Jesse writes > >So again, is it enough to look at the natural laws of our universe in > >order to decide whether the consciousnesses within it are real? Or do we > >need more? Can we imagine a universe like ours, which follows exactly the > >same natural laws, but where time doesn't really exist (in some sense), > >where there is no actual causality? I have trouble with this idea, but > >I'd be interested to hear from those who think that such a distinction > >exists. > > For me, it's not that I think it's meaningful to imagine a universe just > like ours but without causality, rather it's that I think causality is > probably important to deciding whether a particular system in our universe > counts as a valid "instantiation" of some observer-moment, and thus > contributes to the measure of that observer-moment (which in turn affects > the likelihood that I will experience that observer-moment in the future).

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But here you use the word "system". Isn't that by definition a process (obeying, for example, in our universe the SchrÃ¶dinger equation)? I wouldn't know, in other words, what kind of system would *not* be a valid instantiation of an observer-moment if it actually computed a sequence of states that emulated a person. > I think if you run a simulation of an observer, and record the output and > write it down in a book which you then make thousands of copies of, the > static description in all the books most likely would not have any effect on > the measure of that observer, since these descriptions lack the necessary > "causal structure". Yes, I'd agree. When you use the word "static" then I get the picture. A warehouse full of stacks of paper with symbols written on it for example. But it's not *doing* anything. > I sort of vaguely imagine all of spacetime as an > enormous graph showing the causal links between primitive events, with the > number of instantiations basically being the number of spots you could find > a particular sub-graph representing an observer-moment embedded in the > entire graph; the graphs corresponding to the physical process that we label > a "book" would not have the same structure as graphs corresponding to the > physical process that we label as a simulation of a particular observer. Here I am not sure that I am following you. Let's say somewhere in spacetime we have a spot, as you say, where we could find a particular sub-graph representing an observer moment. But a "book" COULD NOT have the same kind of structure? (If the answer is yes, then I'm following you. Lee