Re: death

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 23:05:45 +1000

Hal Finney writes:

>I was trying to use Stathis' terminology when I wrote about the
>probability of dying. Actually I am now trying to use the ASSA and I
>don't have a very good idea about what it means to specify a subjective
>next moment. I think ultimately it is up to each OM as to what it views
>as its predecessor moments, and perhaps which ones it might like to
>consider its successor moments.
>Among the problems: substantial, short-term mental changes might be
>so great that the past OM would not consider the future OM to be the
>same person. This sometimes even happens with our biological bodies.
>I can easily create thought experiments that bend the connections beyond
>the breaking poing. There appears to be no bright line between the
>degree to which a past and future OM can be said to be the same person,
>even if we could query the OM's in question.
>Another problem: increases in measure from a past OM to a future OM.
>We can deal with decreases in measure by the traditional method of
>expected probability. But increases in measure appear to require
>probability > 1. That doesn't make sense, again causing me to question
>the whole idea of a subjective probability distribution over possible
>next moments.

I agree that it's difficult to specify what counts as a subjective "next
moment". That has to do with the way our minds have evolved to think, and we
just have to leave it as unspecified or arrive at some arbitrary definition
when considering physical theories. Is this the reason you have difficulty
with the idea of assigning a subjective probability to the "next moment" or
is there some more fundamental problem? Also, could you explain what you
mean by increase/decrease in measure from a past to a future OM?

--Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Wed Jun 22 2005 - 09:08:44 PDT

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