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Poll

Would you use a teleporter?

Yes
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Author Topic: Teleportation & personal identity  (Read 5971 times)

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BonerJoe

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2008, 11:56:31 PM »

If you could duplicate yourself...would you have sex with it?
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MacFall

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2008, 12:04:07 AM »

If you could duplicate yourself...would you have sex with it?
Wouldn't that be essentially masturbation? I can already do that, without the existential problems of duplication.  :P
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Zhwazi

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2008, 12:12:58 AM »

Who cares?

...

Assuming the vaporizer works, why would I care if the cut-pasted Zhwazi on Mars is me or not? Either I'm on Mars and can't tell the difference, or I'm vaporized and can't care about a damn thing.

Yeah, I pretty much agree with you. Except I think we've evolved to have an illusory sense of continuity of point of view and to preserve it at all costs. Since we didn't evolve to deal rationally with teleporter thought experiments, I think the intuition is "no fuckin way, I don't wanna die", but that it's actually rational to use the teleporter (assuming you actually want to go somewhere far away..).

Though, consider this modification. The vaporizer is supposed to work, but malfunctions when you use the machine. The teleporter crew, realizing what happened a few minutes later, come in and attempt to vaporize you manually. They're coming at you with phasers and you're saying "hey what the fuck don't kill me", but then they say "oh no, it's ok, your replica arrived safely, see you can even see him on the viewscreen" and then you say "oh, ok. as long as my replica is there, go ahead and kill me." I don't think so. But why should it matter that your death happened a few minutes later rather than immediately after scanning? I mean, why would you accept death by automatic vaporization after or during scanning, but not shortly thereafter?
Because now you've got divergent experiences and destroying the information contained in the divergent experience, not to mention the information processing capability of the still-functional local brain, is strikingly wasteful. More sensible in the first place would be to plan to have a copy of you sent to Mars to do whatever needed to be done there while you continue attending your more local affairs on Earth. Teleportation would be a huge waste of bandwidth and reconstruction material, so unless the mechanism by which the teleporter works consumes the matter on Earth and then transports that matter in some non-bandwidth-consuming form to Mars and then reorganizes it, in which case the clone is impossible, teleportation would be an inferior method to various alternatives that would exist for almost any plausible reason to go to Mars.

To do something closer to answering your question, you could probably plan to cut-paste to mars, but adapt to the new circumstances of the failed vaporization. For purposes of individuality and continuity it may be convenient to have only one instance of yourself, but that's just a convenience, and I would consider it a luxury to scarcely indulge in. If something should go wrong and discontinuity or divergence of experience results, there's no good reason to waste the fortunate turn of events. The kind of mindset that makes a remaining copy an unfortunate event is a sick one in the first place.

If you could duplicate yourself...would you have sex with it?
What kind of sick fuck wouldn't?
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BonerJoe

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2008, 12:27:33 AM »

If you could duplicate yourself...would you have sex with it?
Wouldn't that be essentially masturbation? I can already do that, without the existential problems of duplication.  :P

What about anal?
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MacFall

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2008, 09:17:13 AM »

If you could duplicate yourself...would you have sex with it?
Wouldn't that be essentially masturbation? I can already do that, without the existential problems of duplication.  :P

What about anal?

Bleq.
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hellbilly

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2008, 08:54:23 PM »

If you could duplicate yourself...would you have sex with it?

No. I'm way too perverted and outta control. I'd be sceered.
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John Shaw

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2008, 10:29:49 PM »

If I'm disintegrated, I'm dead. Don't care if there's some doppelganger out there.

Screw that shit.
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thomasjack

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2008, 11:32:05 PM »

If I'm disintegrated, I'm dead. Don't care if there's some doppelganger out there.

Screw that shit.

 :) I've evolved to agree with you.

But I think we're wrong.
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YixilTesiphon

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2008, 11:43:17 PM »

If I saw proof that people had been sent through it without harm, then yes. I wouldn't be the first. Shit, I drive to work in a major city every day.
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thomasjack

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2008, 01:17:18 AM »

If I saw proof that people had been sent through it without harm, then yes. I wouldn't be the first. Shit, I drive to work in a major city every day.

The assumption is that it works as advertised. The problem is not whether it'll screw up, the problem is that when it works perfectly, you have a 100% of "dying" by vaporization.
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John Shaw

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2008, 02:05:23 AM »

you have a 100% of "dying" by vaporization.

That doesn't qualify as "Perfect" to me.

