Re: [UPLOADING] This is just a copy

Harvey Newstrom (
Mon, 13 Jul 1998 14:08:48 -0400

John K Clark <> wrote:
> 1) I know all about the duplicate world and you put a 44 magnum to my head
> and tell me in ten seconds you will blow my brains out, am I concerned?
> You bet I am because I know that your double is holding an identical gun
> to the head of my double and making an identical threat.
> 2) I find out that for the first time since the Big Bang the worlds will
> diverge, in 10 seconds you will put a bullet in my head but my double will
> be spared, am I concerned? Yes, and angry as well, in times of intense
> stress nobody is very logical. My double is no longer exact because I am
> going through a traumatic experience and my double is not. I'd be looking
> at that huge gun and wondering what it will be like when it goes off and
> if death will really be instantaneous. I'd be wondering if my philosophy
> was really as sound as I thought it was and I'd also be wondering why I
> get the bullet and not my double and cursing the unfairness of it all.
> My (semi) double would be thinking "it's a shame about that other fellow
> but I'm glad it's not me".
> 3) I know nothing about the duplicate world, a gun is at both our heads and
> we both are convinced we're going to die. One gun goes off, making a hell
> of a mess, but the other gun, for inexplicable reasons misfires. In this
> case NOBODY died and except for undergoing a terrifying experience I am
> completely unharmed. The real beauty part is that I don't even have to
> clean up the mess.

I submit that #2 and #3 are the exact same scenario for our world. No atom will be different, no action will be changed. By all measurements and laws of physics, the person on our world in scenario #2 and #3 experience the exact same fate, atom per atom. Yet you interpret these identical fates differently. The fate of these people have always been interpreted as death throughout all time. Even in scenario #2 you interpret it as death. Now, suddenly, you are changing the definition and saying that the exact same event is no longer considered death. You are interpreting the death by some mystical definition not relating to any laws of physics or any scientific measurement of the body to determine if it is dead.

The only thing that makes the last scenario acceptable to you is that you're dead. You seem to think that it is OK for one copy to die if the other copy lives. Is it OK for one copy to be horribly crippled in the murder attempt while the other goes unscathed? Is it OK for one copy to be in constant pain, while the other lives pain free? If not, why would it be acceptable to diverge these copies by way of death, but not in any other way. If the pain or suffering of one bothers you, why doesn't the death of the same one bother you? If one of them were in pain, and it bothered you, would killing it resolve you problem? Since it is dead, but you don't count it as dead, does that erase any prior pain and suffering since it can't remember it?

Harvey Newstrom                                   <>
Author, Engineer, Entrepreneur,              <>
Consultant, Researcher, Scientist.           <ldap://>