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Tags star trek , teleportation

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Old 6th December 2012, 12:27 AM   #361
Jomante
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Originally Posted by Edx View Post
I find it hard to understand why this is so difficult
I have to totally laugh at that statement because I was thinking that same thing not that long ago.

I think I somewhat understand their viewpoint now, but I don't know that there is anything I could say that they haven't already. I'll give it a shot.

Consider transteleporting a plant. If it was transteleported from the market to your house, you've got a plant, a clone of what was originally in the market. But what difference does it make? Doesn't it look and smell the same as the original? Isn't the original gone now? Who will it matter to that it isn't the original? Sure, you'd know that it wasn't the original plant, but so what? The original plant exists no longer and you have the only copy and it is a perfect copy. So it shouldn't matter to you, it shouldn't matter to anyone. It would be silly to suggest that it matters to the plant. But that's the path you're going down.

You'd say "yeah, but it doesn't have any identity/individuality/whatever" and their contention is that neither do you. You have an illusion of it.

What is the purpose of life? To spread your DNA? To make a difference in the world? That clone of you will take your place, will do what you would have done. It has your thoughts, your memories, your DNA. So what makes you different from your identical clone? Nothing. It's identical, or identical enough that it makes no difference in the outcome.

But it matters to the original illusion of self. The original is disassembled. The atoms continue to exist in another form, but the illusion of self attached to THOSE atoms is now gone. And that seems significant, but it isn't. It isn't significant to the atoms that used to participate in that illusion. That illusion of self exists now with other atoms, arranged to be your DNA. So that is fundamentally you, even though the original you no longer exists. To say that it matters to original you would mean your original illusion of self would have to exist outside of those atoms, and it doesn't. Your illusion of self does not matter, it isn't anything. It is only an illusion. Thus it should be able to accept that a continuation of the illusion in another place is sufficient for the purposes of the individual cells and the collective body as a whole, and that is the preservation of the DNA and whatever other purposes your illusion of self deems important. It may seem disquieting that it will be disassembled, but that's not significant when we're talking about something that doesn't really exist, is merely a construct for processing inputs.
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Old 6th December 2012, 02:03 AM   #362
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Originally Posted by Edx View Post
Its really very simple.

(snip)

... there is no difference from the perspective of the person using the teleporter to someone who just decided to kill themselves without using the teleporter.

(snip)

If you can teleport something like a dog, it may be perfectly fine to you, because to you see it as exactly the same. But from the perspective of the dog (if had that much cognitive ability) it died.
It is indeed very simple: you are trying to look at the issue from a perspective that does not exist. You can't do that and come up with meaningful conclusions.

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If you could create an exact copy of you right now, would you be happy to kill yourself because your copy lived on?
No, because in that situation my perspective does exist.
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Old 6th December 2012, 09:46 AM   #363
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Originally Posted by Earthborn View Post
No, because in that situation my perspective does exist.
Well as far as its been explained to me thats no difference to what happens in the teleporter.

Last edited by Edx; 6th December 2012 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 6th December 2012, 09:56 AM   #364
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Originally Posted by Jomante View Post

Consider transteleporting a plant. If it was transteleported from the market to your house, you've got a plant, a clone of what was originally in the market. But what difference does it make? Doesn't it look and smell the same as the original? Isn't the original gone now? Who will it matter to that it isn't the original? Sure, you'd know that it wasn't the original plant, but so what? The original plant exists no longer and you have the only copy and it is a perfect copy. So it shouldn't matter to you, it shouldn't matter to anyone. It would be silly to suggest that it matters to the plant. But that's the path you're going down.
No because if you are "the plant" then you would care, but from the perspective of everyone else you arent dead since from the copies perspective it never died as the memories of what happened before you pressed "engage" were also copied. But a copy is still two different entities.


