Stathis writes

> [Lee wrote]
> > Here is the dreadful "closest continuer" method of Nozick and
> > others. I claim it gives the wrong answer. Look, the "continuation"
> > happens anyway, whether you die here or not!  Especially if the
> > events are outside each other's light cones, how can what happens
> > here possibly affect what happens there?  Just because you, say,
> > are *not* terminated here does not mean that you don't "continue"
> > there just as much.
> 
> It is the "closest" part of Nozick's method
> that I disagree with, based as it is on the
> assumption that that there can only be one
> "real" you - the closest continuer - out of
> multiple possible candidates.

We agree on that!

> I believe that even though someone can only
> *experience* being one person at a time, in
> the event of duplication all the copies have
> an equal claim to being continuations of the
> original, and it is in attempting to reconcile
> these two facts that I arrive at the notion of
> subjective probabilities for the next observer
> moment.

It's with the very notion of a "continuer" that
I've always had a problem. So let me ask you
a little about it. Now clearly, if ten minutes
from now the Earth Stathis is to be killed, but
a Martian duplicate is made five minutes from
now, you---the present Stathis---don't really
have a problem with that (that is, not a problem
that couldn't be fixed with a big bribe).

So next, let me ask about a new situation in 
which one hour from now you are to die here,
but a duplicate of you will the same second
be established on Mars, only this duplicate
has a little amnesia, and doesn't remember
the last half-hour of its life. Would that
be a continuer of you?  Would it be a 
continuer of "you+60_minutes" from now?
Will it only be a continuer of "you+30_minutes"
from now? Is it a continuer of the you-now?

How about this? For ten million dollars, would
you agree to have the last ten minutes of your
memory erased, where you are now?

> Given the existence of the rest of the multiverse, where all sorts of things 
> impossible for us here to know, let alone control, may be happening or (more 
> importantly) may in future happen to other versions of us, a general 
> argument can be made that it *is* helpful to increase our measure as much as 
> possible, as a sort of counterbalance to any terrible things that may be 
> happening to us elsewhere.

Yes, I agree.  But bringing in the multiverse may be a sort
of red-herring here, if you'll permit me to focus more on
just one universe for the sake of simplicity.

Lee

Reply via email to