RE: Many Pasts? Not according to QM...

From: Jonathan Colvin <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 12:54:37 -0700

>>Jonathan Colvin: Beyond the empathetic rationale, I don't see any
convincing argument
>>for favoring the copy over a stranger. The copy is not, after
>all, *me*
>>(although it once was). We ceased being the same person the moment we
>>were copied and started diverging.
>Yes, this is exactly my position, except that I'm not sure I
>would necessarily care more about what happens to my copy than
>to a stranger.
>After all, he knows all my secrets, my bank account details,
>my passwords...
>it's not difficult to see how we might become bitter enemies.
>The situation is different when I am considering my copies in
>the future. If I know that tomorrow I will split into two
>copies, one of whom will be tortured, I am worried, because
>that means there is 1/2 chance that I will "become" the
>torture victim. When tomorrow comes and I am not the torture
>victim, I am relieved, because now I can feel sorry for my
>suffering copy as I might feel sorry for a stranger. You could
>argue that there is an inconsistency here: today I identify
>with the tortured copy, tomorrow I don't. But whether it is
>inconsistent or irrational is beside the point:
>this is how our minds actually work. Every amputee who
>experiences phantom limb pain is aware that they are being
>"irrational" because there is no limb there in reality, but
>knowing this does not make the pain go away.

This is incorrect, I think. At time A, pre-split, there is a 100% chance
that you will *become* the torture victim. The torture victim must have once
been you, and thus you must become the torture victim with probability 1.
There's no inconsistency here; you are quite right to be worried at time A,
because you (at time A) *will* be tortured (at time B). The inconsistency
comes with identifying (you at time A, pre-split) with (one of the you's at
time B, post-split). There can be no one-to-one correspondence.

Jonathan Colvin
Received on Wed Jun 08 2005 - 16:03:20 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:10 PST