On 26 Sep 2013, at 05:22, Russell Standish wrote:
On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 02:34:10AM +0000, chris peck wrote:
I'll have a pop at this because I have a problem too.
I get stuck on Bruno's 'proof' at the point where the comp
practitioner, about to be duplicated and sent to Washington and
Moscow, is asked to estimate his chances of arriving at Moscow.
Allegedly I should feel it to be 50/50 and this establishes 1st
Trouble is, as far as I have been able, I can only arrive at the
50/50 result if I deny 'comp'. That is, if I feel that there is
something over and above the description of me at the required
substitution level, that is nevertheless a vital part of me, that
follows one or the other path. But that breaks the rules of the
game. It contradicts comp.
If I follow the rules of the game , if I genuinely believe comp,
then I must also believe (and feel) that a later diary/memory
containing the entry 'I am in Moscow not Washington' and a diary
containing the entry 'I am in Washington not Moscow' both have
equal claim on being my diary now. If I believe comp then I have to
say that whilst there will be no diary with both entries, each one
is genuinely mine. Given that, the chances of this diary now
containing either entry later is 1, not 50/50. No indeterminacy.
The diary is the one that you have with you. You will not have two
diaries, since you cannot experience being in Moscow and Wsahington at
the same time with contradicting the "survivability" axiom of
COMP. Therefore the probability of the diary containing 'I am in
Washington not Moscow' is decidedly less than 1. That it is precisely
0.5 is a little more debatable, however, particularly in the later
Right. It is only 0,5 in the ideal protocol of the first steps. In
fact, after the whole reasoning is complete, we can intuit that such
protocol are really unfeasible, as we cannot annihilate ourselves
completely with certainty. The "real" proba for W and M are probably
(!) a little less than 0,5).
I've read some responses to similar quibbles alleging that the
quibblers have confused 1-p and 3-p perspectives. Alternatively, you
can argue that you can only buy into Bruno's conclusion if you
covertly smuggle in to the game an illicit concept of 'I' over and
I disagree that the 'I' concept is illicit in this argument. It is
upfront with the "folk" concept of surviving an artificial brain
transplant. The 'I' is what survives.
Good, and important point. The UD Argument has been constructed to
avoid the personal identity question.
Interestingly, Derek Parfit in 'Reasons and Persons' uses the very
same thought experiments to tease out of the reader that they do
not in fact believe anything like comp. He asks what you would feel
if the teleportation goes wrong and there is a minute delay in the
annihilation step. Would you be comforted by someone explaining
that the 'read' went ahead well and that you will be reconstructed
in Moscow, so not to worry about the impending annihilation? I
think intuitively that would be of no comfort though if I really
believed comp it should be.
That's one of the troubles with intuition pumps. To be quite honest,
that intuition pump fails me, as do some other ones that Parfit
raises: I don't know whether to be worried or not, although as you
rightly point out, COMP implies there is no problem, I will
survive. But also COMP also implies you cannot prove COMP is true -
hence there will always be room for doubt before setting foot in the
Comp forbids comp proselytism !
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