> Hal Finney writes:
> >God creates someone with memories of a past life, lets him live for a
> >day, then instantly and painlessly kills him.
> >
> >What would you say that he experiences?  Would he notice his birth and
> >death?  I would generally apply the same answers to the 10^100 people
> >who undergo your thought experiment.

Keep in mind that I was just trying to answer your question very
directly and literally, about "the person" would experience in your
thought experiment.  I wasn't trying to get all moralistic about it.
Maybe he minds about being killed, maybe he doesn't.  I think most people
would mind, in which case I think God is being pretty cruel.  But all
that morality is pretty much irrelevant to the simple question of what
he would experience.  I have tried to answer that as straightforwardly
as I can, above.

> Before continuing, it is worth looking at the definition of death. The
> standard medical definition will not do for our purposes, because it doesn't > allow for future developments such as reviving the cryogenically preserved, > mind uploads, teleportation etc. A simple, general purpose definition which > has been proposed before on this list is that a person can be said to die at > a particular moment when there is no chance that he will experience a "next
> moment", however that experience might come about. Equivalently, death
> occurs when there is no successor observer moment, anywhere or ever.

That definition doesn't make any sense in the context of "everything exists",
because by definition every possible observer moment exists.

Yes; hence, everyone is immortal. But leaving that much-debated issue aside for now, I'm not sure that I understand what, if anything, you would accept as a method of surviving the death of your physical body. Would you consider that scanning your brain at the moment of death and uploading your mind to a computer constitutes survival? What about the Star Trek teleporter: is that a method of transportation or of execution? If you can accept the possibility that you can survive the death of your physical body at all, then I think you have to accept that the people in my thought experiment are *not* killed, despite the death of their physical bodies, just as in the case of mind uploading or teleportation.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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