On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 9:14 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> On 19 Feb 2013, at 07:49, Jason Resch wrote:
>> Are you OK that your daughter makes money in that way?
> No.
> OK. But if she is adult, and if you have the assurance that she "knows"
> what she is doing, i.e. that she has some fair account of what is involved,
> then you can't obliged her to not do it. This follows from what you said
> above, as I am sure you see. It is not different from alpinism. I would be
> anxious my daughter make alpinism, as she might get stuck of fall, perhaps
> die, but then, if she is not a minor, it is her choice.
It might be that we just had different connotations of "OK".  I would be
uneasy with and disagree (hence not be OK with) her making a living by
causing or suffering.  I think there might be better ways to make money but
still the decision is hers.  Your scenario reminded me of this writing by
Lee Corbin:

Next suppose that you have a duplicate in an adjacent room that you are
monitoring on closed circuit television. You are told that you and he are
the same person. Probably, you disagree. You are then asked you whether it
is preferable that your duplicate receive two minutes' electrical shock or
you receive one minute's. You reply that you would prefer that your
duplicate receive the two minutes' worth. ("Better him than me.") It is
done, but that night a merging process copies 'your' memories of the day
into 'his' brain and 'his' memories into 'yours'. (I must use funny quotes
around "his" and "yours" because my central claim is that ultimately such a
distinction is meaningless.)

Now the next day the scenario is repeated. I ask 'you' whether it is better
that 'your' duplicate get the two minute treatment or that 'you' get the
one minute treatment. Now you're not so sure. For you now *remember* that
yesterday you were sitting minding your own business being monitored on
closed circuit television when suddenly out of the blue there came two
minutes' of electrical shock. You remember this as being *very painful*.
Nature has constructed you to avoid repetition of unpleasant incidents. So
you now begin to suspect that 'you' and 'your duplicate' are the same

You decide (maybe after several more days of "two minute" punishments) that
perhaps it is better to call down upon 'yourself' the mere one minute
punishment. After that night, when the memories are merged, you conclude
that you made a wise move. Today's punishment seemed to be less severe than

If the person making the decision to take the money in exchange for the
torture would make the same decision whether or not the memory was erased,
then they are making the right decision for themself.  If they change their
mind depending on the memory erasure, then I think they are using a faulty
theory of personal identity to make their decision, and are prone to making
a bad decision.


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