Re: The copy paradox

Harvey Newstrom (
Wed, 05 Nov 1997 11:07:05 -0500

Brent Allsop wrote:
> Dup1 walked into a non destructive transporter and walked out of this
> same machine unchanged, yet scanned. Then an identical Dup2 walked
> out of the reproducer part some distance away from this scanning
> machine. Trans1 walked into a similar scanning machine but was
> completely taken apart atom by atom before an identical Trans2 was
> constructed out of different yet identical stuff some distance away.

This is a good explanation. My objection to transporters is that I may
go through one, like Dup1, and never be able to know if Dup2 had been
created. Is it OK to kill me? I would say no, because I do not want to
experience death. The existance of Dup2 does not influence my decision.

More important than the question "Is Dup2 me?", is my assertion that the
original ME is still me. I object to most uploading theories, even the
ones that replace my neurons one at a time very slowly. They require
the ability to create a complete duplicate and functional copy of my
brain, even if that brain is dissassembled as individual neurons. If
such a copy can or has been made, then there would be or could be two
copies of me. Destroying the original and ending up with only one copy
strongly implies that there has been a death of one individual, namely
ME, the original.

I am still wrestling with the ideas of uploading and/or duplication.
Any scheme that requires the destruction of my original copy to prevent
it from living beyond the time that the duplicate is created, is not
acceptable to me. Even if the original brain is deconstructed slowly
while the new brain is constructed does not alleviate my concerns.

I think the question of whether the new copy is "ME" is just semantics.
I don't care about definitions or logical debate (except that it's
fun!). I want to avoid the experience of death and the cessation of
experience. No matter how many similar units continue to experience,
*I* want to continue from my subjective viewpoint as well.

Harvey Newstrom  (