Lee Corbin writes:
 
> > Brent writes
> > 
> >>Given that just after the cloning, the clones would quickly diverge, becoming different people; it 
> >>seems you could be happy contemplating the fuller, richer life of all the people you know just as 
> >>much as if they were clones of yourself.
> > 
> > So I suppose that day by day you become someone different?
> > 
> > If you were to get an unexpected call during the next hour,
> > would that make you a different person than you would have
> > become without the call?
> > 
> > Lee
>
> Sure - a little different, even if it were expected.
>
> Brent Meeker

Brent's answer is obviously literally correct. In fact, between two copies of a person separated by even a moderate length of time, there may be *nothing* exactly preserved: different matter, different configuration of matter, different memories. It might look the same on the outside and feel the same on the inside, so by convention we say it is the "same" person. That convention/belief/feeling underpins the normative usage of the words "person", "I" etc., and your preference is that we should keep to this usage so that we all know what we're talking about. That's fine, as long as it is understood that we are just talking about matters of convention, not matters of fact. We could imagine individuals of a species who consider that they are born a new person every day they wake up, regarding the memories and other mental attributes they inherit from their predecessor in much the same way as we regard the genetic and cultural inheritance we get from our parents. If this species believed that 2+2=5, or that their kidneys were the organs of respiration, they would be wrong. But if they believe that they wake up a different person every day, and live their lives based on this belief, they would *not* be wrong; they could hold this belief quite consistently even if they knew all there was to know about their biology.
 
Stathis Papaioannou


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