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poke comments on Timeless Identity - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: poke 03 June 2008 04:39:38PM 3 points [-]

I knew this was where we were headed when you started talking about zombies and I knew exactly what the error would be.

Even if I accept your premises of many-worlds and timeless physics, the identity argument still has exactly the same form as it did before. Most people are aware that atomic-level identity is problematic even if they're not aware of the implications of quantum physics. They know this because they consume and excrete material. Nobody who's thought about this for more than a few seconds thinks their identity lies in the identity of the atoms that make up their bodies.

Your view of the world actually makes it easier to hold a position of physical identity. If you can say "this chunk of Platonia is overlapping computations that make up me" I can equally say "this chunk of Platonia is overlapping biochemical processes that make up me." Or I can talk about the cellular level or whatever. Your physics has given us freedom to choose an arbitrary level of description. So your argument reduces to to the usual subjectivist argument for psychological identity (i.e., "no noticeable difference") without the physics doing any work.