John Clark (jonkc@worldnet.att.net)
Thu, 27 Aug 1998 00:04:46 -0400

Hash: SHA1

Randel R Randel Wrote:

>So how many neurons must be in different states
>to constitute having a "different" person?

I don't know, I strongly suspect a precise point does not exist and the transition is gradual, but things without a precise transition point can still be as different as day and night, for example, the difference between day and night.

>If *any* change is sufficient, then the person who inhabited
>this body half a second ago is dead.

Any change is not sufficient, a huge change is sufficient. The difference between expecting to die any minute and not having that experience is huge.

>I certainly am not having the same thoughts now as
>I was an hour ago, yet am I not the same person?

There is no one correct answer, it's a matter of opinion and apparently the opinion of the Randel R Randel of right now is that he is the same person he was an hour ago. Unfortunately the much more important opinion of the Randel R Randel of an hour from now on the subject is not available.

Thought experiment: I made a copy of you an hour ago, one I let go to live his normal life (it doesn't matter if it's the copy or the
original), the other one I chain to a time bomb set to go off in one hour. BANG. Were you that poor fellow who just got blown up? If so then you must be able to tell us what it was like to be chained to the bomb watching the clock slowly move to the zero hour, but you can't, you know nothing about it.

John K Clark jonkc@att.net

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