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Old 29th November 2012, 03:29 AM   #161
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That's a choice between sacrificing myself in the transporter in order to give a copy of me an opportunity to live, or taking a slender chance of saving myself on the spaceship.

A choice between whether I want to live (low probability of success) or whether I'm willing to die to provide my children with a 'me' to depend on (virtually guaranteed).

Tricky.
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Old 29th November 2012, 05:25 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
I don't think its extraneous at all, it is getting to the bottom of how the transporter would work, revealing that it does not "move" you, it copies and then deletes you. If you could come up with a transporter that "moves" you I would happily step in.
The thought experiment doesn't deny that, but this is interesting. How would you tell the difference?

Scenario 1: The transporter disassembles your body, effectively killing it, then recreates exactly the same body somewhere else

Scenario 2: The transporter somehow (let's call it magic) moves your entire body from one place to another

How would you know, as you stepped out of the transporter at your destination, which of those you were using?

Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
That's a choice between sacrificing myself in the transporter in order to give a copy of me an opportunity to live, or taking a slender chance of saving myself on the spaceship.

A choice between whether I want to live (low probability of success) or whether I'm willing to die to provide my children with a 'me' to depend on (virtually guaranteed).

Tricky.
So you're prepared to accept a "copy" in some circumstances for the benefit of others. I find that intriguing, but it's probably another extraneous detail. What if you had no children, no friends, all your family were dead, and so on?
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Old 29th November 2012, 05:32 AM   #163
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The people in Star Trek who used the transporter seemed to suffer no ill effects.
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Old 29th November 2012, 05:55 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by Recovering Agnostic View Post
The thought experiment doesn't deny that, but this is interesting. How would you tell the difference?

Scenario 1: The transporter disassembles your body, effectively killing it, then recreates exactly the same body somewhere else

Scenario 2: The transporter somehow (let's call it magic) moves your entire body from one place to another

How would you know, as you stepped out of the transporter at your destination, which of those you were using?
You can't tell the difference, they are identical, but not the same. In the same way I could have a perfect cube of carbon in front of me, and then duplicate it so I have two identical cubes of carbon. Now send one to Mars on a space ship, we now have two identical cubes of carbon, one on earth, one on Mars. They are not the same cube though are they?

The survivors of your two experiments can't tell the difference, that does not change the fact that the guy who steps into the transporter in scenario 1 is now dead.

Identical but not the same. do you get what I mean? I'm not sure I'm being clear.
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Old 29th November 2012, 05:59 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
The people in Star Trek who used the transporter seemed to suffer no ill effects.
Not true, in fact it goes wrong that often that I'm surprised they ever approved its use! ;-) It has to be at least once a season! Damn dangerous things, these transporters. ;-)
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Old 29th November 2012, 06:03 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
wrong we are definitively speaking of something substancial and material : the brain. You can play around with saying the I is an illusion or whatever.
I'm saying the brain creates thoughts and attends to them. In this attention it appears that there is most definitely someone who is having the thoughts.

But as a materialist I know that this sense of there being someone listening to thoughts is erroneous. There is no little man living in my head. It is simply that this sense of personal selfhood emerges from attending to thought. This is how the brain creates the effect.

And, because this sense of personal selfhood is a brain-created illusion, and utterly insubstantial, it cannot be destroyed. You can destroy the brain, but you can't destroy an illusory centre it has learned to create, because it has no substance, no location, and no temporal aspect.

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Again, let me ask you , what if the process was not in reality a simple transfer, but first you get excruciatingly murdered over a long time, then the copy emerge without memory of it (the memory copy stops at the point where the torture murder starts).
Well, I wouldn't like to be excruciatingly murdered, regardless of whether I was being copied or not, to be honest.

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Would you take the transporter ?
Nope! Don't want to die. But I have to accept that this is the irrational reaction of a brain conditioned though evolution to behave in a certain way when faced with death. I know that the No response can't be justified intellectually.

