Re: Evidence for the simulation argument

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2007 02:28:34 +1100

On Wed, Mar 07, 2007 at 12:46:32PM +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> On 3/7/07, Brent Meeker <> wrote:
> > > How do you know that you are the same person from moment to moment in
> > > ordinary life? The physical processes in your brain create psychological
> > > continuity; that is, you know you are the same person today as yesterday
> > > because you have the same sense of personal identity, the same memories,
> > > woke up in the same environment, and so on. It is necessary and
> > > sufficient for survival that these psychological factors are generated,
> > > but it doesn't matter how this is achieved.
> >
> > How so? The Many Worlds idea seems to imply that you survive no matter
> > what. The consequences of natural selection obtain only within worlds which
> > are law-like - and we're back to the white rabbit problem.
> You survive if a sufficiently close analogue of your mind survives. This can
> theoretically happen in many ways other than the obvious one (survival of
> your physical body): in parallel worlds, in a distant part of our own world
> if it is infinite in extent, in the Turing machine at the end of time. The
> white rabbit universes are a problem: since we don't observe them, maybe
> these theories are wrong, or maybe there is some other reason why we don't
> observe them.
> Stathis Papaioannou

Well there is a reason we don't observe them, due to observational
selection effects tied to Occam's razor. This is written up in my "Why
Occams Razor" paper. Nobody has shot down the argument yet, in spite
of it being around on this list since 1999, and in spite of it being
published since 2004.

A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052         
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Received on Tue Mar 06 2007 - 20:56:42 PST

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