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You'd say "yeah, but it doesn't have any identity/individuality/whatever" and their contention is that neither do you. You have an illusion of it.
As I said they are looking at it as if they are a god, to them it doesnt matter if they die so long as something that has the exact same configuration of matter exists. From a gods perspective it might well look like its irrelevant, but to you, the entity being destroyed, it does matter.

Quote:
What is the purpose of life? To spread your DNA? To make a difference in the world? That clone of you will take your place, will do what you would have done. It has your thoughts, your memories, your DNA. So what makes you different from your identical clone? Nothing. It's identical, or identical enough that it makes no difference in the outcome.
And its just as much an illusion as thinking that spreading your DNA will have any effect on your life. If a copy of my conciousness got to live forever, why should I care? My conciousness and personality doesnt matter to me because I think Im special, it matters to me because I dont want to stop thinking and have my brain destroyed. If someone created an exact replica of me upon death, it wouldnt make me feel any better about death because when I close my eyes for the last time Im not going to open them in that copies body. And it doesnt matter to me that from the copies perspective thats just how they perceive it, they will still only ever be a copy.

As I said, if this is the logic then there should be no problem with the idea of taking a gun, putting it in your mouth and blowing your head off IF you could first created an exact copy of you in every way.


Quote:
And that seems significant, but it isn't.
It is significant to the original, which now lies in a bloody heap on the floor with his brains splattered on the wall. He's still just as dead as he would be even if no copy was created.

Last edited by Edx; 6th December 2012 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 6th December 2012, 10:21 AM   #365
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Originally Posted by Edx View Post
If we are working from the principle that the teleporter isnt transporting anything only scanning and sending information for a copy to be built somewhere else, then as I see it there is no difference from the perspective of the person using the teleporter to someone who just decided to kill themselves without using the teleporter.
That is correct, but refers only to the simulation the brain runs, not actual material reality.

It seems as though there is someone living in the brain experiencing things. But it is in reality only a simulation, albeit a highly enduring one, as threads like this demonstrate!

Now, if there is no one actually there, merely a simulation, and you perfectly replicate the hardware that creates the simulation, then exactly what has died?

This is the question that this thought experiment asks of materialists.

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Old 6th December 2012, 10:53 AM   #366
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
That is correct, but refers only to the simulation the brain runs, not actual material reality.

It seems as though there is someone living in the brain experiencing things. But it is in reality only a simulation, albeit a highly enduring one, as threads like this demonstrate!

Now, if there is no one actually there, merely a simulation, and you perfectly replicate the hardware that creates the simulation, then exactly what has died?

This is the question that this thought experiment asks of materialists.

I fail to see any difference whatsoever.

I asked you a question, if you could make a machine that could create an exact replica of you in every way from the moment you pressed "COPY", would you be perfectly happy to stick a gun in your mouth and blow your brains out?

As I said to someone else, I dont care about my personality and conciousness because I believe Im special somehow and I dont care about a copy of me walking around for eternity or travelling to far off galaxies. I only care that I am able to experience those things, not a copy of me, me. And I dont see any difference between me dying without a copy living on, and me dying with a copy living on. To me Im still just as dead either way. Other people might perceive a difference, but that has no effect on me. I wont get to die then open my eyes as the copy.

Last edited by Edx; 6th December 2012 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 6th December 2012, 11:14 AM   #367
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Originally Posted by Edx View Post
I only care that I am able to experience those things, not a copy of me, me.
And the point is that your concept of "I" and "me" transcends materialism - it requires a concept of "self", some sort of coherent entity that lives inside your brain, that materialism denies exists.

You insist that replacing yourself with an identical copy would involve somebody different experiencing what you experience, and you would be gone. Materialism disagrees.
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Old 6th December 2012, 11:26 AM   #368
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
Why should a brain not care that it is about to cease functioning? I think we think the same thing; that a copy is made and that the original dies. but for some reason you don't care that an individual has died, is that right?
No, I indeed think that my subjective (illusionary) existence will continue if I go through a destructive teleporter. I consider any being whose memories and personality are similar or even identical to my current ones to be "me". Why? Because I am nothing but the sum of those memories and personality traits (which body they come from doesn't matter). I am not some entity they are attached too, I am precisely them.
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Old 6th December 2012, 11:28 AM   #369
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
And the point is that your concept of "I" and "me" transcends materialism - it requires a concept of "self", some sort of coherent entity that lives inside your brain, that materialism denies exists.

