Re: [sl4] Uploading

From: John K Clark (
Date: Wed Dec 02 2009 - 10:25:17 MST

On Wed, 2 Dec 2009 "John McNamara" <> said:

> if it happened to me against my will the resulting us would readily
> admit that neither of us knew which was the original.

I wouldn't care which was the original although I know it would matter
to you; there is no disputing matters of taste.

> If it was later proved to me beyond reasonable doubt that I was the
> copy I would relinquish all legal property claims.

I wouldn't do that because I would feel that my atoms were every bit as
good as the atoms in that smug original, but then unlike most I don't
believe in a soul.

> I get the impression that you're implying I personally also
> believe in souls even if I were to say I didn't

A copy of you is made as accurate as Mr. Heisenberg allows and then the
original is instantaneously destroyed. The scientific method cannot
detect any difference. In fact there is no objective difference of any
sort. In fact there are no reports of a subjective difference either.
Nothing has changed objectively, nothing has changed subjectively;
nevertheless you are convinced that a gargantuan change has happened.
You can't explain what this change could possibly be but whatever it is
it is of enormous importance. And you don't like this mysterious
alteration one bit, you dislike it so much you would quite literally be
willing to fight to the death to prevent it.

Granted you don't like the word "soul", but given the above are you
going to try to tell me with a straight face that you don't believe in
the idea behind the soul? Don't be ridiculous. The only thing worse than
having an irrational belief is failing to admit even to oneself that it
is irrational.

 John K Clark

  John K Clark
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