RE: another puzzle

From: Lee Corbin <>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 12:35:56 -0700

Jesse writes

> Lee Corbin wrote:
> > If I, on the other hand, knew that this wonderful room was going to
> > be available to me on a specific date,... I would enthusiastically
> > pay a good fraction of my net worth for this opportunity.
> >
> >Why? Why would I do it? Because logic grabs me by the throat and
> >*forces* me to :-)
> What is the logic here exactly, though? From a third person point of view,
> why is it objectively "better" to have a lot of copies of you having
> identical good experiences than it is to have only a single copy have the
> same good experience?

First, I think that it's important to remove the qualifier "identical"
here. Would two copies cease to be identical if one atom were out of
place? Hardly. On another tack, you are the same person, etc., that
you were five minutes ago where strict identicalness isn't even close.

Second, suppose that someone loves you, and wants the best for you.
There are a number of ways to describe this, but the infinite level
one universe is a good one. The person who loves you (and so has such
a true 3rd person point of view) sees you die here on Earth, and is
sad for you. Yet she understands totally that you are still alive in
many, many places 10^10^29 from here. Her most logical retort is that
you should be alive *here* too; that an extra Jesse here is simply
good for Jesse, no matter what is going on far away.

If she finds out that although dead on Earth, you've been copied into
a body out near Pluto, (and have the same quality of life there), she's
once again happy for you.

> After all, if they lied to you and never made any copies at all,
> no version of you would ever know the difference.

Well, lots of things can go better or worse for me without me
being informed of the difference. Someone might perpetrate a
scam on me, for example, that cheated me of some money I'd
otherwise get, and it is still bad for me even if I don't know
about it.

So this is why I subscribe to the descriptions involving measure;
namely, it's better when my measure goes up, and worse when it

> Also, wouldn't the same logic tell you that if we lived in a utopian society
> where pretty much everyone was happy, it would be immoral to use birth
> control because we want to make the number of people having happy
> experiences as high as possible?

Yes, exactly. Each time we can rescue someone from non-existence,
we should (given that other things are equal).

> That doesn't seem like a position that anyone who rejects first-person
> thinking would automatically accept.

They may not. But the two great moral revolutions/revelations of my
life--- (i) cryonics (ii) the Hedonistic Imperative (
--- lay down that life is better than death, and pleasure is better
than pain. And that we need not be shy about uniformizing and
extending these concepts as far as we can.

Received on Sun Jun 26 2005 - 15:36:25 PDT

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