Stathis writes > If [a] 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.
I claim that there is an important sense in which they *would* be wrong, that is, nature endowed us with a strong prejudice that we are the same creature from moment to moment for a reason. A creature exhibits a great deal of fear if a threat arises not to "it" itself in the sense of the creature this moment, but "it" in the extended sense. It acts consistently to ensure that itself of a few moments hence does not come to harm, and we, of course, understand quite well why nature did this. Creatures who do not identify with themselves a few moments hence are "punished". They undergo pain or discomfort that is linked by their intelligence to what the other creature (i.e. its self of a few moments ago) actually did. Again, in this way they become fearful of future pain, and, on the other hand, eager to ravish future gain. Suppose on the other hand that this is incorrect. Suppose that identity does not extend in time past one Planck constant (whatever that is). Then no object or person "survives". But then the term "survival" is also lost. (Words don't have absolute meanings; only meanings that convey relative utility and which correspond to actual structure in the world. An object and even a person *does* persist in time as is revealed by a close examination of structure. It simply isn't very different from moment to moment, and if it is, then the entity has not survived. For example, a rock that is crushed into dust no longer exists as a rock.) Each person reading this would act in the following way if he suddenly heard a loud animal roar behind him. If he then looked around a saw a large tiger, all thoughts about the futility of survival past one Planck constant would vanish. If the person takes a flying leap, and just manages to get on the other side of a door, and is able to slam it shut in the tiger's face, the person will rightfully be relieved. Why shouldn't we say that the person has survived, at least for the nonce until the tiger figures out that it may be able to burst through the closed door? Lee --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---