You insist that replacing yourself with an identical copy would involve somebody different experiencing what you experience, and you would be gone. Materialism disagrees.
Conciousness is created from the arrangement of parts in my brain. If I create a copy, there is now two identical conciousness', two identical brains, two identical "ME's". They are each identical but they each have their own perspective because they are not connected to each other.

Now if you make a copy of yourself then stick a gun in your mouth and blow your brains out, all that means is your exact arrangement of atoms and molecules that make up your brain still function in the universe. But this doesnt help you, because your brain is splattered over the wall and unable to experience anything ever again.

It is the opposite of materialism to think that you're going to be able to live on just because there's a copy of you, because the argument is you're connected to that other brain somehow JUST BECAUSE its exact arrangement of parts is identical to yours.

Last edited by Edx; 6th December 2012 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 6th December 2012, 11:51 AM   #370
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Originally Posted by Edx View Post
Conciousness is created from the arrangement of parts in my brain.
And consciousness begins every morning when you wake up and your brain "reboots" from your existing memories and neural structure.

A brain, by the way, which is made up of at least some different atoms from the brain that ran your consciousness yesterday.

You have yet to explain why you consider it "dying" to be teleported but not to go to sleep.
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Old 6th December 2012, 12:07 PM   #371
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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 never step into such a contraption.

The principle of such a device is to kill you, and then create a perfect copy from your pattern. To me, this creates a number of issues:

1) Is it moral to destroy an individual to create a copy ? I mean, the device does both simultaneously but, it's not different from doing it minutes, hours or years apart. And how about creating several copies, instead ?

2) What if the device malfunctions and creates the copy without killing the original ? Do we kill the original forcibly because we only want to keep one ? And if we don't, how can the copy live his life, without access to the original's bank account, job, etc. ? Does he get visiting rights to the original's family ? Does he get to walk the original's dog ?

3) What if the copy isn't quite the same because of a copying error, or because the pattern was improperly stored ? What then ? Or what if we realise the copy is wrong years later ? You can't go back to the original because the pattern has been lost.

4) My personal problem with it, however, is that, for anyone else, including the copy, nothing has changed, so long as the device works properly. For the original, however, he has ceased to exist. I don't want to cease to exist, even if an exact duplicate of me continues to live my life. If the original is mistakingly not killed, the two me's don't share their thoughts, so when the device works properly, I'm destroyed. I take issue with being destroyed.

No, not stepping into those.
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Old 6th December 2012, 12:10 PM   #372
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Originally Posted by Avalon
You have yet to explain why you consider it "dying" to be teleported but not to go to sleep.
For most values of "me", "me" stops existing. I don't consider an exact duplicate of me to be me, otherwise, if the thing malfunctions, you can end up being several people at the same time, which is a logical impossibility.
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Old 6th December 2012, 12:15 PM   #373
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Originally Posted by Edx View Post
I asked you a question, if you could make a machine that could create an exact replica of you in every way from the moment you pressed "COPY", would you be perfectly happy to stick a gun in your mouth and blow your brains out?.
No, I wouldn't. You wouldn't catch me getting inside the transport pod either, as I wrote earlier in the thread.

However, as a materialist, I have to accept that this decision is entirely irrational.

I'm refusing to do it because my body has been conditioned through countless aeons of natural selection to strongly resist death.

And even though I know intellectually that there can be no one there to die, emotionally there's no sodding way I'm going to push that button!

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Old 6th December 2012, 12:26 PM   #374
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
No, I wouldn't. You wouldn't catch me getting inside the transport pod either, as I wrote earlier in the thread.

