Scott wrote: ↑May 15th, 2021, 10:57 am
If you went to sleep in my body in my bed with my memories, and awoke in your body in your bed with your memories, would you notice a difference? Would there be a difference to notice?
The 2nd question can be addressed first. If there is no difference to notice then the 1st question may be irrelevant.
If there is a difference to notice then intermediate questions can be asked: Would "you" have the ability to notice a difference? What would be required to notice a difference?
In order for "you" to notice a difference, it seems that there has to be more to "you" than the body and body-dependent mind of "you". "You" would need to have some additional body-independent memory or access to historical data regarding body possession to notice a difference.
Anyone who rejects the idea that there can be anything more to them than their body and memories may not be able to go beyond the if-condition of the questions.
If it is accepted that it is at least conceivable one is able to notice a difference, the 1st question can be addressed. Ability to notice a difference doesn't imply a difference will be noticed. How can anyone tell if they would notice a difference? Even if one has previously experienced waking up in another body and noticing a difference, how can one tell if one will a notice a difference the next time this happens?
This is like asking: "If your body dies and you reincarnate, will you have any memory of your current life in your next life?"
Considering a computer game universe that is inhabited by characters who are controlled to some extent by human players may help to conceptualise this. Each character can have its own "body" of data, including memories, which can be observed. If John is the player of a character called Paul, John will also have his own memory which he can observe. If Paul dies, John will normally continue to live and may retain some memory of playing Paul. If John plays again then his new character may have none of Paul's memories (unless the game allows memory of past characters to be inherited).
If John and Mary swap characters, so he plays Jane and she plays Paul, the players are likely to notice the difference. But will the characters notice a difference - that they have different players? If they sense they are being played differently, how can they tell if they have different players or their regular players are just playing differently?
If Paul experiences some kind of consciousness generated by the activity of his data, he may ask: "Who am I?" Is "he" just his body of data, his player, some combination of the two, or something more than this?
While John is playing Paul, he may experience a shift in consciousness, feeling he and Paul are becoming more "as one". Do they experience the same consciousness, completely separate consciousnesses, or something in-between? How can anyone tell?
Human observers can view Paul's "brain" activity and tell that he has a player, who is playing him, and what input this player has. How can Paul know whether he has a player or not (whether or not there is more to him than his body and memory)? Paul can know what he is experiencing. How can human observers know what Paul is experiencing (if anything)?