> > 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.
> The statement of what a person should or shouldn't do falls under
> the domain of ethics. When you say
> > "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."
> You're making a normative statement.
I cannot believe that all normative statements have to do
with ethics. To say "you ought to do X to be logical",
or "you ought to go outside if you want some sun" has
absolutely nothing to do with ethics so far as I can see.
I might even endorse the statement "to kill the maximum
number of people, you should start an Ebola plague", and
yet I am totally against death. There is no inconsistency
here; in the statement I am making a statement that has
nothing to do with ethics, just logic and rationality.
You should agree that 2+2=4. You should agree that you'll
be the same person tomorrow. Not ethical. But if I say
that you should contribute to charity, well, then probably
I've crossed the line into ethics?
> I was arguing that one's intuitions will likely pull the
> other way. You may say that "your duplicate is you", but
> it is undeniable that there are two organisms present,
> and an organism normally acts in such a way to prevent
> damage to its body, and as you say, these instincts are
> forged by evolution.
Yes, but I contend that while there are two organisms present,
there is only one person. It's much as though some space
aliens kidnapped you and tried to say that Pete at spacetime
coordinates (X1,T1) could not possibly be the same person as
Pete at coordinates (X1,T2) because the times weren't the same.
You'd have to get them to wrap their heads around the idea that
one person could be at two different times in the same place.
They might find this bizarre.
I'm trying to tell you a possibility that you think equally
bizarre: namely that Pete(X1,T1) is the same person as Pete(X2,T1),
namely that the same person may be at two different locations at
the same time. That's all.
> What would the Lee who stands to receive $5 in my experiment
> say to the Lee who is observing in a remote room, pondering
> which choice to make? "Please kill yourself so that I might
> live; after all, I'll have $5 more than you and so will be
> slightly better off.
Well, he'd *think* that, at least. No need to say it. It would
be obvious to the other Lee. But yes, if forced to vocalize, that
would be what he would be saying.
> But, if you do decide to kill me instead, I won't mind so much,
> since $5 isn't really that much money." ?
> Can we really imagine people saying these things without
> previously carrying out some intense philosophical gymnastics?
Perhaps not. But consider these discussions to be those
gymnastics. The same person will awake in your bed tomorrow
morning whether you take the $5 or not. Or whether you remember
tonight or not. From the viewpoint of physics, these things
don't matter: all that matters is whether the organism in your
bed tomorrow sufficiently resembles Pete Carlton or not.
> I don't know; I think Stathis has a good point that this
> duplication isn't really possible so all the conclusions
> we're drawing from it might be suspect - and entities
> that are duplicatable might have vastly different intuitions
> about what is moral and what is not.
I still think that morality has NOTHING to do with it. I'm
merely talking about what it means, rigorously, to *survive*.
It's sort of a statement of fact, or at least a concern of
fact: do you survive teleportation? do you survive by being
replaced by a back? and so on.
And as has just been pointed out in another thread, with
uploading all these questions will return with a vengeance.