But it isn't possible to "die young" if QTI is true! Every time you come to a point where you might die, something will happen to save you. When you get really old, perhaps some anti-ageing treatment, or mind uploading is introduced just in time. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will continue living in full physical and mental vigour: you might just slowly deteriorate over time so that you end up spending centuries in a near-vegetative state. The question then arises, how close to a vegetable do you have to be before you can be pronounced dead for the purposes of QTI?

The problem of gradually fading away can be illustrated by another example. Suppose your body is destructively scanned and then reconstituted in two separate locations, a1 and a2. At a1, the reconstitution goes as intended, but at a2 something goes wrong and you are reconstituted in a brain dead state. I think we can say in this case that you can expect to find yourself alive at a1 with 100% certainty a moment after you undergo the scanning. Next, suppose that after the destructive scanning your body is reconstituted in 10 different locations, b1 to b10. As before, at b1 the reconstitution is perfect and at b10 something goes wrong and you are reconstituted in a brain dead state. At locations b2 to b9, however, due to varying degrees of malfunction in the machinery, you are reconstituted with varying degrees of dementia: at b2 you are just a little bit more vague than usual, at b9 you are still alive but have lost all your memories and sense of identity, and in between are several variations with partial dementia. The question now is, when you undergo the scanning process, should you have an equal expectation of ending up at each of the locations b1 to b10? If you exclude b10 because you are dead there, should you not also exclude b9, where you are no longer a sentient being, let alone a particular sentient being? And does it follow from these considerations that you are are somehow more likely to find yourself at b2 than b8, for example?

Stathis Papaioannou

From: Kim Jones <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: Everything List <everything-list@eskimo.com>
Subject: Continuity Issue
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 09:00:35 +1100

In QTI is there any difference between death by normal process of ageing and death by all other means? Assuming that consciousness continues in a branch somewhere no matter what the manner of death, what kind of (logical?) continuation could one expect given that the body's usefulness in the current branch has been used up in the case of death by normal age-related processes?

Doesn't QTI suggest that we should all try to die young?

Yours in life and death

Kim Jones


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