1. Standard memberScriabin
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    02 Apr '09 15:02
    Let me pose a hypothetical problem:

    Suppose a device existed that could allegedly transport you from one place to another instantaneously without your having actually to travel between the point from which you depart and the point to which you arrive.

    The device would disassemble you, atom by atom, and commit to a computer's memory the pattern of your entire body up to and including your brain's electrical field. Assume nothing whatsoever that physically exists in your body is left out -- it is all recorded while you are being disassembled.

    The device then would transmit, not the atoms disassembled, but rather the pattern recorded, to another computer at whatever distance the range of the device could reach -- assume for the sake of the problem it was a very great distance indeed.

    The device at the destination end would then, using the pattern received, reassemble you, everything that was recorded, which was everything physically in or about your body, from other, available atoms.

    You step off the device having the subjective experience of the lights dimming slightly when you were transported and then coming back up almost instantly as you arrive at your destination.

    The question is: since the atoms you were made from are not the atoms you are made from at the destination, how is it you are the same person?

    isn't it reasonable to assume that the device kills you at one end, makes a perfect copy of you at the other end? The copy of you would subjectively have all your parts and memories, etc. So, to the copy, it would make no difference. Those who know you would be unable to distinguish the person who arrived at the destination from the person who was taken apart and recorded a the departure point -- so it would make no difference.

    Would there be a difference?
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    02 Apr '09 15:201 edit
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    Let me pose a hypothetical problem:

    Suppose a device existed that could allegedly transport you from one place to another instantaneously without your having actually to travel between the point from which you depart and the point to which you arrive.

    The device would disassemble you, atom by atom, and commit to a computer's memory the pattern of your rded a the departure point -- so it would make no difference.

    Would there be a difference?
    Interesting question. This method is infact used in numerous science fiction books and films. ("Beam me up, Scottie."😉

    The copy survives, and the original would be killed. Since I am the original, I wouldn't want to be killed. My copy, however, wouldn't feel a thing about my death. And if he is a perfect copy (Like a CD-disk is copied bit after bit you cannot differ the one from the other, if not looked at.), he wouldn't mind if the original is killed or not. If I became the copy, I would feel like the original, if perfectly copied.

    What do we mean by perfectly copied?
    Is it a snapshot from the original, atom for atom, binding for binding? Then the copy, the travelled one, would not survive. There is more than the heap of atoms and molecules.
    But if in the snapshot even the electrical current for every nerve thread, and exactly the same spin for every particle in the body, was to be copied too, and the copy would start from the very moment the original was copied, in the very snapshot moment, then I'm sure that he would survivive, and perhaps with a moment of dizziness continue to work, in mid-thought, mid-movement, and mid-everything.

    [speculation]But skip the mechanical copy, do it the quantum way. Send over the probability wave's equation, instead of the information of every atom. Then at the same moment the wave collapses, then you have the new copy, flawless.[/speculation]

    So if you include the spin and electical currents and everything, so, sure it works. Why not? It works onboard of Enterprise, doesn't it?
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    02 Apr '09 15:24
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    Let me pose a hypothetical problem:

    Suppose a device existed that could allegedly transport you from one place to another instantaneously without your having actually to travel between the point from which you depart and the point to which you arrive.

    The device would disassemble you, atom by atom, and commit to a computer's memory the pattern of your ...[text shortened]... rded a the departure point -- so it would make no difference.

    Would there be a difference?
    I don't know. But make sure you don't get caught in the device with a fly.
  4. Standard memberScriabin
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    02 Apr '09 15:37
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Interesting question. This method is infact used in numerous science fiction books and films. ("Beam me up, Scottie."😉

    The copy survives, and the original would be killed. Since I am the original, I wouldn't want to be killed. My copy, however, wouldn't feel a thing about my death. And if he is a perfect copy (Like a CD-disk is copied bit after bit you ...[text shortened]... and everything, so, sure it works. Why not? It works onboard of Enterprise, doesn't it?
    well, kudos for recognizing the source of the device.

    But you've missed the origin of the quandary.