However, as a materialist, I have to accept that this decision is entirely irrational.

I'm refusing to do it because my body has been conditioned through countless aeons of natural selection to strongly resist death.

And even though I know intellectually that there can be no one there to die, emotionally there's no sodding way I'm going to push that button!

Nick

But only if, for some bizarre reason known only perhaps to you, your hairdresser and your priest (and maybe your and their clones), you subscribe to some truncated version of materialism where location isn't a physical property. Under physicalismWP, which is just materialism expanded and updated to include modern physics, location is a physical property of objects. Two objects identical in every respect except location are not the same object (local system identity a function of space-time integrity & continuity). Therefore, as a physicalist it's completely rational to not step in the transporter pod; would be insane to do otherwise. Right?
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Old 6th December 2012, 12:45 PM   #375
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
For most values of "me", "me" stops existing. I don't consider an exact duplicate of me to be me, otherwise, if the thing malfunctions, you can end up being several people at the same time, which is a logical impossibility.
I don't see why being several people at the same time is a logical impossibility.

Again, our current understanding of identity is based on the current reality of distinct thought processes and experiences. If it were possible to replicate those thought processes and experiences, I don't see any reason that all of the resulting beings would not meaningfully be "me," at least until they have enough different experiences to become effectively distinct.
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Old 6th December 2012, 12:52 PM   #376
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Originally Posted by blobru View Post
But only if, for some bizarre reason known only perhaps to you, your hairdresser and your priest (and maybe your and their clones), you subscribe to some truncated version of materialism where location isn't a physical property. Under physicalismWP, which is just materialism expanded and updated to include modern physics, location is a physical property of objects. Two objects identical in every respect except location are not the same object. Therefore, as a physicalist it's completely rational to not step in the transporter pod; would be insane to do otherwise. Right?
Again, you're ignoring the problem of establishing the parameters of identity.

Yes, two objects in different physical locations are not the same -- which means, of course, that an object that moves from one location to another has changed and is now a different object. Even so, you don't think it's insane to walk around, or to go to sleep and wake up, or even to allow the very material of your body to be exchanged.

What that means is that we establish parameters for our identity that are significantly broader than "this object right here as defined by physicalism." There is, in fact, a infinite set of objects, one in every instant of time, that you have decided is "you."

So, with that in mind, you need to justify why, under physicalism, it is reasonable for each of those infinitely-many different objects to be called "you" but unreasonable for this other object, this materially identical brain that has all the same memories and thoughts as you were having before, to be called "you." What property distinguishes this object from all of those other objects, and why does moving from one to another of those still count as "you" but moving from one of those to this counts as "somebody else"?
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Old 6th December 2012, 12:55 PM   #377
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Old 6th December 2012, 01:05 PM   #378
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Again, you're ignoring the problem of establishing the parameters of identity.

Yes, two objects in different physical locations are not the same -- which means, of course, that an object that moves from one location to another has changed and is now a different object. Even so, you don't think it's insane to walk around, or to go to sleep and wake up, or even to allow the very material of your body to be exchanged.

What that means is that we establish parameters for our identity that are significantly broader than "this object right here as defined by physicalism." There is, in fact, a infinite set of objects, one in every instant of time, that you have decided is "you."

So, with that in mind, you need to justify why, under physicalism, it is reasonable for each of those infinitely-many different objects to be called "you" but unreasonable for this other object, this materially identical brain that has all the same memories and thoughts as you were having before, to be called "you." What property distinguishes this object from all of those other objects, and why does moving from one to another of those still count as "you" but moving from one of those to this counts as "somebody else"?

Sorry for the late edit (above). The integrity and continuity of the material system changing location physically (under physical law) is "identity". Physicalism doesn't deny objects change location. Only that they can do so without a continuous physical history of change in the location property (or where that change violates integrity).
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Old 6th December 2012, 01:12 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by blobru View Post
The integrity and continuity of the material system changing location physically (under physical law) is identity.
I disagree. Identity is a property of consciousness, which is an emergent property of the brain. Whatever illusion of continuity you maintain about the material system is irrelevant; if the brain wakes up in a similar state to the one it fell asleep in, it's the same person. If it doesn't, it's not. This is the only meaningful materialist way to describe identity.

