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