I think we agree on the observer moment. One should formulate questions in terms of observer moments and then there are no problems (in principle).
Saibal > > > > ----- Oorspronkelijk bericht ----- > Van: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > Aan: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; <email@example.com> > Verzonden: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 03:47 PM > Onderwerp: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality > > > > 2 weeks ago Saibal Mitra wrote: > > > > > I don't think that the MW immortality is correct at all! In a certain > > >sense > > >we are > > > immortal, because the enseble of all possible worlds is a fixed static > > >entity. So, > > > you ''always'' find yourselve alive in one state or another. However, > you > > >won't > > > experience youself evolving in the infinite far future. > > > > > > > > > If you encounter a ''branching'' in which one of the possibilities is > > >death, that > > > branch cannot be said to be nonexistent relative to you. Quantum > > >mechanics > > >doesn't > > > imply that you can never become unconscious, otherwise you could never > > >fall > > >asleep! > > > > > > > > > Of course, you can never experience being unconscious. So, what to do > > >with > > >the branch > > > leading to (almost) certain death? The more information your brain > > >contains, the smaller the set of branches is in which you are alive (and > > >consistent with your experiences stored in your brain). The set of all > > >branches in which you could be alive doesn't contain any information at > > >all. > > >Since death involves complete > > > memory loss, the branch leading to death should be replaced by the > > >complete > > >set of all possibilities. > > > > ...and despite reading the last paragraph several times slowly, I'm afraid > I > > don't understand it. Are you saying there may never be a "next moment" at > > the point where you are facing near-certain death? It seems to me that all > > that is required is an observer moment in which (a) you believe that you > are > > you, however this may be defined (it's problematic even in "normal" life > > what constitutes continuity of identity), and (b) you remember facing the > > said episode of near-certain death (ncd), and it will seem to you that you > > have miraculously escaped, even if there is no actual physical connection > > between the pre-ncd and the post-ncd observer moment. Or, another way to > > escape is as you have suggested in a more recent post, that there is an > > observer moment somewhere in the multiverse in which the ncd episode has > > been somehow deleted from your memory. Perhaps the latter is more likely, > in > > which case you can look forward to never, or extremely rarely, facing ncd > in > > your life. > > > > It all gets very muddled. If we try to ruthlessly dispense with every > > derivative, ill-defined, superfluous concept and assumption in an effort > to > > simplify the discussion, the one thing we are left with is the individual > > observer-moments. We then try to sort these observer-moments into sets > which > > constitute lives, identities, birth, death, amnesia, mind duplication, > mind > > melding, multiple world branchings, and essentially every possible > variation > > on these and other themes. No wonder it's confusing! And who is to judge > > where a particular individual's identity/life/body/memory begins and ends > > when even the most detailed, passed by committee of philosophers set of > > rules fails, as it inevitably will? > > > > The radical solution is to accept that only the observer-moments are real, > > and how we sort them then is seen for what it is: essentially arbitrary, a > > matter of convention. You can dismiss the question of immortality, quantum > > or otherwise, by observing that the only non-problematic definition of an > > individual is identification with a single observer-moment, so that no > > individual can ever "really" live for longer than a moment. Certainly, > this > > goes against intuition, because I feel that I was alive a few minutes ago > as > > well as ten years ago, but *of course* I feel that; this is simply > reporting > > on my current thought processes, like saying I feel hungry or tired, and > > beyond this cannot be taken as a falsifiable statement about the state of > > affairs in the real world unless recourse is taken to some arbitrary > > definition of personal identity, such as would satisfy a court, for > example. > > > > Let me put it a different way. Situation (a) life as usual: I die every > > moment and a peson is reborn every moment complete with (most) memories > and > > other attributes of the individual who has just died. Situation (b) I am > > killed instantly, painlessly, with an axe every moment, and a person is > > reconstituted the next moment complete with (most) memories and other > > attributes of the individual who has just died, such that he experiences > no > > discontinuity. Aside from the blood and mess in (b), is there a > difference? > > Should I worry more about (b) than (a)? This is of course a commonplace > > thought experiment on this list, but I draw from it a slightly different > > conclusion: we all die all the time; death doesn't really matter, > otherwise > > we should all be in a constant panic. > > > > --Stathis Papaioannou > > > > _________________________________________________________________ > > Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today - it's FREE! > > http://messenger.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200471ave/direct/01/ > > >