Re: Immortality

From: Marchal <>
Date: Tue Oct 9 06:27:45 2001

Brent Meeker wrote:

>OK, I think I understand this. You are making the point that
>duplication of consciousness entails the inability to predict the
>sequence of conscious experience.


>The indeterminism comes from the fact that
>> 1) You can 3-duplicate a 3-person (with comp).
>> 2) you cannot 3-duplicate a 1-person, that is, from the point of
>> view of the person, that person feels like staying one and unique, in
>> front of ZERO *or* in front of ONE.
>> OK?
>No, (2) seems a cheat to me. "...from the point of view of the person,
>that person feels.." already assumes there is only one person; ...

After the duplication there are two persons. I should have written

  2) you cannot 3-duplicate a 1-person, that is, from the point of
     view of *each* person, they feels like staying one and unique, in
     front of ZERO *or* in front of ONE.

> it
>cannot be used as an argument that the person is not duplicated ( that
>you cannot 3-duplicate a 1-person) on pain of circularity.

What I say is just the trivial (with comp!) fact that if you 3-duplicate
me, my feeling of integrity and uniqueness will remain intact. My
1-person has not been "duplicated" or "divided", although I will, like my
doppelganger, face a 3-version of myself. My term were perhaps not

> That the
>"...person feels like staying one and unique..." is ambiguous and
>irrelevant. It's ambiguous because it is not clear whether you are
>asserting it of the person before duplication or of the persons after
>the duplication.

It was after the duplication. I ask the question "where you will
to be (between the 0-room or the 1-room) *before* the duplication, but the
question bear on the feeling *after* the duplication.
It is the same with a quantum superposition state. If you look at a
cat state like (Idead > + Ialive>), you *will* feel like seeing a
cat dead or seing a cat alive, altough from a 3-schroedinger-equation
point of view you will be both. With the MWI, the probabilities arises
in a similar way.

>It's irrelevant because whatever the person(s) feel
>is consistent with the 1-persons being 3-duplicated (if I understand
>this 1- 3- terminology).

You can say that. Sorry for the ambiguous expression "duplication of the
1-person". It is perhaps preferable to say that a duplication is always
a 3-duplication (a duplication of the body). The 1-person can be
considered as duplicated, from a third person POV when interroging the
duplicated people, but what is important here is to realise that *from the
point of view of the two duplicated people* they does not feel has having
been duplicated.

>OK, as I understand your ontology it is something like:
> mathematics->computation->consciousness->material

Yes. Although I would say comp (or even QM) does not give choice
here (cf UDA or movie graph).

>But this seems to still leave the problems of dualism because it allows
>that a consciousness (e.g. mine) can be generated without any
>associated material (e.g. a brain) and also that consciousnesses can
>generate another brain (e.g. duplicate of mine) with no associated

Not at all. The other brain will be able to manifest consciousness
like the original one.

>I take it that this is the 'indeterminism' you
>illustrate by the Washington/Moscom duplication experiment. I had
>never been able to understand what indeterminism you referred to until

This astonish me because in some older post you have come to
the conclusion that, from the 1-person point of view, self-duplication
was equivalent to throwing a (perfect) coin.

>Now I see that you suppose that the original consciousness will
>go into one of the duplicates and the other will be void of
>consciousness. Is this correct?

No. Both will be conscious (with comp). But both will feel like
the consciousness has gone into one of the duplicates ("himself")
and not the other. You (one of the YOUs) will feel the consciousness
in some private way and only be able to attribute consciousness to

I will try to no more use the expression "1-person duplication"
which is indeed misleading. To sum up, if you ask me before
my duplication if I will feel, after the duplication, being
in room-zero or in room-one, I will answer (before the dup) that
I don't know, that I am maximally ignorant about that.
After the duplication, one of "me" will say I am in room-zero but
aknowledges this as one bit of information, and the other will
say I am in room-one and aknowledges also that event gives him
one bit of information. OK?

Received on Tue Oct 09 2001 - 06:27:45 PDT

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