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If you say no, I have to ask you why not. The End state is fully identical with the transporter , the process is exactely the samer up to the point you push the button. The only difference is that the dematerialisation is killing you in painful way, which the copy will not be aware of.
As a materialist I have to believe that instantaneous dematerialisation is painless as there would be no neurology left to generate pain responses.



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Old 29th November 2012, 06:16 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
Not true, in fact it goes wrong that often that I'm surprised they ever approved its use! ;-) It has to be at least once a season! Damn dangerous things, these transporters. ;-)
I'm not a fan of the show, I haven't seen many episodes. What kind of things used to go wrong?
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Old 29th November 2012, 07:11 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
I'm not a fan of the show, I haven't seen many episodes. What kind of things used to go wrong?
Oh all sorts, classic one is Riker getting left behind for 10 years or something, for some reason the original is not vaporised, but the copy is created, who then goes off to be the Riker we all know and love. leaving the original to think he has been abandoned on some planet for years. On Voyager Tuvok and Nelix get blended together, creating a third character, Tuvix. Who is then killed at the end to undo it.

See, not safe! ;-)
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Old 29th November 2012, 07:28 AM   #169
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Surely there are a number of people here who have been through the transporter at the now closed Star Trek Experience in Vegas?
I thought it rocked.
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Old 29th November 2012, 07:37 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by Recovering Agnostic View Post
...So you're prepared to accept a "copy" in some circumstances for the benefit of others. I find that intriguing, but it's probably another extraneous detail. What if you had no children, no friends, all your family were dead, and so on?
You're right that it's an extraneous detail. It doesn't really address the transporter dilemma at all - the scenario is simply whether there's a point at which my possibility of surviving is so low that I'd surrender even that miniscule chance to benefit my children. Maybe I would. I don't know.
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Old 29th November 2012, 07:37 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
Nope! Don't want to die. But I have to accept that this is the irrational reaction of a brain conditioned though evolution to behave in a certain way when faced with death. I know that the No response can't be justified intellectually.

As a materialist I have to believe that instantaneous dematerialisation is painless as there would be no neurology left to generate pain responses.

I don't understand why it is irrational to not want to die? why would a materialist be happy to die just because there is an identical copy walking around? It makes no sense to me.

I also don't want to die weather its painless or not.
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Old 29th November 2012, 07:52 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
IF Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery Scott is running them, of course.
Scotty was once marooned on a space station with life support running out, no chance of rescue and no viable destination within transporter range. He used the station transporter to beam himself no where. He remained in the pattern buffer until Picard and the TNG crew found him and beamed him back to the transporter room.

Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
Not true, in fact it goes wrong that often that I'm surprised they ever approved its use! ;-) It has to be at least once a season! Damn dangerous things, these transporters. ;-)
It is still safer than using a shuttle craft. It is probably a lot safer than driving a car or flying in an airplane.
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Old 29th November 2012, 07:56 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by RenaissanceBiker View Post
It is still safer than using a shuttle craft. It is probably a lot safer than driving a car or flying in an airplane.
I don't think so, I drive my car every day and I have yet to be merged into a disturbing blend of annoying characters! ;-)
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Old 29th November 2012, 09:13 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
You can't tell the difference, they are identical, but not the same. In the same way I could have a perfect cube of carbon in front of me, and then duplicate it so I have two identical cubes of carbon. Now send one to Mars on a space ship, we now have two identical cubes of carbon, one on earth, one on Mars. They are not the same cube though are they?
No, but if anyone's saying they're the same (I might even have done that previously), it's an informal shorthand for being identical.

Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
The survivors of your two experiments can't tell the difference, that does not change the fact that the guy who steps into the transporter in scenario 1 is now dead.

Identical but not the same. do you get what I mean? I'm not sure I'm being clear.
There might be a problem with terminology here. The original collection of cells we think of as a person is no longer grouped in such a way as to warrant that title. We're in agreement on that point. But if a different set of cells are created/arranged/reanimated in exactly the same way somewhere else, we need to be very careful about what we're saying, because it depends on what makes us "us". Who was the guy you're saying got killed?

