Re: Identity

E. Shaun Russell (
Sun, 22 Nov 1998 00:18:34 -0800

Dan Fabulich wrote:
>Now, here, people have falsely applied Identity of Indiscernables to say
>"Yes, definitely. If the I.o.I. principle is true, then the two copies
>are the same person." Well, again, this requires us to assume that there
>is a "person," a "consciousness" off in Plato's heaven, of which the two
>copies are instances. We have two instances, obviously, but so long as
>they're both instances of the same person, it should be fine if one of
>them dies. The true form of you exists so long as one of your copies

Whoa there. Your post was great until this point. As you say, the two identical twins are indeed *two different humans* with the same genetic makeup. However, as soon as awareness (in any capacity) occurs, the cognitive processes become --as John Clark said in his initial post-- slightly different than each other. Therefore, to kill one would mean killing a being that is not *identical* to the other. However, the level of consciousness of each twin *would* be almost identical to each other and would ultimately mean killing a being that is conscious. So truly, the question of ethics surpasses the genetic becomes a question of killing something that is conscious. True, the level of consciousness of a newborn (or two...four is right out!) would be nowhere near as complex as a mature human, but it would be conscious nonetheless. So the next question is this: how developed must the consciousness be before the killing would be considered murder?

E. Shaun Russell Musician, Poet, ExI Member
==============================>    Transhumanities editor for Homo Excelsior
Kineticize your potential.