Before reading this post, go here. You will be asked three questions, and you should answer. Take your time- they’re going to bend your brain a little bit.
Now that you’ve put some thought into those questions, were you consistent? If not, then you died. Perhaps you should have thought a bit more about your strategy. If so, then in what way were you consistent? I was psychologically continuous. To me, psychological continuity is the only path worth taking. Physical continuity doesn’t really mean anything, as every atom in your brain is different within six months or so anyway. And, it doesn’t really matter what your body is made of. People who get prosthetic limbs or artificial organs are hardly less human than “all-naturals.” This applies equally as much to the brain, with the proviso attached that the person’s mind must be preserved more or less perfectly. If it’s a little different, that’s fine, because fifteen minutes from now your character will be different. If it’s that close, I have no issue with it. Most people, however, disagree with this stance with a passion! Why does it matter if your brain were to be made of silicon as opposed to carbon? In fact, a silicon-based brain would be far faster and more efficient. I’d quite enjoy being able to, at will, of course, control my speed of thinking up to something like a modern computer’s instruction handling capacity.
Spiritual continuity was actually a much tougher question. This was because one of the assumptions was that there was in fact a soul. So, operating with that assumption, what is a soul’s potential contribution towards your character? That’s really what that question is asking, at least from our perspective. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the soul does in fact have a substantial effect on a person’s character. That raises the interesting debate about how many souls are provided they are continuously recycled. Ten? A thousand? A billion? Are there a certain number of persona-archetypes that everybody falls into based on their soul’s characteristics? If the population increases, are more created? This violates the fundamental principle of reincarnation, and can be discarded as a solution. The only other solution is that souls are not bound by time i.e., could there be only fifty souls but when they reincarnate can the soul go back in time and lead a life that actually overlapped with their first chronologically. This raises the question of why exactly it’s necessary that reincarnation is serial, because if they can go back in time why not go back a thousand years, live and die, and then return to live the life that overlaps. This leads to the conclusion that essentially everybody has a distinct soul since an indeterminate number of lives resulting in change were lived between any two reincarnations. Even if you shared the same soul as someone else, discontinuity over the entire period of the universe means that the chance that your soul is even remotely similar to the one shared by someone else is statistically insignificant. Therefore, the soul can have little effect on the course of your life and psychological continuity, even at a risk of 30%, is still preferable.