Jason Resch writes:

> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > What about when multiple equally valid OM's exist? I don't agree that they 
> > are all perceived.
> > If I am to be duplicated and one of the copies tortured, I am worried, 
> > because this is subjectively
> > equivalent to expecting torture with 1/2 probability. Post-duplication, I 
> > can only experience
> > being one of the copies, and if I am not the one who is tortured, I am 
> > relieved, although I feel
> > sorry for the other copy in the same way I might feel sory about anyone 
> > else who is suffering
> > (maybe a bit more, given our shared past). This is no more than a 
> > description of how our
> > psychology as beings who feel themselves to be embedded in linear time 
> > works. Arguments that
> > this does not reflect the reality of the situation, that it does not make 
> > sense to consider I might
> > "become" either copy prior to the duplication but only one copy after the 
> > duplication, do not change
> > the way my brain forces me to feel about it. Lee Corbin on this list has 
> > argued that I should consider
> > both copies as selves at all times, and perhaps we would evolve to think 
> > this way in a world where
> > duplication was commonplace, but our brains aren't wired that way at 
> > present.
> >
> In saying you disagree that duplicate OM's perspectives are perceived,
> I take it that you mean their collective divergent experiences are not
> integrated in a consistent memory, not that they would be non-conscious
> zombies.  If this was your point, I agree.

That's what I meant.

> However, I see a difference of opinion in how we understand the
> probabilities.  Whereas you say prior to the duplication and torture,
> one has a 1/2 probability of being tortured and 1/2 probability of
> being spared, I see it as one having a 100% probability of being
> tortured AND a 100% probability of being spared, as both experiences
> occur with 100% certainty.  The probability that an observer-moment
> sampled from both perspectives post-duplication will remember being
> tortured would be 1/2.

OK, but I am looking at it from the perspective of going into the replicator. 
Suppose you were offered either the above choice - you are duplicated and 
one of the copies will be tortured - or a biased coin will be tosed and you 
will have a 51% chance of being tortured and a 49% chance of being spared. 
From a selfish perspective, it would be best to go for the duplication, because 
since you can only experience being one person at a time, you can expect to 
come out of the duplicator with a 50% chance of being tortured as opposed 
to the 51% chance in the case of the coin toss.

> Our brains may not be wired for experiencing total empathy for others
> who are suffering, but this is a result of evolutionary psychology.
> Perhaps a species whose brains were wired this way would be maximally
> moral, as they would be intolerant to any suffering and would operate
> at great risk to themselves to aid other individuals.

Sure, we are only contigently wired to consider our own future selfish 
It is possible to conceive of other evolutionary paths where, for example, we 
regard our kin as selves in the way social insects seem to do, or we regard 
future and past selves as other and live selfishly for the moment. There is 
irrational about either of these positions, because the relationship betwen the 
observer moments is a contingent fact of evolution.

Stathis Papaioannou
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