Lee Corbin writes:
 
> I have before stated my long-held opinions on this,
> namely that it's best to regard one's duplicates
> as self. As a corollary, the "you" that ends up
> in one place is "100% you" and so is the other.
>
> Consider this alternative experiment: we reveal to
> you that every minute of the last two years you have
> had one thousand duplicates created in fake rooms,
> streets, passage ways, or in bed, wherever you happen
> to be.  At random, 999 are chosen to be immediately
> destroyed, with only the 1 at the end of each minute
> carrying on.
>
> Oh, yes, you might be very philosophically upset.
> But it would end up making no real difference to
> you. You would find that you, as always, have more
> important things to worry about, and life would go
> on normally.
>
> No important difference exists between one person
> to whom this is happening, and his neighbor to
> whom it is not. They both feel similarly, and
> by hypothesis lead very similar lives.
>
> For this reason, our concepts and language must
> adapt to reality, not try to make reality adapt
> to them.

If we had evolved in a world where multiple copies of
people exist at the same time, our sense of personal
identity and our attitude towards our copies would
probably be close to what you are espousing. However,
we did not evolve in such a world, and our brains are
hardwired at a visceral level to respond as if we can
only ever be a single individual, persisting through time.
This view of personal identity is tied up with our will to
survive (we have to have a sense of what it is that
survives, after all), and it is very difficult to shake it
with intellectual arguments. It is like trying to convince
someone to kill themselves by explaining that all the
matter making up their body will have been replaced
in a few months, so we are dying all the time anyway.
 
Stathis Papaioannou


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