Stathis writes

> As I have said above, it is possible to rigorously define death as occurring 
> when there is no successor observer moment, anywhere or ever. This is the 
> case with physical death where there is no surviving copy or where the 
> surviving copy has diverged from the original, and it is also the case with 
> memory loss.

Then you are claiming that a lot of death occurs in Aussie bars?
Some really, really plastered guy is told the most *amazing*
things by a gal who knows he won't remember a word the next
day. So there are no successor observer moments to his experience
of hearing these amazing things (about his virility, probably).

> Losing a lifetime's memories is equivalent to physical death 
> with no surviving copy, so it is certainly a very bad thing.

Yes.

> Losing a shorter period of memories or dying and leaving behind
> a copy made a short time ago might not seem as bad, but I think
> this is only because the "survivor" is unable to remember any loss.

Surely you are *not* saying that it *is* as bad!  The survivors
who wake up the next morning in their beds unable to recall 
anything of the previous evening are the same people they were
the day before and the same people that they were the night
before. A little memory erasure never seriously hurt anyone.

> The situation is not any different to suffering pain and then
> having the memory erased; the knowledge that they are about to
> die is for many people even more distressing than physical pain.
> You argue that the doomed person should not consider himself 
> doomed if there is a backup available,

He should think of it *exactly* the way that some guy in a
bar does, when he realizes that he is sloshed out of his mind.

> and certainly you have more chance of convincing him of this
> than you have of convincing a victim undergoing torture that
> he isn't really in pain because his memory will be erased or
> he will be killed and a pre-torture copy will take over.

How can you conflate the two?  The latter is clearly a lie
---it's absurd to say to someone who is in pain that he or
she is not in pain.

Now if the person is in pain because you're pointing your
disintegrator ray gun at him and are about to pull the
trigger---well, then, it should all depend on what he
knows.  If he happens to *know* that there is a backup
of him made just a few hours before, then he really 
should (logically) consider it to be the same as being
in an Aussie bar.

> Nevertheless, I would still be upset if I were about to
> die, unless I knew that my mind was being backed up
> continuously, so that no experiences are lost.

More upset than you would be if some of your pals managed
to talk you into a wild night on the town with plenty of
booze and---just to cinch it---plenty of midazolam?

Being replaced by a backup, or losing memories, from the
viewpoint of physics, they're equivalently bad for you.
And that's not very bad.

Lee

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