Lee Corbin writes:

The objective view, which brings us much more into alignment
with what is actually the case, is, as always, the third-person
point of view.

A good historical analogy is this: to really understand the
planets, moons, and sun, it was necessary to totally abandon
the Earth-centric view, and try to see the situation from the
bird's eye view. By remaining fixated with appearances, and
how it looks *from here*, we could never have advanced to the

It is the same here; if you are interested in knowing what the
case is, and not merely what the appearances are, then you
have to understand that you are a physical process, and it
may so happen that you execute in different places, and in
different times, and that overlaps are possible.

Certainly, this is the objective truth, and I'm very fond of the objective truth. But when we are talking about first person experience, we are not necessarily claiming that they provide us with objective knowledge of the world; we are only claiming that they provide us with objective knowledge of our first person experience. If I say that I have a headache, and my duplicate says he doesn't have a headache, who can argue with that? In this consists the basis for maintaining that we are two separate people. You say later in your post that if I am to be consistent, I would have to say that we are two different people when we are separated by time as well as space or across parallel universes. What I would say is that my successor tomorrow is potentially "me" if there is continuity of consciousness between all the intermediates between now and then. The successor of my duplicate with the headache does not satisfy this criterion and is therefore not potentially "me". Arbitrary though this criterion for continuity of identity may be, it is the criterion our minds have evolved with, and calling it irrational will not change that fact. If we are to be strictly rational and consistent, it is simplest to go to the extreme of saying that *none* of the instantiations of an individual are actually the "same" person, which is another way of saying that each observer moment exists only transiently. This would mean that we only live for a moment, to be replaced by a copy who only thinks he has a past and a future. We die all the time, so death is nothing to worry about. I actually believe this extreme view to be closest to the "objective truth", but I still make plans for the future and I still don't want to "die" in the more usual sense of the word. Being "rational" is completely incapable of making any impact on my biological programming in this case, and as you know, there are people in the world who hold being rational in much lower esteem than the members of this list do.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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