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Tags star trek , teleportation

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Old 27th November 2012, 09:33 PM   #1
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Would you use a Star Trek type transporter?

I don't think I would. I would be too afraid that a mess up in the transmission would leave me without skin on the other side or something. Or, for that matter, that I might apparate someplace where I shouldn't be apparating. You know like half of me is in a rock or something.

And what would happen if a person was standing where I beam into?
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Old 27th November 2012, 09:35 PM   #2
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Depends on how well tested it was. I certainly don't want to be a guinea pig, but if it's transporting millions of people a day, then it shouldn't be any more dangerous than cars or planes.
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Old 27th November 2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Are you familiar with Larry Niven's "Theory and Practice of Teleportation?"
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Old 27th November 2012, 09:43 PM   #4
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I've thought about this plenty, participated in discussions of the topic, and...

I'm not sure
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Old 27th November 2012, 09:46 PM   #5
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Well the way it would likely have to work in our reality is that it would take all the information the comprises your being, where all the atoms are and what they're doing (somehow) and then assemble some matter already on the site into you again. But that leaves us with two yous doesn't it? So you just atomize the original.

So what I'm saying is, no I wouldn't.
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Old 27th November 2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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Nope. I figure that when they energize, they actually kill the person, and then create a clone when they rematerialize them. The clone obviously believes that it is still the original, so just carries on regardless.

The only type of teleporter I'd feel comfortable using is like the ones described in L Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth (the book not the rubbish movie) That one folded space so that the two points existed in the same place for a moment before unfolding it again.
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Old 27th November 2012, 10:13 PM   #7
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Old 27th November 2012, 10:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
Well the way it would likely have to work in our reality is that it would take all the information the comprises your being, where all the atoms are and what they're doing (somehow) and then assemble some matter already on the site into you again. But that leaves us with two yous doesn't it? So you just atomize the original.

So what I'm saying is, no I wouldn't.


Yeah I'm with that too. Haven't you people seen The Prestige?
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Old 27th November 2012, 10:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
Well the way it would likely have to work in our reality is that it would take all the information the comprises your being, where all the atoms are and what they're doing (somehow) and then assemble some matter already on the site into you again. But that leaves us with two yous doesn't it? So you just atomize the original.

So what I'm saying is, no I wouldn't.
If the information is conveyed by way of quantum teleportation, then doing so necessarily destroys the information in the original

In that case, it seems to me, in some sense the copy really is the original: it's not made of the same particles, but it's in the exact same quantum state, and by transferring that quantum state from one object to the other, it's necessary to remove that quantum state from other first object

In my view are are not defined by what we are made of, but by its information content, and in that case it seems to me that the view that the copy is the original has some validity

But as I said, I'm still uncertain about this topic
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Old 27th November 2012, 10:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Yeah I'm with that too. Haven't you people seen The Prestige?
Yes. and I agree.
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Old 27th November 2012, 11:20 PM   #11
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I'm frankly shocked Doctor McCoy was coerced into using a transporter at all as he knew exactly how it worked and he knew he was being destroyed only to be replaced by a perfect copy, memories and all.

In one of the early Trek novels from the 70s he said:

Quote:
I have a horrible suspicion that I'm a ghost. And that I've been one for maybe as long as twenty years."
It's just creepy. And it makes me sad to think of all the times my favorite TNG characters died before my eyes, yet I never realized it.
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Old 28th November 2012, 12:43 AM   #12
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Do I want to be be shredded into a zillion pieces and then have a perfect clone of me created elsewhere?

Nah, no thanks. The lights will go out for me as soon as that teleporter activates. Regardless of what the clone on the other end says.

I might be onboard that folding space thingamajig though.
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Old 28th November 2012, 12:46 AM   #13
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I dont understand when "teleporting" via data copies, Why sci fi writers feel it is nesseasry to deconstruct the original (why maintain the illusion that the persons matter is actually being transported when its not?) I could just step in have my data sent of say, to Mars complete with all my knowledge and charaterisitics up to that point and the Earth me steps out again continuing my life, while the Mars copy steps out and continues his life. Atomising or Deconstructing the original is just dumb and unnecessary.

