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Thread: Identity, consciousness, and replication

  1. #1 Identity, consciousness, and replication 
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    This thread is about what makes a person "them". In each of the following scenarios the question is whether or not the original person is still alive/existent, or whether the original person is dead and replaced by an imposter. Or, to put it another way, which of the following types of teleporters would you be willing to actually use?

    1. Suppose I wish to travel from one planet to another (or just across the room, or whatever). I step into a machine that scans every bit of information about every particle in my body to within the limits of the uncertainty principle. During the scanning process the machine breaks my body up into a swarm of individual nuclei and electrons, and sends them across space at nearly the speed of light. When they reach their destination they are all perfectly reassembled, with each atom placed exactly where it was before. My reconstructed body has all the same memories etc as before, and I wasn't able to perceive the transport process. As far I as can tell, there's simply a flash of light and I suddenly appear somewhere else.

    2. The same scenario as 1, but this time particles of the same type are all randomly substituted for one another. The machine only notes "there was a particle of type X at location Y" and makes sure that the appropriate particle type ends up in the appropriate place, but doesn't make any effort to ensure that the individual particles end up in their original places. I'm still made of the same material, but now the material has been "shuffled around."

    3. The same as scenario 1, but this time the machine doesn't send my original particles across space. Instead it simply sends the information about where the particles should be located, and the receiving machine assembles a perfect copy of the original from a stockpile of elements that it keeps on hand. The resulting "product" is completely indistinguishable from the result of scenario 1 or 2, but now my "new" body is made from completely new material and the remains of my old body is left as a cloud of dissipating particles on the other planet.

    4. The same as scenario 3, except this time the machine doesn't disintegrate my original body during the scanning process. Instead I am placed in a deeply unconscious state while my body is scanned and the new copy created. When the process is finished, my original body is atomized as before and my new body is revived. (Did the technician who destroyed my original body commit murder?) As far as I can tell, I simply fell asleep in one place and woke up in another. Again, my new body is completely indistinguishable from my old body.

    5. Same as scenario 4, except this time I'm not unconscious during the scanning process. There is a fraction of a second period in which the original and the copy are both conscious before the original is atomized.


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    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    technically none of these methods are teleportation. To be honest I don't think i would use any of them, the chance that I might end up... incomplete worries the hell out of me


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    To be honest I don't think i would use any of them, the chance that I might end up... incomplete worries the hell out of me
    Do you mean you would worry that the machine would malfunction and not rebuild you correctly, or you would worry that the person who comes out on the other side wouldn't "really be you"?
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    To be honest I don't think i would use any of them, the chance that I might end up... incomplete worries the hell out of me
    Do you mean you would worry that the machine would malfunction and not rebuild you correctly, or you would worry that the person who comes out on the other side wouldn't "really be you"?
    both really. I know that the atoms in your body are completly changed over approximatly 10 years. but If I did options 2-5 it wouldn't be the body I was born with
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    All parts are beyondless, what part perceives its selfreaction?
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    yeh, i used to ponder that myself. i like your way of breaking it down though. its interesting how subtle changes can effect our perception of what is actually happening.

    to me, the only way to solve an confusion is to get rid of the assumption/notion that there is any entity called "you" which exists from the point you are born to the time you are dead. Each moment in time creates its own "you", the consciousness trapped and limited by the confines of the body and describing itself according to its history (memory, etc).

    let me ask you this question. lets say, in your experiment, the reassembly on the other side is actually made two years later.
    ie the "original" has aged two years with new memories, the reassembled is just as the original was at the point of copying. Which one of these two would have more right in saying that they are the "you" which was copied?
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    Me?

    Beyondless parts cannot make entity.
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    no, i was talking about Scifor Refugee.

    i had no idea what you said. plain english or farsi would be prefrable.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sohy
    no, i was talking about Scifor Refugee.

    i had no idea what you said. plain english or farsi would be prefrable.
    It makes sense and it is plain English
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    Thank you, a philosopher is always very pleased to know that his work is appreciated.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    It makes sense and it is plain English
    I don't think "beyondless" or "selfreaction" are plain English.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sohy
    let me ask you this question. lets say, in your experiment, the reassembly on the other side is actually made two years later.
    ie the "original" has aged two years with new memories, the reassembled is just as the original was at the point of copying. Which one of these two would have more right in saying that they are the "you" which was copied?
    I don't think there's really a good answer to this. I suppose you could say that the "real" one is the one still made of the original material, but that's still pretty arbitrary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    It makes sense and it is plain English
    I don't think "beyondless" or "selfreaction" are plain English.
    Beyondless means that the inside does not contain the outside.
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    I don't think "beyondless" or "selfreaction" are plain English.
    they are not. i have looked in every single dictionary. people seem to forget that just because a word captures a concept for them, or perhaps someone who has a particular knowledge of a field, it does not make the work plain english. it rather borders on jargon.

    "All parts are beyondless, what part perceives its selfreaction?"
    doesnt mean anything, unless someone already has an idea what you are talking about. and it probably even then means a different thing to them than to you, surely that sentence cannot communicate the subtleties of what your view on the subject is.

    or maybe i am just an idiot.
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  16. #15  
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    what is good about English is that we can adapt it to our purposes and still be understood (on the whole)

    now back to the topic with ye
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sohy
    I don't think "beyondless" or "selfreaction" are plain English.
    they are not. i have looked in every single dictionary. people seem to forget that just because a word captures a concept for them, or perhaps someone who has a particular knowledge of a field, it does not make the work plain english. it rather borders on jargon.

    "All parts are beyondless, what part perceives its selfreaction?"
    doesnt mean anything, unless someone already has an idea what you are talking about. and it probably even then means a different thing to them than to you, surely that sentence cannot communicate the subtleties of what your view on the subject is.

    or maybe i am just an idiot.
    The word "beyondless" and "selfreaction" does not exist because they are obvious and have no applications. For instance, all things are beyondless since they don't have that which is outside themselves, and all things have only their own reaction, the selfreaction is all it has a part of.
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  18. #17  
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    and all things have only their own reaction, the selfreaction is all it has a part of.
    what does that even mean?

    all things are beyondless since they don't have that which is outside themselves
    if i understand you correctly, this is a truism. It does not address the issue of what is the "thing" itself.
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    But you would agree that the reaction of a thing is beyondless?

    -Then it is a selfreaction.
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  20. #19  
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    But you would agree that the reaction of a thing is beyondless?
    As i said i do not know what you mean by that. If you could be so generous as to spare more than 12 words to explain exactly what you mean, then i could give you an answer.

    Seriously, a few extra words, would make these discussions far more productive.
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  21. #20  
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    It is only affected by that which happens to itself. Every part.

    Describe a set of beyondless parts that can make entity.
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