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Old 05-16-2019, 03:17 PM
begbert2 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 13,255
Originally Posted by Dallas Jones View Post
Consciences, personality, identity, self, call it what you will, is a chemical and slightly electrical phenomenon that does not translate into the digital world of IF>THEN. There could be and already are algorithms that can mimic human responses but they are not actual thought. Not actual Self. How would you be able to translate chemical action into digital, storable personality?

Even our memories may not be what actually happened. Each time a memory is thought it overwrites the actual memory one more time. That favorite green truck toy you had when you were 5 years old may not have been green at all. You have remembered it as green so many times since you were 5 that for all purposes it is now green, it may never have been. Unless we are postulating an organic, chemical, emotional, storage system, there is no way to store a human mind.

The storage and response systems are completely different.
With a sufficiently powerful computer system one could theoretically emulate reality at the molecular level, allowing a physical brain to be emulated with perfectly replicated behavior and functionality. And it probably wouldn't even take that much - much of the physical body's function is tangential or irrelevant to cognition and could be simplified out without impacting the accuracy of the emulation.

Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
I figure this is in the same category of topics as self-driving cars. There are people working on it as we speak, and there are folks who will argue that it can or cannot work for some reason.

But the argument is kind of pointless. If it can't possibly work, then no one will ever do it, no matter how much effort they put into it. But, if it can work, and we eventually figure it out, then the answers to all these "Is it me, or a copy?" type questions will probably become quite obvious.
I don't see how having it happen in front of you would make anything more obvious - unless the soul people are right and all clones turn up dead or something. In the materialist view the only difference between a person and a copy is that one would have continuity of existence and the other wouldn't - though the one that didn't would think that it did have continuity of existence thanks to its inherited memory and would only notice a discontinuity of location.

It seems obvious to me that continuity of existence is part of identity, so a copy of you isn't you by virtue of the fact that you've been over here the whole time and they haven't been. However in a world of star trek transporters where the original of you doesn't hang around to dispute the copy's claim to your identity there's no reason a copy can't step into your shoes and carry on where you left off.

Last edited by begbert2; 05-16-2019 at 03:18 PM.