Saibal Mitra wrote: > To me it seems that the notion of ''successor'' has to break down at cases > where the observer can die. The Tookies that are the most similar to the > Tookie who got executed are the ones who got clemency. There is no objective > reason why these Tookies should be excluded as ''successors''. They miss the > part of their memories about things that happened after clemency was denied. > Instead of those memories they have other memories. We forget things all the > time. Sometimes we remember things that didn't really happen. So, we allow > for information loss anyway. My point is then that we should forget about > all of the information contained in the OM and just sample from the entire > set of OMs.
(After being away for a couple weeks, I'd like to follow up with yours and others replies.) I find this line of argument hard to follow. I think where we differ is that I assume there must be some physical causality connecting observer moments. That is, if a person is in physical state A and is experiencing state E(A), then their next subjective moment E(B) must have some connected, causal path between physical state A and physical state B. This reasoning makes the materialist assumption that subjective experience E is entirely defined by the physical state of the observer. According to MWI, physical state A actually evolves into a superposition of discrete physical states B, each with a different "density" or "measure." So, by the logic of the previous paragraph, subjective experience E(A) must evolve into a superposition of discrete Es, each a function of the particular discrete physical state B it arises from, and each with a particular measure. Some subset of this superposition of physical states B, however, do not support the creation of subjective experience (say, where the person has died.) So some proportion of E(B)'s are null. So my original question about "what is happening to Tookie now" can be rephrased as the following thought experiment: Physical state A is Tookie lying on a gurney, experiencing E(A), which is getting injected with lethal toxin by the State of California. Clearly, the vast majority of the elements of superposition of states B which follow the execution are with him being dead, and do not give rise to any subjective experience at all. What are the possibilities for causally connected physical states which don't involve his death? Which B's exist which continue to give rise to new E(B)'s? In other words, which observer moments for Tookie exist which include the memories of his having received the lethal injection, but not of dying as a result? Does there have to be any at all? QTI says yes, there must be, and no matter how unlikely--there is always escape in some form. What was Tookie's? -Johnathan