--- On Tue, 1/26/10, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 25 Jan 2010, at 23:16, Jack Mallah wrote:
> > Killing one man is not OK just because he has a brother.
> In our context, the 'brother' has the same consciousness.
The "brother" most certainly does not have "the same" consciousness. If he did,
then killing him would not change the total _amount_ of consciousness; measure
would be conserved. What the brother does have is his own, different in terms
of who experiences it, but qualitatively identical consciousness.
> From this I conclude you would say "no" to the doctor. All right? The doctor
> certainly "kill a 'brother' ".
As you should know by now Bruno, if you are now talking about a teleportation
experiment, in that case you kill one guy (bad) but create another,
qualitatively identical guy (good). So the net effect is OK. Of course the
doctor should get the guy's permission before doing anything, if he can.
BTW, it may seem that I advocate increased population - that is, if we had a
cloning device, we should use it. In general, yes, but a planet has a limited
capacity to support a high population over a long term, which we may have
already exceeded. Too much at once will result in a lower total population
over time due to a ruined environment as well as lower quality of life. So in
practice, it would cause problems. But if we has a second planet available and
the question is should we populate it, I'd say yes.
--- On Mon, 1/25/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Killing a man is bad because he doesn't want to be killed,
Actually that's not why - but let that pass for now.
> and he doesn't want to be killed because he believes that act would cause his
> stream of consciousness to end. However, if he were killed and his stream of
> consciousness continued, that would not be a problem provided that the manner
> of death was not painful. Backing up his mind, killing him and then making an
> exact copy of the man at the moment before death is an example of this
See above. That would be a measure-conserving process, so it would be OK.
It is just a matter of definition whether it is the same guy or a different
guy. Because now we have one guy at a time, it is convenient to call them the
same guy. If we had two at once, we could call them the same if we like, but
the fact would remain that they would have different (even if qualitatively the
same) consciousnesses, so it is better to call them different guys.
> Making two copies running in lockstep and killing one of them is equivalent
> to this: the one that is killed feels that his stream of consciousness
> continues in the one that is not killed. It is true that in the second case
> the number of living copies of the person has halved, but from the point of
> view of each copy it is exactly the same as the first case, where there is
> only ever one copy extant.
That one that is killed doesn't feel anything after he is killed. The one that
lives experiences whatever he would have experienced anyway. There is NO
TRANSFER of consciousness. Killing a guy (assuming he is not an evil guy or in
great pain) and not creating a new guy to replace him is always a net loss.
> The general point is that what matters to the person is not the objective
> physical events, but the subjective effect that the objective physical events
> will have.
What matters is the objective reality that includes all subjective experiences.
Suppose there is a guy who is kind of a crazy oriental monk. He meditates and
subjectively believes that he is now the reincarnation of ALL other people. Is
it OK to now kill all other people and just leave alive this one monk?
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