The Copy Paradox

Brent Allsop (
Tue, 18 Nov 1997 13:32:40 -0700

John K Clark <> responded:

> "Nick Bostrom" <> On Sun, 16 Nov 1997 Wrote:

> >"Mental state" is a bit ambiguous.

> Bit yes ambiguous no. Unless the holly rollers turn out to be right
> the human brain must be equivalent to a Turing machine and the human
> mind equivalent to what a Turing machine does. What a Turing machine
> does is determined by the state it's in, and that depends on whether
> it sees a 0 or a 1 on a paper tape.

Even if what "the holly rollers" believe could some how turn
out to be right this is still true isn't it? If "the spirit" or
whatever it is they believe in, knows something it must be in a
different "mental state" than if it didn't know that thing right? It
may not be some material state to them, but this "mental" thing of
ours still must be able to be in various distinguishable states to
which we might refer non the less whatever it is right? Wouldn't a
holy roler or whoever agree that they can be in a "state" of feeling
pain/not feeling pain, knowing/not knowing, seeing the tree/not seeing
the tree... or whatever?

Brent Allsop