If you're a materialist, you believe (or ought to) that consciousness and our sense of self is an emergent property of neural function, which leads naturally to the conclusion that the "copy" would be as much you as the "real" you. You don't have to like that or feel comfortable with it (you may well have the same reaction as Nick227 that it feels wrong, even while admitting that there's no rational basis for that feeling), but it's the logical result of your beliefs. If you're not a materialist, of course, none of this applies.

It's not something I'd do for fun, and if I look at it the wrong way, it gives me the squicks, but if I'm interested in preserving "me", what does that mean? Would I still be "me" if I was a Futurama-style brain in a jar? If my thought process were stored in a computer? We're back to the mad scientist experiment mentioned earlier - would you rather provide the body or the brain, given the choice? I'd say brain every time.

I think the sticking point here is that we all have a sense (or illusion) of continuous consciousness, and for obvious evolutionary and survival reasons that sense of self is bound up with the meat puppet we call "us". Our instinctive understanding, which has served us very well, is that if you destroy the body, you destroy "us", so the idea of destroying that body to be recreated somewhere else appals us. But if you'd choose to be the brain for the mad scientist's new creation, I don't think you really believe that.

I understand. Really. There's a part of me, even as I'm typing this, that thinks the result of going through a transporter would be that I die, and someone else is created who just thinks he's me. He'd be me to all intents and purposes, but the "real" me would be dead. Because my instinct is to associate my identity with my bodily existence and apparently continuous consciousness, so I see the fate of the original as my fate. But rationally, I don't believe that. I believe if the concept of "me" means anything, it's something that can be maintained by a transporter. "My" thought patterns would still be the same, and even in an identical body, so "I" would still exist, even more so than if my thoughts were saved to a hard drive.

(In the unlikely event that transporters like this are ever invented, I predict that people will get over these worries pretty quickly, not just because it starts to seem normal, but because every time you go through one, the person who steps out would be the one who "survived". After a few trips, that would breed a massive amount of complacency.)
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Old 29th November 2012, 09:27 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
No; the individual human who enters the transporter is killed, and a duplicate is created in the new location. Word games about the duplicate being able to call itself "me" aside: objectively, one subject's brain processes ended at one point, and the other subject's brain processes began at a later point, with no continuity bridge in between.
This is wrong. There is the same continuity as always.

Look at what happens in the body of someone who doesn't use the teleporter. There is a particle A that bounces into a particle B, leading to a change in B. This is a "causal" event, because A "caused" the change in B. If you wanted to, you could track all the causal events that led to A being in the state it was in immediately prior to interacting with B. It might look like this:

event(1 ) --> event( 2 ) --> ... --> event( n ) --> event( A hits B ) --> < the future >

Now can you tell me how this causal sequence is changed by inserting a teleporter event somewhere? Suppose the teleporter magicks the person to another location instantly. The sequence might look like this:

event( 1 ) --> event( 2 ) --> ... --> event( n ) --> TELEPORT --> event( A hits B ) --> < the future >

Look carefully -- do you see how the TELEPORT event completely invalidates the rest of the sequence? No, you don't -- because it doesn't. The sequence of causal events leading up to the current moment in time are identical, except for a single extra event, that doesn't alter the relative states of any of the particles in the person's brain. From the perspective of the particles -- and hence any physical process in your body -- the TELEPORT event is a No-op.

To the extent that there exists any continuity in the physical processes ( which isn't a simple yes/no, mind you ), it is entirely preserved by the teleport.

Also it is worth noting that there could be a type of teleporter that was definitely NOT a no-op. For example if the teleporter scaled the translations between every particle up by 100% -- effectively making you twice your size -- the forces holding everything together would likely be vastly different, and you might instantly dissolve into goo upon materialization. But we aren't talking about those kinds of teleporters.

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Old 29th November 2012, 09:34 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post

The survivors of your two experiments can't tell the difference, that does not change the fact that the guy who steps into the transporter in scenario 1 is now dead.

Identical but not the same. do you get what I mean? I'm not sure I'm being clear.
I understand what you are getting at. My dispute is with your definition of "dead."

Suppose Jedi were real, and the real good ones found a way to continue existing, in a way, after their body dies. Like Yoda and and Obi-wan did, they became "blue glowies" after their body died.

