> > > > > You are offered two choices:
> > > > >
> > > > > (a) A coin will be flipped tomorrow. If the result is 
> heads, you 
> > > > > will be tortured; if tails, you will not be tortured.
> > > > >
> > > > > (b) You will be copied 10 times tomorrow. One of the
> > > copies will be
> > > > > tortured, and the other 9 will not be tortured.
> > > > >
> > > > > By your reasoning, there is a 50% chance you will be
> > > tortured in (a)
> > > > > and a 100% chance you will be tortured in (b), so (a) is
> > > better. But
> > > > > I would say the probabilities are (a) 50% and
> > > > > (b) 10%, so (b) is clearly the better choice.
> > > >
> > > >Hmmmm...I'd disagree. Emotionally, (a) feels the better
> > > choice to me;
> > > >in
> > > >(b)
> > > >I'm definitely getting tortured, in (a) I may dodge the 
> bullet. On 
> > > >a purely objective basis (attempting to mimimize the amount of
> > > torture in
> > > >the world),
> > > >(a) is also obviously superior.
> > > >
> > > >This would make an interesting poll. Who prefers (a) over (b)?
> > >
> > > Imagine what would happen if you chose (b). You enter the 
> > > teleportation sending station, press the green button, 
> and your body 
> > > is instantly and painlessly destructively analysed.
> > > The information is beamed to 10 different receiving 
> stations around 
> > > the world, where an exact replica of you is created from 
> local raw 
> > > materials. One of these receiving stations is situated in 
> a torture 
> > > chambre, and the torture will commence immediately once 
> the victim 
> > > arrives.
> > >
> > > Now, what do you think you will actually experience the 
> moment after 
> > > you press the green button? Do you expect to feel any different 
> > > because there are now 10 copies of you? Do you expect 
> that the copy 
> > > being tortured will somehow send signals to the other 9 
> copies? If 
> > > not, then how will the 100% chance that one of the copies will be 
> > > tortured affect you if you happen to be one of the other copies?
> >
> >How will I feel after pressing the button? Your question has a 
> >structural issue. You are asking "what do you think you will 
> experience 
> >the moment after you press the green button?". This question is 
> >ill-posed, because post-split, the pre-split "you" no longer clearly 
> >refers to any one person, so the question as posed is unanswerable.
> >
> >Of course, post split there will be ten "Jonathan Colvin"s, each of 
> >whom calls themselves "me". But there is no longer any one-to-one 
> >correspondence with the pre-split me, so it makes no sense 
> to ask what 
> >"I" will experience after pushing the button.
> 
> From a third person perspective there is no one to one 
> correspondence, but from a first person perspective, there 
> is: each of the ten copies remembers being you pre-split. 
> Perhaps I could ask the question differently. If it turns out 
> that the many worlds interpretation of QM is true, then you 
> will be duplicated multiple times in parallel universes in 
> the next second. When you contemplate how you are going to 
> feel in the next second in the light of this knowledge, do 
> you expect anything different to what you would expect in a 
> single world system? Is there any test you could do to 
> determine whether there is one world or many?

No...to both questions. This thought experiment is a good way to demonstrate
the "myth" of continuity of identity. Of course, if you deny that there is
such a thing as an observer that persists though time, then the myth does
not get off the ground.

I believe that the SSA and related assumptions should be taken only as
guidelines for reasoning (similar to Sagan's principle of mediocrity), but
not as ontologies. In other words, when we are ignorant, we should reason
*as if* we are random observers on our reference class; but I do not believe
that we *are* random observers. To believe that we *are* random observers
requires a species of dualism (albeit a subtle species). It requires
believing that *I could have been someone else*. And this is not the case.
"I" could not have been anyone other than me. If my aunt had wheels, she'd
be a wagon, and if I had been someone else, I wouln't be me. This is also
one of the reasons that the DDA is mistaken,IMHO. 

Jonathan Colvin

Reply via email to