And by the way, "physicalism" is supposed to accept modern physics, which means it also accepts the physical principle that particles are not physically distinct - identical particles are actually identical and it's not meaningful to ask, for instance, which one had which history prior to an interaction. Which I think blows this whole metaphysical idea of "continuity" you're trying to peddle out of the water.
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Old 6th December 2012, 01:56 PM   #380
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
I disagree. Identity is a property of consciousness, which is an emergent property of the brain.
That's a common notion of identity, yes (all kinds of kinds and definitions).

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Whatever illusion of continuity you maintain about the material system is irrelevant; if the brain wakes up in a similar state to the one it fell asleep in, it's the same person. If it doesn't, it's not. This is the only meaningful materialist way to describe identity.
Why would the continuity of the material system be irrelevant? If, according to physicalism, consciousness is a physical activity some parts of a living body are engaged in sometimes, then establishing the identity of the living body would seem not only meaningful but fundamental, a necessary condition for the identity of any of its activities (though not sufficient, mind you: if the structure of the living body, the nervous system in particular, is altered so suddenly and/or radically it violates some limit for "integrity" (what limit very much open to debate, but the structures whose activation associate reflection with memories and embodiment, present thoughts with narrative awareness and physical awareness, seem crucial; ongoing research, however, and not a case where one could ever hope to draw a hard line anyway, I don't think)).

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And by the way, "physicalism" is supposed to accept modern physics, which means it also accepts the physical principle that particles are not physically distinct - identical particles are actually identical and it's not meaningful to ask, for instance, which one had which history prior to an interaction.
They can't be identical in physical location, or there wouldn't be separate particles to interact. But having established they are separate particles, the only thing relevant to their physical interaction is their physical properties, yes (although we do speak of a particle's or object's world lineWP, as relevant to distinguishing each particle before and after).

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Which I think blows this whole metaphysical idea of "continuity" you're trying to peddle out of the water.
If that's the case, physicists can just quit worrying about those silly world lines, I guess. (Good objections, btw; enjoy the challenge to the metaphysical ideas I'm trying to peddle; will either learn something more by defending them, refining, revising, or abandoning them [should their peddler's market-value drop to $0].)
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Old 6th December 2012, 02:13 PM   #381
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Originally Posted by blobru View Post
They can't be identical in physical location, or there wouldn't be separate particles to interact. But having established they are separate particles, the only thing relevant to their physical interaction is their physical properties, yes (although we do speak of a particle's or object's world lineWP, as relevant to distinguishing each particle before and after).
If two of the same kind of particle interact and then separate, it's not meaningful to ask which particle was which prior to the interaction. From a quantum physics point of view, these identical objects aren't just conceptually indistinguishable; they're actually physically interchangeable. Their "world lines" intersect, then which is which becomes a meaningless question.
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Old 6th December 2012, 02:19 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
If two of the same kind of particle interact and then separate, it's not meaningful to ask which particle was which prior to the interaction. From a quantum physics point of view, these identical objects aren't just conceptually indistinguishable; they're actually physically interchangeable. Their "world lines" intersect, then which is which becomes a meaningless question.

Yup, good ol' quantum entanglement. Are you suggesting the teleporter is a [massive, macroscopic] case of entanglement somehow?
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Old 6th December 2012, 02:24 PM   #383
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Originally Posted by blobru View Post
Yup, good ol' quantum entanglement. Are you suggesting the teleporter is a [massive, macroscopic] case of entanglement somehow?
Well, I think it can work us into an interesting set of experiments for showing the problem with using "physical continuity" (rather than mental processes) as the cornerstone of identity.
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Old 6th December 2012, 02:29 PM   #384
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
I don't see why being several people at the same time is a logical impossibility.
I've tried countless times to get an answer to my faulty teleporter scenario and NO ONE has ever given me an answer. At all. Let's try again, expanded:

1) Assuming the device malfunctions and creates two Avalons, do they share their experiences ? I assume you'll say no, but I'll let you answer that one.