Are they dead, or not?

Not such a simple answer, is it?

So in a world where teleporters are real, the notion of "dead" is similarly complex. The original body is dead, but the same consciousness lives on. Are they dead, or sorta-dead, or what?
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Old 29th November 2012, 09:41 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
..However another part of me thinks this is an awful waste. If it could create a new me without needing to destroy the original I would prefer that. That way there are now two of me that can get twice the stuff done
And the fact that 'stuff' includes spending your cash and banging your girlfriend doesn't bother you at all?
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Old 29th November 2012, 09:57 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
I don't understand why it is irrational to not want to die? why would a materialist be happy to die just because there is an identical copy walking around? It makes no sense to me.
What do you believe is actually different in the identical copy?

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Old 29th November 2012, 09:59 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Recovering Agnostic View Post
No, but if anyone's saying they're the same (I might even have done that previously), it's an informal shorthand for being identical.


There might be a problem with terminology here. The original collection of cells we think of as a person is no longer grouped in such a way as to warrant that title. We're in agreement on that point. But if a different set of cells are created/arranged/reanimated in exactly the same way somewhere else, we need to be very careful about what we're saying, because it depends on what makes us "us". Who was the guy you're saying got killed?
The original person who stepped into the transport is the one who gets killed, isn't that obvious? The transporter is creating a copy do we agree? The copy is identical, but not the same, again obviously because one is on Mars. So why would the Version on Earth be happy to die, just because there is a version of him wandering around on Mars? Conversely would you expect the version on Mars to happily kill themselves, if it was decided that there was a mistake and the version on earth didn't want to go to Mars any more?

I really don't see the logical leap that says identical objects are the same object.

The version on Earth will not perceive what the version on Mars is experiencing, therefore they are not the same, and therefore the version on earth would die if the transport worked as intended. So why would a Materialist get into the transporter? certainly not to experience Mars, he never gets there after all.

Originally Posted by Recovering Agnostic View Post
If you're a materialist, you believe (or ought to) that consciousness and our sense of self is an emergent property of neural function, which leads naturally to the conclusion that the "copy" would be as much you as the "real" you. You don't have to like that or feel comfortable with it (you may well have the same reaction as Nick227 that it feels wrong, even while admitting that there's no rational basis for that feeling), but it's the logical result of your beliefs.
I am a Materialist and I have no problem with the copy being just as much me as the real me, what I have a problem with is how this magically (as far as I can tell) makes the mind being generated by the brain on Mars the same as the Mind being generated by the Brain on earth. for example; if I have two identical computers running a copy of the the same software would you say they are the same? I would say that they are identical but not the same. The owner of Computer 1 would not be happy if you destroyed it, but then said "oh but it's ok there is an identical computer over there". its just that the owner of the brain cant complain, he's dead!

Does that help explain? where am I going wrong?
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Old 29th November 2012, 10:04 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
What do you believe is actually different in the identical copy?

Nick
There is nothing different, it is identical. That does not make it the same though, after all one is on Mars. how can they be the same. do you agree that you could create two identical objects? If you do, surly it is obvious that they are identical but not the same. After all you could move one and not the other. If they were the same anything that happened to one would happen to the other.

any help?
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Old 29th November 2012, 10:05 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Recovering Agnostic View Post
If you're a materialist, you believe (or ought to) that consciousness and our sense of self is an emergent property of neural function, which leads naturally to the conclusion that the "copy" would be as much you as the "real" you. You don't have to like that or feel comfortable with it (you may well have the same reaction as Nick227 that it feels wrong, even while admitting that there's no rational basis for that feeling), but it's the logical result of your beliefs. If you're not a materialist, of course, none of this applies.

It's not something I'd do for fun, and if I look at it the wrong way, it gives me the squicks, but if I'm interested in preserving "me", what does that mean? Would I still be "me" if I was a Futurama-style brain in a jar? If my thought process were stored in a computer? We're back to the mad scientist experiment mentioned earlier - would you rather provide the body or the brain, given the choice? I'd say brain every time.

