RE: ASSA and Many-Worlds

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 23:08:04 +1100

Jason Resch writes:

> > Jason Resch writes:
> >
> >My appologies to those on this list, this is how I should have worded
> >my conclusion:
> >Positive spared lives = Take replication
> >Neutral spared lives = Take coin flip
> >Negative spared lives = Take coin flip

> This is an analysis from an altruistic viewpoint, i.e. which choice will increase
> the net happiness in the world. What I am asking is the selfish question, what
> should I do to avoid being tortured? If I choose the replication it won't worry
> me from a selfish point of view if one person will definitely be tortured because
> I am unlikely to be that person. Indeed, after the replication it won't affect me
> if *all* the other copies are tortured, because despite sharing the same psychology
> up to the point of replication, I am not going to experience their pain.

> I think our disagreement stems from our different conceptions of consciousness. You seem to believe that once you experience an observer moment, that you are destined to experience all future observer moments of that observer. While this is the way most people see the world, I consider that to be an illusion caused by memory. i.e. "We remember past observer moments so we must be moving into the future."
> I believe that its is just as beneficial to do something that will improve someone else's observer moments as it is to improve one's future observer moments. Just think: your current observer moment never gets to experience the fruits of its current labors, it remains in that observer moment for all time. Yet we still go to work. That is why altruism is indistinguishable from selfish behavior in my philosophy. There is no consciousness outside of brain states, brain states are consciousness, since they exist they are experienced, no one can say by who or by what, their existance is experience. Therefore it is in everyone's interest to improve reality's first person, of which every observer moment is a part.
> It's easy to see how evolution taught us to work for one individual's future observer moments, we defer gratification all time in order to increase the average quality of all future observer moments. I'm not advocating we all become like Mother Teresa, but I think we should understand that we are no more (or less) our future observer moments than we are other individual's observer moments.

I completely agree with your view of observer moments: the person who wakes up
in my bed tomorrow won't be me-now, he'll just be someone who shares most of my
memories and believes he is me. In fact, if I were killed with an axe during the night
and replaced with an exact copy, it wouldn't make any difference to me or anyone
else, because I "die" every moment anyway. But the problem is, I am very attached to
the illusion of continuity of conscious and personal identity even though I know how it
is generated. If I give in to it, I might decide to treat everyone the same as I do myself,
but just as likely I might decide to be completely reckless with my life, or even with
everyone else's life. But my brain just won't let me think this way.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Thu Jan 25 2007 - 07:08:14 PST

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