2) Assuming you answered "no" to (1), then you recognise that both are not the same person since, if they coexist, they are two separate consciousnesses and two separate identities. So here's a second question, again assuming you said "no": Why are they the same person if the device works properly and the original is instead destroyed ?

3) If you answered "yes" to (1), explain.

Quote:
Again, our current understanding of identity is based on the current reality of distinct thought processes and experiences. If it were possible to replicate those thought processes and experiences, I don't see any reason that all of the resulting beings would not meaningfully be "me," at least until they have enough different experiences to become effectively distinct.
Because, in the faulty teleporter scenario, both the copy and the original are refering to a different entity when they say "me". When the copy is saying "me", he isn't refering to the guy in the first pod, whether or not he is told that he survived the procedure. To argue so is to invent an insane definition of self.
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Old 6th December 2012, 02:32 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
I disagree. Identity is a property of consciousness, which is an emergent property of the brain.
Of a brain. Two brains, two consciousnesses.

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Whatever illusion of continuity you maintain about the material system is irrelevant
Except that the illusion only works for the copy. The original has no illusion anymore.
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Old 6th December 2012, 02:36 PM   #386
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Well, I think it can work us into an interesting set of experiments for showing the problem with using "physical continuity" (rather than mental processes) as the cornerstone of identity.

I agree. It's not possible, afawk, in this universe, so might as well stick with my physicalist continuity [& integrity] peddling as long as I'm here absent new discoveries; but in a universe where it IS possible - yikes! - going to need some time to think that over (and talk it over with my clones; yours are invited if they're not too too busy: "AvalonXQ-113, blobru-477; blobru-477, AvalonXQ-113... maybe we'd better skip the introductions...").
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Old 6th December 2012, 02:37 PM   #387
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I've tried countless times to get an answer to my faulty teleporter scenario and NO ONE has ever given me an answer. At all. Let's try again, expanded:

1) Assuming the device malfunctions and creates two Avalons, do they share their experiences ? I assume you'll say no, but I'll let you answer that one.

2) Assuming you answered "no" to (1), then you recognise that both are not the same person since, if they coexist, they are two separate consciousnesses and two separate identities. So here's a second question, again assuming you said "no": Why are they the same person if the device works properly and the original is instead destroyed ?

3) If you answered "yes" to (1), explain.



Because, in the faulty teleporter scenario, both the copy and the original are refering to a different entity when they say "me". When the copy is saying "me", he isn't refering to the guy in the first pod, whether or not he is told that he survived the procedure. To argue so is to invent an insane definition of self.
Okay, the problem here is with indistinct terminology.

Certainly if you create two Avalons, you have two Avalons and not one Avalon.

However, my point is that they are both Avalon. They are not "the same person" in the sense of only being one person, but they're "the same person" in that they share the same identity. It's not one Avalon and one non-Avalon; there's not one original who's "really Avalon" and one other who's "really someone else." Since Avalon is defined in terms of Avalon's memories and thought processes, both brains are running the Avalon process, not just one of them.

And that's what I mean when I say, from a materialist point of view, the only problem with disassembling Avalon here and reassembling him somewhere else is that he's moved. Nothing is lost. Because there's nothing special about the matter that makes Avalon up, or the particular instance of the process that runs first. Continuity of consciousness is illusory; any physical copy of the matter that runs the Avalon process is equivalent to any other.
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Old 6th December 2012, 06:05 PM   #388
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Okay, the problem here is with indistinct terminology.
I don't think so, and I think if you follow through and answer Belz' questions some of the issues with your position will become clear.

Quote:
Certainly if you create two Avalons, you have two Avalons and not one Avalon.

