Re: Why qualia might matter

From: Dan Fabulich (
Date: Wed Mar 28 2001 - 10:49:12 MST

Emlyn wrote:

> > My counterargument is the argument from scale which I gave earlier.
> > If the upload's life was going to be orders of magnitude longer the
> > time you have left, then the case is the same, whether it's a question
> > of you living one extra minute vs. the copy living 50 more years, or
> > your living 50 more years vs. the copy living millions of years.
> >
> > -Dan
> Why would I possibly give up *50 years* for a copy?
> Even if I give you this argument of scale, it does not cover all cases. If I
> had 50 years to go, and knew that I could live an extra 50 (100 total from
> now), by (destructive) uploading, I'd do it. On the other hand, my altruism
> toward a (not me) copy would definitely not extend to giving my remaining 50
> years so that it could have 100. Again, the same situation yields a
> different response, whose determinant is the motivation. Self-preservation
> will be strong enough to yield a choice to upload, but altruism will not be.

You're quite right. Fortunately, 2 is not the order of magnitude
anybody seriously expects on the lifetime of their upload. I mean,
granted, who knows, in a hundred years maybe we'll all die, or some
terrible accident will befall your upload anyway. But there's no
reason to think that uploaded copies will live only an extra 100

So although, formally speaking, there are some imaginary cases in
which this philosophical distinction could be teased out, even the
case of (ordinary) destructive uploading does not do so, leading me to
think that this really IS one of those angels-on-a-pin question that
we can debate forever and be none the worse off for not having solved


      -unless you love someone-
    -nothing else makes any sense-
           e.e. cummings

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