Re: Quantum accident survivor

From: Frank <>
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2003 18:39:13 -0800


A few comments on your post.

If I interpret correctly, you are basically distinguishing "dualistic"
interpretations from a "materialistic" ones.
When we talk of a materialistic viewpoint, what *are* we talking about?
Is it our vague conception that everything is made of atoms what constitutes
a materialistic view of the universe?
As we all know, not even the deepest theoretical physicists know what the
hell they are talking about, in a fundamental sense, when they talk about
matter, energy, quarks, gravity, etc. They only describe the result of
measurements and abstract mental models that somehow, accommodate or
"shadow" the results of these measurements.
Where does this leave dualism? If the "material" world is just a mental
construct of man, created to accommodate our sensorial input, there is
suddenly no more "dual" in "dualism", only experience, or whatever we want
to call our sensorial life.
So, one can hypothesize that there is no need to define a mysterious
"material basis" for what is just sensorial experience.

If windows 98 where considered conscious AI, would a version of windows 98
running on two different computers be one entity or two?
Why would the universe create two souls, when one will suffice?
If we consider ourselves to be just a sequence of states in a mathematical
universe (a fairly modest hypothesis), the only condition for us having a
sense of identity from one state to the next is not necessarily to pertain
to the same "material" substrate (which may not even exist), but that the
two states be related by some continuity, or memory.
After all, my personal "viewpoint" always prefers to stick with me instead
of switching back and forth with my dog, since his states our not a
continuation of mine, memory-wise.
If this interpretation is correct, it can be argued that we'll never "be" in
the null state of death, because death is not a state which will remember
any previous "me".
So, it follows that if there exists a plausible state or configuration which
is a valid continuation, memory-wise, of my current state, then my personal
"viewpoint", will prefer this path over the "death" state.

ergo, immortality !.

PD: definition of "viewpoint": an artificial construct to help visualize the
succession of states that constitute my identity,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Cavalcanti" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 9:47 AM
Subject: Re: Quantum accident survivor

> Hi,
> Sorry for the late reply to this:
> > From: "Hal Finney" <>
> >
> >
> > > You can "assume" anything you like!
> > >
> > > Seriously, we have had extensive and occasionally acrimonious debates
> > > on this topic in the past, without much success or resolution. I
> > > that we have no good foundation for establishing the truth or
> > > of any theory of identity in absolute terms. Instead, these issues
> > > must be considered matters of taste.
> > >
> > > You can indeed choose to believe that as long as any version of
> > > continues in any universe, then you will consider yourself to still
> > > be alive. You could also choose the contrary, that if the total
> > > (ie. probability) of your survival is extremely small, that you are
> dead.
> > >
> > > Hal Finney
> > >
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Frank" <>
> > Hi there,
> >
> > Hal, one nitpick about your comments:
> > In the case of Quantum Immortality, I don't think it's a matter of
> or
> > interpretation. It is a theory that every one of us can and ultimately
> will
> > test. Granted, we will only be aware of a positive result, but,
> > nevertheless...
> >
> > cheers,
> > Frank
> >
> I agree with you. The QTI is after all experimentally
> testable, and of direct importance for all of us.
> But I guess the problems in this discussion is the lack of precise
> definition of the terms and of the philosophical framework.
> First, in this discussion I am always assuming MWI.
> In a materialistic framework - with nothing external to the
> physical world - it is hard to define personal identity if we
> take the MWI in account. But in this case there is clearly
> no 'soul' or anything other than the configuration of atoms
> to describe what we call 'ourselves'. In any branching of
> the multiverse there are multiple copies of my body being
> produced. Nevertheless, I only experience one of those
> states. Therefore, I guess the best I could say is that ' I '
> is one of the instances of this configuration.
> Let me stress this point: *I am, for all practical purposes,
> one and only one specific configuration of atoms in a
> specific universe. I could never say that ' I ' is ALL the
> copies, since I NEVER experience what the other copies
> experience. The other copies are just similar
> configurations of atoms in other universes, which shared
> the same history, prior to a given point in time.*
> In some of these branching universes, this configuration
> of atoms that I call 'me' will not show signs of what we
> call life anymore. Notice that death is no different from
> any other branching in the multiverse in a materialistic
> point of view. There is no 'soul' being detached from the
> body or anything else. So there is no reason to suppose
> that my personal experiences will not be, as before, one
> of any of the future configurations of these atoms that I
> call 'me', including those where this configuration is a
> 'dead' state.
> In particular, after a severe car crash, most of these will
> be dead. Notice again that 'dead' has, in this paradigm,
> no supernatural meaning, it means nothing more than 'that
> body does not show vital functions anymore'. In particular,
> that body has no sensorial experiences anymore. But there
> is yet no reason to suppose that I cannot be one of those
> bodies. Therefore, in this framework, in the case of a severe
> car crash, the probability that I have no more future sensorial
> experiences - i.e., that I am dead for good (or bad?) - is
> simply the measure of universes where my body is dead.
> When some people suppose that our next experience is
> necessarily one of the alive ones, they are tacitly assuming
> a dualistic position.
> But if we decide to accept a dualistic framework QTI would
> probably be the least probable scenario. We could as well say
> that the next experience would be of many other kinds: in other
> bodies, reincarnation, or any transcedental experience like
> going to heaven - there is no reason to decide between these.
> For instance, QTI poses a difficulty for the dualist: at each
> moment, if QTI and is true, an infinity of 'souls' is merging into
> one single body, since this body is dying at an infinity of other
> universes. How does this square with the common definition
> of a 'soul' as an immaterial *individuality*?
> -Eric.
Received on Tue Nov 04 2003 - 17:58:52 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:08 PST