On 4/29/07, Jason <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Two things in my mind make personal identity fuzzy:
> 1. The MWI of quantum mechanics, which if true means each "person"
> experiences a perhaps infinite number of histories across the multi-
> verse.  Should personal identity extend to just one branch or to all
> branches?  If all branches where do you draw the line between who is
> and is not that person?  Remember across the multi-verse you can move
> across branches that differ only by the location of one photon,
> therefore there is a continuum linking a person in one branch to any
> other person.
> 2. Duplication/transportation/simulation thought experiments, which
> show that minds can't be tied to a single physical body, simulation
> thought experiments suggest there doesn't even have to be a physical
> body for there to be a person.  If a person can be reduced to
> information is it the same person if you modify some bits (as time
> does), how many bits must be modified before you no longer consider it
> to be the same person?  What happens if you make copies of those bits
> (as the MWI implies happens), or destroy one copy and reconstitute it
> elsewhere?
> Person identity is useful when talking about everyday situations, but
> I think it muddies things, especially if one tries to bind a
> continuous conscious experience with a person.  For example, how can
> you explain what happens if one were to make 5 exact duplicates of
> some individual?  Do you say their consciousness fractures, do you say
> it multiplies, do you say it selects one of them?  Just because
> observers have memories of experiencing the same observer's past
> perspectives in no way implies there is a single consciousness that
> follows a person as they evolve through time (even though it very much
> seems that way subjectively).
> Jason
> On Apr 26, 3:11 pm, "John Mikes" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > Interleaving ONE tiny question:
> >
> > On 4/20/07, Jason <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > (Jason:)
> > "<...Personhood becomes fuzzy and a truly object treatment of conscious
> > experience might do well to abandon the idea of personal identity
> > altogether. ...>"
> >
> > Sais WHO?
> >
> > John

I've thought of two other ideas which further complicate personal identity:

3. Mind uploading / Simulation Argument / Game worlds in the context of
infinite universes.

If all universes are real there are an infinite number of "causes" for your
current observer moment, including the explanation that your OM is
instantiated in a computer simulation or game world.  The instantiation
could be part of a "game" some alien who uploaded his mind is playing,
perhaps the game is called "simhuman", when the being awakens from the game
all the memories of your human life will be integrated into the alien
being's memories.  Therefore it could be said that there are an infinite
number of observers (each with highly varied experiences and memories) to
which this OM belongs.  A nice consequence of this is that it can provide
escape from eternal agedness implied by many worlds.

4. All particles in the observable universe are interacting.  The neurons in
our brain which instantiate thoughts are not closed loops, they are fed in
with data from the senses, thoughts can be communicated between brains (as
they are now when you read this post), my neural activity can affect your
neural activity, there is only a longer and slower path connecting neurons
between everyone's brain.  Think of a grid computer consisting of super
computers connected with 14.4 Kbps modems, the bandwidth is not sufficient
for transferring large amounts of data or the content of their hard drives
in any reasonable time, but short and compressed information can still be
shared.  If they are interacting as part of the same large state machine
then minds are not islands, and it lends credence to their being a universal


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