Aside from that, as far as I know in any situation where you make a copy of something (including cellular reproduction) there is always some degridation. Wouldn't this degridation be mulitplied everytime you teleported a copy which died and a copy of that copy stepped out?

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Old 28th November 2012, 12:54 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hungry81 View Post
I dont understand when "teleporting" via data copies, Why sci fi writers feel it is nesseasry to deconstruct the original (why maintain the illusion that the persons matter is actually being transported when its not?) I could just step in have my data sent of say, to Mars complete with all my knowledge and charaterisitics up to that point and the Earth me steps out again continuing my life, while the Mars copy steps out and continues his life. Atomising or Deconstructing the original is just dumb and unnecessary.
As I said, quantum teleportation is weird that way, it would require destroying the original

Now, maybe we're only teleporting classical information; it would certainly be easier to do this, and I suspect that it would be a good enough copy that the copy and the original would be indistinguishable, for instance they'd have the same personality

However, I don't think I'd step into a teleporter that only transfers classical information, for the same reason as everyone else in this thread
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Old 28th November 2012, 01:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hungry81 View Post
I dont understand when "teleporting" via data copies, Why sci fi writers feel it is nesseasry to deconstruct the original (why maintain the illusion that the persons matter is actually being transported when its not?) I could just step in have my data sent of say, to Mars complete with all my knowledge and charaterisitics up to that point and the Earth me steps out again continuing my life, while the Mars copy steps out and continues his life. Atomising or Deconstructing the original is just dumb and unnecessary.
Good point. And you could also make copies of yourself without even going anywhere (well, as long as they're "disposable").

Quote:
Aside from that, as far as I know in any situation where you make a copy of something (including cellular reproduction) there is always some degridation. Wouldn't this degridation be mulitplied everytime you teleported a copy which died and a copy of that copy stepped out?
I don't think that would be much of a problem, seeing as how our DNA is normally breaking and getting repaired 1000 to 1000000 times a day, in every cell!

Not to mention that due to the 10-year average molecular turnover, we're always being slowly "transported" into a new body. It's only the continuity of our pattern that matters.
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Old 28th November 2012, 01:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hungry81 View Post
I dont understand when "teleporting" via data copies, Why sci fi writers feel it is nesseasry to deconstruct the original (why maintain the illusion that the persons matter is actually being transported when its not?) I could just step in have my data sent of say, to Mars complete with all my knowledge and charaterisitics up to that point and the Earth me steps out again continuing my life, while the Mars copy steps out and continues his life.
Which one of you would own that 1960's Triumph Bonneville in the garage?

My worry would be how the teleport machine would reconstruct my immortal soul.

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Old 28th November 2012, 01:40 AM   #17
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I'd use it, just not on myself. I like the idea of teleporting weird things into odd places.
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Old 28th November 2012, 03:38 AM   #18
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For the same reason almost every one else has said, I would not use a "StarTrek" transporter, It kills you, and then creates a copy elsewhere. I would be happy to transfer Physical goods via it, although I would have to think twice about sending something that had a lot of personal meaning. After all it might be a perfect copy, but it is still a copy.

I remember taking a philosophical test on-line some where that asked this question and others, and then tried to tell you what your philosophy was. It said that I was inconsistent for some reason because I was a materialist, yet I would not use the transporter. I disagreed! ;-) I'd love to take the test again, but I cant find it.