I think the sticking point here is that we all have a sense (or illusion) of continuous consciousness, and for obvious evolutionary and survival reasons that sense of self is bound up with the meat puppet we call "us". Our instinctive understanding, which has served us very well, is that if you destroy the body, you destroy "us", so the idea of destroying that body to be recreated somewhere else appals us. But if you'd choose to be the brain for the mad scientist's new creation, I don't think you really believe that.
Yes, exactly. Evolution has hard-wired us to absolutely believe in a Self - someone who is apparently looking out from behind the eyes - yet materialism asserts that this absolutely cannot be so.

We are hard-wired to fight tooth and nail to defend something which, according to materialism, absolutely cannot exist.

Quote:
(In the unlikely event that transporters like this are ever invented, I predict that people will get over these worries pretty quickly, not just because it starts to seem normal, but because every time you go through one, the person who steps out would be the one who "survived". After a few trips, that would breed a massive amount of complacency.)
I'm not convinced of this. You are still dealing face-on with the reality of death. You get in the pod, you die, and a new you is created at your destination. The only consolation is that there is not actually a Self inside you anyway, merely the illusory sensation of it. I don't think pods would catch on.

Nick
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Old 29th November 2012, 10:08 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
There is nothing different, it is identical. That does not make it the same though, after all one is on Mars. how can they be the same. do you agree that you could create two identical objects? If you do, surly it is obvious that they are identical but not the same. After all you could move one and not the other. If they were the same anything that happened to one would happen to the other.

any help?
I think I didn't pose my question very well.

How about, what do you believe is actually dying?

A body dies but that is recreated. It seems as though "I" am dying, this in my experience is what most people are concerned about, but this "I" is actually illusory under materialism. It simply does not exist. There is no self that is experiencing. So what does it matter if a body is destroyed and an identical one created? This is materialist logic, but being hard-wired to resist death, it's hard to put one's money where one's mouth is!

Nick

eta: Doug Hofstadter had this thing he called the Godel-Turing Threshold - the point at which a computational device had sufficient processing power that it could become a "universal machine" - it could simulate all sorts of activity. Thus the brain can behave as though it has some "self", some inner owner or controller or experiencer. It can create an extremely convincing illusion - convincing itself that there is some nick227 somewhere who is experiencing all this. But it's BS. Evolution favours the creation of these illusions so they persist. But materialism points out the illusion.
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Old 29th November 2012, 10:10 AM   #183
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I'd want to be sure that the Heisenberg compensator is in full working order. When asked how the Heisenberg compensator works, Star Trek's science consultant said, "Very well, thank you!"

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Heisenberg_compensator
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Old 29th November 2012, 10:30 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
So in a world where teleporters are real, the notion of "dead" is similarly complex. The original body is dead, but the same consciousness lives on. Are they dead, or sorta-dead, or what?
They're dead. All dead. "Go through their pockets and look for loose change" dead.

It's just that death doesn't mean as much when there's other instances of them walking around. Their other clones, in the pulpy SF sense of the word. Their clade.* So long as the rest of the clade is still kicking they'll live on, in a certain sense of the word which is much more definite than living on in children or philanthropy, but less so than actually still being alive.

Death of an individual is death, but death is cheap. Loss of an entire clade is what we'd hang most of the current implications of "death" on. Right now we're all clades of one, and don't have the luxury of finer discrimination.


[ETA] As for the OP's question, I'd have no problems taking a guaranteed working transporter, but Star Trek does not have those.

Consider that the Enterprise, despite being the pinnacle of engineering, science and technology and staffed with the best of the best, still suffered catastrophic teleporter breakdowns at least once a season. Also think about how rarely you saw them used by anyone else. There must be a good reason everyone prefers to get in a shuttle and physically fly to an airlock instead of glitter-port over in an instant.

Damn things are deathtraps.


* It seems that "clone" does not currently have a collective noun. Would everyone here be okay with "clade?" It's not technically accurate, but it's within spitting distance and doesn't sound as silly as "attack" or "vat."