However, my point is that they are both Avalon. They are not "the same person" in the sense of only being one person, but they're "the same person" in that they share the same identity.
OK, maybe there is an issue with terminology here, because there are multiple meanings of identity (qualitative, numerical and others).

If you were to clone me, no-one would dispute that the other clone has as much claim to being Mijin. However, he is not me. Because, when it comes to the crunch, I don't define myself by how I look (I could have plastic surgery and still be me), or my memories (I could get amnesia and still be me) or my DNA (I could discover I have an identical twin and still there is only one me).

Me is this single instance of consciousness. In a room containing 10 clones of Mijin, at most one is me.
If you were to stick a pin in one Mijin, and they all feel pain, then we can talk about them being one shared me. But that's not the scenario on the table here. We're talking about making a second instance of consciousness and then switching off the first.
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Old 6th December 2012, 07:19 PM   #389
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
No, I wouldn't. You wouldn't catch me getting inside the transport pod either, as I wrote earlier in the thread.

However, as a materialist, I have to accept that this decision is entirely irrational.
How ironic, then. I actually would, even while considering it to be my own personal death.

However, as a materialist, I have to accept that this decision is entirely irrational.


Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Okay, the problem here is with indistinct terminology.

Certainly if you create two Avalons, you have two Avalons and not one Avalon.

However, my point is that they are both Avalon. They are not "the same person" in the sense of only being one person, but they're "the same person" in that they share the same identity. It's not one Avalon and one non-Avalon; there's not one original who's "really Avalon" and one other who's "really someone else." Since Avalon is defined in terms of Avalon's memories and thought processes, both brains are running the Avalon process, not just one of them.

And that's what I mean when I say, from a materialist point of view, the only problem with disassembling Avalon here and reassembling him somewhere else is that he's moved. Nothing is lost. Because there's nothing special about the matter that makes Avalon up, or the particular instance of the process that runs first. Continuity of consciousness is illusory; any physical copy of the matter that runs the Avalon process is equivalent to any other.
But when you kill either of the Avalons, you're killing an Avalon. You've got a spare now, so it's not the end of the world for Avalon, but an Avalon certainly did die in the process. Same as when you copy and delete a file, you're still deleting a file. The actual act of death/deletion is what we place the moral imperatives on, not "not existing anymore."

I agree that the problem is with terminology; that's what I was trying to shoot for with clades, but it doesn't seem to have caught on.
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Old 6th December 2012, 07:22 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
Me is this single instance of consciousness.
How long do you claim this single instance of consciousness has lasted?

Do you fear sleep?
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Old 7th December 2012, 03:39 AM   #391
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
And that's what I mean when I say, from a materialist point of view, the only problem with disassembling Avalon here and reassembling him somewhere else is that he's moved. Nothing is lost. Because there's nothing special about the matter that makes Avalon up, or the particular instance of the process that runs first. Continuity of consciousness is illusory; any physical copy of the matter that runs the Avalon process is equivalent to any other.
He hasn't been reassembled, remember ? A copy has been made. The original is not the copy even if they are identical in every way. Again, fine for everybody except the original, assuming all goes according to plan.
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Old 7th December 2012, 03:42 AM   #392
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
How long do you claim this single instance of consciousness has lasted?

Do you fear sleep?
Depends if I'll wake up or not.
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Old 7th December 2012, 05:33 AM   #393
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
How long do you claim this single instance of consciousness has lasted?
I don't know.

I'm 33 years old, so approximately that would be my first guess, but I am not fully sold on the idea of continuity of consciousness. I just don't think there is sufficient grounds to say the opposite either.

Quote:
Do you fear sleep?
I have studied the neuroscience of sleep, and contrary to popular belief your consciousness does not switch off during sleep.
e.g. You can wake people at any point in the sleep cycle, even deep non-REM sleep, and if you're quick and know how to ask the question they will often recall scattered thoughts they were just having.

So no, I don't fear sleep.

