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Old November 22 2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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Re: Would a real life transporter technically be 'murder' ?

KirksFlyingFist wrote: View Post
I've read somewhere that if a transporter was actually to exist, it would in actuality be killing you, and then creating a copy of you elsewhere - downloading your memories and "mind" into the copy.

Does anyone have any confirmation on this one way or the other?
There was a transporter thread earlier this year on the board here in Trek Tech, Would you use a transporter?, and I think they recur every now and then.

Here's one of the things I said in that thread. I believe that the first paragraph contradicts the view recounted by KirksFlyingFist on how transporters work in Star Trek.
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
One of the nice little details in TWOK was when Kirk and Saavik carried on their conversation while disembodied in the transporter beam, when beaming up from the Genesis Cave. The idea that life continues uninterrupted during transport was of course taken to the next level in TNG: The Realm of Fear. The transporter not interrupting any biological process at all, including cognition and consciousness, could be one portion of a convincing argument that what comes out at the other end really is the original.

But some level of injury should be expected from transporter use; no mode of transportation in the real world is perfectly safe, not even walking. One of the nice little details in TMP was the addition of the radiation shield in the transporter room, to protect the operators from repeated exposure to some sort of radiation. Perhaps, if a person were repeatedly beamed enough times, with no breaks in between, eventually they would get sick. Maybe cancer would be a risk from too many beamings too often. While they didn't use Federation transporter technology, the terrorists who transported via dimensional shift in TNG: The High Ground suffered warped DNA which was cumulative and terminal on repeated use. Then again, as has basically already been pointed out in-thread, no activity in life whatsoever is perfectly free of risk. Because Geordi quantifies [in terms appropriate for TV show dialog] what he means by the level of safety, among my favorite TNG snippets is from The Masterpiece Society:

TNG wrote:
MARTIN: We have no idea how molecular transport will affect her DNA.
LAFORGE: It won't affect her DNA at all. There's been over a century of evidence to prove that.
And, whether I'd do it willingly would depend in part on what sort of argument was being made that the original me would be coming out on the other end. A portion of the risk of use would be the risk that one or more of the scientific theories upon which that argument is based is wrong. Those theories should be very well tested, so that the probability of any of them being measurably wrong is vanishingly small. Biological processes theoretically continuing uninterrupted throughout beaming could help make a convincing case that the original me would be coming out.

Of course, if the ship were blowing up around me and there were no other chance, I'd probably shout "Energize!", even if I would be the first person to beam.
“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” — Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

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