Also the stargates used in "Stargate SG1" do effectively the same thing, so I wouldn't use those either. (Just ignore this part when I watch. ;-) )
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Old 28th November 2012, 04:59 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
I remember taking a philosophical test on-line some where that asked this question and others, and then tried to tell you what your philosophy was. It said that I was inconsistent for some reason because I was a materialist, yet I would not use the transporter. I disagreed! ;-) I'd love to take the test again, but I cant find it.
Was it by any chance one of Julian Baggini and Jeremy Stangroom's tests? They turned them into a book, Do You Think What You Think You Think? I think they asked other questions as well, one involving a choice of whether to download your mind to a computer in the case of some sort of neurodegenerative disease, in an attempt to identify apparent contradictions. I read it at the start of the year, and got a clean bill of philosophical health!

I liked their approach to the question, because it seems like a scary and unnecessary risk in isolation, but by setting up various scenarios, it teases out some interesting ideas about how we see ourselves. I don't find it an appealing option, but in their scenario, which discounted the very reasonable practical quibbles, I said I'd take the transporter.
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Old 28th November 2012, 05:56 AM   #20
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I'd go with apparation every time.
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Old 28th November 2012, 05:56 AM   #21
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No, I'd much prefer a brief vacation over to the "Mirror" universe, where the women dress in black leather and have pleasingly loose morals.

Wouldn't want to live there, though!
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Old 28th November 2012, 05:57 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
For the same reason almost every one else has said, I would not use a "StarTrek" transporter, It kills you, and then creates a copy elsewhere.
I donít think you would know anything about it. If everything about you is reconstructed at the far end - your brain patterns, memories etc etc - then it is in effect you. Isnít it??
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:03 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Yorkie View Post
I donít think you would know anything about it. If everything about you is reconstructed at the far end - your brain patterns, memories etc etc - then it is in effect you. Isnít it??

Let's simplify the question even more. Say the teleporter does kill you (assume painlessly) while creating a copy elsewhere.

Why is that a problem?

Specifically, exactly what is your objection to dying, that is not resolved by the creation of the identical copy?
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:08 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Yorkie View Post
I donít think you would know anything about it.
I agree. You'd be dead, and wouldn't know anything about anything.
Quote:
If everything about you is reconstructed at the far end - your brain patterns, memories etc etc - then it is in effect you. Isnít it??
Yes. In every observable way, the new me would be me. I wouldn't be me. I would not be looking out of the copy's eyes. I'd be dead.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:12 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Yes. In every observable way, the new me would be me. I wouldn't be me. I would not be looking out of the copy's eyes. I'd be dead.
I've highlighted the bit that I see as important. Why wouldn't you be you? What aspect of "you" would be absent? You would have the same appearance, the same thought processes, the same memories, the same dodgy knee, you'd even remember walking into the transporter. What else is necessary to make you "you"?
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:12 AM   #26
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I am very skeptical of teleporting, and not just because of the physics, which is racked with issues. There's all sorts of philosophical issues with it too, like if you can reconstruct the subject, why not use the energy to reconstruct the previous subject instead? Or would you like to die and be replaced by an identical copy of yourself who just happens to walk like you, talk like you, and have the same memories as you had. Note the past tense. Or why not just use it as a weapon? Beam 'em up Scotty, only materialise them in the middle of a sun. There's a whole can of worms in there which gets swept under the carpet.

ETA:

Originally Posted by PhantomWolf
The only type of teleporter I'd feel comfortable using is like the ones described in L Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth (the book not the rubbish movie) That one folded space so that the two points existed in the same place for a moment before unfolding it again.
Yeah, great teleporter that. Unlike the Star Trek transporter, it's kind of "credible". By the way, when I finally watched BattleField Earth, I thought it was really good!

Last edited by Farsight; 28th November 2012 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:12 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
The only type of teleporter I'd feel comfortable using is like the ones described in L Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth (the rubbish book not the rubbish movie)
ftfy!
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:14 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
For the same reason almost every one else has said, I would not use a "StarTrek" transporter, It kills you, and then creates a copy elsewhere. I would be happy to transfer Physical goods via it, although I would have to think twice about sending something that had a lot of personal meaning. After all it might be a perfect copy, but it is still a copy.