But if you want to alter the question to be: would I fear a process that turns off my brain for 1 second? Yes, and I would avoid such a process happening if possible.
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Old 7th December 2012, 05:43 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
I have studied the neuroscience of sleep, and contrary to popular belief your consciousness does not switch off during sleep.
I thought that was obvious, but apparently not.
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Old 7th December 2012, 06:26 AM   #395
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Originally Posted by blobru View Post
Therefore, as a physicalist it's completely rational to not step in the transporter pod; would be insane to do otherwise. Right?
Not for me. This brain isn't bothered about location. It's been programmed for millenia to resist death and therefore it resists it. I accept the irrationality.

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Old 7th December 2012, 06:30 AM   #396
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
How ironic, then. I actually would, even while considering it to be my own personal death.

However, as a materialist, I have to accept that this decision is entirely irrational.
You're saying you have an irrational desire to die?

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Old 7th December 2012, 07:49 AM   #397
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
Not for me. This brain isn't bothered about location. It's been programmed for millenia to resist death and therefore it resists it. I accept the irrationality.
Indeed. There's no rational reason not to die, but we try not to. The teleporter, for me, is no different than stepping in front of a bus after a visit to the intant-cloning-and-copying-your-mind factory.
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Old 7th December 2012, 09:40 AM   #398
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
You're saying you have an irrational desire to die?

Nick
No: an irrational notion to not mind dying so long as I have extant clones. Five or six of us should do fine, I'm not that paranoid. And so long as the teleport accomplishes something, of course. I wouldn't take it down to the grocery store, but it might be worth it to put a member of the clade on Mars. Or to make the first batch of clones.

I agree with others here that it doesn't make much difference to the outside world, so long as at least one of me survives. Where we part ways is the notion that we can redefine this as not dying at all in this one particular instance, when even the slightest variation to the hypothetical (like the original surviving for some brief period of time) still counts as death. It's special pleading.

You walk into a teleporter, you are disassembled piecemeal. You die. That's the sort of thing that happens when you're disassembled piecemeal.

A body is (possibly) assembled elsewhere, you walk out. It's really you (well, a member of your clade - your clone), but you still died.

Therefore, I can't fault anyone who refuses to take the plunge, nor do I think that implies anything about their materialistic beliefs.
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Old 7th December 2012, 09:41 AM   #399
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
Not for me. This brain isn't bothered about location. It's been programmed for millenia to resist death and therefore it resists it. I accept the irrationality.

Nick
Having seen countless other people enter the teleporter and coming back unscathed, your intuition and instincts would no longer make you resist but lead you back to the path of enlightenment (= materialism).

And a civilization that can copy, teleport or create individuals at will would have very different standards regarding the destruction of bodies than we have now.

These debates about ethics and survival instinct are based on false premises, me thinks.
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Old 7th December 2012, 10:13 AM   #400
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I've tried countless times to get an answer to my faulty teleporter scenario and NO ONE has ever given me an answer. At all. Let's try again, expanded:

1) Assuming the device malfunctions and creates two Avalons, do they share their experiences ? I assume you'll say no, but I'll let you answer that one.
They will share the same conscious state the moment they are created but will diverge immediately. Since a single state is not an experience, they will not share their experiences.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
2) Assuming you answered "no" to (1), then you recognise that both are not the same person since, if they coexist, they are two separate consciousnesses and two separate identities.
They are both Avalon because of their striking similarity. For the same reason that Avalon in everyday life thinks of the person he was 20 seconds ago being "him". It doesn't matter if the two Avalons exist simultaneously or separated in time.

Both Avalons can now assume having a back-up copy. Since their consciousnesses will diverge more and more, the value of the back-up copy will degrade over time.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
So here's a second question, again assuming you said "no": Why are they the same person if the device works properly and the original is instead destroyed ?
See above and subtract one Avalon.


So you tried for decades to have these questions answered, but to no avail. Now you got them answered even twice! Do AvalonXQ and me get a cookie now?
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