Does "identical" mean "one"?

Harvey Newstrom (
Fri, 17 Jul 1998 21:26:42 -0400

During the upload discussion, many people claimed that if two objects were identical except for location, that they were the same object. Not just two of the same type of object, but literally the same object. They would be counted as one object. The claim applied to an original and an exact duplicate upload in the same room. Some claim that there is only one person, one body, one brain, one physical entity.

The seems irrational to me. We know that atoms are interchangeable. All hydrogen atoms, for example, are identical. Any two hydrogen atoms can be switched with no discernible effect.

Does this mean that there is only one hydrogen atom in the entire universe? One helium atom? One of each of about 100 elements, meaning the entire universe consists of about 100 atoms? This seems to be mysticism at its best, claiming that we are all one, and that distinctions between me and thee are illusions. This is the first time I have heard this theory outside religious mysticism. Do other extropians really feel this way?

Harvey Newstrom                                   <>
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