I remember taking a philosophical test on-line some where that asked this question and others, and then tried to tell you what your philosophy was. It said that I was inconsistent for some reason because I was a materialist, yet I would not use the transporter. I disagreed! ;-) I'd love to take the test again, but I cant find it.

Also the stargates used in "Stargate SG1" do effectively the same thing, so I wouldn't use those either. (Just ignore this part when I watch. ;-) )
It was my understanding Star Trek transporters disassembled you and beamed (the beam part of "Beam me up") those actual particles down and then reassembled them in their original positions.

That I would have no problem with.

Later trek even kept all the particles and their energies functionally interacting during the beaming so you remained conscious, and could even talk to fellow beamees. If you do the former, this part is even theoretically possible.

Later Trek also introduced new quantum-level transporters, by which I assume they disassemble you down to quarks and electrons rather than atoms and molecules. The latter is now only used for big cargo bay transporters.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:15 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Hungry81 View Post
I dont understand when "teleporting" via data copies, Why sci fi writers feel it is nesseasry to deconstruct the original (why maintain the illusion that the persons matter is actually being transported when its not?) I could just step in have my data sent of say, to Mars complete with all my knowledge and charaterisitics up to that point and the Earth me steps out again continuing my life, while the Mars copy steps out and continues his life. Atomising or Deconstructing the original is just dumb and unnecessary.
See The Collapsium by Wil McCarthy.

(Its sequel trilogy examines the subject in more detail, but where The Collapsium is a delightful super-science romp, the sequels are kind of depressing.)
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:23 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
I agree. You'd be dead, and wouldn't know anything about anything.
No you wouldn't be dead. If absolutely everthing was copied you are still you but in a different place. You are your memories, thoughts and feelings not the stuff you are made from.

Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Yes. In every observable way, the new me would be me. I wouldn't be me. I would not be looking out of the copy's eyes. I'd be dead.
You are still you looking out of your eyes. Your body keeps 'renewing' every x amount of years but you are still you. Nothing different in a transporter expect that the 'renew' happens almost instantly.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:28 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Hungry81 View Post
I dont understand when "teleporting" via data copies, Why sci fi writers feel it is nesseasry to deconstruct the original (why maintain the illusion that the persons matter is actually being transported when its not?) I could just step in have my data sent of say, to Mars complete with all my knowledge and charaterisitics up to that point and the Earth me steps out again continuing my life, while the Mars copy steps out and continues his life. Atomising or Deconstructing the original is just dumb and unnecessary.


This sort of copying was used in a couple of books by Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson, collectively known as the Saga of Cuckoo. It still had its problems.

On the one hand, the copy that steps out of the machine on the far end got pissed off, because he expected to be the one who would be going back to his house that night, and instead, he was billions of miles away, and would never see home again. In another case, it was the one who stepped out of the near end who was pissed off, because he was still in the crashing ship(? or something like that), and was still going to die, when he was expecting to be safe and sound.

Basically, each copy started hating the other copies for all sorts of reasons.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:41 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Yorkie View Post
No you wouldn't be dead. If absolutely everthing was copied you are still you but in a different place. You are your memories, thoughts and feelings not the stuff you are made from.
And if there were two of you? See above.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:50 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
And if there were two of you? See above.
To avoid such a dilemma you would have to be deconstructed at the originating end. You would not be killed just reconstructed somewhere else. As I've said though - everything would have to be copied exactly.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:52 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
I don't think I would. I would be too afraid that a mess up in the transmission would leave me without skin on the other side or something. Or, for that matter, that I might apparate someplace where I shouldn't be apparating. You know like half of me is in a rock or something.

And what would happen if a person was standing where I beam into?

I would not but for another reason. Capitain Kirk died at Star Trek the original Serie at episode 1.

You "kill" the original , transmit the info, then resconstruct the other points. It is a poor consolation for the original that an exact copy of him will be created at the end which will not remember being destroyed.

