On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 12:05 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

>  On 5/12/2013 9:00 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
>  If your mom ate something different while pregnant with you, such that
> you developed with different atoms, does that mean someone else would have
> been born in your place and you wouldn't be conscious?  Or if one
> unexpressed gene was different, would it be someone other than you looking
> through those eyes?  What if one gene were different, but it was of little
> consequence, or what if multiple genes were different, etc.  How much of
> the circumstances would have to change for you to never have been born?  If
> you admit that different matter or different genes would not make it such
> that you were never born, then are you not all your siblings as well?
> That doesn't follow.  The most common theory of why you are you is that
> the structure of your brain and body encode computations that are peculiar
> to you.

If we work from the theory that "you are a computation", there is still the
question of why you are experiencing life as this particular computation
vs. that other computation.  This is one of the main goals of a theory of
personal identity, to rightly delineate persons and define the scope of
experiences that belong to them.  Theories of mind and theories of theories
personal identity are related to each other but they are separate fields.

>   You are determined by the structure that effects these computations.
> This is independent of the particular atoms and molecules and even a lot of
> the structure.  As Bruno puts it, it depends on the level of
> substitution.  Just because there is a level, e.g. atoms, that makes no
> difference, it doesn't follow that there is not a difference at another
> level.

That was not what I was questioning.  My question is more like: if a
different sperm (besides the one that led to you) had made it, what would
you expect to be experiencing right now?  Would you expect to be
experiencing nothing at all?


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