From: "David Kwinter" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > I mean the absolutely exact same David Kwinter or Eric Cavalcanti as > was the moment before.
I agree that a moment from now there will be a number of exactly equal copies. Nevertheless, I am sure I will only experience being one of them, so this is what I mean by ' me ' - the actual experiences I will have. Maybe some copy of me will win the lottery every time I play, but that does not give me reason to spend my money on it. I still believe that the probability that 'I' win is 1/10^6, even if on a multiverse sense, the probability that at least one copy of me wins is 1. The same should be the case with death if we assume a materialistic position.
But you should no more expect to end up in a branch where you died than in a branch where you were never born in the first place. Consider, instead of a branching multiverse, a Star-Trek-style transporter/duplicator in a single universe, which can deconstruct you and reconstruct exact copies atom-by-atom in distant locations (assuming the error introduced by the uncertainty principle is too small to make a difference--if you don't want to grant that, you could also assume this is all happening within a deterministic computer simulation and that you are really an A.I.). To use Bruno Marchal's example, suppose this duplicator recreates two identical copies of you, one in Washington and one in Moscow. As you step into the chamber, if you believe continuity of consciousness is "real" in some sense and that it's meaningful to talk about the probabilities of different possible next experiences, it would probably make sense to predict from a first-person-point of view that you have about a 50% chance of finding yourself in Moscow and a 50% chance of finding yourself in Washington.
On the other hand, suppose only a single reconstruction will be performed in Washington--then by the same logic, you would probably predict the probability of finding yourself in Washington is close to 100%, barring a freak accident. OK, so now go back to the scenario where you're supposed to be recreated in both Washington and Moscow, except assume that at the last moment there's a power failure in Moscow and the recreator machine fails to activate. Surely this is no different from the scenario where you were only supposed to be recreated in Washington--the fact that they *intended* to duplicate you in Moscow shouldn't make any difference, all that matters is that they didn't. But now look at another variation on the scenario, where the Moscow machine malfunctions and recreates your body missing the head. I don't think it makes sense to say you have a 50% chance of being "killed" in this scenario--your brain is where your consciousness comes from, and since it wasn't duplicated this is really no different from the scenario where the Moscow machine failed to activate entirely. In fact, any malfunction in the Moscow machine which leads to a duplicate that permanently lacks consciousness should be treated the same way as a scenario where I was only supposed to be recreated in Washington, in terms of the subjective probabilities. Extending this to the idea of natural duplication due to different branches of a splitting multiverse, the probability should always be 100% that my next experience is one of a universe where I have not been killed.
The big assumption here, as I said earlier, is that there is some sort of "objective" truth about continuity of consciousness and subjective probabilities, that it's not just a bunch of isolated observer-moments who just have an illusion of a consciousness which changes over time due to memories and expectations. See my thread on "3 possible views of 'consciousness'" here:
If non-observing states are prohibited, then we should never expect to be in a coma, or anesthesized, for instance. Whenever you would be submitted to a surgery, you would see that the doctor somehow failed to apply the anesthesy correctly, and you would have a *very* conscious experience.
I don't see any justification for that. Why can't your "next" observer-moment after the anesthesia begins to take effect be of waking up hours later? That's a lot what waking up from dreamless unconsciousness feels like, subjectively.
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