On 28 Jan 2010, at 20:27, RMahoney wrote:

On Jan 8, 12:38 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
Welcome RMahoney,

Nice thought experiments. But they need amnesia (like in going from
you to Cruise). I tend to think like you that it may be the case that
we are the same person (like those who result from a self-
duplication, both refer as being the same person as the original, yet
acknowledge their respective differentiation.

Yes I think I understand what you mean by amnesia, you couldn't
carry any rememberance of your old self when changing to Tom Cruise,
but you would in the intermediary steps and gradually would lose the
concept of your old self that is gradually replaced by Tom's self

I think there is an "agnosologic" path from any "person" to any "person", for example from you to a bacteria, or Peano Arithmetic, perhaps even the "empty person". Agnosia is a term used for disease with deny, like people who become blind and pretend not having perceive any difference.

Thing is, it is very similar to the process happening as we age. I
a journal when I was in my 20's, capturing my thoughts every time I
visited this subject in my "mind trips". So when I read a page from
journal today, I sometimes go "wow, I was thinking that, then?" I've
obviously acquired a bit of amnesia. Yet I feel like I'm the same
because I've always had this body (although an aging body). What
it be like if everyone had default amnesia such that any thought
than 20 years is erased?  So you wouldn't remember your earlier years
but you were that person once. I could claim to have originated from
Tom Cruise's childhood and it wouldn't make any difference.

Sure. From a third person point of view identity is relative.
But from a first person point of view it is a sort of absolute related to the way you have build your (current) self through your experiences and inheritage relatively to a normal set of computations. We are what we value, I would say, but this makes it a personal question. Note that the uda reasoning is made in a way which prevents the need for clarifying those considerations, albeit very interesting.

Just like
I don't believe it makes any difference to say why I am I? and not
as we are we, simultaneously, and we are they, all those who lived
past lives, etc.

... and future lives, alternate lives, and states.
OK, especially if you see that such a view prevent relativism. When the 'other' makes a mistake, in the past, or the present, (or the future!) the question is how could *I* be wrong, how could *I* have been wrong, how could *I* help for being less wrong. Such an attitude encourages the dialog and the appreciation of the "other(s)", despite (or thanks to) its relative unknown nature. Eventually this can help to develop some faith in the unknown, together with the lucidity on the hellish paths, which can then be seen as mostly the product of certainty idolatry, and security idolatry. It is a natural price of consciousness: by knowing they are universal, Lobian machine know that they can crash. And being never satisfied, they will complain for more memory space and time to their most probable local universal neighbors, up, for some, to their universal recognizance, and so quite happy to dispose of what 'God' (arithmetical truth) can offer them (and has already offer them). Knowing you are the other is a reason to embellish the relation with the many possible and probable universal neighbor(s). The computationalist good cannot make the bad disappears, but it may be able to confine it more and more in the phantasms and fantasies, or second order, virtual, dreamed realities.



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