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Old 29th November 2012, 11:52 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
How about, what do you believe is actually dying?

A body dies but that is recreated. It seems as though "I" am dying, this in my experience is what most people are concerned about, but this "I" is actually illusory under materialism. It simply does not exist. There is no self that is experiencing. So what does it matter if a body is destroyed and an identical one created? This is materialist logic, but being hard-wired to resist death, it's hard to put one's money where one's mouth is!
The body dies, the brain dies, thus the "program" stops, and the "I" dies. I don't see why it matter or helps if there is a another identical body/brain/I walking about somewhere.

I agree that the I is illusory in materialism, but I don't see why that matters. The identical cubes had no "I" but they are still not the same as their identical copies. They are two induviduals, existing independent of each other. You say that this is materialist logic, but I am a materialist and I fail to see the logic, can you lay out the logical path for me? Because I really don't see it.
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Old 29th November 2012, 12:09 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
I don't think so, I drive my car every day and I have yet to be merged into a disturbing blend of annoying characters! ;-)
Not yet! But serious automobile accidents do happen in your community at a rate that may be higher than the rate of transporter malfunctions.
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Old 29th November 2012, 12:11 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
I don't think so, I drive my car every day and I have yet to be merged into a disturbing blend of annoying characters! ;-)
Ah, but do you drive your car on a television show? To do an apples-to-apples comparison, you'd have to be driving on a TV show, not the real world.

And while you, yourself, may not be "a disturbing blend of annoying characters," I've certainly known a few people who were exactly that. And since transporters haven't been invented yet, I'm forced to conclude that those people are the result of driving around in cars.

What other possibilities could there be?
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Old 29th November 2012, 12:12 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
And the fact that 'stuff' includes spending your cash and banging your girlfriend doesn't bother you at all?
Good point. Instead of copying yourself, copy your girlfriend.
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Old 29th November 2012, 12:20 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
Ah, but do you drive your car on a television show? To do an apples-to-apples comparison, you'd have to be driving on a TV show, not the real world.

And while you, yourself, may not be "a disturbing blend of annoying characters," I've certainly known a few people who were exactly that. And since transporters haven't been invented yet, I'm forced to conclude that those people are the result of driving around in cars.

What other possibilities could there be?
I think you have me convinced! I'll be taking the bus tomorrow!
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Old 29th November 2012, 12:28 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief
You say that this is materialist logic, but I am a materialist and I fail to see the logic, can you lay out the logical path for me? Because I really don't see it.
The logic is that there is no "you", meaning: there is no way one could uniquely identify that illusion we call "self", not even in principle. Much like we cannot uniquely identify a particular particle.

"You" are just a conscious state that can be reduced to software and that only lasts for a fraction of a second.
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Old 29th November 2012, 12:29 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by RenaissanceBiker View Post
Good point. Instead of copying yourself, copy your girlfriend.
Now, would I have to copy my girlfriend, or . . .
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Old 29th November 2012, 12:38 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by Croc411 View Post
The logic is that there is no "you", meaning: there is no way one could uniquely identify that illusion we call "self", not even in principle. Much like we cannot uniquely identify a particular particle.

"You" are just a conscious state that can be reduced to software and that only lasts for a fraction of a second.
I mostly agree with this, although again I don't see how this helps. Just because "I" is an illusion there does not seem to be a good reason to destroy the machinery generating it. (my brain) Why would a materialist be happy that a copy exists so its ok to end the life of this copy?
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Old 29th November 2012, 01:02 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
Why would a materialist be happy that a copy exists so its ok to end the life of this copy?
I don't know that he would be happy about it, but he could not object to it on rational grounds.

Nick
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Old 29th November 2012, 01:11 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post
I don't know that he would be happy about it, but he could not object to it on rational grounds.

Nick
Why?

Sorry to ask a question and run, but I have to go out now, I'll reply when I can.

Thanks

Simon.
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Old 29th November 2012, 01:17 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
Now, would I have to copy my girlfriend, or . . .
Since they are exact copies, you would want them to be of whoever is willing and able to do those things you like done. I don't see the advantage of having two identical people who want nothing to do with you.
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Old 29th November 2012, 01:20 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
Why?

