I propose the following reformulation of Step 3 for pedagogical
purposes, as possibly being effective in clarifying any remaining
points in dispute. It can be further refined to remove any remaining
ambiguities if necessary. Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Assume the computational theory of mind and any necessary technologies
for the thought experiment. You are to imagine the following
1) You volunteer for an experiment which entails your entering a
laboratory in Helsinki and receiving a general anaesthetic. The
unscrupulous experimenters have not told you, nor have you any other
means of knowing, that while you are unconscious they intend to make a
digital copy of you and transmit this to both Moscow and Washington.
After successfully acquiring the copy, and before you have regained
consciousness, they destroy your body by total incineration at 1000
2) Your copies are later successfully reconstituted separately in both
Moscow and Washington, in rooms with large picture windows overlooking
the distinctive panoramas of each city, showing either the onion domes
of Red Square or the Washington Monument. Before long, in each venue,
each copy regains consciousness and looks out of the window.
Your task now is to describe the sequence of events you expect to
experience in real time in this scenario, from the point where you
enter the laboratory in Helsinki and subsequently. For example, your
account might begin: "I am lying down on a couch now and am about to
receive an anaesthetic injection". If you consider that the scenario
as stipulated does not afford you the possibility of further
subjective experience beyond this juncture, perhaps owing to the
subsequent destruction of your body, simply terminate your account.
Alternatively, if you consider that some subjectively describable
continuation of experience is possible, continue to give an account of
this as though in real time: for example "I am awake now and looking
out of the window Gosh, look at those domes! I seem to have
travelled to Moscow while I was unconscious! What have those
unscrupulous doctors done to me?".
You are NOT to make use of ANY information of which you would actually
have been ignorant, in the lived situation as stipulated, or
alternatively describe the situation from the perspective of an
external observer. At all points it is solely your lived experience
during the scenario as described that is the topic of interest. Do
not forget that throughout the scenario the assumptions of CTM are
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