Re: Continuity Issue

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 14:17:34 +0100

Le 04-janv.-06, à 02:37, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

> The problem of gradually fading away can be illustrated by another
> example. Suppose your body is destructively scanned and then
> reconstituted in two separate locations, a1 and a2. At a1, the
> reconstitution goes as intended, but at a2 something goes wrong and
> you are reconstituted in a brain dead state. I think we can say in
> this case that you can expect to find yourself alive at a1 with 100%
> certainty a moment after you undergo the scanning. Next, suppose that
> after the destructive scanning your body is reconstituted in 10
> different locations, b1 to b10. As before, at b1 the reconstitution is
> perfect and at b10 something goes wrong and you are reconstituted in a
> brain dead state. At locations b2 to b9, however, due to varying
> degrees of malfunction in the machinery, you are reconstituted with
> varying degrees of dementia: at b2 you are just a little bit more
> vague than usual, at b9 you are still alive but have lost all your
> memories and sense of identity, and in between are several variations
> with partial dementia. The question now is, when you undergo the
> scanning process, should you have an equal expectation of ending up at
> each of the locations b1 to b10? If you exclude b10 because you are
> dead there, should you not also exclude b9, where you are no longer a
> sentient being, let alone a particular sentient being? And does it
> follow from these considerations that you are are somehow more likely
> to find yourself at b2 than b8, for example?

Interesting and hard question. I would say "intuitively" that all what
matters are the infinite branches. If you fade away in such a way that
some of your next observer-moments will lead to a dead end, drop it
from the probability calculus.
Now to ask this to a lobian machine is quite another story ...

Received on Wed Jan 04 2006 - 08:20:44 PST

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