John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Wed, 6 Nov 1996 21:27:35 -0800 (PST)


On Wed, 06 Nov 1996 Damien Broderick <damien@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au> Wrote:

>>Suppose I show you 2 people, you talk and get to know them,
>>then I then take them away and upload them. [snip of 2
>>methods, fast and slow] >Is there any way you could
>>determine which one was uploaded quickly and which one was

>Of course not. But this is an operational question posed
>from *outside* the skin of the two would-be uploaders.

You can also ask the upload if he feels like the same person he was before,
I can't see any reason not to believe him. Also, because I don't believe in
an unfathomable soul I conclude that all consciousness must have a physical
cause. If there is a difference in the consciousness between two unloads made
by different means, then there MUST be a physical difference of some sort
between them, the only alternative is to invoke the vague mystical powers
that religion and superstition so love. If Science says he is the same
person and the person says he is the same person then I feel very confident
in saying it is the same person.

>An important issue unresolved by this `Turing test' question
>remains, as I posed it earlier: would one be prepared to die
>(sacrific one's current instantiation) in order that an
>exact copy of oneself be reconstituted elsewhere, or on a
>different substrate?

You would be justified in worrying about this exactly as much as you worry
that you are the only conscious being in the universe, the Turing Test is
central to both ideas. If you trust it in one case you should trust it in
the other. Anyway, it's self contradictory that something could think it's me,
have my memories, think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and yet not be me,
because that's what is mente by "me". At least, that's what I mean by the word.

On Tue, 05 Nov 1996 Michael Lorrey <retroman@tpk.net> Wrote:

>>I honestly don't know what more I can do. I examine 2
>>physical systems, I can find absolutely no difference in
>>them, I conclude there is no difference. Where is the faith?
>>If There is no physical difference, and you say you don't
>>believe in superstitious mumbo jumbo, then the question
>>remains, what exactly is the difference?

>I just described the big difference between the two.

No you have not. All you did was describe how exactly the same thing could be
made in 2 different ways. Only the final product is important and if I show
you that, you are unable to tell me which way it was made. If I purchase a
paperback novel there is no way I could know, nor would I care, if the author
originally wrote it with a quill pen, a IBM PC, an Apple, or scribbled it on
the backs of envelopes with a crayon. The finished product is the same and
that's all that matters.

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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