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

From: <>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 13:28:17 -0400

>Hal wrote:
> >I actually think this is a philosphically defensible position. Why should
> >one OM care about another, merely because they happen to be linked by
> >a body? There's no a priori reason why an OM should sacrifice, it doesn't
> >get any benefit by doing so.
> >But I'll tell you why we don't work this way, and why our current OMs
> >are willing to sacrifice for the future. It's because of evolution.
>Then Staphis wrote:
> > This is *exactly* the way it is! Each moment is ephemeral; once the next >moment comes along, the previous one could not be any more thoroughly dead >and gone from the universe if it had sat on top of a detonating nuclear >bomb.... There is nothing logically inconsistent in a being who does just >live for the present moment, as Hal suggests. The problem, of course, is >that evolution has long ago weeded out these unfortunate beings, so they no >longer live amongst us.

Tom wrote:
>Again, I'll just ask a simple question to try to understand this, bit by >bit.
>What about the "OMs" in the past? I don't think we even have to appeal to >evolution to explain why we think planning/working for the future is worth >it. If it were not for the sacrificial planning and working of the OMs of >the past, we would not be where we are today. It's simply a matter of what >has worked in the past should work in the present and future. Or have you >abandoned so much of the scientific method, and even simply explanation and >prediction, that this is no longer logical to you? What happened to the >impression of continuous consciousness? A nuclear bomb going off every >second and continuous consciousness don't seem to go together, in my >impression.

Staphis wrote:
> If you wander into the middle of one of our discussions, it might seem that we've all forsaken common sense. As a general rule, bizarre-sounding physical scenarios are proposed as "thought experiments", to explain, explore or clarify a theory by applying it to a concrete example.
> What the post you have quoted deals with is basically the philosophical problem of personal identity....

Yes, I'm aware of the recycling of our bodies. This fact reduces to the deeper fact that our identity changes over time, just like (almost) everything else. In fact, this is the very fact that I'm appealing to. The "theory", or hypothesis, in this case is that "living for the moment" makes sense. But in fact it is the very denial of continuous consciousness. This a contradiction. Of course if we say that we are allowed to divide by zero, then dividing by zero makes sense in the sense that we just said we are allowed to do it. But it doesn't really make sense.
Received on Wed Jun 15 2005 - 13:32:06 PDT

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