Re: [Fwd: NDPR David Shoemaker, Personal Identity and Ethics: A Brief Introduction]

From: John Mikes <>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 14:29:13 -0500

who is making that 'backup' or 'replica' of you? and why?
you people take it for granted that a (supernatural???) authority has
nothing else to do except making replicas of members of the Everything List.
And you observe, how good - or bad - "its" work is.
Some teleological view of pantheism Ha Ha).

Otherwise where would the replicas come from and where would they go?
(Probably the notion comes from the "backup" mode of your computer and the
file "backup" updated every Sunday).
John M

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 12:43 PM, Brent Meeker <>wrote:

> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > 2009/2/27 Bruno Marchal <>:
> >
> >> Gosh! And what if the backup has been done last year, or one minute
> ago? I
> >> will be dead too? Less dead?
> >
> > This shows a potential problem the psychological criterion for
> > personal identity. If I am facing death it is little consolation to me
> > if a backup was made an hour ago, since I (the presently speaking I)
> > will not be able to anticipate any future experiences. Only if there
> > exists some copy who will have a memory of my present experiences
> > would I not object to dying, and this would require a backup updated
> > every moment. In that case, I should also object to an hour of memory
> > loss, due to a medication like midazolam. But I don't think that
> > taking midazolam is tantamount to dying. Inconsistency! Either I have
> > to agree that taking midazolam is like dying, or I have to agree that
> > dying while leaving an old (how old?) backup behind does not matter.
> > If I agree to the latter, then I give up worrying about the thing I
> > don't like about dying, which is the fact that I won't be able to
> > anticipate any future experiences. And if I give up worrying about
> > that, then there isn't anything else that worries me about dying. So
> > if I think that taking midazolam is no big deal (which I do), to be
> > consistent I should also think that death is no big deal.
> >
> >
> But isnt' there a range here. I would certainly feel less anxious
> about dying if there were a backup of me made an hour ago than if it
> were made months or years ago or if there were no backup at all. On
> the other hand, an hour of memory loss from taking midazolam may be
> less worrisome simply because we, as a culture, have a lot of
> experience with loss of consciousness and memory from anesthesia, etc.
> Brent
> >

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Received on Fri Feb 27 2009 - 14:29:17 PST

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