Pete writes

> >> Pete:
> >> I think this interpretation, using "I", has an unnecessary
> >> complication to it.  What I think Lee is really saying
> >> (in third person terms) is, "Person A ought to terminate
> >> person A's life, because person A desires the existence
> >> of (person B + 5 dollars) more strongly than he desires
> >> the existence of (person A)."
> I was using ought in the same sense too (rationally consistent with a  
> given desire).  Given that person A has the desires that he does, he  
> ought to accept choice (1).  I'm not saying whether person A ought  
> (in the ethical sense) to have those desires or not,

Okay, and so to avoid further confusion, let's avoid use
of the word "ought". 

> but given that  
> he prefers (person B + 5 dollars) to (person A), and believes that by  
> accepting choice (1) his preference will be realized, it is rational  
> for him to behave by accepting choice (1).
> You think that person A ought (in the ethical sense) to have a strong  
> desire for the future existence of person B - no less, in fact, than  
> for the future existence of person A.  You imply this when you say  
> the subject is selfish.  I see your point, that normally we have a  
> strong desire for the future existence of -- the person who will wake  
> up in our bed tomorrow.

Hmm?  You are still seeing that I'm making an *ethical* statement
here somehow?   Well, I suppose that in some sense highly selfish
behavior could conceivably be described as ethical in some sense,
but it's sure confusing.

> But I don't think it's clear whether you can  
> extend the common notion of "acting selfishly" into the situation  
> with duplicates, and whether you should or not is something the Hume  
> quote is relevant to.  In other words, it is a fact that there are  
> two identical people - or, to be even clearer, two identical  
> organisms (A and B).  Does this fact impinge on A's behavior with  
> respect to B, and if so, why?  If A hesitates to accept death or  
> torture to the benefit of B, isn't that a good case for re-evaluating  
> A's desires for B?

A may indeed have desires for B.  A may have desires (or preferences)
for anything, especially if A is a philosopher and has worked out a
lot of things.

The ordinary view we have almost from birth is that a system
such as A that by its nature collects information about the
outside world, has clear system boundaries, and has instincts
forged by evolution, will come to *identify* only with himself.

Some exceptions: a meme invasion can bring some people to 
identify so strongly with causes (e.g. "The Revolution") that
we might conceivably suppose that the boundary of self has
been shifted. I don't know. But what I am saying here is 
that definitely in the case of very close copies, to be
consistent one should to the greatest degree he can
extend the boundary to include close duplicates.


> (Interestingly, clones in the animal kingdom sacrifice themselves for  
> each other all the time - some worker bees and fire ants, for  
> instance.  At the gene's-eye view, a gene is sacrificing some copies  
> of itself in order that a greater number of copies may get made down  
> the line.  Even without clones, there is kin selection, in which  
> organisms behave altruistically towards close relatives, and this has  
> a similar gene's-eye view explanation.  Genes certainly cause  
> behavior consistent with Lee's approach to personal identity, and it  
> is in a strong sense selfish behavior.)

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