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

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 23:41:04 +1100

2009/3/3 Bruno Marchal <>:

> I think that comp practitioners will divide, in the long run,  along
> three classes:
> A:  majority. Accept teleportation but disallow overlap of
> "individuals": annihilation first, reconstitution after. No right to
> self-infliction. In case of accidental or exceptional self-
> multiplication, consent is asked at any time.
> B: a stable minority (in the long run). Accept teleportation but do
> allow overlap of individuals. Some will fight for the right of self-
> infliction including the consent made before the duplication, but with
> precise protocol. You know the problem of the masochist: I say no,
> continue, I say "no no", stop!
> C:  the bandits. They violates protocols and don't ask for consents.
> They should normally be wanted, I mean researched by all the polices
> of the universe, or already be in jail or in asylum.

I think B might work, since it is more or less like the present
situation, where our decisions are based on a rough risk-benefit
analysis, i.e. we decide on a course of action if as a result
gain*Pr(gain) >= loss*Pr(loss). So we decide to smoke, for example, if
we judge the pleasure of smoking (or the suffering caused by trying to
give it up) to outweigh the suffering that may result from
smoking-related illnesses. However, there are also differences if the
copies are allowed to overlap. If I make a decision that has an
adverse effect on my future self I may regret the decision, but it's
not possible to ask my past self to reverse it. On the other hand, if
I agree for one of my copies to torture the other it is always
possible for the victim to ask the torturer to release him. Also, it
is possible for the torturer to come to believe that he is never at
risk himself after repeated duplications: I've done this many times
and it's always the *other* guy who suffers, not me, so there is no
reason for me not to repeat the process. This would be so even if the
agreement was for 100 copies to be made and 99 of them enslaved: the
one who does the enslaving may come to believe that he is never at
risk, and continue creating copies 100 at a time.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Tue Mar 03 2009 - 07:41:13 PST

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