^If a crane dropped a steel beam on your head from twenty stories up, you won't notice any difference either.
Admiral Buzzkill wrote:
How do I know that my consciousness doesn't die every instant - or, to simplify, during periods of unconsciousness like sleep?
We believe that we're forever one being because we have memory - that's really our only evidence for this peculiar assumption. As long as that's passed on from the original to the copy, does it make a difference?
I believe I am one continuous being because I have the same heart, lungs, spleen, skin, toenails, and trachea this morning that I had last night. Those things are just as much a part of me as my consciousness, maybe more so. I can't even prove I am conscious or explain what the hell consciousness is. Neither can you. If I transport from point A to point B, it will make absolutely no difference to the guy who steps of the pad at the other end. But it will make a hell of a difference to me.
It's sort of like the ship of Theseus question... except instead of all the parts being gradually replaced over time, the entire ship is replaced all at once.
Most of the matter in my body right now will, quite literally, have been flushed down the toilet six months from now. But it's a slow process and for everything I lose, I assimilate something else. I don't see how you can say a person, or any object, that has been totally converted to energy all at once, then back to matter and reassembled the same thing, no matter how identical.