Re: Belief Statements

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 14:30:43 +1100

On 15/1/05 Danny Mayes wrote:

>To have any sense perception there has to be the passage of an inordinately
>large amount of time as compared to the smallest units of time available.
>If each frame of time, the smallest divisible unit if you assume that time
>is discreet, is a different identity, there would be no perception. So you
>must expand the time frame out to at least a "moment," which I'll define as
>the time for a passing thought. However, all of this seems nonsense to me.
> Where is the cuttoff point that you become a "different" person?

It's easy to get confused over the meaning of terms like "different person"
here. The basic idea I am trying to get across is that if a person or other
conscious entity is destroyed and after a certain time period is (to an
arbitrary level of fidelity) reconstructed, perhaps fom a different source
of matter, then in general there is no way for that person to know that he
hasn't just had a period of unconsciousness whilst still remaining the
"same" person.

Many would be shocked at the prospect of going through the above process,
fearing that it would actually amount to being killed and then replaced by a
deluded imposter. Literally, I suppose this is true. We could also argue
about whether we should say that the original person has "survived" the
process, or whether the pre- and post-reconstruction versions are
"identical". This is just semantics. The important point is that the normal
flow of conscious experience is indistinguishable from / equivalent to dying
and being replaced by a deluded imposter every moment.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Sat Jan 15 2005 - 22:35:58 PST

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