On 15/1/05 Danny Mayes wrote:

To have any sense perception there has to be the passage of an inordinately large amount of time as compared to the smallest units of time available. If each frame of time, the smallest divisible unit if you assume that time is discreet, is a different identity, there would be no perception. So you must expand the time frame out to at least a "moment," which I'll define as the time for a passing thought. However, all of this seems nonsense to me. Where is the cuttoff point that you become a "different" person?

It's easy to get confused over the meaning of terms like "different person" here. The basic idea I am trying to get across is that if a person or other conscious entity is destroyed and after a certain time period is (to an arbitrary level of fidelity) reconstructed, perhaps fom a different source of matter, then in general there is no way for that person to know that he hasn't just had a period of unconsciousness whilst still remaining the "same" person.


Many would be shocked at the prospect of going through the above process, fearing that it would actually amount to being killed and then replaced by a deluded imposter. Literally, I suppose this is true. We could also argue about whether we should say that the original person has "survived" the process, or whether the pre- and post-reconstruction versions are "identical". This is just semantics. The important point is that the normal flow of conscious experience is indistinguishable from / equivalent to dying and being replaced by a deluded imposter every moment.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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