Stephen Paul King writes:

Dear Lee and Stathis,

I really do not want to be a stick-in-the-mud here, but what do we base the idea that "copies" could exist upon? What if "I", or any one else's 1st person aspect, can not be copied? If the operation of copying is impossible, what is the status of all of these thought experiments? If, and this is a HUGE if, there is some thing irreducibly quantum mechanical to this "1st person aspect" then it follows from QM that copying is not allowed. Neither a quantum state nor a "qubit" can be copied without destroying the "original".

All of these threads so far seem to be assuming that the process that gives rise to a 1st person experience and the content of the experience itself are purely classical and can be faithfully represented by classical systems. It is this assumption, I believe, that underpins the entire classical Platonic thesis. Indications are that it has already been falsified, by the same experiments that unassailably imply that Nature is, at its core, Quantum Mechanical and not Classical and thus one wonders: "Why do we persist in this state of denial?"

It is true that nature is quantum mechanical rather than classical, but I am not aware that anyone has proved that the brain is not a classical computer. If it is, then it should in theory be possible to get a functionally equivalent copy by copying the computational state, rather than exactly emulating the quantum state; rather as one can transfer the operating system and files from one electronic computer to another, without copying the original machine atom for atom.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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