On 5/12/2013 10:33 AM, Jason Resch wrote:

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

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.

But if "you" are a particular computation, the question has a tautological answer. It would be a contradiction for you to be some 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?

The latter, in a metaphorical way, since I wouldn't be expecting or experiencing anything because this particular "I" wouldn't exist. It's like asking, "If you died in your sleep would you wake up dead?"


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