Anyway the star trek teleporter was more magic to make more plot lines and avoid expansive set than anything else, it could create good and evil twin for example. Think about it.

Now a portable wormhole that would be anotehr story .
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:59 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Recovering Agnostic View Post
I've highlighted the bit that I see as important. Why wouldn't you be you? What aspect of "you" would be absent? You would have the same appearance, the same thought processes, the same memories, the same dodgy knee, you'd even remember walking into the transporter. What else is necessary to make you "you"?
As usually in thsi thread there is a confusion. What you look like from the universe perspective minus you, and what would be the effect on you.

Let me ask you this, would you be fine if I am allowed to kill you , completely butcher you, and make sure everybody would agree you would be killed, in an horrific and terrible pain, then generate a clone atoms by atoms of you which in he has the exact same as you had before the process and would not be differentiable from the universe perspective ?

Remember you were definitively killed. The other has the same memory, but is not you. just a copy.

If i recall correctely (not a given) this was by the way the false equivocation which was also in that philosophical test. It was equivalenting "having the memory erased of being tortured" with "having you killed then reconsitituted before the killing". They are only equivalent in a philosopher mind.
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:00 AM   #36
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It might be worth differentiating between different lines of discussion. On the one hand, there are the practical considerations - how it would work in real life, the potential risks, reliability, tests, necessary safeguards and so on. Then there are the moral and ethical issues - whether it's right or appropriate to kill someone just because they've been recreated exactly somewhere else, for example. Finally, there's the thought experiment angle - if it was possible, safe and necessary, but the only way of doing it was to blast one person into tiny bits and recreate them somewhere else, would you do it, and would the newly created person be the same as the person you started out with?

To be honest, I think the idea falls at the practical level, but it's still interesting as a thought experiment.
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:03 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Yorkie View Post
No you wouldn't be dead. If absolutely everthing was copied you are still you but in a different place. You are your memories, thoughts and feelings not the stuff you are made from.



You are still you looking out of your eyes. Your body keeps 'renewing' every x amount of years but you are still you. Nothing different in a transporter expect that the 'renew' happens almost instantly.
No you are what you are made from, and when that is gone be it dematerialized or decomposed into rot, you are dead. ETA: you are an *emerging* property of that material. Destroy the material and that emerging property is gone. It does not matter if you construct an *exact* equivalent copy somewhere else.

You are confusing or making the false equivalency of separating the memory+thought, and the holder of it (body). This nearly beg an elan vital or a soul.

An identical clon of you atom by atom is not you. It is a copy which is indiferentiable by the external universe, true, but you died. Your consciousness is not continuying. The cosnciousness of the copy started the moment it was created, but with already made memory.

Last edited by Aepervius; 28th November 2012 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:05 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Yorkie View Post
To avoid such a dilemma you would have to be deconstructed at the originating end. You would not be killed just reconstructed somewhere else. As I've said though - everything would have to be copied exactly.
It is being killed but just with a cosmetic euphemism to help swallow the philosophy behind it.
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:07 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
As usually in thsi thread there is a confusion. What you look like from the universe perspective minus you, and what would be the effect on you.

Let me ask you this, would you be fine if I am allowed to kill you , completely butcher you, and make sure everybody would agree you would be killed, in an horrific and terrible pain, then generate a clone atoms by atoms of you which in he has the exact same as you had before the process and would not be differentiable from the universe perspective ?

Remember you were definitively killed. The other has the same memory, but is not you. just a copy.

If i recall correctely (not a given) this was by the way the false equivocation which was also in that philosophical test. It was equivalenting "having the memory erased of being tortured" with "having you killed then reconsitituted before the killing". They are only equivalent in a philosopher mind.
Some of my cells have regenerated since the message you're replying to was posted, so you're arguing with someone who doesn't exist.
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:08 AM   #40
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