Sorry to ask a question and run, but I have to go out now, I'll reply when I can.

Thanks

Simon.
I can only try and answer from my own perspective... I'm in the pod about to push the button. My mind is like "I'm going to die, I'm going to die". I'm in a lot of feelings. As a materialist I have to accept that none of these thoughts and feelings are happening to anyone, and that my duplicate will emerge wondering what all the fuss was about. He'll remember all the sweating and drama because that will be copied.

From my personal perspective nothing is lost because there has never been anyone there to lose it,merely the illusion that there was. And that too will be perfectly replicated.

Nick
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Old 29th November 2012, 01:39 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief View Post
I mostly agree with this, although again I don't see how this helps. Just because "I" is an illusion there does not seem to be a good reason to destroy the machinery generating it. (my brain) Why would a materialist be happy that a copy exists so its ok to end the life of this copy?
I disagree with Nick227 on this. There are no rational grounds for thinking it is acceptable that the original is destroyed besides some obscure zero sum resource allocation nonsense ( like, you can only ever have x of you walking around because of food or energy or whatever ).

From the standpoint of "you want to continue to exist, because the future interests you" the original would never find it rational to self destruct. The copy has a future, but that doesn't invalidate the original's future.

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Old 29th November 2012, 01:47 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by Nick227 View Post

From my personal perspective nothing is lost because there has never been anyone there to lose it,merely the illusion that there was. And that too will be perfectly replicated.
But this is categorically untrue.

From a purely objective standpoint, the future states of a set of particles is now significantly changed. Where before the particles were organized in a complex way that promotes local entropy decreases ( I.E. "life" ) after the vaporization they are just randomly assorted, and will remain so, all else being equal.

So just based on math and physics, there is an argument for not vaporizing the original (assuming value is placed on life, but that assumption seems valid since we are alive ). You don't have to appeal to a sense of self at all.
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Old 29th November 2012, 02:19 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
What if, instead of pushing the 'transport' button I pressed the 'copy' button instead and made an exact replica of me? Out of whose eyes would I be looking?

I would need an awful lot of convincing that the transporter didn't operate in the same way, just destroying the original while making a copy.

One big problem is that it would be impossible for anyone to prove that didn't happen, as it would be impossible to prove the copy wasn't the original. Thus I can't see such a device ever being approved.
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Old 29th November 2012, 03:24 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by Thunderchief
I mostly agree with this, although again I don't see how this helps. Just because "I" is an illusion there does not seem to be a good reason to destroy the machinery generating it. (my brain) Why would a materialist be happy that a copy exists so its ok to end the life of this copy?
Thunder, I think it's easiest to explain when you look at a possible model the illusionary self leads to:

Imagine your nervous system represented as software and every Planck time (while you are conscious) a snapshot of that representation is taken. You get a finite number of snapshots each consisting of a finite number of 0s and 1s. Let's call such a snapshot a conscious state.

Now do the same with every conscious, self-aware being in existence - across all time dimensions in all universes that might exist and are similar to ours. Multiples (of the same state) are meaningless. Only distinctive ones count. The sum of these states holds everything that could possibly matter for any self-aware being in the whole omniverse.

What we experience at any given moment is just the very existence of one of these states. And there is no connection whatsoever between any of them. A state either exists or it doesn't, there's nothing in between. Each single one includes that illusion of self.

And that's pretty much the whole story. Nothing else is required. It's perfectly sufficient to explain our everyday experience. It's materialistic to the bone.

As for the validity of the model: no soul, no essence, no life force, no causal connection between states, no uninterrupted processes required. Just states. I mean, really: can it get any simpler than that? Plus it fits the data and doesn't contradict any scientific research I'm aware of. IMO it is clearly favoured by Occam's Razor.

Do you now see why one could be content with getting disintegrated while his copy lives on? Because you cannot lose anything. The copy's body will start producing conscious states immediately from pretty much exactly where the original stopped. And the conscious states in existence are all that matters.
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