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To:everything-list@googlegroups.com From:John Clark Subject:Re: Theology or not theology (Re: COMP theology) Date:Sun, 18 Mar 2012 11:53:04 -0400
 

On Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 1:12 AM, meekerdb <meekerdb@verizon.net> wrote:

>>> You are placed in a closed room and anesthesized. While you are unconscious you are moved to an identical room in Moscow. You wake up. There has been an enormous change in your position but you are not aware of it.

>> And in your example there is a zero change in your consciousness, absolutely ZERO. How can I be so certain of that? You answered that question yourself, because "you are not aware of it".

> So what?

SO WHAT?!!
> I wrote "There are many possible enormous changes that could happen without you being aware of them." Where did I say there was a change in your consciousness that you were not aware of? Please do not attribute to me things I didn't write.

Brent, "aware" is just another word for "conscious", if a consciousness has not experienced a change, if it has not felt something different, if it is not aware that anything significant has changed, then there was no change in the consciousness. If 2 consciousness are identical and there is no subsequent change in their consciousness then the point of view of the 2 beings remains identical and it is silly to pretend there are two points of view. This conclusion is confirmed in my symmetrical room example where even the copy and the original can't tell themselves apart, if you exchanged their position they could not tell that anything had happened, and neither could any conceivable outside observer.

>> But there is no way you can know the original and his identical copy can have a unique position ("definite spacetime histories" is too pompous for my taste) because for all you know, and for all they know, and for all the universe knows, those 2 identical objects, the copy and the original, could be exchanging position 10^44 times a second.

> And how would they do that? By magic? Of course if you invoke magic all bets are off.

Yes magic would do the trick, but it wouldn't take much magic to do that, in fact the magic needed would be as weak and impotent as it is possible to be because as Leibniz and his Identity of Indiscernibles says if you exchange the position of 2 identical things then the resulting change is not observable by anyone, not even by the universe, not even by god. So the magic involved only needs to be powerful enough to do absolutely positively nothing, and I am convinced that magic of that sort does in fact exist.

> Does your brain remain the same no matter what information you receive?

No.

> Do you differentiate from who you were - as you suppose the man in Moscow does from the man in Washington.

I will answer that question as soon as you answer mine: How long is a piece of string?

> Can't you get it through your head that things different from one another cannot be equal to a third thing.

The trunk of a tree splits into 2 branches, the branches are different from each other but there is a smooth continuous path from the trunk to both of those branches, neither branch can claim to have more in common with the trunk than the other branch, and both branches, although different from each other, are part of the same tree. And to say that because the trunk has branched the trunk is now dead would be nuts.

John K Clark





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