Dead is dead. Just because it makes no difference to an observer doesn't mean that you're not still dead.

<<<Will not be killed so somebody just like me, but not me, can end up where I wanted to go.
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thomasjack

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2008, 03:32:19 AM »

you have a 100% of "dying" by vaporization.

That doesn't qualify as "Perfect" to me.

Dead is dead. Just because it makes no difference to an observer doesn't mean that you're not still dead.

<<<Will not be killed so somebody just like me, but not me, can end up where I wanted to go.

Right, yeah, that's the response I would expect most people to have.

When you said "If I saw proof that people had been sent through it without harm" I thought you meant you doubted whether your copy might end up hideously disfigured or brain dead or something on the other side.

If you believe "you" are dying, the problem is to come up with a theory of personal identity that justifies your statement that the replica is not you. Under Locke's theory, he is you. Under a looser theory which fixes some of the problems with Locke's theory, and seems to make sense in a whole lot of circumstances, he still is you. You can't say that you can just tell whether you're you or not, because the replica totally believes he is you—at the instant of materialization he has the exact same memories and brain state as you, and he feels like his stream of consciousness is totally continuous with the stream of consciousness that was on Earth.

Let's perform this experiment: put you to sleep, scan you, materialize a copy into a room exactly like the one you're asleep in and in exactly the same position you're asleep in. Now, you both wake up. Which one of you is you? Is there any way to know? If there's no way to know, how can one of you truly claim youness?
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Kevin Freeheart

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2008, 06:59:00 PM »

When I use the term "me" it is the percieved continutity of myself. I personally connect the concept to my perception. The child that was "me" when I was 4 years old was quite differnt physically than the "me" today yet they're linked through the fact that I percieved to percieve them both.

If my conscious mind were transfered into a computer, existing only on hard drive but offered continuity of thought, I'd consider that computer to be "me".

Now, I'm assuming that in this vaporization and rematerialization, my percieved continuity of self wasn't broken. If it was I consider myself 'dead'. If not, I don't consider myself dead. I would also not consider myself "dead" if my heart stopped beating or my brain simply stopped functioning IF I continued to percieve continuity in my perception of myself. The fact that the atoms in my body and brain are scrambled don't mean "death" to me - me not continuing to percieve myself does.

There was an episode of The Next Generation where there was a transporter glitch. Riker was beamed aboard through an weird atmosphere that caused the energy beam to reflect back to the planet's surface and rematerialize a second Riker. In the moment when the duplicate was created but BEFORE they began living different lives, the perceptions of both copies were identical so both were "the real" Riker and the moment that their lives became different, the "copy" became an individual in his own right for all things that matter to me.
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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2008, 10:34:51 PM »

The above post inspired the following thoughts.

Perhaps too much emphasis is being placed upon our physical bodies. Would it not be a superior concept that we merely "upload" the content of our experiences in life to a more suitable (manufactured clone) host at our desired destination?

Data loss can be prevented, unlike the instability a teleportation device must inherently contain. So, if the transfer of data went awry - we would have an organic database to refer to for additional efforts.

Meanwhile, as our clone selves go about our adventures, our organic bodies on the home planet may be going along separate adventures, or perhaps cuddled up with Walt in the freeze chamber.

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thomasjack

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Re: Teleportation & personal identity
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2008, 05:49:39 AM »

Now, I'm assuming that in this vaporization and rematerialization, my percieved continuity of self wasn't broken. If it was I consider myself 'dead'. If not, I don't consider myself dead. I would also not consider myself "dead" if my heart stopped beating or my brain simply stopped functioning IF I continued to percieve continuity in my perception of myself. The fact that the atoms in my body and brain are scrambled don't mean "death" to me - me not continuing to percieve myself does.

If I hit you on the head with a baseball bat, and you go unconscious, are you then dead? When you wake up, are you the same person you were before?

I think a theory of personal identity based on "my perceived continuity of self" is circular. How do you know whether it's your perceived continuity unless you've already got a theory of personal identity to tell you who counts as you?

Also, the replica will always think that his perceived continuity of self hasn't been broken. So even if you die and a new person who thinks he's you is created, noone would ever know.


I just thought of an interesting legal problem for those who think the replica isn't the same person. Say I commit a murder. To avoid punishment, I just teleport myself. Since the replica isn't me, he can't be punished for things I did, right? I mean, certainly it's not just to punish one person for the crimes of a different person.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 05:57:13 AM by vosti backle »
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