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I recently thought of this scenario where you are to be given a choice to earn 10 million dollars and experience the worst torture and most severe pain possible, but right after the experience forget all about your torture, with absolutely no physical and psychological side effects.

I doubt I was the first to think up such a scenario, and I'm interested if there is a name to this for me to look into.

  • I am trying to understand what happened. While making an important decision you are tormented, but right after you make the choice you forget all about the torment involved in coming to a decision. This might be similar to someone who makes an important investment decision. While making the decision they struggle. After the decision is made they forget that struggle. Is that what you are referring to? – Frank Hubeny Jun 9 '18 at 11:34
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    This seems more the realm of science fiction than philosophy. There is coverage of ideas like this in Altered Carbon, and Paycheck. There is also an idea that i the future religions might use our social media profiles to si ulate our personalities, and inflict what they consider the required consequances for our behaviours in life. Would we 'be' those simulated persons? Should this idea influence our current behaviour? I don't see why you expect, or want, a handle for tbe specific scenario you mention. What is your purpose for it? What you want to examine or discuss by it? – CriglCragl Jun 9 '18 at 12:04
  • @FrankHubeny not exactly since making the financial decision is not something that would be painful enough to make you fearful – Goldname Jun 9 '18 at 17:06
  • @criglcragl I don't see how anybody can find a logical relationship between your comments scenario and mine. – Goldname Jun 9 '18 at 17:07
  • Paycheck is very close to your scenario. So are many parts of Altered Carbon, where nearly everyone is partly digital. Simulations of humans is an easier area to consider the crime you are talking about, which it would be - you can't sign any agreement that makes torture legal. Nick Bostrom covers the wider field of minds that do and do not remember what happened to them, in the discussion of 'mind crimes' in Superintelligence geotho.github.io/2017/01/16/on-mindcrime.html – CriglCragl Jun 10 '18 at 2:58
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This is a problem of rational choice to which I don't think there is a uniquely correct answer:

Choice 1 : Person at t1 in normal condition, Person at t2 in extreme agony, Person at t3 in normal condition, rich for the rest of their lives and with no memory of t2.

Choice 2 : Person at t1 in normal condition, Person at t2 in normal condition, Person at t3 in normal condition.

There could be an equally rational defence of either choice. But I am reminded of the kind of arguments to be found in Thomas Nagel, In Defense of Altruism, and Derek Parfit in Reasons and Persons, to the effect that all stages in one's life carry equal significance. A state of oneself two or ten years from now is just as important as one's present state. On this basis I might be inclined to go for Choice 1. One's condition at t2 is very different between the Choices : in one case it is negative and in the other positive or neutral. But all future states of one's life will be very much better from t3 onwards under Choice 1 and merely no different under Choice 2.

Or rather, all mine would be, all else equal : if you don't care much about money or even regard it as a blight, your rational option would be Choice 2.

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