Alex Libman, on May 11 2010, 06:18 AM, said:
Just don't start wondering if every time you fall asleep you actually die and another copy of you wakes up the next day - that's a sure path to insanity.
I don't know, I actually ponder this quite often and am still doing ok ( but then again you never feel yourself that you're becomming insane, right ?)
What we'll probably end up with in our efforts for long-range life extension is probably something similar: you will continue to exist, but will it be really you or just your copy?
I guess what keeps us in the frame of continued selfhood is a mutual feedback of self assurance and the way others treat us - if you and the guy who fell asleep yesterday share the same memories and moreover you remember that the yesterday's Alex shared memories with the day before yesteday's Alex, that's already one thing, a clone wouldn't have that, he would have memories of being brought up in an evil scientist's laboratory on a tropical island ( of course in case of possible mind uploading of the clone it becomes tricky - he could have all your memories as well, copied from your brain when you were sleeping or something ).
And when you meet people, and someone says to you " Hey, Libman, you still owe me that five bucks", then together with the first thing, and given your brain is maintaining all the chemical balance and everything, there's no way of escaping being yourself. The episode of Northern Exposure comes to mind, where they put Chris Stevens to trial and his line of defense was that he no longer is the same person who commited the fellony years ago, I don't remember right now but I guess in the end he looses the case with this. So perhaps the socially derived criterion may be even more important ( and I know that hurts an Objectivist
Maybe if we were to live for thousends or millions of years ( and without doing anything to the brain along the road ) it would just switch to some kind of "cooling off" mode, producing states of altered consientiousness that would depersonalize you regularly, as being yourself could become sort of a prison cell, so kind of making you a little insane from time to time, in order for you to not become insane full time.
Edited by chris w, 11 May 2010 - 03:29 PM.