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shminux comments on Timeless Identity - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 June 2008 08:16AM

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Comment author: shminux 01 October 2013 08:13:50PM -1 points [-]

I'd have to learn more about how general anesthesia works to decide if personal identity would be preserved across on the operating table

Hmm, what about across dreamless sleep? Or fainting? Or falling and hitting your head and losing consciousness for an instant? Would these count as killing one person and creating another? And so be morally net-negative?

Comment author: [deleted] 01 October 2013 08:38:04PM 0 points [-]

If computational continuity is what matters, then no. Just because you have no memory doesn't mean you didn't experience it. There is in fact a continuous experience throughout all of the examples you gave, just no new memories being formed. But from the last point you remember (going to sleep, fainting, hitting your head) to when you wake up, you did exist and were running a computational process. From our understanding of neurology you can be certain that there was no interruption of subjective experience of identity, even if you can't remember what actually happened.

Whether this is also true of general anesthesia depends very much on the biochemistry going on. I admit ignorance here.

Comment author: shminux 01 October 2013 08:46:51PM *  -1 points [-]

OK, I guess I should give up, too. I am utterly unable to relate to whatever it is you mean by "because you have no memory doesn't mean you didn't experience it" or "subjective experience of identity, even if you can't remember what actually happened".