    Dr. McCoy long voiced this objection -- it is well known he hated the transporter.

    Mr. Scott actually managed to survive more than 80 years as a mere pattern saved in the transport device's buffer in a ship that got trapped in the doors to the interior of a Dyson Sphere -- if you recall.

    McCoy's Quandary posits that a perfect copy, every spin, etc. still results in a new person, even though it makes no external difference to those who knew the person, and also makes no difference to the copy of the person.

    In another variation, a transporter malfunction created 2 perfect copies of Cmdr Riker.

    Dealing with that last problem, which one is Riker, and does it make any difference? Was the Riker who was copied to produce the 2 duplicates dead?

    If not, which copy is the live Riker -- and what is the other one?
  5. Standard memberScriabin
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    02 Apr '09 15:38
    Originally posted by jaywill
    I don't know. But make sure you don't get caught in the device with a fly.
    won't catch me in one of those things -- I prefer to take a shuttle, thanks
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    02 Apr '09 15:49
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    well, kudos for recognizing the source of the device.

    But you've missed the origin of the quandary.

    Dr. McCoy long voiced this objection -- it is well known he hated the transporter.

    Mr. Scott actually managed to survive more than 80 years as a mere pattern saved in the transport device's buffer in a ship that got trapped in the doors to the interi ...[text shortened]... the 2 duplicates dead?

    If not, which copy is the live Riker -- and what is the other one?
    I think we have to redefine 'original' and 'copy'. Is one more or less worth than the other? Will we have some 1st class people and a 2nd class people in the future?
    I say that we ask the person: Do you feel that you are the real one? If he answers 'yes', then he is.
    Is one identical twin more original one than the other? No.

    My objection is that I would not want to die, therefore I will not copy myself in order to travel with this travelling device, over my dead body I wont'.

    In one SF story the travel machine operator fell in love with the traveller, and let her live. It was a big secret that they have do kill the original. And the story continued with its complications...

    As this is the Spiritual Forum, so this question must be included: "Will the soul be copied as well? Is the soul really copiable?" In the Science Forum theis question would be of no meaning.
  7. At the Revolution
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    02 Apr '09 16:18
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    Let me pose a hypothetical problem:

    Suppose a device existed that could allegedly transport you from one place to another instantaneously without your having actually to travel between the point from which you depart and the point to which you arrive.

    The device would disassemble you, atom by atom, and commit to a computer's memory the pattern of your ...[text shortened]... rded a the departure point -- so it would make no difference.

    Would there be a difference?
    Same person.

    Sounds like a great idea. Go propose it to Congress in a Strom-Thurmond-style filibuster.
  8. Cape Town
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    02 Apr '09 17:111 edit
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    Would there be a difference?
    Our identity is actually in information not in physical form. If we are copied exactly then our identity is in the copy as well. It clearly causes psychological issues for us, but if there are two copies of me then both would be 'me' with neither having particular preference. How I would feel about one of them being terminated? I don't know.
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    02 Apr '09 17:39
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Our identity is actually in information not in physical form. If we are copied exactly then our identity is in the copy as well. It clearly causes psychological issues for us, but if there are two copies of me then both would be 'me' with neither having particular preference. How I would feel about one of them being terminated? I don't know.
    How would I feel if I know I (the original me) would be killed after a successful transportation? The same, I guess if there were no transportation at all. I hate to die, it would disturb me a lot!

    I am not travelling anywhere, I'm just going to die in the process. What good would make to me knowing that my copy can live on at the new place? None. None at all. He has all benefits from it, for me nothing.

    How would I feel if I'm the copy? From my point of vew, as a copy, I don't feel anything in particular. I have lived since my birth, have all memories from then and on. Because my memories has also been copied. Knowing that my original has been killed in the process, I wouldn't like, but that I can live with. Now, from my view, I am the original.
  10. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    02 Apr '09 19:08
    I want to say that I'm the configuration of the atoms, not the atoms themselves.

