Re: Sincere Questions on Identity

Date: Wed Dec 12 2001 - 15:59:28 MST

Michael - Do you believe that computer programs can be conscious?
This is not clear from your message.

If you do, then imagine that you find yourself one day to be a computer
program. Ignore the question of whether you are the same person as some
human precursor, just consider the future. If the computer is stopped
and re-started, are you the same person? If your program is copied to
another section of memory, are you the same person? If two copies of
your program are made, are they both you?

I think considering the questions in this way is helpful as it lets us
get past some of our intuitions and prejudices from our evolutionary past
where one body == one mind. We can think more clearly and analytically
about the problems by considering disembodied consciousness. That lets
us focus on the role of information and its transfer.


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