On 6/10/2012 6:12 PM, Pierz wrote:
I'm starting this as a new thread rather than continuing under 'QTI and eternal 
torment', where this idea came up, because it's really a new topic.
It seems to me an obvious corollary of comp that there is in reality (3p) only 
one observer, a single subject that undergoes all possible experiences. In a 
blog post I wrote a while back (before I learned about comp) I put forward this 
'one observer' notion as the only solution to a paradox that occurred to me 
when thinking about the idea of cryogenic freezing and resuscitation. I started 
wondering how I could know whether the consciousness of the person being 
resuscitated was the 'same consciousness' (whatever that means) as the 
consciousness of the person who was frozen. That is, is a new subject created 
with all your memories (who will of course swear they are you), or is the new 
subject really you?
This seems like a silly or meaningless point until you ask yourself the question, 
"If I am frozen and then cryogenicaly resurrected should I be scared of bad 
experiences the resurrected person might have?" Will they be happening to *me*, or 
to some person with my memories and personality I don't have to worry about? It becomes 
even clearer if you imagine dismantling and reassembling the brain atom by atom. What 
then provides the continuity between the pre-dismantled and the reassembled brain? It can 
only be the continuity of self-reference (the comp assumption) that makes 'me' me, since 
there is no physical continuity at all.

There's continuity of physical structure (I think that's what 'reassembled' means). I don't know what 'continuity of self-reference' means? Anyway this is not a thought experiment. The atoms in your body get replaced as you live, it is only the structure that is, approximately, conserved.

But let's say the atoms are jumbled a little at reassembly, resulting in a 
slight personality change or the loss of some or all memories.

Happens to me all the time.

Should I, about to undergo brain disassembly and reassembly, be worried about 
experiences of this person in the future who is now not quite me? What then if 
the reassembled brain is changed enough that I am no longer recognizable as me?

Are you worried that you may experience a heart attack in 20yrs? Are you eating a cheeseburger?

Following this through to its logical conclusion, it becomes clear that the 
division between subjects is not absolute. What separates subjectivities is the 
contents of consciousness

That seems to me a tautology; just an implicit definition of "subjectivities"?

(comp would say the computations being performed), not some kind of other 
mysterious 'label' or identifier that marks certain experiences as belonging to 
one subject and not another (such as, for instance, being the owner of a 
specific physical brain).

Except it was the structure and implicitly the algorithms of a specific physical brain that provided the continuity.

  I find this conclusion irresistible - and frankly terrifying. It's like 
reincarnation expanded to the infinite degree, where 'I' must ultimately 
experience every subjective experience (or at least every manifested subjective 
experience, if I stop short of comp and the UD).

Well, have you experienced them?  I remember some experiences but certainly not 
all.

What it does provide is a rationale for the Golden Rule of morality. Treat 
others as I would have them treat me because they *are* me, there is no other! 
If we really lived with the knowledge of this unity, if we grokked it deep 
down, surely it would change the way we relate to others. And if it were widely 
accepted as fact, wouldn't it lead to the optimal society, since
everyone would know that they will be/are on the receiving end of every action 
they commit?

That's pretty much the Hindu idea, but I don't think they are notably more 
altruistic.

Exploitation is impossible since you can only steal from yourself.

Or, no matter what I steal it's OK because it was really mine anyway.

Brent

Of course, if comp is true, moral action becomes meaningless in one sense since 
everything happens anyway, so you will be on the receiving end of all actions, 
both good and bad.


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