    Still, it's creepy to think of being disassembled down to an atomic level. I'm not sure if the feeling arises from the possibility that something may go wrong, or the possibility that I've been killed even if everything goes perfectly.
  11. Cape Town
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    02 Apr '09 19:15
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I want to say that I'm the configuration of the atoms, not the atoms themselves.

    Still, it's creepy to think of being disassembled down to an atomic level. I'm not sure if the feeling arises from the possibility that something may go wrong, or the possibility that I've been killed even if everything goes perfectly.
    It all depends on how you think about it. We could view ourselves over time as constantly changing entities and thus constantly dieing and being reborn. Is there really any difference between going to sleep and waking up in the morning and going to sleep - getting teleported - then waking up in the morning? It all depends on how you look at it.

    What would be even creepier would be to have your consciousness copied into something else such as a computer for example.
  12. Standard memberScriabin
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    02 Apr '09 20:41
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I want to say that I'm the configuration of the atoms, not the atoms themselves.

    Still, it's creepy to think of being disassembled down to an atomic level. I'm not sure if the feeling arises from the possibility that something may go wrong, or the possibility that I've been killed even if everything goes perfectly.
    McCoy got the creeps because he was convinced the process ended his life and someone else who was indistinguishable from him got to start from that point on. Of course, he wasn't sure he was right, so he did in fact use the device because it was part of his duty. But he avoided it whenever possible and took a spacecraft instead.

    I pose the question because at the bottom of it all lies a very interesting philosophical question: what is it that makes us who we are? The atoms of which we are composed and all the complexities and permutations thereof? Or is there something else we can measure that is more than that?

    And if it were true that entering the device ended our consciousness as far as we were able to experience it, but the being constructed on the other end didn't and couldn't know that, and others who knew the person couldn't tell any difference, either, is there then an issue at all?

    Again, only the subjective existence you enjoy -- you look out through your eyes and see these words -- close your eyes and then open them after 5 seconds. In those 5 seconds, you simulated ending your connection with these words, which stand for consciousness or existence.

    For you, even if the transporter works just fine, the person who sees these words, experiences life, on the other end is not the same "you" who reads this now.

    Gives me the creeps for sure.
  13. Standard memberScriabin
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    02 Apr '09 20:45
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It all depends on how you think about it. We could view ourselves over time as constantly changing entities and thus constantly dieing and being reborn. Is there really any difference between going to sleep and waking up in the morning and going to sleep - getting teleported - then waking up in the morning? It all depends on how you look at it.

    What wo ...[text shortened]... r would be to have your consciousness copied into something else such as a computer for example.
    Well, that too has been a subject of many stories. I agree, very creepy.

    On the other hand, I'd ve very tempted to have an onboard micro-memory chip or flash drive implanted behind each ear so as to give me a very accurate and capacious amount of memory -- and I'd like it to come with a powerful and very large temporary buffer. That way I could do extremely complex calculations instantly. I'd also like a wireless printing and email internet interface, so I can simply research, write, and publish while engaged in all the mundane tasks of everyday life.
  14. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    03 Apr '09 00:09
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It all depends on how you think about it. We could view ourselves over time as constantly changing entities and thus constantly dieing and being reborn. Is there really any difference between going to sleep and waking up in the morning and going to sleep - getting teleported - then waking up in the morning? It all depends on how you look at it.

    What wo ...[text shortened]... r would be to have your consciousness copied into something else such as a computer for example.
    Yeah, there's no way to prove conclusively that the 'you' right now is the same 'you' from even a minute ago.

    Perhaps I actually came into existence one second ago, with memories implanted in my mind to make me think I've lived for many years.

    Perhaps none of what we call the physical world is even real - but just a simulation in which our minds are trapped.
  15. Standard memberScriabin
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    03 Apr '09 04:00
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Yeah, there's no way to prove conclusively that the 'you' right now is the same 'you' from even a minute ago.

    Perhaps I actually came into existence one second ago, with memories implanted in my mind to make me think I've lived for many years.

    Perhaps none of what we call the physical world is even real - but just a simulation in which our minds are trapped.
    In that case, I definitely paid too much for my carpet
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